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My Community, Our Earth: Youth-Led Projects using Mapping, Geography, GIS for Sustainable Development

My Community, Our Earth

The My Community, Our Earth: Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development (MyCOE) Partnership encourages young people around the world to ask and develop answers to pressing global issues in their own local communities, using geographic tools, concepts, and perspectives. MyCOE invites young people to submit youth-led sustainable development projects and maps in celebration of the United Nations (UN) Rio+20 Conference.

Deadline Date
Deadline Date: 
June 1, 2012

Filega

Communication Strategies: 

Filega aims to weave development issues into a story told by characters that are believable, in order to take an honest look at the stresses and conflicts that emerge when any attempt is made to change the traditional status quo. It examines how harmony and equilibrium can be restored to a community once its members re-evaluate their social and agricultural practices. According to the producers, the drama reflects the practical, material and social problems facing people in rural areas including:

 

  • access to water;
  • food security;
  • sanitation;
  • crop management; and
  • early marriage.

 

The programme also addresses such issues as gender inequalities in the household, environmental pollution, and the absence of good governance in rural communities.

 

According to the organisers, Ethiopian producers, journalists, and actors working on the radio drama learned a wide range of new skills including:

 

  • sound quality;
  • how to use microphones;
  • editing supervision;
  • logging;
  • sound effects;
  • recording on location;
  • interview skills;
  • conveying movement through radio;
  • working on crowd scenes; and
  • using interior and exterior space effectively.

 

The Trust also ran a training course in digital editing for journalists at the Amhara Mass Media Agency. The translators working on the project also developed new skills in translating storylines and dramatic dialogue, as well as translating technical terms related to sound recording and drama direction.

Key Points: 

According to the producers, Filega is the first ever radio drama to be recorded on location in Ethiopia, outside a studio. The first episode was broadcast on February 17th, 2007, with weekly broadcasts for 18 weeks. Focus group discussions were held in rural areas in the Amhara region to assess the impact that the programme had on its audience. According to the organisers, audiences found the story lines, characters and language convincing, and appreciated hearing their lives and priorities reflected in the mass media. "Audiences were also impressed that the actors were from the area where the drama took place, rather than being recruited from Addis Ababa." In the next phase of the project, the BBC World Service Trust plans to focus on building production capacity within broadcast stations and local production companies.

Partner Text: 

Bahar Dar-based Amhara Mass Media Agency(AMMA), Amhara Mass Media Agency, BBC World Service Trust, and Ethiopiaid.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

BBC World Service Trust on September 28 2007.

African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI)

Communication Strategies: 

In each of the five countries, advisory committees representing farmers' organisations, radio stations, research organisations, government extension agencies, and other stakeholders are coming together to develop detailed action research plans. As part of the research plans, partner radio stations are producing and broadcasting a variety of participatory radio campaigns with and for farmers that address their food security priorities. By comparing farmers' knowledge and farming practices before and after the programmes are broadcast, AFRRI aims to discover how radio, mobile phones, and other communication technologies can best be used to help smallholder farmers meet their food security objectives.

 

The project hopes to provide answers to the following questions:

 

  • How do African farmers use the information they hear on the radio? What information is most useful?
  • What format is best able to engage and empower farmers?
  • How can radio stations make use of cheap and accessible mobile phones, MP3 players, and other communication technologies to extend their reach and improve interaction with listeners?

 

The programme organisers believe that radio is still the best communication tool for reaching the rural economically poor, particularly in Africa. "Radio is popular, reaches a wide audience and is affordable and accessible. Farmers listen to local news, stories, and music in their own language without needing to be able to read English or French."

 

AFRRI encourages broadcasters to use radio techniques such as phone-in shows, live community forums, and radio diaries. AFRRI will also support broadcasters in using newer information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, to improve the reach and interactivity of their communication services for farmers.

 

Development Issues: 

Agriculture.

Key Points: 

Farm Radio International (formerly DCFRN) is a Canadian charity founded in 1979 with the mission of supporting broadcasters to strengthen small-scale farming and rural communities in Africa. Farm Radio International researches and produces radio scripts on rural development issues and distributes them to some 300 radio broadcasters in Africa. Broadcasters interpret and use the scripts to provide their listeners with information about farming, land management, livelihoods, health, and other issues. Farm Radio International also provides capacity-building support to African radio broadcasters, facilitates networking among and between broadcasters, and helps build the knowledge base about radio-for-development through action research projects.

