Saleem Ali

Climate Resilience from Down Under: Scaling Australia’s Mines and Clean Energy

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…

Read More

Sustainable bricks, metals from mine waste, and carbon capture innovations at MIT

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…

Read More

Tunisia’s Tempestuous Triumph: Reconciling Islam, Democracy and Sustainable Development?

This article is based on a learning journey organized by the Tunisian delegates of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers Initiatives from September 27 to October 1, 2017. The visit included in-depth meetings with key government officials including, the President of the Republic; The Prime Minister; The Head of the Parliament…

Read More

Mining and Biodiversity Protection – Efforts at International Governance

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…

Read More

Environmental Education in an Extractive Economy: Azerbaijan’s IDEA Initiative

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…

Read More

Tanzania’s Formalization of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

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…

Read More

Why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reflects Patriotism

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…

Read More

The Legendary Gem Mines of Mogok Myanmar (Burma): Is Responsible Sourcing Possible Beyond Sanctions?

Almost five years ago, I invited two eminent gemologists to post their perspectives on linking environmental conservation and gemstone mining through an innovative mechanism of supply chain tracing. In this post, Dr. Laurent Cartier, one of the authors of the earlier article, shares perspectives on how the colored gemstone sector in post-sanctions Myanmar / Burma…

Read More

Science Diplomacy across the Bering Straits: Experiential Learning as an Opportunity for Thawing US-Russian Relations

By Saleem H. Ali, Helena Voinov Vladich and Caroline Karp The Bering Region. Map from Wikimedia Commons Introduction The geographic point where the Russian and United States’ mainlands are closest lies in the Bering Strait between the State of Alaska and the Russian territory of Chukotka (Fig. 1, 2). At this point, these countries are…

Read More

Peace Eludes Islamic Enclaves of the Philippines: Could Responsible Resource Extraction be part of the Solution?

The brutal murder of Canadian mining executive John Ridsdel in the Philippines this week is yet another sobering reminder that Southeast Asia’s most literate country (over 95% literacy), with a population of over a hundred million has many challenges ahead. As a major election approaches, this tragedy will likely strengthen the case of hard-line politicians…

Read More

Shale Gas “Evolution”: Is Environmental and Social Certification an Option?

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. …

Read More

Human Connections Across Nations Charting the Future of Academia

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…

Read More

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media