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Investigating global inequality
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The Geography of Hunger and Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk...

 

Excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues.   This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics.  


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, December 5, 2011 1:02 AM
This is a incredible clip that does challenge students to synthesize information and make the connections between topics, but it can also help students to realize making a difference at a early age is important. I learned an abundance of facts just from watching, it was informative and intriguing. As I was watching the video I was thinking of ways it can be incorporated into the classroom. This video could get students to learn about the world's number one health risk. Incorporating it into the classroom by holding a food drive, or having a school wide fundraiser to donate to the British Red Cross is also another way to help. Getting our future minds informed and helping the community will make an impact in the future.
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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | Development geography | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | Development geography | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.

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Ghosts Of Rwanda

This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death.  To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/


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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 12:30 PM
In this situation I look at America and I can't help but ask "Why didn't you help?" These people were getting killed for no good reason, and we as a nation knew this and did nothing. I'm ashamed that we didn't aid them, my heart goes out for the Rwandan people.
Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:08 PM

while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle.  The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area.  It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem. 

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Global Index of Peace

Global Index of Peace | Development geography | Scoop.it
A ground-breaking milestone in the study of peace. For the first time, an Index has been created that ranks the nations of the world by their peacefulness and identifies some of the drivers of that peace.

 

The last post showed that national rankings of the states that were the most (and least) peaceful.  This is the international version.  1) Iceland 2) New Zealand and 3) Japan lead the list while 151) Sudan 152) Iraq and 153) Somalia are at the bottom.   Where is the United States on the list?  Not in a position worth bragging about. 


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Kabul, A City Stretched Beyond Its Limits

Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.

 

Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan?  This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul.  This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.   


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John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, October 26, 2014 9:06 PM

Kabul, a once thriving city is now the product of a war torn Afghanistan. During the fighting mass exodus left the city empty and uninhibited. However, after the war civilians fled back to the slums of Kabul in search of job opportunities. With little infrastructure, no electricity, no water due to evapotranspiration and deforestation and a serious overcrowding problem, residents lack the essential resources needed to survive. Due to the cities destabilized economy corruption runs rampant, in consequence it is unsafe to live in the city center. The advocation for city services is high upon the minds of the people. In response, compounds have been made in the foothills to house impoverished people. These compounds will help the overcrowding problem but the informal economy and dangerous shortcuts will further cause destabilization and create an unsafe city center. 

 

 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:32 AM

This audio clip provided a detailed view of the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. It doesn't speak of the city architecture instead it focuses on the failing logistics of the city. It talks about resource shortages and the sheer amount of people crammed within the city. These problems are largely caused by an influx of refugees from the war torn countryside flooding into the city for safety and work. This clip shows the Kabul of today, a ghost of its former prestigious self.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:37 PM

A war torn country of Afghanistan's capital city Kabul is in the mountains. With a population of five million people, the cities infrastructure is in ruins. Things we take for granted, water, sewers and electricity are all in short supply for Kabul. There is lots of money coming in to the country from corruption of opium trade. Due to terrible construction, it is assumed that when Kabul has their terrible earthquake that there will be much destruction. Cars pack streets that are unpaved and the streets are five to ten times more packed than they are planned out to be. Just to get from one side of Kabul to the other it can take hours. What the government needs to is control immigration and fix the problems that they currently have. 

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Internat'l agreement to end child soldiers

With #stopkony trending on twitter, there is growing interest in the concept of child soldiers.  This is a great video to discuss the issue beyond Central Africa and other international efforts to end the use of child soldiers. 


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Guns, Germs & Steel

Guns, Germs & Steel | Development geography | Scoop.it

This video (like the book with the same title) explores the course of human history to find the geographic factors that can help to explain the global inequalities between societies. Jared Diamond’s answer lies in the military strength (guns), superior pathogens (germs) and industrial production (steel) that agricultural societies were able to develop as the critical advantages over hunter/gatherer societies. The raw materials at the disposal of the societies inhabiting particular environments partially explain the economic possibilities before them. Diamond hypothesizes that the orientations of the continents play a critical role in the relative advantages among agricultural societies (East-West orientations allow for greater diffusion of agricultural technologies than North-South orientations since the growing seasons and ecology are more compatible), giving Eurasia an advantage over Africa and the Americas. The Fertile Crescent had native plant and animal species ideal for domestication, which then diffused to Europe. Societies that have more developed animal husbandry develop a resistance to more powerful germs. Consequently, when two societies come in contact those with the best resistance to the worse diseases are more successful. Similarly, industrial production depends on an agricultural surplus since specialization requires that some workers not needing to produce their own food to work on technological innovations. Societies that had agricultural advantages were able to invest in technologies (primarily steel) that would enhance their advantages over other societies, as seen during colonization. Societies that had the best environments had access to large plant eating mammals suitable for domestication and the most productive grains would be poised to produce more dangerous guns, germs and steel—the key resources for economic dominion resulting in global inequalities.


