As seen onFavicon for

News round up March 2015

A selection of geographical stories that have made the headlines this month.


  1. PICTURE NEWS: A girl dressed as Hindu Goddess Durga searches for coins in the polluted water of the river Tawiduring Navratra at a Hindu festival in Jammu, Kashmir.
    Photograph: JaipalSingh/EPAOb

  2. Indonesia facing overpopulation crisis?
  3. New calls for stricter government guidance on family planning have been voiced by demographic experts in Indonesia. The country with a population of over 250 million people is already facing housing, food and water shortages, yet government cuts in family planning and a stripped back set of government departments to deal with overpopulation has meant that many parents still see a large family as synonymous with a financially safe retirement. The reintroduction of a limited number of mobile clinics and free contraception has come up against cultural barriers where some Muslims of the country believe that it is 'haram' or forbidden to prevent pregnancy in any way.

  4. Costa Rica goes 75 days powering itself using only renewable energy
  5. As a result of heavy rainfall in the first two months of 2015, Costa Rica has been able to go fossil fuel free, relying instead on its four hydroelectric plants to power the small state. With each plant running at full capacity, the country managed to test a widely held ambition to make the entire country run off a zero carbon economy. A new US$958 million geothermal energy plant is also in the process of being built which will aim to power fifty five thousand homes cleanly and reduce the country's reliance on the less predictable hydroelectric power.

  6. PICTURE NEWS: Pontoons, which were previously used as a floating jetty, are seen on the cracked ground of the Atibainha dam, part of the Cantareira reservoir,during a drought in Nazare Paulista, Sao Paulo state. Brazil's worst drought in 80 years has left the Cantareira system, that provides greater Sao Paulo with most of its water, with the lowest water level on record
    REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

  7. Wet wipe litter on UK beaches up 50% report suggests
  8. The annual Great British Beach Clean carried out by the Marine Conservation Society has revealed an alarming set of results. Close to 274,000 pieces of litter were collected by over five thousand volunteers off three hundred UK beaches. The report of the clean up shows a dramatic increase in the amount of non-flushable waste ending up on UK beaches including a fifty percent increase in the number of wet wipes retrieved on last year. Welsh beaches saw the highest increase in litter volume with a forty six percent increase, compared to the UK average of 6.4%. The report calls for people to be made more aware of the pollution they cause by flushing such items down their toilets.

  9. PICTURE NEWS: Teachers at Central School in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, laid out books to dry in the sun after the roof of the library was blown away by Cyclone Pam. International aid agencies ramped up appeals for the Pacific island on Wednesday, as two-thirds of crops were wiped out. Reuters

  10. PICTURE NEWS: Oxfam says 90% of houses have been damaged in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila as a result of Cyclone Pam. Photograph: Tom Perry/AFP/Getty Images