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Depardieu launches "Proud to be Russian" watch range

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DEBATE

SPECIAL: US and Cuba Normalise Relations

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ENCORE!

Forget Harry Potter, Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' sells millions

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Child migrants: no parents, no passports

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AFRICA NEWS

Thousands flee Libya and Nigeria to seek refuge in Niger

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INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Sony Pictures reels from cyber-attack

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"Todos somos Americanos"

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Cuba-USA: 'A roll of the dice'

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IN THE PAPERS

The 'Caribbean Wall' is starting to crumble

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We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every other Sunday at 8.40 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

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

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Archives

2014-11-16 Mexico

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After one of the driest periods in history, 2014 is on track to be the hottest since record began. How do we adapt to these extreme climate conditions which may be here to stay ?

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2014-10-19 carbon emissions

Climate therapy

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising at the fastest rate in three decades. Meteorologists warn the world is running out of time. In this episode, the Down to Earth team explores...

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2014-09-21 environment

Global warming: A drowning planet

Rising sea levels are an inevitable consequence of global warming. Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5...

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2014-06-22 water

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Tiny plastic particles, barely visible, are infecting the world's sea and oceans, where they're being eaten by fish and other aquatic species before making their way up the food...

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2014-06-09 technology

Biomimicry: Hacking nature

Biomimicry is the science of mimicking life. Have millions of years of evolution churned out all the answers?

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