Better World Blog: News and information at The Rainforest Site
Aurora Timelapse from Michigan
Oct 25, 2011by a citizen of the world.
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We are constantly amazed by how gorgeous the world around us really is. Nature has revealed another one of its incredible light shows. Enjoy the Northern Lights as seen east of Martin, Michigan on October 24 2011.
Nov 29, 2013:
Recently, actress Angelina Jolie appeared before the U.N. Security Council and urged world leaders to make the fight against rape and other sex crimes a top priority for its peacekeeping missions.
Nov 1, 2013:
Kenyan educator Kakenya Ntaiya grew up in a Maasai village in Kenya where she was engaged at five and underwent the ritual of female genital mutilation. But she only agreed to go through with it after her father let her pursue her education.
Oct 23, 2013:
Nancy Sunday is a member of the Minewolf team working to remove landmines from her home. Driving an armored vehicle designed to crush or denote mines, her contributions are helping to create a safer, more peaceful country while working alongside men.
Oct 11, 2013:
Recently, Malala Yousafzai, advocate for girls' access to education worldwide, appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In this amazing interview, Jon and Malala talk about her struggles as an international voice for girls, her nomination to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, and her new book, I Am Malala.
Oct 9, 2013:
This video clip from the World Bank features a number of innovative programs that have made Costa Rica a world leader in agricultural and forestry practices designed to reduce global warming through lessening carbon output.
Oct 7, 2013:
After decades of civil war, the new nation of South Sudan must grapple with the monumental task of educating its people. As one of the most poorly educated nations in the world, ensuring its citizens are properly educated is a huge undertaking.
Oct 1, 2013:
Barely back from the brink of extinction, America's wolves are under the gun. Defenders of Wildlife is waging an unprecedented initiative to convince the Interior Department to step up to its responsibilities and follow through on our nation’s commitment to restore gray wolves.
Sep 13, 2013:
For 20 years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has fought to ensure all nations on the globe work to make the ideals enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality.
Sep 6, 2013:
Do you know about all the ways the United Nations works to change and improve the world? Since its inception after World War II, the UN has worked in a multi-dimensional mission to bring peace and stability over the world.
Sep 4, 2013:
The continuing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has forced a million children to flee their homeland. For eight-year-old Aya, her family's flight to Lebanon has caused a halt to her education.
Aug 28, 2013:
Fracking is a recent technological development used for extracting natural gas from rock. While the technique has increased the availability of natural gas, it has caused numerous environmental public health and environmental concerns.
Aug 26, 2013:
If population growth continues on the staggering pace it has for the last century, there might not be enough water to go around. The threat of a global water crisis is a real possibility.
Aug 16, 2013:
Less than 100 years ago, women in the United States were not permitted to vote. August 18 marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which grants voting rights to women.
Aug 12, 2013:
Soil erosion is among the major environmental problems in southwest China, threatening the livelihood of millions of rural poor people. Water shortages were also a serious problem for the people living in the region.
Aug 7, 2013:
During the Burundian civil war, combatants on both sized of the decade-long conflict killed cows in acts of revenge. When it came time to rebuild, the World Bank's International Development Association fund worked to help the region recover.
Aug 5, 2013:
This video features some easy ways to quickly identify if an item is GMO. Did you know you can sometimes tell if produce is genetically modified by its PLU number? Did you know that there are certain crops that should be almost entirely avoided if trying to cut GMOs from your diet?
Aug 2, 2013:
With all this talk about GMO's, it's worth taking a moment to explain what exactly makes a food product GMO or not. Essentially, GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) are plants and animals that has had its DNA changed to produce a certain outcome, often helping plants fight off bugs and other potential risks, which in turn ensures a stable yield for farmers.
Jul 31, 2013:
Change takes time, and sustainable change takes investment in the future. To help lift the world’s poorest out of extreme poverty, the World Bank has set up the International Development Association (IDA). This fund to help finance jobs, clean water, and education for approximately 1 billion people around the world who live one less than $1.25 a day.
Jul 29, 2013:
Adopted by the United Nations in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents the first global expression of rights to which all of humanity is entitled. Inspired by the horrors and atrocities of World War II, it is made up of 30 articles which outline basic freedoms granted to all people.
Jul 26, 2013:
Yesterday, we featured a video of 11 year-old Nada Al-Ahdal who ran away from home to avoid being forced into marriage. To continue on the theme of child brides, today's post features talks by National Geographic photographer Stephanie Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney of their experience covering the weddings of girls as young as five.
Jul 25, 2013:
When 11 year-old Nada Al-Ahdal was informed that she was to be married, she took matters into her own hands. She fled to her uncle's home for protection and safety. She says she'd rather kill herself than return to her family and go through with the marriage her family had arranged against her will.
Jul 24, 2013:
In regions of Georgia left devastated by its conflict with Russia in 2008, micro loans are making a big difference to rebuild lives and grant economic stability. With funding from the EU and the United Nations Development Program, seven microfinance institutions have assisted displaced persons, women entrepreneurs, small-scale farmers, and other socially and economically vulnerable communities to start up small businesses.
Jul 18, 2013:
In 1976, the United Nations adopted two covenants: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culture Rights. These two documents, combined with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights make of a trifecta of international law that guarantees freedom for all people across the globe, known as the International Bill of Human Rights.
Jul 16, 2013:
Friday, July 12, was Malala Day, honoring the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban and left for dead for attending classes last year. After her remarkable recovery, she continued to attend classes and be a voice for change in international education.
Jul 11, 2013:
Despite the dedication and efforts of humanitarian forces, the crisis in the Sahel continues to deepen, spreading hunger, malnutrition, impoverishment, and conflict across the region. The region which spans parts of Chad, Mauritania and Niger suffers from long-term food insecurity and displacement due to severe drought.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help ease the crisis in the Sahel.
Jul 2, 2013:
The United Nations understands women and men experience conflict in different ways. It makes sense then, that they would take different approaches to peace and peace building. This video highlights the many important ways that women help create a more peaceful world, from developing community driven initiatives to serving in the field in roles ranging from platoon leader to medical doctor.
Jun 24, 2013:
Following national pollinator week, the thoughtless use of a controversial type of pesticide has killed more than 25,000 native bumblebees in Wilsonville, Oregon. The bumblebees died as a direct result of the application of Safari, a neonicotinoid pesticide, that was applied inappropriately to more than 50 blooming linden trees in a Target parking lot.
Apr 25, 2013:
The court rejected an appeal this month to overturn the ban. A further legal challenge to the ban by the Canadian and Norwegian governments will be considered by the World Trade Organization at end of April.
Jan 9, 2013:
The Executive Director of the North Carolina Waterfowl sees many abandoned "pets" -- wild birds hand raised by well-meaning people and then unable to return to the wild. Learn more in this video.
Aug 21, 2012:
Have you seen vivid, breathtaking, cobalt-blue trees appear almost out of nowhere in your area? We're not talking about gaudy nylon holiday trees showing up early in the stores. We're talking about real trees, suddenly a vivid blue.
Jul 26, 2012:
The free Living with Wild Neighbors in Urban and Suburban Communities: A Guide for Local Leaders lets communities solve problems without resorting to poisoning, trapping or killing animals.
Jun 21, 2012:
The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the United Nations have teamed up to encourage people around the world to tell "a forest story." Learn more in this gorgeous video featuring renowned nature/wildlife filmmaker.
Apr 21, 2012:
This clip from the winner of "Best of Festival" in the 2011 International Forest Film Festival shows a single sycomore fig, Africa's queen tree, as a microcosm of the eco-complexity of our planet.
Feb 21, 2012:
Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva from Michigan received the 2011 Forest Hero award for the attention that they drew to the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies and how the production of palm oil impacts orangutans.
