Earth Day: A Day to Renew the Commitment to Defeat Climate Change

This post was contributed by Frank F. Islam as part of our April spotlight series on sustainability and the environment. Frank is an entrepreneur, civic leader and thought leader based in Washington, DC. The views expressed here are his own.   On April 22, 2020, when most of the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the United States did not participate. On Earth Day this year, the U.S. will do more than participate.    President Joe Biden will host a Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day. The Summit will commemorate the signing of the Paris Agreement five years ago, and...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: The Impact of Partnerships

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature two Pakistani alumni from different IVLP projects who have connected through the alumni network and established working partnerships to address local needs.  Visitor: Ms. Rahat Jabeen Title: Environment Specialist, Environment & Natural Resources Department, Global Practices, World Bank Country of Origin: Pakistan Itinerary: Washington, DC; Maryland; Denver and Golden, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida IVLP Project: Sustainable Development & Environmental Protection, A Multi Regional...

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Perception Is Power: Why Russia Is Missing Out at the G7

Russia was arguably the least popular world power in 2014. According to new data from the Gallup World Poll, Russian leadership has a median international approval rating of 22 percent and a 36 percent disapproval rating, the highest of any country. This is cannot be a surprise following the annexation of Crimea, covert intervention in Eastern Ukraine, and assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. As a direct result of international disapproval, Russia’s membership in the G8 was suspended in March 2014, further isolating the country during a time of economic hardship. Negative perceptions of Russian leadership are immediately affecting...

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Fight for fauna: Recognizing the proliferation of wildlife crime on Endangered Species Day

Today marks the 10th Annual Endangered Species Day in the United States. Various events taking place at zoos, aquariums, schools and protected areas across the country will recognize our national conservation efforts to protect America’s endangered species and their habitats. While the awareness events are domestic in nature, they also serve as worthwhile opportunities to bring attention to the heart-wrenching wildlife poaching and trafficking epidemic that is truly a global battle. Last year, over 1,200 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone. The western black rhino was declared extinct in 2013 and there is only one remaining male African white rhino. This estimated $20-billion-a-year market encompasses much more than rhinos and extends well beyond South Africa. According to a recent Washington Post article, there are less than 3,200 tigers in the wild; while over 100 million sharks are killed annually (shark fins are a delicacy used in soup throughout Asia).

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