 

WUSC is a network of people and post-secondary institutions and a Canadian international development charity. Its mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. Active on over 70 campuses across Canada and in 17 countries overseas, WUSC has been engaging Canadians in improving lives for over six decades. Its alumni include leaders in the public, private, and voluntary sectors in Canada, and around the world.

Partner Text: 

WUSC and Farm Radio International.

Source: 

Farm Radio Network on September 28 2007.

Equator Dialogues

The Equator Dialogues is a series of "community dialogue spaces" - created through global and regional conferences and supported by follow-up online communities - that aim to build a platform for local voices and celebrate the efforts and impacts of community action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Communication Strategies: 

This programme uses community-based online spaces and in-person events in an effort to provide an advocacy and learning platform for local leaders and grassroots initiatives seeking to take local steps to help achieve the MDGs. The central purpose of these exchanges is to break down barriers to community participation in political processes and policy formulation. These exchanges draw on dialogue in an effort to:

  • invigorate global conferences and regional workshops with local voices, knowledge, and perspectives
  • celebrate "local level best practice" in poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation
  • shift the policy environment and scale up grassroots work by facilitating community and local level access to policy makers
  • stimulate knowledge sharing and exchange at the local level
  • train local leaders and promote advocacy initiatives.

Events have been held in communities around the world that have explored the role of the community in protecting the environment and raising incomes. These core meetings are designed to provide a backdrop for the additional advocacy and outreach events that the Equator Initiative organises each year. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are key here for sharing information about these exchanges; each special dialogue event has been documented on its own website; click here for more information, and to access specific examples of these web-based offshoots.

 

One way to understand this process is through a specific example - a dialogue titled "The Community Commons: A Dialogue on Local Approaches to the MDGs" that took place in June 2005 at one of the partner's institutions (Fordham University). As detailed on the Equator Initiative website, the Community Commons involves the creation of a physical dialogue space to facilitate group discussions, presentations, cultural events, and interaction with global leaders and the media. The goal of this exchange was to stimulate and sustain a forum for community voices and perspectives to be incorporated into the 5-year Millennium Review Summit process, particularly through participation in the preparatory Civil Society Hearings, by drawing on the experience and insights of community representatives from around the globe. One element of this process is capacity building - to be achieved through an action plan that works to support broad-based learning between communities and through recommendations on how policy makers could develop their own capacity to support locally-driven community development innovation. The outcomes from this forum and others that are part of Equator Dialogues documented in the form of Community Declarations - consensus documents, written by all participants, that are designed to capture the essence of the deliberations and perspectives of participating communities with respect to fundamental questions of development and community engagement. Click here to access these documents.

 

To cite another example, in June 2012, the Community Aldeia brought together winners of the Equator Prize 2012 from 25 countries, other leaders in community-based sustainable development, and the Equator Initiative partnership in a ten-day dialogue held in parallel to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). A week into the Community Aldeia, Equator Prize winners split into self-chosen thematic working groups to reflect on lessons learned over the course of the dialogue to date, and to discuss proposals for actions to collectively strengthen their work going forward. Groups focusing on medicinal plants, water access and public policy, food security and women's empowerment, and biodiversity conservation emphasised the importance of developing networks for sharing experiences between prize winners and like-minded local communities, sustaining the relationships forged during the Aldeia.

Development Issues: 

Biodiversity, Environment, Sustainable Development, Poverty.

Partner Text: 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Fordham University, the government of Canada, Conservation International, The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), IUCN - The World Conservation Union, The Nature Conservancy, Television Trust for the Environment (TVE), and the United Nations Foundation.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Equator Dialogues page on the Equator Initiative website, August 17 2005; email from the Equator Initiative to The Communication Initiative on July 5 2012; and Community Aldeia website, July 6 2012.

An Invitation: Showcasing Innovation: Media and Communication for Disaster Risk Reduction

Date: 
Mar 16 2015

This invitation calls for submissions of "examples of good practice and that meet the Hyogo Framework Priority Action 3: 'Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels'" for the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).

Contact Information: 

Maximizing the Benefits of Improved Cookstoves: Moving from Acquisition to Correct and Consistent Use

Author: 
Anita Shankar
Michael Johnson
Ethan Kay
Raj Pannu
Theresa Beltramo
Elisa Derby
Stephen Harrell
Curt Davis
Helen Petach
Publication Date
July 22, 2014
Affiliation: 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Global Clean Air (Shankar), Berkeley Air Monitoring Group (Johnson), BioLite (Kay), Emergence, In (Pannu), Impact Carbon (Beltramo, Harrell), Winrock International (Derby), University of Delaware (Davis), United States Agency for International Development (Petach)

"The goal of this article is to put forth the most critical considerations regarding cookstove adoption that were identified at a meeting of the Working Group to Address Increasing Adoption of Improved Cookstoves. The meeting was hosted by the environmental health project WASHplus (funded by the United States Agency for International Development [USAID]) and the research project Translating Research into Action (TRAction) in Washington, DC, [United States] in October 2013."

