Like many countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Yemen is facing severe water poverty. The main water source, groundwater from wells, suffers from large and uncontrolled extraction and increasing pollution from residential and agricultural use. In addition, mosques are heavy users of potable water because their patrons perform a cleansing ritual before prayer. The water used for this ablution is considered “grey water” and enters the sewage system, which further strains the already scarce water supply.

Most rice farmers in Vietnam use excessive amounts of fertilizer, pesticide and water, and other practices that contribute to environmental pollution and degradation. With some 25 million households involved in environmentally- unfriendly activities, there is a significant impact on the environment. Although a large quantity of data is available on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), water management and crop residue management, the information is not disseminated in simple, easily-understood forms and thus is largely ignored by farmers.

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), in southwestern Uganda , which protects one of the only two populations of the endangered mountain gorilla. The area has a high human population density (300 people/km2) resulting in scarcity of agricultural land and pressure on the forest habitat. Enormous demand for agricultural land has led to drainage of wetlands, extensive erosion, and deforestation, including a huge reduction in the extent of the gorillas’ Bwindi forest habitat.

Most Surinamese gold mining activities are small, poorly managed subsistence operations that use mercury amalgamation to recover gold. Studies show that 36 percent of Surinamese mothers and 95 percent of their babies have elevated levels of mercury toxicity which causes brain, liver and kidney damage. Current methods to capture gold used by the goldmines release as much mercury into the environment (20 to 30 tons annually) as gold. To reduce the use of mercury, miners must have access to a safe, affordable and profitable alternative.

South Africa ’s Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act has declared a total of 198 species of woody, herbaceous and aquatic alien flora that are having a detrimental effect on various ecosystems within the country to be invasive. Since it is virtually impossible to eradicate them, it is vital to seek ways to bring these species under control. At the same time, the cost of funerals has rocketed, with social and cultural customs placing increasing pressure on the bereaved to provide exorbitant funerals that are often unaffordable for the poor.

The Russian Far East (RFE) has been identified as one of the world’s top priority ecoregions for its high numbers of endemic species, including the endangered Siberian tiger. The locally unemployed, comprising more than half of the population, resort to poaching and illegal harvesting of forest products, such as ginseng and Siberian tiger bones, to generate income. But by unsustainably extracting these endangered products from the forest, the local communities are also threatening many RFE species with extinction.


The blue crab catch in the Philippines is steadily declining in volume and crab-size due to the serious depletion of the breeding stock of crabs. Blue crab fishermen currently use gill nets, an inconsistent and non-selective fishing method that does not allow for the return to sea of juvenile crabs that have not yet reached sexual maturity or gravid crabs that have not yet spawned. The continued use of gill nets will result in the loss of the main source of income for 30 percent of the population.

Rice farming and raising mallard ducks are important livelihoods in the Philippines, and both are seriously affected by the presence of the golden snail. In lake areas, where mallard ducks are farmed, the disappearance of this indigenous snail due to pollution and dredging is a problem as the snails are an important food source for the ducks. Where snail populations have been depleted, farmers must rely on expensive commercial feed. On the other hand, where rice cultivation is the main livelihood, golden snail infestations can destroy of up to 60 percent of a crop.

There is great concern about the declining aquaculture and open fishing industry of the Philippine’s Laguna de Bay. The high cost of commercial feed coupled with the widespread proliferation of the exotic invasive species, “Janitor Fish,” is seriously threatening the livelihood of around 28,000 fishing families who depend on the lake for subsistence. The janitor causes extensive damage to fishing gear and aquaculture structures, and is also a voracious eater of algae competing with other fresh water species for a share of the natural food supply.

Over the last 30 years, settlement and agricultural development in UPAF has resulted in unprecedented levels of habitat loss, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. Today, it is one of the most threatened rainforests in the world with only 7 percent of the original forest cover intact. Rural poverty, concentration of land holdings in large-scale mechanized soybean farms and ranching have led to social instability. Rural poor reside on land consisting of poor soils and low produce yields is driving many rural residents to urban areas in search of employment.