South Asia despite decreasing rates of infectious disease, accounts for a significant proportion of their global burden. The sub-continent is also in the midst of rapid economic growth; large scale changes in land use, access to water and sanitation, and agricultural production; environmental degradation; and technological transformation, all against a background of uneven health system capacity. South Asia, defined by the World Bank as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, is home to a quarter of the world’s population.

Recent hydrological modelling and Earth observations have located and quantified alarming rates of groundwater depletion worldwide. This depletion is primarily due to water withdrawals for irrigation but its connection with the main driver of irrigation, global food consumption, has not yet been explored. Here we show that approximately eleven per cent of non-renewable groundwater use for irrigation is embedded in international food trade, of which two-thirds are exported by Pakistan, the USA and India alone.

Sequences from the DNA barcode region of the mitochondrial COI gene are an effective tool for specimen identification and for the discovery of new species. The Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) (www.boldsystems.org) currently hosts 4.5 million records from animals which have been assigned to more than 490,000 different Barcode Index Numbers (BINs), which serve as a proxy for species.

Buildings are seen in smog on a polluted day in Beijing

India and China account for more than half of the world's premature deaths due to air pollution, a new report on Tuesday said.

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan in the early hours of Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no early signs of casualties or damage.

Dozens of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan were killed after heavy snow and avalanches hit over the weekend.

A report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has held Pakistan responsible for its negligence in conducting a sound analysis of water issues with India.

This report documents the impacts community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) in five districts in Pakistan. The publication shows that the CBDRM process helps to address the disaster preparedness needs of at-risk communities.

The Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has been an outstanding example of conflict resolution but scarcity of water in the basin states since the early 1990s has brought the agreement under strain and its "survival appears weak", according to this UN report.

Ongoing deforestation is a pressing, global environmental issue with direct impacts on climate change, carbon emissions, and biodiversity. There is an intuitive link between economic development and overexploitation of natural resources including forests, but this relationship has proven difficult to establish empirically due to both inadequate data and convoluting geo-climactic factors. In this analysis, we use satellite data on forest cover along national borders in order to study the determinants of deforestation differences across countries.

Pages