Matthew Stafford

Welcome to my portfolio! I am a 25 year old communications professional from the North East of England, interested primarily in international development, climate change, and global politics/diplomacy. 

Here you'll find a broad selection of my writing to date - spanning topics from sustainability, science, global health, and much more - as well as other miscellaneous project highlights. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have!

Featured Writing

A selection of articles that I've researched and written. Includes both opinion/thought leadership pieces, and journalistic articles.

Underground colonies of fungi could help us grow stronger, more plentiful food crops

If scientists can ensure continuous colonisation of plants by fungi, even where sufficient nutrients are present, by using modern genetic engineering techniques, it could result in substantially less chemical fertiliser being needed, as more will be absorbed after each application.

Likewise, researchers are looking to better understand a soil bacteria called rhizobia, which has a unique ability to convert, or ‘fix’, nitrogen from the air into a form that can be absorbed by plants.

Currently, t

Malawi’s former president: ‘Africa’s food systems are in danger of failing due to high debt and climate change. A new financial pact can reverse this’

Agriculture is the cornerstone of African communities and economies. Not only is the majority of the continent’s working population employed in the sector, but just under a quarter of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is generated by the work of its farmers. Yet, climate change is now undermining what progress has been made across the continent in the last few decades–with hunger, malnutrition, and poverty all on the rise.

Amidst these challenges, the significant debt servicing obligations that African

Food banks in Africa: a novel solution to the continent’s hunger and climate crises

Yet, when this land fails, due to climate stress and persistent drought rendering swathes of pastureland unviable for the grazing of livestock, the specter of hunger and deprivation follows close behind. However, for many of the Maasai, relief has come from what some might consider an unexpected source: food banks. Traversing inaccessible terrain and the interference of wild elephants, the refrigerated trucks of Food Banking Kenya are able to overcome numerous obstacles with the support of local

Livestock is a form of climate justice in the Global South

Global North perceptions of the livestock sector should not be imposed on poor countries that suffer from undernutrition.

As the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) proceeds in Egypt, few seem to be acknowledging that the elephant in the room is actually a cow. The livestock sector has faced global scrutiny for its contribution to climate change, but is reducing livestock production actually a fair, or even an honest, climate outcome?

The answer is less than straightforward w

It’s time for climate compensation at COP27 | Context

Rich nations should demonstrate their commitment to human rights, climate justice, and social equity with loss and damage funding

The scales of climate loss and damage are heavily weighted against the most vulnerable low-emitting economies, with an ever-growing disparity between the proportionate cost of climate change to high- versus low-income countries.

Moreover, this disaster has devastated Pakistan’s largest employment sector – agriculture – which will cause reverberations throughout live

Seed 'genebanks' are a fast track to food security — not just a last resort

Designed to safeguard as many of the world’s crops as possible for future worst-case scenarios, seed “genebanks” might appear to be last-resort archives that are distant from the challenges of today.

Yet, genebanks, including the famous Svalbard “Doomsday Vault”, are much more than a deep freezer for future food security. They are a living resource that is constantly maintained and restocked to enable scientists, farmers and countries to adapt to the climate threats facing food systems today an

We need to include people in net-zero transition plans | View

With COP26 under way in Glasgow, countries across Europe are facing an energy crisis that is trapping consumers between rising prices and market volatility and preventing businesses from supporting the economic recovery from the pandemic.

This latest crisis has seen prices for oil and natural gas, which on average supply 35 per cent of the EU's total energy, soar to multi-year levels.

France has promised a €100 cheque to each low-income citizen to help with their energy bills. Elsewhere, Chine

Rabies Is Proof That Vaccine Inequality Is Nothing New – But It Can Be Changed

In the US, cases of dogs infected with the rabies virus being brought into the country are significant enough to warrant national headlines and a year-long dog importation ban on dogs from hundreds of countries worldwide.

Yet, in India, rabies does not get much media attention but it accounts for a shocking total of 20,000 human deaths each year – that’s more than 50 a day.

Opinion: Even our global food system is affected by the patriarchy

As the world’s attention falls on redesigning food systems to deliver safe and healthy food, livelihoods, and environments for all, it is equally important to ensure that the human rights of half of its producers and consumers – women – are not left behind.

Access to safe and nutritious food is a human right. We must then ask ourselves why the rights of hundreds of millions of women who work within food systems – including their right to equal acknowledgement, access to resources, and the oppor

How has US-China trade evolved under President Trump?

As President Donald Trump’s term now comes to an end, the future of US-China relations will likely remain volatile under President-elect Joe Biden.

The United States’ trade relationship with China has dominated President Donald Trump’s time in office, which shouldn’t come as any surprise given the president’s tough talk on China during his 2016 presidential campaign.

During that campaign, Trump often spoke critically of US-China trade relations, at one time claiming that China was responsible