Source: 

Global Health Science and Practice, 2014;2(3):268-274, accessed September 10 2014. Image credit: Sonam Shankar

Communication for Rural Development Sourcebook

Author: 
Mario Acunzo
Marzia Pafumi
Cleofe Torres
Maria Stella Tirol
Publication Date
Year: 
2014

"Today more than ever smallholders and rural communities require access to information and communication to make their voices heard and change their lives for the better. Communication for Development [ComDev] facilitates dialogue and collaborative action, combining participatory methods with communication tools ranging from community media to ICTs [information and communication technologies]."

Number of Pages: 

338

Source: 

FAO website, August 26 2014, and email from the Communication for Development Team to The Communication Initiative on August 28 2014.

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Featured

This invitation calls for submissions of "examples of good practice and that meet the Hyogo Framework Priority Action 3: 'Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels'" for the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).

"The goal of this article is to put forth the most critical considerations regarding cookstove adoption that were identified at a meeting of the Working Group to Address Increasing Adoption of Improved Cookstoves. The meeting was hosted by the environmental health project WASHplus (funded by the United States Agency for International...

Author: Sunit Bagree, Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London, September 3 2014 - An innovative approach helps smallholder farmers and supports children’s education at the same time.

What does it take to get a child to attend school regularly and then learn effectively when there?

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Experiences

"Cambodian government information technology policy has encouraged the use of open source programs and the uncensored transmission of information, resulting in an energetic IT community that has produced Khmer Unicode and indigenized software. ODC continues this tradition."

To build capacity, raise awareness, and facilitate dialogue, Bangladesh's grassroots organisation Centre for Coastal Environmental Conservation (CCEC) held a training-based initiative geared to assist those whose livelihoods depend on the Sundarbans Reserved Forest (SRF), situated at the southern extremity of the Padma and Jamuna delta. One key...

amarcfamilyfarm.jpg

In January 2014, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations launched an awareness campaign to highlight 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). Focusing on farmers' organisations and the rural population, the campaign is using community...

Launched in April 2013, the Strengthening Rural Youth Employment Opportunities in ICTs and Agriculture in Southern Africa (SOFIA) Project is working to strengthen rural youth employment opportunities in agriculture and information and communication technologies (ICTS). SOFIA is supporting youth training centres and young farmer groups to make...

Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint

This global campaign to change the culture of food waste was launched on January 22 2013 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and partner Messe Düsseldorf.

Sanitation Hackathon

The World Bank’s Sanitation Hackathon in 2012 was a year-long strategic process to help improve access to safe sanitation for 2.5 billion people through information and communication technology (ICT) software and apps. In a weekend of internet-based...

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Evaluations

This 57-page programme report shares the experience of using participatory video with farmers in six sub-Saharan countries - Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda. Five United Kingdom (UK)-based development agencies, with support from Comic Relief, partnered with local organisations to use participatory video to engage...

Alam Sehat Lestari

"Five years ago there were more than 100 people in my village doing illegal logging, now there are less than 10." Pak Bastarin, Village Headman

Gender Roles in Forest Management

"I have become convinced that the sustainability of forests depends fundamentally on better treatment of the people living in and around them. Half of those are women." - Carol J. Pierce Colfer

Women, Men and Forest Research

"The year 2011 was the International Year of the Forest, which witnessed growing interest globally in the links between people and forests. Some of that attention has been directed at women’s roles as well..."

"[H]ow do men and women access information about new practices and technologies that enable them to deal with their changing climate?"

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Materials

"Today more than ever smallholders and rural communities require access to information and communication to make their voices heard and change their lives for the better. Communication for Development [ComDev] facilitates dialogue and collaborative action, combining participatory methods with communication tools ranging from community media...

"Cambodian government information technology policy has encouraged the use of open source programs and the uncensored transmission of information, resulting in an energetic IT community that has produced Khmer Unicode and indigenized software. ODC continues this tradition."

"By analyzing first-hand accounts from administrators of emergency notification incident management systems, the behavior of end users and recipients of broadcasts, and expert insights from industry professionals such as Dr. Robert Chandler, author of Emergency Notification, one can glean the best practices behind the science of message mapping...

