‘The Walls of Europe’

On Saturday November 9, Europe celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that marked the end of a separated Europe from two different, controlling ideologies. However, 30 years later Europe is building walls again, only this time to keep refugees and migrants from entering Europe. A report recently published by the Dutch organisation Stop Wapenhandel argues that “Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people”. The report finds that Europe is spending a lot of money and technology on protecting its borders in a time where new migration policies permeate interior policies in Europe.

Desertification top takes place amid fears that land degradation may increase forced displacement

From September 2 until September 13, the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took place in India. “Restore land, sustain future” is the slogan of the conference. The UNCCD connects environmental and development issues to sustainable land management. The aim of COP14 is to discuss the problem of desertification and to develop actions to reduce the effects of drought in order to improve the lives of people that are affected by land degradation. However, as climate change is compounding the effects of land degradation, caused by events such as prolonged drought and excessive rainfall, it is feared that forced displacement may increase from areas that are hit particularly hard, such as the Horn of Africa.