Saleem Ali

Last week I received news that one of my most respected high school teachers had died in Lahore Pakistan after a long and successful career of inspiring young minds to achieve excellence in Mathematics and Computer Science. Contrary to what you may expect, this teacher was not a Pakistani male but rather an American female...

Guest article by Joseph Kirschke In January 2011, the irony facing Australia’s massive thermal coal exports was intense as the unseasonable monsoon rains that battered its shipping facilities to a standstill. This year brought more extreme storm-related power outages to the other side of the continent and, with them, Elon Musk’s Tesla to launch the...

As part of my role on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Advanced Materials, I invited a contribution from MIT’s Metals & Minerals for the Environment Initiative.  Article by Suzanne Greene  Metals and minerals are at the core of mankind’s existence — vital for infrastructure, transportation and consumer goods. They are also identified...

Recently, I was asked to contribute a small section on mining and biodiversity to the first global assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  This contribution, which would be part of section 2.2.5 of Chapter 6 of the IPBES Global Assessment, is provided below and the full assessment will be published later...

Oil and gas economies are often perceived by conservationists to have diminished sensibilities towards the environment. However, the wealth generation in such economies can also create opportunities for conservation, as there is less incentive for excessive land-use and mineral revenues can lead to investments in environmental education. Some earlier research by Sven Wunder on oil...

Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) continues to be a major source of hope for millions of peasants and rural entrepreneurs worldwide. Yet, it also poses challenges for states in terms of regulation and capturing resource rents for national development. The sector has been widely studied in social science and has interested me for the past...

For most households across South Asia, rice is life. It is the stable source of carbohydrates for the more than 1.7 billion citizens of the region who consume it morning, noon and night; and a vital source of income for the 50 million or so farmers who cultivate it across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However,...

By Saleem H. Ali, Cristina Archer, Jeremy Firestone On December 2, 1970, Republican President Richard Nixon established the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This was the world’s first major government organization dedicated to ameliorating the environmental condition of its citizens. The world marveled at how the United States was able to address pollution concerns that...

The Asia-Pacific region will play a pivotal role in realizing the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. In this vein, I am presenting here select excerpts of an annotated interview with one of Malaysia’s leading technology advisors, Prof. G. Lalchand that was conducted by the Institution of Engineers of Malaysia (IEM). Malaysia is often...

Guest article by Matthew Bach The rise and possible fall of unconventional gas sources in recent years has been widely debated. In this guest posting, I have invited Matthew Bach, of Erasmus University, in The Netherlands, to evaluate the efficacy of certification mechanisms to ensure improved environmental and social performance of the shale gas sector. ...

Economists tend to agree that knowledge is the quintessential “non-rival good” – meaning it does not diminish by sharing, and in fact increases with greater connectivity. Among the greatest collective triumphs of globalization and the internet has been the speed and span of research collaboration. The value of such international exchanges cannot be underestimated for...