BBC Media Action

Climate Asia is a study of people’s experience of climate change in seven countries - Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam. It includes a data portal website on which to access survey data from over 33,500 people by country and by region, detailed reports of findings, research tools, and detailed information on data...

Agricultural Development in Latin

"Yet, the adoption of ICTs in agriculture cannot be expected by itself to reduce production asymmetries and enhance social inclusion. On the contrary, the dissemination of ICTs could indeed produce new gaps by replicating the sector’s historic disparities."

"[H]ow do men and women access information about new practices and technologies that enable them to deal with their changing climate?"

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Digital

"Today more than ever smallholders and rural communities require access to information and communication to make their voices heard and change their lives for the better. Communication for Development [ComDev] facilitates dialogue and collaborative action, combining participatory methods with communication tools ranging from community media...

Nervious Siantombo

Author: Nervious Siantombo, August 5 2014 - Citizen participation is a critical element in the development of Zambia’s agriculture sector, which is the mainstay of the majority of the country’s population.

Lilian Kiefer

Author: Lilian Kiefer, Lusaka, Zambia, June 4 2014 - As the world commemorates the World Environment Day this Thursday, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is appealing to the government, civil society organisations, cooperating partners and other stakeholders to work with poor and marginalised communities to address the effects of...

"Cambodian government information technology policy has encouraged the use of open source programs and the uncensored transmission of information, resulting in an energetic IT community that has produced Khmer Unicode and indigenized software. ODC continues this tradition."

"By analyzing first-hand accounts from administrators of emergency notification incident management systems, the behavior of end users and recipients of broadcasts, and expert insights from industry professionals such as Dr. Robert Chandler, author of Emergency Notification, one can glean the best practices behind the science of message mapping...

Author: Dr. Arpita Sharma, February 20 2014:     Agriculture is the most important sector in developing countries, with the majority of the rural population depending on it. In our Indian scenario, it is said that the country lives in villages, which means that the farming and agriculture sector contributes to the GDP of the...

Below please find facts and trends related to agriculture and information and communication technologies (ICTs) that were provided by 4 young journalists who attended the International Conference on ICT4ag. This event was co-...

Writing in French, young journalist Alain Georges Lietbouo describes some of the trends that emerged from the International Conference on ICT4ag, which was co-hosted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), November 4-8 2013, Kigali, Rwanda.

CREDITS: MKULIMA YOUNG

Author Sandra Margaret Chao, December 12 2013:       "Hi farmers, anyone with ideas on how to improve clay soil for farming?"

It is a post that has attracted about eight comments in the last ten hours since it was posted on the Facebook page Mkulima Young, where the advice ranges from soil techniques to better...

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Awards

 household-level Aloe vera cultivation and processing

The SEED Awards is an annual international competition, designed to support locally led, innovative, entrepreneurial partnerships in developing countries, which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.

The SEED goal is to inspire, promote, and build capacity to support the many...

Research4Life Librarian Competition

Research4Life announces a competition to recognize the role of librarians and library staff in building the capacities of Research4Life users and in impacting the overall work of their institutions.  This competition is open to all librarians and library staff whose institution is a user of Research4Life Programmes -  Access to...

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Funding

 household-level Aloe vera cultivation and processing

The SEED Awards is an annual international competition, designed to support locally led, innovative, entrepreneurial partnerships in developing countries, which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.

The SEED goal is to inspire, promote, and build capacity to support the many...

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Film and Video

This 57-page programme report shares the experience of using participatory video with farmers in six sub-Saharan countries - Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda. Five United Kingdom (UK)-based development agencies, with support from Comic Relief, partnered with local organisations to use participatory video to engage...

"ICT and agriculture have now found a home in each other and this is radically changing the face of a sector..."

BBC Media Action

Author: Rishika Das Roy, October 23 2013       Listening to people's everyday experiences is at the heart of the Climate Asia research project, the largest ever study into how people in seven Asian countries live and deal with climate change. So it was no surprise to me that last month I found myself in...

Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint

This global campaign to change the culture of food waste was launched on January 22 2013 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and partner Messe Düsseldorf.

videotoolkit.jpg

The toolkit, developed by FHI360 for USAID's Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information Communication Technologies (FACET) project, is designed to be a starting place for practitioners who want to integrate videos into their work. It provides a framework on how to choose the right technology for the situation and how to plan...

