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Closure of the Heinrich Böll Foundation office in Ethiopia

The Heinrich Böll Foundation will close its office in Ethopia. Under the current political and legal circumstances, the office cannot, in the foreseeable future, fulfil its mission of promoting democratisation, gender justice and sustainable development.

The African COP: COP 17 Analysis and Outlook

What were the expectations for COP 17 in Durban in 2011 and what does it mean for COP 18? The climate summit was hosted 2011 by South Africa which is located in a region that stands to be tremendously affected by climate change. This year participants of the summit in Doha must find a solution for financing adaptation as well as making the Green Climate Fund operational.  By Kulthoum Omari

The Power of Youth for Environmental Justice

The Arab world has witnessed uprisings from its youth, who are demanding more democratic governance systems, and particularly social justice, which implies both economic and environmental justice. But those regimes remain unaware of the power of the youth, who can deliver solutions for climate change. By Waleed Mahmoud Mansour

After spring comes? Recent development investments into the MENA region

In the wake of the Arab Spring, G8 countries and other nations have pledged major sums to stabilize the region. These financial and economic support packages could also fail to stabilize the region. Successfully managing the wide range of risks involved in the region requires addressing vulnerabilities directly in order to turn what will be a low-carbon and resource-constrained future from a risk into an opportunity.  By Sabrina Schulz

The Middle East and North Africa’s Water Resources in a Changing Climate

The Middle East and North Africa region is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its already scarce water resources, the high levels of aridity, and the long coastal stretch. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change must start from now to build up the resilience of the affected countries and communities within. By Nadim Farajallah

A target for exploration and extraction

Madagascar is increasingly a target for extractives exploration and extraction.  Despite its unique eco-systems – the island is a biodiversity hotspot – extractive industries are regarded as one of the strategic pillars of the country’s future development.  By Christopher Walker

ENI and the exploration of oil

The huge 1,790 km square tar sands concession includes savannah, tropical rainforest and wetlands that are home to endangered bird species.The history of oil production in the Republic of Congo does not provide an encouraging scenario for future tar sands extraction. Testimonies by communities impacted by oil report intimidation by both the government and the oil companies.
By Christopher Walker

Unconventional Oil: A Challenge for Local Communities

With conventional oil production in decline, the global oil industry is investing heavily in dirtier and riskier forms of oil and also in unconventional resources, such as tar sands, and oil shale. All are difficult and costly to produce, usually more carbon intensive than conventional oil and may have calamitous long-term impacts on the local environment.

Basma El Husseiny: "Art and Social Transformation"

Arts manager and a cultural activist Basma El Husseiny points out that art is one of the most essential assets during social change. Being creative enables people to feel and think beyond their immediate reality and outside their usual capacity.

Locking up the Future - Unconventional Oil in Africa

What price our future energy?
This short briefing gives an overview of three investments in unconventional oil in Africa currently in prospect in the context of debates about the need to mitigate global environmental threats and ensure sustainable development.

No Romance: Mobilising Climate Finance for Africa

While Africa has contributed the least to historic greenhouse gas emissions globally, it stands to be the hardest hit by the effects of climate change. Africa will require substantial financial resources in order to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change. At this year’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, climate finance is expected to feature prominently. By Editors: Dr Antonie Katharina Nord, Jochen Luckscheiter and Kulthoum Omari

Politics, Principles and Practice: Zimbabwe's Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

Smuggled diamonds are still financing violent conflicts in Africa. In 2003 the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was created to prevent the trade of these blood diamonds. But recent reports of violence, human rights abuses and smuggling are fuelling doubts about the credibility and effectiveness of the certification scheme.

New constitution: Kenyan Member of Parliament awarded with German Prize

Last year the people of Kenya approved a new democratic constitution. The Member of Parliament Abdikadir Mohamed Hussein was awarded this year's German Africa Prize for his great contribution to the document. In an audio interview, he talks about the benefits of the new constitution, the Kenyan bill of rights and his countries role in the international community. By Maria Kind

Terrorism in Kenya: Remembering the 1998 United States embassy bombing

During the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the ambassy in Nairobi Kenya was attacked on August 7, killing approximately 212 people. The Kenyan drama film "From a Whisper" portrays the aftermath, capturing the lives of the victims and families who had to pick up the pieces of their lives shredded by the blast. An interview with the films director Wanuri Kahiu. By Samuel Dansette

Struggle for equality: Sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights in Africa

The conference sought to analyse the challenges faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in Africa. It provided a platform for the discussion of strategies aimed at creating an environment on the continent where sexual minorities can enjoy the full range of human rights and are recognised as full citizens. By Kristin Palitza

Tunisia: Jasmin Hope

The Jasmine Revolution has prevailed, and the dictator has fled. The Tunisian people have outlined a new page in their history and the history of the Arab world during this first half of 2011. By Fawwaz Traboulsi

Climate Governance in Africa - Adaptation Strategies and Institutions

Our four Africa offices commissioned studies to evaluate the state of preparedness for climate change adaptation in seven African countries. What are the impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change in Africa? To what extent do existing adaptation policies, strategies and plans respond to the vulnerabilities identified? By Masego Madzwamuse

Adaptation to Climate Change in East Africa

East Africa prepares to adapt to climate change. Three studies - on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - provide information on policies, institutions and actors addressing adaptation issues and identify governance challenges in climate change adaptation in the region.