Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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poverty and trade > features

Poverty and population: the crucial links

by Lester R. Brown

The twenty-first century began on an inspiring note when the countries that belong to the United Nations adopted the goal of cutting the number of people living in poverty in half by 2015. And as of 2005 [the last year for which there are reported figures], the world is ahead of schedule for reaching this goal. But not all regions are benefitting. ... more

Fair trade: success story for the poor
Fair trade has emerged from nowhere to become a success story of our time. From chocolate, coffee and bananas to clothes and crafts, it has now become a mainstream way for people to buy knowing they are helping some of the world's poorest people. Here John Madeley and Miles Litvinoff, who have written a new guidebook on the subject, bring the story up to date. ... more

Big fight ahead on food security
A key question is taking centre stage in the world trade talks, now at a critical stage: whether developing countries have the right to food security and to protect the livelihood of their farmers, or whether they must allow cheaper imports that may overwhelm local agriculture. Martin Khor reports ... more

Poverty on an Indian lake of plenty
The plight of fisherfolk who live in the areas surrounding Chilka Lake, near the Bay of Bengal in the Indian State of Orissa, is evidence of the impact on poor women in particular, and the natural resources on which they depend, of globalised trade. Manipadma Jena reports from Bhubaneshwar. ... more

Economics for a shrinking planet

by Frank Rotering

Earlier this year a US Defence Department study concluded that the earth's carrying capacity was under threat from global warming - a threat that could lead to wars over energy, food and water. Here, a Canadian writer suggests an alternative economic framework that could lead the way to a healthy future on a shrinking planet. We publish this as a contribution to the necessary debate on this central dilemma. ... more

Timber trade shows corrosive price of corruption
by Greg Mock

In Sumatra's Jambi province, corrupt civilian and military officials collude with private loggers to illegally harvest and export timber - so much so that local legislators have, in the past, had to appeal to the army, police and officials to stop it. It is just one example of the corrosive price the environment pays for corruption. ... more

Making rural development big business in India

by Curtis Runyan

A large number of farmers in rural India are breathing a little bit easier these days. For three or four decades, they have been locked into a government-organized trading scheme that nearly ensures they get fleeced by the middlemen when they sell their grains at auction. ... more

Fair trade � set for growth
by John Madeley

When the world price of primary commodities such as coffee, tea and sugar fall dramatically, it has a catastrophic impact on the lives of millions of small-scale producers. Many are forced into crippling debt; countless others lose their land and homes. Here, John Madeley tells the story of the Fairtrade movement, and of one woman whose life has been transformed by it. ... more

Home grown food better for developing countries, says new report
When people get together for celebratory meals this holiday season, much of their food will have logged more miles than their relatives and friends around the table, finds a new study by the Worldwatch Institute. ... more

In the dock
by John Madeley

'We are too beholden to trade' a trade official of a developing country told me at the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Doha, Qatar (November 2001). ... more

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