Mekong Politics: The Xayaburi Dam Controversy

Can we get countries to trade short-term development for long-term sustainability?  This will be a crucial question in the next 20 years of politics.  If the answer is ‘no’, we are in for some significant trouble.  This very question is being directly asked over the past few months with the Xayaburi dam controversy along the … Continue reading

Elephant Killing on the Rise, how will CITES respond?

The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) has been active in managing ivory from elephants and rhinos since the mid-1980s.  It has been a contentious debate at times which has resulted in a developed system for monitoring illegal trade, some positive conservation in South Africa and Zimbabwe (and others, but not all), and … Continue reading

Should Ecocide be an International Crime?

That is the provocative question posed in a recent piece by Gwynne Dyer.  As published in the New Zealand Herald, Mr. Dyer directly equates today’s environmental destruction with government sponsored mass killings of the previous century: There was no law against genocide in the early 1940s; it became an internationally recognised crime only after the … Continue reading

Rio+20 Report Card

The Rio+20 Conference has come and gone. Lots of analysis will go into figuring out what went right and what went wrong about the Conference.  This is a first pass at giving grades to different aspects of the outcome.  I’ll reassess in a couple months, particularly on those aspects which might see some significant movement…or … Continue reading