Featured in New Agriculturist, this series of articles focuses on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developing countries are helping to increase the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of smallscale farms, providing up-to-date information on prices, access to credit and training, and the ability to...

"Journalists can make an important contribution to debates over food and farming by helping to inform their audiences about not just the challenges, but also about the emergence of agro-ecology and its potential to make a difference."

"The large volume of messages and the tremendous enthusiasm with which people discussed the various issues highlights that the topic of agricultural innovation systems and their potential impact on family farming is currently of major interest."

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and O Eco will provide fellowships for journalists to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Rio+20, on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The partners have funding to support approximately 15 journalists. The June 14 - 23 2012 fellowship will include journalism...

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Radio

Nervious Siantombo

Author: Nervious Siantombo, August 5 2014 - Citizen participation is a critical element in the development of Zambia’s agriculture sector, which is the mainstay of the majority of the country’s population.

"How do people in Pakistan live with climate change now? How will its impacts shape their future, and how will they, in turn, shape their environment? What are the most effective ways to support people to adapt to climate change, and how best can the media, governments, organisations and businesses communicate with them?"

Author: Delia Lloyd, June 13 2014 - When I was invited to speak on a panel at a UN conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany, I wasn't sure what to expect. I envisioned a large, dimly lit amphitheatre filled with diplomats in dark suits, whispering to...

"This policy briefing examines the role for communication in climate change adaptation in seven Asian countries."

Lilian Kiefer

Author: Lilian Kiefer, Lusaka, Zambia, June 4 2014 - As the world commemorates the World Environment Day this Thursday, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is appealing to the government, civil society organisations, cooperating partners and other stakeholders to work with poor and marginalised communities to address the effects of...

Nervious Siantombo

Author: Nervious Siantombo, May 30 2014 - One of the fundamental tenets of good governance is active citizen participation in processes such as policy and development programme formulation and implementation.

Citizen involvement in governance ensures that the governed, especially those regarded as poor and marginalised in society, have...

amarcfamilyfarm.jpg

In January 2014, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations launched an awareness campaign to highlight 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). Focusing on farmers' organisations and the rural population, the campaign is using community...

Author: Dr. Arpita Sharma, February 20 2014:     Agriculture is the most important sector in developing countries, with the majority of the rural population depending on it. In our Indian scenario, it is said that the country lives in villages, which means that the farming and agriculture sector contributes to the GDP of the...

This article was written in French by journalist Inoussa Maïga from Burkina Faso, who discusses strategies for using the complementarity of different information and communication technology (ICT) tools to achieve sustainable impact on farmers.

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Television

"How do people in Pakistan live with climate change now? How will its impacts shape their future, and how will they, in turn, shape their environment? What are the most effective ways to support people to adapt to climate change, and how best can the media, governments, organisations and businesses communicate with them?"

Author: Delia Lloyd, June 13 2014 - When I was invited to speak on a panel at a UN conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany, I wasn't sure what to expect. I envisioned a large, dimly lit amphitheatre filled with diplomats in dark suits, whispering to...

"This policy briefing examines the role for communication in climate change adaptation in seven Asian countries."

Lilian Kiefer

Author: Lilian Kiefer, Lusaka, Zambia, June 4 2014 - As the world commemorates the World Environment Day this Thursday, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is appealing to the government, civil society organisations, cooperating partners and other stakeholders to work with poor and marginalised communities to address the effects of...

Joshua Masinde

Author Joshua Masinde, December 12 2013:       Information and communication technology has brought about a paradigm shift in agricultural practice by offering the sector a renaissance of some kind.

The increasing digitisation of agriculture has however, raised a lot of questions, many of which touch on...

BBC Media Action

Author: Rishika Das Roy, October 23 2013       Listening to people's everyday experiences is at the heart of the Climate Asia research project, the largest ever study into how people in seven Asian countries live and deal with climate change. So it was no surprise to me that last month I found myself in...

Author: Harry Surjadi, October 7 2013        In November 14 2011, Hendrik - the Head of Asmoja Cooperative of oil palm farmers in Silat Hilir Sub-District, West Kalimantan, [Indonesia], blasted the SMS [text] message to the Cooperative members:

BBC Media Action

"People are changing how they live in Bangladesh, more than in any other country surveyed by Climate Asia. To make more money and provide for the next generation they are supplementing their income with other work, growing alternative crops, migrating and changing jobs."

"Nepalis believe that temperatures have risen, rainfall has become less predictable and floods and droughts have increased during the last 10 years. People also feel the environment has changed and nearly nine in ten say that insects and pests have increased. "

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