In much of the Andes, soil erosion is thought to be one of the most limiting factors in crop production. Soil is vulnerable to erosion where it is exposed to moving water or wind and where conditions of topography or human use decrease the cohesion of the soil. ©IFAD/ Juan I. Cortés

Indigenous Peoples’ Lands Guard Eighty Percent of World’s Biodiversity

February 27, 2017 Baher Kamal

They are more than 370 million self-identified peoples in some 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are over 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture, though the biggest concentration is in Asia and the Pacific– with an estimated 70 per cent. And their traditional lands guard over 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity.

Israel’s Vision for the Future is Terrifying

February 17, 2017 Ramzy Baroud

Empirical historical evidence combined with a little common-sense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual Apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both.

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One of the Nastiest Wars in Recent History Is Raging in Yemen—And the U.S. Is Heavily Involved in It

February 15, 2017 Vijay Prashad

Source: Alternet

A United Nations Panel of Experts sent its report to the UN Security Council this week. The tenor of the report is bleak. Yemen, say the experts, is ‘in danger of fracturing beyond the point of no return’. Furthermore, the report suggests that despite the almost two years of war, ‘an outright military victory by any one side is no longer a realistic possibility in the near term’. The UN looked at airstrikes by Saudi Arabia’s coalition and found that these are ‘almost certain’ to violate international humanitarian law and that some of the strikes ‘may amount to war crimes’.

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America’s Favorite Syrian Militia Rules With an Iron Fist

February 15, 2017 Roy Gutman

Source: The Nation

The Kurdish YPG recruits fighters at gunpoint, assassinates political opponents, and suppresses the media.

Erbil, IraqThe raid began at 3 am in a Syrian village close to the Iraqi border. Kurdish-led military police, many masked, piled out of their pickup trucks, set up roadblocks, drew their weapons, and launched a house-to-house search.

It was America’s favorite Syrian militia, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, at work. Top figures in the Obama administration and even the professional military praised the YPG as the most effective Syrian force against the Islamic State, or ISIS. (The Trump administration hasn’t yet indicated how it plans to work with the YPG.)

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