© Christiaan De Beukelaer

Setting sail for climate action - but will it work?

Christiaan De Beukelaer would spend three weeks doing fieldwork aboard an old sailing ship. The COVID-19 crisis broke loose and weeks became months. Christiaan wrote down his personal odyssey in “Trade Winds”. Gie Goris spoke to him about the role and impact of shipping on the climate.
© ID/ Kristof Vadino

Who is accessing refugees' private data?

Should the government want to access your smartphone and social media, would you consent? Europe collects private data from refugees. Who has access to it and what they use it for is often unclear. 'I was afraid of being deported, so I handed over my phone. It was like handing over my whole life'.
© Bart Lasuy

‘It takes more than one dollar per Congolese to sustain the Central African forest’

The world's most powerful lung is no longer the Amazon, but the Congo forest basin. MO* editor John Vandaele investigated how the international community protects the immense forest. The key question: can Congo boost its prosperity without cutting down its fragile forests? Some final thoughts.
© Bart Lasuy

Are we giving enough to save the world's most powerful lung?

The tropical forests in the Congo basin filter more CO2 from the air than the notably larger Amazon forest. This sounds positive, but these forests are rapidly disappearing. Several countries invest in conservation projects which, if they want to succeed, should also aid the fast-growing population.
© Bart Lasuy

Why a Belgian supermarket chain is planting 12 million trees in Congo

A major supermarket chain that wants to plant 12 million trees in Congo is to be climate-neutral: how does that work? And is Colruyt Group effectively on track to realise those ambitious climate plans by 2030? MO* journalist John Vandaele went on site and saw opportunities, but also challenges.
© Bart Lasuy

How a Belgian reforestation promoter in Congo is trusted as a major employer

MO* journalist John Vandaele travelled to Congo to visit NGO Faja Lobi, which was started ten years ago by Jurgen Heytens from Ghent. With many small donations, the organisation planted 3,000 hectares of forest in the savannahs of Kwilu and became the largest employer in the region. 
Courtesy Kashf Foundation

When women earn an income, they can change the world

The University of Antwerp is awarding four honorary doctorates today (28 March). One is for Pakistani Roshaneh Zafar, who is trying to improve the lives of tens of thousands of women through microfinance. ‘Economic power is a lever for women to take control of their own lives and futures,’ she says.
©UGent, Mirco Buyls

‘There is a lack of empathy for vulnerable people and for the nature that gives life’

She is 27 and one of the global faces of the climate youth movement. Kenyan Elizabeth Wathuti is an outspoken global advocate for local climate solutions. ‘Transition should make people's lives better.’ Defending nature and defending human rights are deeply interwoven, she believes.
© Belgaimage / Guerchom Ndebo

Fake news throws heavy smokescreens over eastern Congo

Fake news is used purposefully and very strategically in Congo today — to score politically and diplomatically, to create a certain psychological climate, or simply to cover up hard facts. The greater the insecurity, the harder the rumour mill turns.
© Belgaimage / Benoît Doppagne

‘If I want to, I can change my identity tomorrow’

Congo’s official documents exist in a virtual reality. It takes a lot of time and money to obtain them. The failing administration widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Ipsita Divedi (CC-BY-NC-SA)

‘As a feminist I didn't realise other women felt underrepresented in our movement’

This International Women’s Day Maëlle Salzinger would like to hold a plea towards her fellow white feminists. ‘We should allow women’s rights advocates across the globe to develop their version of feminism according to their challenges and needs.’
Blog Post

What about humanitarian aid for northwest Syria? Five questions and answers

In the northwest of Syria the earthquake is just another humanitarian catastrophe after another. Shaymaa Mosatafa, project coordinator for the Belgian ngo 11.11.11 in the Middle East, stresses the importance and urgency of international solidarity for Syrian civilians. 'The clock is ticking.'


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