The Stream, February 8: Food for Thought

Crop shortages are just another ingredient in an explosive mix that might fire up social and political unrest à la Tunisia and Egypt in other parts of the world, the Guardian reports. As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization announced that food prices hit a record high for a seventh consecutive month, world media are taking on the different scenarios. Water scarcity, combined with climate change, soil erosion, biofuel production and growing population are all putting unprecedented pressure on states, but the real trigger for food riots might come from elsewhere, Foreign Affairs says.

Is India really not worried about China’s plans to dam the Brahmaputra? The Ministry of Water Resources said that China’s hydropower plans wouldn’t affect India, yet many academics, activists and sections of the government, including the external affairs ministry, are concerned.

Bolivian President Evo Morales urged African leaders at the World Social Forum 2011 to back a proposed UN declaration that would block the sale of public water services to the private sector. He also called for the nationalization of Africa’s minerals and petroleum, citing Bolivia’s apparent success with the state ownership of its natural resources. Makes you wonder what else is happening at the event that prides itself as the polar opposite to the World Economic Forum.

Are business schools on a par with the corporate world? The Financial Times says that many of the world’s best business programs might not be quite up to speed when it comes to preparing future executives for the more technical and engineering aspects of water management.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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