India: Historic ‘Bhendi Bazaar’ To Get New Look

By Qureish Raghib* | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

MUMBAI (IDN) – From being an irrigation tract in its early days to being developed by the British to resettle communities – affected by the Great Mumbai Fire that broke in 1803 at the Fort area – and then eventually mushroom into a bustling business district, Bhendi Bazaar in India’s South Mumbai, has come a long way in terms of socio-economic evolution.

The market area derives its name from a plantation of thespesia populnia or bhendi in the north-west of Dongri as mentioned in the Maharashtra State Gazette. Surprisingly, even with its 200-year-history of characteristic entrepreneurial resilience, Bhendi Bazaar gradually sunk in an abyss of civic neglect and infrastructural despair leading it to be seriously challenged in a liberal Indian economy.

Up To 5.3°C Rise in Global Temperatures Likely

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

LONDON (IDN) – The world is not on track to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, says the World Energy Outlook Special Report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, urging governments to swiftly enact four energy policies that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth.

“Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven launching the report in London on June 10.

Towards Resolving Myanmar’s Kachin Conflict

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – A tentative peace agreement in Burma’s Kachin conflict – one of the longest-running ethnic insurgencies in the country and in fact in the world – signifies a major opportunity to secure lasting peace in what is officially known as Myanmar as a whole. Yet, there will be significant challenges in doing so, says an eminent think-tank.

The peace accord was signed on May 30, 2013 by the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the Myanmar government – the last of the eleven major ethnic armed groups to do so since 2011.

The World’s Poorest Heave A Sigh of Relief

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Forty-nine of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable courtiers spanning across Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are no longer threatened by a modern-day Damocles’ sword – not until July 1, 2021 at least. The group known as the least-developed countries (LDCs) can in fact request further extension of the waiver on abiding by the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Bringing Gazan Goods To The World

By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – The builders of Gaza’s Ark hope to bring Gazan goods to the world. The latest plan to try to break the illegal siege of Gaza, according to organizer Michael Coleman at June 9 press conference in the port of Gaza, is to refurbish their very second-hand fishing boat, fill it with Gazan products (date products, embroidery, craft items and more) and sail to another Mediterranean port, like any normal exporter.

The Promise and Challenges of Africa

By Ian Shapiro* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

CAPE TOWN (IDN | Yale Global) – Is Africa rising? Judging by the buzz and optimism of the young business leaders and political trailblazers from across the continent who gathered for the World Economic Forum on Africa May 8-10, the answer is a qualified “yes.” The African Leadership Network – co-founded by Stanford graduates Fred Swaniker, now the CEO of the African Leadership Academy, and Achankeng Leke, director of McKinsey’s Nigerian operations – is emblematic of a new generation of leaders who brim with sophisticated confidence about Africa’s emergence. They are part of the coming elite whose ideas shaped the discussion in Cape Town.

Solar Trade Wars Affect Climate Change Fight

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) – Amidst the gloomy news in the deteriorating climate change situation, is this bright spark – the cost of solar energy has been going down dramatically. This source of clean and renewable energy is seen as one of the major saviours that could help power the world without emitting greenhouse gases.

The drawback is that solar energy has traditionally been more expensive to use carbon-intensive coal or oil. But in recent years solar power has become much cheaper. Energy experts predict that its cost could match that of conventional fuels in the next few years in some areas.

Another Run At Ending Global Hunger

By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – Yet another high-level panel has designed yet another “roadmap” to universal prosperity and a hunger-free world – by 2030. A new set of goals is likely to replace the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Once again, the goalposts of development are being moved instead of the goals being met,” says a jaded observer of international affairs.

The panel was created by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. Its co-chairs were Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Aiding Kachin State Entails Great Personal Risk

By Sushetha Gopallawa* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – While in Myanmar’s Kachin State in May, I visited a number of displacement camps around and I also met with Kachin community-based organizations (CBOs) who deliver aid in both government and non-government controlled areas.

Over 100,000 people have been displaced since conflict between the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) resumed in June 2011. While about 35,000 of these individuals are living in government-controlled areas, more than half of the displaced are located behind rebel lines, in areas controlled by the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the KIA’s political wing.

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