Natural Resources

An illegal diamond dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale in Manica, Mozambique, near the border with Zimbabwe on Sept. 19, 2010.

Zimbabwe’s Chance to Shine

Its ascent to a leadership role in international diamond accreditation is an opportunity for the industry to clean up its act.

Seabed mining in Indonesia

Can Mining the Seabed Help Save the Planet?

Few other issues better illustrate the messy trade-offs involved in climate policy.

Workers pack rubber into a truck on the Firestone campus in Harbel, Liberia, on Nov. 4, 2019.

When the Rubber Hits the Road

A new book on Firestone Liberia highlights the stark choices faced by countries where capital is in short supply.

Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Emirati Presidential Advisor Anwar Gargash hold a press conference after meeting in the western Cypriot city of Paphos, on April 16.

Iran’s Biggest Problem Is Water

With supplies running out, water security could be the issue that finally makes the region’s countries work together.

A rare-earth refinery.

Why Rare Earths Are the Key to Just About Everything

They’re not actually that rare, but their importance to almost all modern technologies cannot be overstated.

The Apusiajik glacier in Greenland.

56,000 Greenlanders Could Shape the Future of Rare Earths

Washington and Beijing are watching a snap election on the huge island closely.

A fisherman holds a batch of tuna in Kiribati, where fishing is one of the most common occupations, on Sept. 25, 2015.

How Eight Pacific Island States Are Saving the World’s Tuna

They have created a strikingly successful scheme that prevents overfishing and raises local incomes at once.

A Long March 5 rocket carrying an orbiter, lander, and rover destined for Mars lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province, China, on July 23, 2020.

America Needs a Supercharged Space Program

It could build entire industries, create new jobs, green the economy—and unite the country behind a common purpose.

Israeli soldiers patrol the border area known as Naharayim in Hebrew and Baqura in Arabic, on Oct. 18, 2019.

Don’t Politicize Water

Despite deteriorating relations in recent years, Israel and Jordan should return to a history of cooperation on water resources.

ethiopia-grand-renaissance-dam-gerd-illustration-FP-guide22

The Blue Nile Is Dammed

Geopolitics, water security, and health will keep the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam alive.

Soil containing rare earth minerals prepares to be loaded at a port in China.

U.S. Falters in Bid to Replace Chinese Rare Earths

Despite new legislation, Washington won’t be delivering critical minerals needed for defense, high tech, and energy.

People displaced by drought walking at a displaced persons camp.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Southeast Asia is turning a blind eye to the Rohingya, Israel-Jordan relations are deteriorating, and Kataib Hezbollah is losing influence in Iraq.

A woman washes her hands in the courtyard of her house in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Nov. 1, 2018.

The Pandemic Is Laying Bare a Global Water Crisis

Insufficient water for washing is likely to worsen the coronavirus in the poorest nations. There’s a better way forward.

A fisherman floats on the Mekong River in Thailand

Science Shows Chinese Dams Are Devastating the Mekong

New data demonstrates a devastating effect on downstream water supplies that feed millions of people.

A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on Dec. 26, 2019.

The United States Must Not Pick Sides in the Nile River Dispute

Ethiopia and Egypt are at odds over a Nile dam. Washington should be helping them compromise, rather than doing Cairo’s bidding.

A road snakes through the Atewa forest in Ghana on Sept. 5, 2019. The road was built by the Ghanaian government to allow researchers to sample soil ahead of the start of mining operations.

Ghana’s Bauxite Boom

Chinese investment has led to a crush of infrastructure development in Ghana’s tropical forests—and not everyone is happy about it.

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