Working Together To Feed the World and Protect the Planet
About the Author: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future.
Today, nearly one in eight people in the world do not have enough food to eat.
And studies predict that as diets change and the world’s population grows to 9 billion people by 2050, we will need to increase food production by at least 60 percent to meet the global demand for food, all in the face of increasing pressures on natural resources.
Forty-three years ago, the first Earth Day celebration began a movement to create awareness about the need to protect the world’s natural resources so they can be enjoyed by generations to come. Since then, governments and civil society have worked together to address environmental challenges and improve our understanding of how we can help protect the world’s natural resources.
Today’s celebration of Earth Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves and our partners of the connection between our environment,… more »
Saving Lives, Livelihoods, and Life
About the Authors: Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, is the Director of the National Cancer Institute, and Robert Hormats, Ph.D., is the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State.
For many people, the term biodiversity might seem highly technical and irrelevant to their day to day concerns. If you think that, think again. It may just save your life.
Biological diversity… more »
International Exchanges: Empowering Environmental Leaders
About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Today, in the Gambia, alumni of Department of State-sponsored exchange programs will form environmental clubs with 100 under-served youth to create and maintain a seed bank, and plant tree nurseries.
Today in Bangalore, India, Parvati Gubbi, a secondary teacher of science and alumna of the Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program, will teach students to practice sustainable lifestyles and, “become champions of change for a cleaner and greener habitat for the future.”
Today, here in the United States, 13 International Visitor Leadership Program participants… more »
Earth Observations Help Protect Our Planet
About the Author: Susan Harris serves in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES).
When a massive earthquake hit Japan in March 2011, an informal global network of government officials and NGOs delivered real-time satellite images showing the exact extent of the earthquake and tsunami damage. Japan’s emergency responders used this information to find disaster victims, determine evacuation routes, and prepare for further aftershocks. This is a significant yet small example of the ways we are using earth observing and other satellite information from space to respond to disasters, understand the environment and climate change, and improve the use of our natural resources.
For several decades, the United States and many other countries have worked together to develop advanced earth observing satellites that are literally changing the way we look at the world. Earth Day 2012 falls close to the 40th anniversary of the launch of the U.S. Landsat 1, the… more »
Embassies and Consulates Are Going Green
About the Author: Katie G. Kirkpatrick is a program analyst in the Under Secretary of Management’s Office of Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation. She also serves as the events and outreach coordinator for the State Department’s Greening Council Working Group, which helped organize the exhibition.
The State Department’s Earth Day event, an exhibition titled “American Face of Green — Embassies Leading the Way,” demonstrated how our embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions are going green. The displays included information on embassy-led tree planting projects, programs dedicated to recycling, reducing energy usage, and more. The participants in the exhibition, a mix of the State Department’s regional and functional bureaus as well as Earth Day Network representatives and a local artist who creates sculptures purely from recycled materials, showed off the many projects that have been undertaken to demonstrate that America takes greening seriously.
American government agencies may not be the first institutions when one thinks of greening operations and practices. But, I would say that anyone who attended the exhibition would have to whole-heartedly reconsider.… more »
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer cuts the ribbon at the second Annual 6k Walk for Water outside of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 18, 2012. The Annual 6k Walk for Water, part of the Department’s Earth Day celebrations, is organized to acknowledge the millions of people in the developing world, most often women and girls, who walk an average of six kilometers to collect water for their families. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]