Volunteer Abroad

When volunteering abroad does more damage than good!!! I want to start by saying that I am not against volunteering, quite the opposite.  However, as someone who has worked managing volunteers, in several settings, I do see both sides of the picture. There has been a lot discussion about voluntourism and how it can do more damage than good.  I agree this can be the case.  There are plenty of examples where the western and church cultures of volunteering and helping others

Mind the Gap!

Climate Change and Development: Mind the Gap!! Are you sitting comfortably? Let me start from the beginning The new world order established after the second world war, saw the creation of the United Nations in October 1945. Its main objective was to enhance international cooperation and prevent another major global conflict. It has rained a bit since then. This international organisation started with 51 countries and as of today it leads negotiations and discussions on mayor global issues amongst 193 countries. Arguably, climate change

Forests of Costa Rica

Forests of Costa Rica, the Bigger Picture To be able to make sense of the forests of Costa Rica, we need to look at the country’s topography and try to paint a picture. As you can see in the map below, there is a high mountain range (with a highest altitude of almost 4000 m) running (roughly) along the middle of the country, sandwiched between both coasts. If we travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific, in a straight line, we

Citizens of the Amazon, Brazil

The Seringueiros: Citizens of the Amazon When we talk about the amazon and its people, we all immediately think about the indigenous communities that live in the area whose livelihood, resources and culture are under constant threat by modern society and western-styled intensive development. But very few think about other native communities of the area. The rural dwellers that inhabit the Northern Brazilian Amazon have lived there for several generations. Some of these families from the grandparent to the baby have

Dissertation Abroad, Proposal & Implementation

Doing a research for dissertation abroad for your masters and or undergrad is a desire of many students, but not many of us manage to navigate the system and put in place all the arrangements successfully and in good time to be able to achieve that objective. Not too long ago, I found myself in that situation. I was sitting in a lecture theatre at King’s College London and my mind racing with the inspiration to do a research on climate

What is the Cerrado?

What is the Cerrado? Cerrado is the word used in Brazil to define the vegetation that covers the central part of the South-American continent, most of which is part of the territory of Brazil. This is the ecosystem equivalent to the African Savanna, but don’t be fooled by the analogy. The Cerrado looks in many places more like a short forest, than a savanna. As you can see in this picture below. That makes it a great area for trekking. The biological


As a result of human impact on our climate, there are changes to come in the shape of natural disasters, droughts, floods, earthquakes, storms and others. The countries most vulnerable to those changes are located in the tropics, where we also find the biggest percent of the biodiversity of the planet. Coincidentally, these are precisely the countries least developed economically, hence lack the resources to adapt. So we feel a moral obligation to support these countries climate change adaptation endeavors,


Forests are home to nearly 80% of the terrestrial biodiversity of the planet. They provide livelihood for more than a billion people around the world and help regulate climate. Hence their importance to combat climate change. Furthermore, most biodiversity rich countries, are economically poor and their rural population depend directly on forests and other natural resources for their livelihood. They lack financial resources for their subsistence, let alone for environmental conservation and research. That is why we are committed to forest conservation

Social and Environmental Goals Finally in one Place

The 17 sustainable development goals framework is a long stride towards sustainable development. This was a long overdue step that was finally consummated exactly two years ago. Before 2015, development and the environment had been divorced in such a way that made the idea of sustainable development a chimera. For the past seven decades, in fact since the creation of the United Nations in the middle of last century after the II Wold War, Environment and development negotiations were two


In 2016 the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports a total global loss of 7 mi ha of forests. That is an area roughly the size of the republic of Ireland, or one and a half the size of Costa Rica. Due to the increasing human population, it’s not surprising to see that 85% of that is due to conversion to agriculture. What is worse is that the greatest conversion took place in the tropics, in countries considered low income. Not