10 Stories on Global Climate Change: Women Journalists Share the Untold Impacts

IWMF
IWMF
Nov 7 · 4 min read

The effects of climate change are already being felt. Around the world, communities are threatened by environmental changes including increased pollution, unsafe water sources, dwindling wildlife populations and much more.

Women journalists continue to cover these impacts, exploring the untold stories of climate change. As the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change approaches, the articles below showcase the work of International Women’s Media Foundation fellows and grantees to shed light on this crisis.


1. RIVER OF TRASH How Plastic Pollution Is Making Central American Communities UninhabitableAmelia Urry and Celia Talbot Tobin

PC: Celia Talbot Tobin

The Motagua River empties into the Caribbean Sea, home to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere located off the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Amelia Urry and Celia Talbot Tobin examine how Guatemala’s “mismanaged waste” created a river and beaches choked with trash.

2. An unlikely feud between beekeepers and Mennonites simmers in MexicoNadia Shira Cohen and Nina Strochlic

PC: Nadia Shira Cohen

Mayan beekeepers and Mennonite soy producers are in an ongoing feud over deforestation and delicate ecosystems in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Nina Strochlic and Nadia Shira Cohen report on the declining honey harvests and continued conflict between these groups.

3. The town that refuses to die — Sarah Craig

PC: SARAH CRAIG / KALW

Allensworth — a small town in California’s Central Valley — has been plagued with arsenic-contaminated water for years. Sarah Craig documents the history of this tiny community, established by African Americans, and its determination to survive.

4. She defended her land against a mine in Guatemala. Then she fled in fear for her life.Alleen Brown and Martyna Starosta

PC: Martyna Starosta for The Intercept

For years, Teresa Muñoz and her family have led the resistance against the Escobal silver mine in San Rafael las Flores. In 2018 alone, 18 land defenders and campesino organizers were assassinated in Guatemala. For Muñoz, the fight has meant seeking asylum in the United States. Alleen Brown and Martyna Starosta tell the story of Muñoz and the anti-mining movement from Guatemala and the United States.

5. In El Salvador, Climate Change Means Less Coffee and More Migrants Emily Green and Alicia Vera

PC: Alicia Vera

As erratic weather destroys coffee crops, people in El Salvador struggle to make ends meet — forcing many to flee to the country. Climate change has a hand in the country’s plummeting coffee industry, once the backbone of the economy. Emily Green and Alicia Vera share stories of farmers and families and the decision they face to survive.

6. Zombie clunkers: has your local bus been resurrected in Guatemala?Martha Pskowski

PC: Martha Pskowski

A steady flow of vehicles is heading towards the southern world. Countries with no emission standards, like Guatemala, provide a new life for used cars and buses, contributing to dangerous levels of air pollution. Martha Pskowski traces the life of a public transit bus from Montgomery County, Maryland to Guatemala City.

7. The fight to protect the world’s most trafficked wild commodityEileen Guo

PC: Gena Steffens

Rosewood is the world’s most trafficked wild product, used to make furniture and musical instruments. The tree’s slow growth makes unregulated logging a risk to the entire population — Eileen Guo reports on Guatemala’s efforts to better regulate and disrupt the illegal trade.

8. With trophy hunting, wildlife loses Shola Lawal

PC: ANDY LOVERIDGE/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION RESEARCH UNIT VIA AP/AP/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION RESEARCH UNIT VIA AP

The Trump administration reversed a ban on trophy animals from some African countries, allowing a Florida hunter to import the first trophy lion to the United States since 2016. Nigerian journalist Shola Lawal writes about the recent policy reversal and its implications.

9. The Young Hands That Feed UsKaren Coates and Valeria Fernández

PC: Jerry Redfern

Across the U.S., three million people work grueling hours to gather the crops fueling our food industry, including an estimated 524,000 children. Karen Coates and Valeria Fernández report on the children following the harvest and working in the fields.

10. How this quiet region in Guatemala became the epicenter of migrationNina Strochlic and Natalie Keyssar

PC: NATALIE KEYSSAR, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Last year, nearly 18,000 people were deported back to Huehuetenango from the U.S. and Mexico. Nina Strochlic and Natalie Keyssar report from Guatemala’s highlands, where the cycle of migration and deportation fueled by environmental conflict has become a way of life.

IWMF

Written by

IWMF

The International Women's Media Foundation is a DC-based organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of women worldwide.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade