GM Nation or GM Planet? How to involve citizens in decisions about transgenic crops

The UK’s GM Nation? public debate – conducted over a decade ago, tried to include the voices of citizens in decision-making over transgenic crops. With recent decisions by China and India possibly signalling a shift of opinion against GM in these ‘rising powers’, what kinds of institutions are required to enable democratic governance of these…

A day with Argentina’s ‘street engineers’

They take pride in what they do at the Reciclando Sueños co-operative. Situated in the La Matanza district of greater Buenos Aires, the workers describe themselves as cartoneros profesionales (professional recyclers) and ingenieros callejeros (street engineers). Whilst some in the city see waste picking as a lowly activity, these workers consider themselves to be providing…

The road to 2015: experiences and challenges from Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

by Kamal Kar, Founder of the Community-Led Total Sanitation Foundation I was recently invited to IDS as part of an EPSRC-funded solid waste management project, ‘A Global Solution to Protect Water by Transforming Waste’, a unique initiative that focuses on addressing the problems of safe disposal of human excreta, by using anaerobic digestion technology to…

India’s risks: forging a new multidisciplinary debate

by Raphaelle Moor A prospective superpower, India is grappling with a host of risks that threaten to hamper its progress towards becoming a more economically successful, egalitarian, safe and harmonious society. India’s population routinely deals with the risks from HIV/AIDS, earthquakes, floods, industrial accidents and environmental disasters, and more recently the risks and uncertainties brought…

Sustainable Development Goals: lessons from the ‘nexus’

As part of our engagement with the ‘nexus’ of food, water, energy and the environment, STEPS members will be participating in an Overseas Development Institute event on 11 September 2014. The event Tackling trade-offs in the food-water-energy nexus: lessons for the SDGs features contributions former STEPS Director Melissa Leach and includes a contribution from our…

Ghana,’Brazil of Africa’: Keeping lights on for the World Cup

By Sandra Pointel in Accra Over recent years, concerns to “keep the lights on” have featured high on energy policy agendas and in media headlines, especially in the developed world. Competing concerns to ensure energy security – including geopolitical turbulence associated with oil and gas supply, potential terrorist attacks and attempts to mitigate climate change and transition…

The nexus – politics, practice and disciplinary dilemmas

STEPS researchers have written a series of blogposts for the Guardian and the Nexus Platform website addressing the challenges of the water-food-energy-environment ‘nexus’. Andy Stirling addresses the challenges of working across disciplines, Jeremy Allouche looks at nexus politics while James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns discuss joining research, policy and practice. The Guardian Nexus blogpost series launches the Nexus Network,…

The Badaun murder: violence, vulnerability and safer sanitation

by Shilpi Srivastava, DPhil Student, Institute of Development Studies The heinous rape and murder of two teenaged girls in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh (India) has provoked a mix of outrage and debates across the globe. Among them is the critical issue of women’s vulnerability and safety. In particular, as the girls were heading…

Political Ecologies of Carbon project researchers to speak at Green Economy in the South conference in July

Martin Kijazi and others from the STEPS Centre’s Political Ecologies of Carbon in Africa project will be speaking at the international conference “Green Economy in the South – Negotiating Environmental Governance, Prosperity and Development” in July. The conference takes place from 8-10 July 2014 at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. More information can be found…

Nature Not For Sale: Ian Scoones discusses biodiversity & communities

STEPS Centre Director Ian Scoones is on a panel at Nature Not For Sale: 2nd Forum on Natural Commons today in London. The forum brings together NGOs, academics, activists and the general public to respond to concerns about biodiversity offsetting, which the event organisers see as a flawed policy to allow wildlife to be destroyed…