Feb 21, 2012:
Can Jose Graziano da Silva, a Brazilian agronomist and writer who is the new head of the UN's food agency, secure greater commitment from governments to feed one billion hungry people around the world?
Nov 22, 2011:
In an awesome display of teamwork an entire herd of elephants comes the aid of a calf that has fallen into a river and is sure to drown. Elephants are, in ever sense of the word, herd animals and they always look out for one another!
Nov 13, 2011:
Did you know Bhutan is the only country on the planet to measure Gross National Happiness? Join Ben as he & a team of filmmakers undertake a 50-day journey documenting the story of four endurance athletes as they make an unprecedented border-to-border crossing of Bhutan by foot and by bike.
Nov 8, 2011:
Whether you call New York City "The Big Apple", "The City that Never Sleeps", "The Center of the Universe", or just "Home" it's hard to argue that New York is dynamic, energetic, and incredible. The variety of people that live there, sights, sounds, smells, it all combines to make it a city beyond compare.
Nov 8, 2011:
The Amageza Run is a long-distance endurance challenge for motorcyclists that takes place in South Africa. In order to compete, one must qualify but during one rider's qualifying run he happened upon a calf stuck in an irrigation canal and didn't think twice about stopping to lend a hand!
Oct 25, 2011:
David Attenborough presents the amazing lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds - and chainsaws and camera shutters. This clever creature is one of the most impressive and funny in nature, with unbelievable sounds to match the beautiful pictures
Oct 19, 2011:
The average American eats about 250 pounds of meat per year. But the production of meat uses an incredible amount of resources and contributes hugely to global warming. Want an easy way to make a difference? Eat meat-free just ONE day per week!
Oct 18, 2011:
Who needs a cattle dog? This enterprising rancher has hit upon a much more effective way of herding his cattle, a remote control car! It seems that the cows are equal parts fascinated and spooked by this little vehicle which makes it perfect for getting the beasts from point a to point b!
Sep 16, 2011:
The scientists at NASA have been analyzing satellite images and data and the results are clear: Our planet is getting warmer and, unless something is done, we're going to be in very hot water.
Aug 25, 2011:
A "bugnado" is a swirling vortex of insects that occurs when temperatures and heavy rains or floods causes a mass hatching and ALL the little buggies swarm at once, twisting and curling into the sky in a truly awesome column of bugs. Some swarms are so dense they can ever appear on radar!
Aug 9, 2011:
The fight over the spotted owl comes to Arizona, where efforts to protect its forest habitat have backfired, increasing the danger of devastating wildfires. Is there a way to protect the spotted owl and the land?
Jul 12, 2011:
While this video has been floating around the internet for awhile, we think it's definitely worth posting again. Clearly this guy is having an emotional moment with a double rainbow he spies in Yosemite.
Jul 6, 2011:
The worst drought in 60 years reaches crisis proportions in the Horn of Africa.Even with refugee camps in place to accommodate people displaced by extreme climate change, aid agencies are finding themselves overwhelmed.
Jul 5, 2011:
Sometimes the hunger problem is not solved with food production but instead with improved food distribution. In a region where hunger and poverty are endemic, it is still possible for food resources to go to waste.
Jun 27, 2011:
On scorching summer days, Texans look out for their own, whatever their species. When a baby armadillo sees his chance for a long cold drink, he lets his armor down and ambles on over -- to the delight of his human neighbors.
Jun 22, 2011:
This powerful video is a strong call to action. Global Climate change isn't a theory. It's not something that's up for debate. It's happening and it's going to irrevocably change our planet and our way of life if we don't take action NOW.
Jun 14, 2011:
Our planet is an AMAZING place! This video combines High Definition video of incredible nature scenes and beat heavy music from Beyonce's "I Am...Sasha Fierce" album. It might seem like a strange combo but the driving beats and gorgeous images combine for an inspiring experience.