What’s New March 2010

This page lists changes to this site for March 2010.

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Approximately 1 in 6 people live in informal settlements, or slums. In developing countries, some 1 in 3 people living in cities are living in slum areas.

While there have been some successes in reducing the number of people living in such areas in recent years by about a tenth (mostly in China and India), numerous problems persist.

Some settlements are not officially recognized despite being present for decades and being home to thousands of people. This then means that residents have been denied a range of essential services provided by the government to other residents such as water, sanitation, electricity, garbage collection, health, education, access roads and transport.

In some places, people face an almost daily threat of forced eviction without notice or appropriate compensation. Human rights groups have filmed cases where bulldozers come in without warning while residents are there. This often occurs when developers want the land for further development and may include state collusion.

Due to the very conditions in which people live, their ability to stand up for their rights and have their voices heard is greatly reduced. And yet, despite this, there is much of humanity to be found in these areas, with vibrancy and enterprising people struggling to make a living.

The poverty around the world page has been updated to explores some of these aspects further, with additional information and videos.

Obesity typically results from over-eating (especially an unhealthy diet) and lack of enough exercise.

In our modern world with increasingly cheap, high calorie food (example, fast food — or junk food), prepared foods that are high in things like salt, sugars or fat, combined with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, increasing urbanization and changing modes of transportation, it is no wonder that obesity has rapidly increased in the last few decades, around the world.

The number of people overweight or obese is now rivaling the number of people suffering from hunger around the world. Obese people were thought to be mainly from richer countries or wealthier segments of society, but poor people can also suffer as the food industry supplies cheaper food of poorer quality.

Environmental, societal and life-style factors all have an impact on obesity and health. While individuals are responsible for their choices, other actors such as the food industry are also part of the problem, and solution. Unfortunately, the food industry appears reluctant to take too many measures that could affect their bottom line, preferring to solely blame individuals instead.

The obesity page has been updated to include additional data, information and videos about the impacts of obesity, childhood obesity and what can be done about it.

Tiger numbers are on the decline. The estimated number of tigers remaining globally is thought to be between around 3,400 to 5,100 tigers with possibly just under 40 left in China.

The tiger is a powerful symbol of conservation, yet despite measures to help their numbers, various threats such as habitat loss and poaching continue to threaten their numbers.

These and additional numbers as well as a video from the BBC were added.

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