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VIENTIANE -- The World Bank will provide 30 million U.S. dollars to Laos as part of its continuing support for disaster risk management projects that will enable the Asian nation to mitigate natural disasters, local daily Vientiane Times reported Thursday.

Read more: World Bank supports disaster risk management in Laos

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WASHINGTON – Lao PDR is taking steps to lessen the impact of natural disasters and will continue to improve the country’s national water resources management systems, in partnership with the World Bank. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved financing support of $30 million for the Lao PDR Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Project and $25 million of additional funding for the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management (MIWRM) Project.

Read more: Lao PDR to Strengthen Resilience to Natural Disasters and Improve Water Resources Management

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By William Dar

On June 15, I delivered a speech during the one-day “Conference on The Effects of Climate Change on Food and Water Sustainability: Challenges and Prospects” held at the Manila Elks Club in Makati City.

I discussed why the Philippines is not “water secure” and how to address the issue of water availability for the agriculture sector in the face of climate change.

Read more: Climate change and water security

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The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently unveiled a new set of guidelines to support developing countries balance the needs of increased food production and climate change adaptation. The guidelines aim to support governments in making sure that the agriculture sector is both included in national climate change adaptation plans and made more resilient and sustainable.

Read more: New FAO Guidelines Help Countries Achieve Climate Pledges

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Disaster early warning systems in Bangladesh

Bangkok, Thailand – Six years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Government of Japan has committed funding to UNDP to improve disaster risk information and carry out tsunami-awareness programmes in schools across the Asia-Pacific region. ­­­­

Read more: Japan pledges $1.5 million for tsunami awareness and disaster risk information in Asia-Pacific

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On his way home from work in Siem Reap  province several years ago, Riem Monisilong started choking and wheezing from a neighbor’s garbage fire. That was the last straw for the 35-year-old artist, who goes by Silong.

Garbage left on the land “will pollute the land, and if it is burned it will pollute it even more,” he said. “So I decided to make something out of that waste.”

Riem Monisilong stands in front of the colorful tables and sculptures he crafts from tires and other waste. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Read more: Trash Is the Attraction in Bar, Hotel Featuring Street Art

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Borneo's orangutans are under threat from farming, climate change, and being hunted for food

The orangutan population on the island of Borneo has shrunk by a quarter in the last decade, researchers said Friday, urging a rethink of strategies to protect the critically-endangered great ape.

Read more: Borneo's orangutans in 'alarming' decline: study

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Much of Indonesia’s cultivable land falls within mining and exploration concessions.

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  • Analyzing government spatial planning maps, researchers for the Waterkeeper Alliance and the Mining Advocacy Network found that 19 percent of Indonesia's rice-growing land falls within exploration or mining concessions for coal.
  • The study calculated that coal mining already costs the country 1.7 million tons of potential rice production, and another 6 million tons of current production are under threat.
  • Loss of agricultural productivity is due to land-use change and contamination of water used for irrigation.

Read more: Coal undermines Indonesia’s food production: report

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A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.

Read more: A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge 'as dangerous as climate change'

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There are around 550 different bee species in Germany. Most of them are solitary bees. They don't live in large beehives like the honeybee, but each female bee often builds multiple nests and feeds her offspring alone. Solitary bees use their short lifespan of a few weeks exclusively to reproduce and to provide food for their brood to develop into adult bees. Bees depend on the availability of pollen which they can frequently collect on specific plant species only.

The researchers studied three mason bee species. One of them was the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis). Credit: Mariela Schenk

There are around 550 different bee species in Germany. Most of them are solitary bees. They don't live in large beehives like the honeybee, but each female bee often builds multiple nests and feeds her offspring alone. Solitary bees use their short lifespan of a few weeks exclusively to reproduce and to provide food for their brood to develop into adult bees. Bees depend on the availability of pollen which they can frequently collect on specific plant species only.

Read more: Climate change threatens domestic bee species

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