People & Place

In rain-short Mali, villagers enlist irrigation to ward off extremism

In rain-short Mali, villagers enlist irrigation to ward off extremism

A short journey in a wooden canoe separates villagers from militants sowing fear with their weapons just across the calm waters of the Niger River in the Malian town of Kouna.

“We worry that these people infiltrate and indoctrinate our children,” said Kouna resident Madou Touléma, 51, clearing weeds with his teenage son, shin-deep in their flooded rice field.

After warding off mass tourism, Hong Kong’s last fishing village faces climate threats

After warding off mass tourism, Hong Kong’s last fishing village faces climate threats

Sitting among his fridge, TV set and stacks of bowls, Ng Kei-hung sat outside the family home in Hong Kong’s Tai O village as he waited for his furniture to dry out after a recent flood.

With houses on stilts lining the river that runs through the village, Tai O is a world away from the skyscrapers of downtown Hong Kong, and is popular among locals and tourists who seek to escape the concrete jungle.

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report

Pledges by major brands to stop buying palm oil from companies known to destroy rainforests have failed to stop the clearance of a total area of forest the size of Los Angeles in just the last three years.

That’s the finding from a new report by Greenpeace, which sought to gauge the progress made by leading consumer brands and palm oil firms in making good on their promises to break the link between the palm oil they buy and the destruction of rainforests and other ills.

Ravenous for meat, China faces a climate quandary

Ravenous for meat, China faces a climate quandary

At the center of the table in a modest, high-rise apartment in the teeming city of Shenzhen, China, a simmering pot of soup stock was surrounded by large platters featuring mushrooms, different kinds of thinly shaved meat, lettuce, potato, cauliflower, eggs, and shrimp. Folding his hands together, Jian Zhang, a onetime rural farmer who now works as an employee for a small consulting firm in the city, asked his fellow diners to give thanks for the meal — the likes of which he could have only dreamed of when growing up in a remote village in the Jiangxi province.

For Bordeaux’s winemakers, rising temperatures bring a reckoning

For Bordeaux’s winemakers, rising temperatures bring a reckoning

“Everyone was afraid,” recalled Alain David-Beaulieu, the 53-year-old owner and winemaker of Château Coutet in Bordeaux’s Saint Emilion region in southern France. He squinted as he looked over the 30 acres of vineyards his family has farmed for 400 years. Two years ago, a hot summer weighed heavily on his grapes — mostly merlot — and the 2016 vintage had barely squeaked by.

“The grapes weren’t maturing well,” he said. “They were unbalanced.”