Earth Report | Go with the Flow

In the Netherlands two out of three people already live below sea level. Faced with a further rise in sea level of up to 0.8 metres, the country is developing a radical national action plan that turns three centuries of flood engineering on its head. Soft engineering allows land to be sacrificed to rivers and […]

Earth Report | Waste not Waste

To mark the start of The International Year of Sanitation (2008), this Earth Report investigates the global sanitation crisis. Conventional sewer systems are not only an expensive way to provide sanitation, they also waste a lot of water and lose all the nutrients in human waste, rather than putting them to productive use. They’re also […]

Life | Brazil: Winning against AIDS

HIV/AIDS sufferers in Brazil today get the same treatment as HIV/AIDS sufferers in the USA and Europe – the same, free ‘triple cocktail’ of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, the same clinical care, the same monitoring. So perhaps it’s unsurprising then that Brazil’s HIV/AIDS patients have proved just as capable of taking their medicines on time as […]

Earth Report | Race to Save the Sky

Brokered by UNEP, the 1987 Montreal Protocol was heavily criticised by environmental groups for not being tough enough. In Race to Save the Sky we find the world is on course to end the threat from ozone-depleting chemicals. But we also find that the first generation of alternatives are potent greenhouse agents. Now the race […]

Earth Report | Radioactive and Reeling

Following the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power station in the Ukraine, 70 per cent of the fallout landed on neighbouring Belarus. Suffering from severe and widespread radioactive contamination, the country that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union, remained isolated from the West under the cloak of a communist-style command economy. In […]

Hands On 5 | Making the Connection

In Karnataka India, the state government is computerising the land records which used to be controlled by local officials, many of whom were corrupt. The system now helps farmers to gain faster access to secure legal records about their land. In Sierra Leone, a country emerging from the strife of civil war, two projects are […]

Hands On 5 | Energetic

A programme looking at the world’s energy entrepreneurs: the work of REED, helping entrepreneurs to develop clean energy businesses; developing solar food preservation systems in Mali; a solar-based drier in Brazil to process pollen for health supplements; a credit scheme in Senegal allows farmers to buy and maintain wind-powered water pumps; in China, replacement fuel […]

Hands On 5 | A Switch in Time

Across Asia, development is happening at breakneck speed. Yet over a billion people still have no access to electricity. Most of them are the rural poor, who live far from the mains electricity grid. Lack of power places tight limits on education and on livelihoods. Off-grid solutions are an ideal way to bring electricity to […]

Hands On 6 | E-Frontiers

Five stories on innovative uses of new technologies to assist in community action: the UK Phenology Network encourages volunteers to record via the internet what they see in their natural environment; how an interactive digital mapmaking system developed in the UK is helping to re-establish services in the wake of disasters; in Sri Lanka, how […]

Hands On 6 | Africa Works

This episode of Hands On travels the length and breadth of the continent to show you the Africa you so seldom see: one bursting with social entrepreneurs, creativity and invention. Stories covered include: using solar power to cool vital medicines in Nigeria; a new internet centre opening up new opportunities for villagers in Ghana; in […]