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S.Africa's former President Zuma to face corruption charges

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In Africa, French is more than a common language

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Poisoned Relations: UK sanctions Russia over nerve agent attack

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Behind the scenes at France's majestic Chantilly castle

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#THE 51%

#MeToo in South Korea

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We meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 7.20 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2014-05-29

Flat-pack shelters for Syrian refugees

Could a flat-pack, solar-powered shelter improve the lives of some of the 45 million displaced people in the world? This week the team from Down to Earth visits a camp in Iraq where Syrian refugees are trialling a new emergency shelter that incorporates the latest Swedish design.

The shelters, known simply as Refugee Housing Units, are the result of a joint project between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ikea Foundation. When the partnership was announced, many wondered whether the Swedish furniture giant could apply its principles of low-cost, easy-to-assemble design to emergency shelters. Today, 40 prototypes are being tested in Iraq and Ethiopia.

Certain governments are however reluctant to trial these shelters, out of fear that better housing will encourage the refugees to stay too long.

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Kadir DEMIR , Juliette LACHARNAY , Anna-Gaëlle Brault



2018-03-08 Recycling

Plastic: Does France have a recycling problem?

When it comes to sorting and recycling plastic waste, France has some catching up to do. Less than 25% of plastic packaging is recycled, while the rest is incinerated or put in...

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2018-02-16 aviation

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

In the fight against climate change, more and more sectors are hopping on board the global movement to protect the planet. But one industry is an exception to the rule: the...

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2018-01-30 Bitcoin

Could Bitcoin cost us our clean energy future?

Gone are the days when it was just a currency for geeks. 2017 was without a doubt the year of the ubiquitous Bitcoin. In the past year, investors have flocked to the highly...

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2018-01-16 Smartphone

How ethical is your smartphone?

In the last decade, more than seven billion smartphones of all makes have been produced in the world, almost as many people as there are on the planet. On average we upgrade our...

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2017-12-15 Natural disaster

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires: 2017 stood out for both the number and intensity of extreme weather events. But were the last twelve months more catastrophic for the...

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