Diamond’s critics argue that the ‘geography hypothesis’ is environmental determinism that does not properly value human choices into the equation. Still, the core of this book is the search for connections between the themes of Geography with a spatial framework and the video is available via Netflix, public libraries and many other outlets.


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Emily Bian's curator insight, October 3, 2014 5:16 PM

I found this just browsing the suggestions, and I was like "Whoa! We learned this in class!" So I thought that it was really neat. 

Diamond's theory is an example of environmental determinism, because he claimed that the environment and where people lived affected the people, and that's why not everybody is equal. 

I personally agree with his theory, because it makes a lot of sense when I watched the movie/episodes.

             I believe in enviromental determinism but not to the extreme level, for example if someone is from a hot place they are lazy. I believe that people have choices and can pave their own way but the enviroment can limit them. This would for sure help future aphug students because it introduces human geography in the world history context. 

 

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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Development geography | Scoop.it
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.

 

What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  


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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

The media oftentimes demonizes specific groups of people. So I was presently surpassed that the NYT’s investigated the human aspect of desperation. Many of these Somalians are hopeless and the economic burden on their shoulders drives them to act unethical. When you first priority is survival, courteousness and moral laws often don’t apply. Nevertheless, it was cool to hear about these human stories.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:37 PM

Just like the pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, these folks bring all the vices of the originals except perhaps without much of the romanticism that comes with the elders. Though perhaps in two hundred years someone will make a movie titled Pirates of the Somalia featuring Johnny Depp's great-great-great grandson. 

 

It's understandable why these people want to get out of the business. Despite the sex and wealth they've gotten, it's not exactly stable employment. Nor is it as safe as sitting at a desk or being a plumber. But when your society simply doesn't support these industries, then the people are left to resort to more drastic measures.

 

It's also interesting to see the quazi-government stepping in to try and combat it. Traditional Muslim values are the reason for them wanting and end to it. It's understandable to not want children to look up to pirates and the life of crime they lead. But in order for the practice to stop, the pirates want international environmental protections, aid, and government support. Should the international community give into piracy or should it be removed by force?

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2012 United States Peace Index

For a static version of this information, see: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/unitedstatespeaceindex/2012/


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Understanding the Darfur Conflict

This is a short, but effective video to quickly explain the geographic factors that have led to such turmoil within the Darfur region.  For more in-depth resources, see:

http://www.scoop.it/t/darfur-devastation

 


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:59 PM

Like many conflicts covered in the United States little insight is given into the origin of the event and instead on the present and most importantly how it affects us. This video gives a good understanding of how this conflict came about as well as a look into how the area stands today. For such a tragic and horrific event it is really unfortunate that so many in the west know almost nothing about this conflict.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 12:10 PM

In a country like Sudan who's wealth lies in its oil production its evident that these different groups would have conflict with one another. I believe that the government has decided to side with the Arab merchants because if the ties Arab merchants may have with the Arab world, turning a blind eye towards the turmoil Africans are faced with. Though the land has since been separated since the start of the conflict between these two groups, there is still a problem that this newly formed independent. With an unstable government and still having to face the problems of its past, South Sudan and Sudan have a long way to go before the tension between the two is resolved.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:44 PM

why does it seem that every conflict in the world is started and sustained by Arabs, i dont know if that sounds bad or not but all over the world arabs seem to be running around killing people. also how does the government of sudan/darfur allow this to happen. greedy people running these countries is the problem.

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The Separatist Map of Africa

The Separatist Map of Africa | Development geography | Scoop.it
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.

 

This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state.  Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.   

 

Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.


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Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Unit IV - Non American

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:04 AM

is sad to see how people just refer to it as "Africa" when every part has its own name. Even myself don't know many of them since they are irrelevant for the western people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:08 AM

This interactive map does a great job of not only showing the sate of political struggles and military conflict within the whole of Africa. This shows the new countries many dissidents  and rebels wish to establish in order to give their people a cultural and ethnic home land. This give a good picture of simply how chaotic some parts of Africa truly are and how destabilized many regions are.