Over the first week of the UN climate change negotiations in Poland we have seen the alarming results of studies showing increased decline of tropical forests. It is clear from newly available data from satellite monitoring stations that there are now growing areas being deforested as a result of illegal logging, agriculture and mining.
Rarely, in recent memory, has something I read crawled so under my skin. I chanced upon Natalie Gyte's vitriolic and irrational diatribe against Eve Ensler and her recently launched One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign right before I was about to go to bed. The factual, philosophical and logical craters in Gyte's essay 'Why I Won't Support One Billion Rising' swallowed my sleep for the night. But what truly kept me awake were the unnecessary personal attacks against a brave woman and her path-breaking work.
While the M23 rebels - who mutinied from the Congolese army last May - remain within striking distance of the key border town of Goma, the regional and international diplomatic wrangling goes on. Fractious peace talks between the rebel leaders and the Congolese government in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, will resume on 4 January.
Globally, although the indigenous peoples represent only about 5 per cent of the world's population, they occupy one-fifth of entire earth's territory from the Arctic to the South Pacific. Despite their hold over vast swathes of land, indigenous peoples make up 15 per cent of the world's poor and one-third of the world's 900 million extremely poor rural people.
Colonisation and its impact on the colonised is rarely a topic of sustained public conversation in Britain. It is not even a tangential topic. It is simply ignored, elided with very infrequent and brief exceptions such as the one prompted now by the case of Kenyan survivors of torture and other human rights abuses of British rule in Kenya.
A few years ago, the Country Directors for Women for Women International in Congo and Rwanda were crossing the bridge that connects their two countries. The last 100 years have been about getting the vote and women in the west making many strides towards equality, though there is a long way to go. We don't want it to take 100 years, but we are now calling for all women to be equals - whether it's in parliaments, the boardroom and, in war-torn countries, on peace councils.