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KEY PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 01/12/10
 

2009

 

Sustainable Development Key Publications and Online Resources Archives: 2010; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP FOR THE WTO

(IISD, November 2009)

This book, launched at the WTO on the eve of the Organization’s 2009 Ministerial Conference, argues that the WTO has committed to helping achieve sustainable development, and asks what the institution would look like it the members took that goal seriously. It surveys current practice and recommendations in areas as diverse as accession, dispute settlement, negotiations, trade and environment, trade and development and the process of self-assessment.  At once a blueprint for institutional reform and a positive vision, the book calls for a process to begin helping the WTO achieve its full potential for economic, social and environmental progress. The book.

 

THE WAY FORWARD: RESEARCHING THE ENVIRONMENT AND MIGRATION NEXUS

(UNU-IEHS, 2009)

This brief, written by Marc Stal and Koko Warner and published by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-IEHS), focuses on the links and implications of climate change and environmental degradation for migration and policy. It recommends that research should focus on providing best practice solutions as well as a set of options to manage the impacts of environmentally induced, in particular climate-related, migration. The brief.

 

AFRICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE: A TIME FOR TRANSFORMATION

(AU, AfDB, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, NEPAD, and the World Bank, 2009)

This report indicates that Africa has the weakest infrastructure in the world, and in some countries in Africa people often pay twice as much for basic services as elsewhere. The report looks at four sectors, including energy, water, transport, and ICT, which are critical to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. The report suggests that US$93 billion is needed to improve Africa’s infrastructure, with half of the investments to facilitate access to energy. The report.

 

WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK 2009 (WEO-2009)
(IEA, 2009)
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its annual flagship publication ahead of schedule this year to make it available to policy makers and negotiators in the run up to the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the UNFCCC, scheduled to be held in December in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 696-page document paints a broad picture of the global energy situation in 2009, evaluates the mixed blessing that global economic decline has provided for global energy hopes and needs, and focuses almost solely on the climate challenge as it relates to global energy trends. World Energy Outlook. Executive Summary.

 

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION TRENDS AND PROJECTIONS IN EUROPE

(EEA, 2009)

This publication by the European Environment Agency examines historic and projected trends of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. It also assesses the current and projected progress of EU Member States, EU candidate countries and other EEA member countries towards their respective targets under the Kyoto Protocol and under EU commitments for 2020. The report.

PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS: SUCCESS STORIES IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND FOOD SECURITY
(FAO, November 2009)
This report, by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), highlights good practices on reducing hunger, transforming the agriculture sector, and enhancing smallholder productivity. The report notes that 85 percent of farms are less than 2 hectares, and emphasizes the importance of a strategy that supports smallholder farmers to fight hunger and poverty. Examples of countries that have developed innovative approaches to empowering and supporting smallholders are provided. The
report.

CROP PROSPECTS AND FOOD SITUATION
(FAO, November 2009)
This report, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), states that, despite a good cereal harvest in 2009, food prices still remain high for poor countries that are net importers, and 31 countries around the world require external assistance because of critical food insecurity. The report notes that, in the group of 77 Low-Income Food-Deficit countries, food prices remain significantly higher than in the pre-food price crisis period of two years earlier, which continues to give rise to concern for the food security of vulnerable populations. The report.

FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURAL MITIGATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: OPTIONS FOR CAPTURING SYNERGIES
(FAO, October 2009)

This paper, by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), explores potential synergies between food security, adaptation and climate change mitigation from land-based agricultural practices in developing countries. The paper calls for a holistic vision of food security, agricultural mitigation, adaptation and development in order to maximize synergies and minimize trade-offs. It recommends that a work programme on agriculture to be initiated within the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), in collaboration with FAO, and the roll-out of country-led pilots to build readiness, confidence and capacity for implementation of nationally appropriate agricultural mitigation action. The paper
.

ROADMAP FOR RECOVERY TOURISM & TRAVEL: A PRIMARY VEHICLE FOR JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY
(UNWTO, October 2009)
This roadmap, endorsed by the 18th session of the World Tourism Organization General Assembly (UNWTO), underscores the importance of the sector for job creation, trade and development, and highlights that tourism should be integrated into national, regional and international regulations that encourage green economy strategies. It also highlights the importance of promoting a green tourism culture in supplies, consumers and communities. The roadmap.

TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND USE OF RESOURCES: ASSESSING BIOFUELS
(UNEP, October 2009)

Based on a review of published research up to mid-2009 as well as the input of independent experts world-wide, this report by the UNEP International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management recognizes that the research that has accrued over recent years presents a complex and uncertain picture of the risks and benefits of biofuels. The report’s main message is that biofuels’ costs and benefits are context-specific, and therefore simplistic approaches to managing biofuels production are unlikely to yield environmentally positive results. Considering not only biofuels for transport, but biomass as a whole, the report’s chapters discuss, inter alia: the full life-cycle approach needed to completely account for the impacts of biofuels; the issue of land-use change; options for more efficient and sustainable production; and strategies to enhance resource productivity. The report.

INVESTMENT: THE CHALLENGE
(FAO, October 2009)
This discussion paper was prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for the High Level Expert’s Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050, which convened at FAO headquarters from 12-13 October 2009. The paper notes that agricultural investment needs to increase by about 50 percent a year in order to feed over nine billion people in 2050. The paper estimates that one-third of the resources would be needed to feed China and India, and sub-Saharan Africa would require about US$11 billion. The paper also notes that primary areas for investments include crops and livestock production, storage facilities, market facilities and food processing. The paper.

THE STATE OF FOOD INSECURITY IN THE WORLD 2009: ECONOMIC CRISIS – IMPACTS AND LESSONS LEARNED
(FAO and WFP, October 2009)

This report, prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme, examines the impacts of the food and economic crises and estimates that the number of hungry will exceed one billion this year. The report notes that almost all
of the world’s undernourished live in developing countries, aggravated by a weak global food security governance system. The report calls for urgent reform and increased investments. The report.

MDG GAP TASK FORCE 2009 REPORT: STRENGTHENING THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT IN A TIME OF CRISIS
(UNDP and UNDESA, September 2009)
This report was launched by the MDG Gap Task Force, which was created by the UN Secretary-General to improve the monitoring of Millennium Development Goal 8 (MDG 8). The report indentifies a gap of US$35 billion per year in the delivery of the pledge made by the G-8 countries at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, including US$20 billion in aid to Africa. The report also points out an ODA coverage gap in distribution, noting that most of the aid increase has gone to countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The report.

TEN STORIES THE WORLD SHOULD HEAR MORE ABOUT
(UN DPI, 2009)
These ten stories, published by the UN Department of Public Information, focus on events that happened in 2008. The stories address, inter alia, the global food crisis and economic turmoil; the importance of climate change adaptation ; space debris threatening sustainable use of outer space; and the struggle for survival of Colombia’s indigenous people. The stories.

WORLD ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SURVEY 2009: PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT, SAVING THE PLANET
(UNDESA, 2009)
This report, a flagship publication from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), argues that global inequality and climate change should be addressed together. The report argues that low-emissions, high-growth pathways for development are both feasible and necessary and notes that the separation of the climate change and development agendas has distorted the global debate on the two biggest policy challenges facing the international community. The report calls for an integrated approach based on the concept of sustainable development. The report.

CONFERENCE ON THE WORLD FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS AND ITS IMPACT ON DEVELOPMENT: OUTCOME DOCUMENT
(UNGA, July 2009)
The outcome document of the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, which was adopted by the General Assembly, is now available as an annex to General Assembly resolution (63/303). The recommendations emphasize solutions that can foster an inclusive, green and sustainable recovery, and provide continued support for sustainable development efforts by developing countries. The outcome document.

ECONOMYWIDE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AGRICULTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
(IFPRI, 2009)
This research paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) analyzes two possible climate change adaptation scenarios for sub-Saharan Africa. The first assumes a doubling of the irrigated area in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050, but keeps total crop area constant. The second assumes that both rainfed and irrigated crop yields increase by 25 percent for all sub-Saharan African countries. Due to the limited initial irrigated area in the region, an increase in agricultural productivity achieves better outcomes than an expansion of irrigated area, although the research suggests that both scenarios could help lower world food prices. The research paper.

SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION TECHNOLOGIES: A BUFFER AGAINST PRODUCTION RISK IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
(IFPRI, 2009)

This research paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) suggests that soil and water conservation investments perform differently in different rainfall areas and regions of Ethiopia, highlighting the importance of careful geographical targeting when promoting and scaling up soil and water conservation technologies. The research paper.

HOW MIGHT AGRICULTURE DEVELOP IN SOUTHERN AFRICA? MAKING SENSE OF COMPLEXITY
(IISD, 2009)
This report, authored by Peter Draper, Sheila Kiratu and Tanja Hichert, examines the current situation and the driving forces related to issues around food security and agriculture in Southern Africa. It considers the underlying social, political, environmental and technological trends that will affect the future of agriculture in the region, and stems from a scenario planning exercise with regional partners that employed structured strategic conversations from multiple perspectives as a tool to identify critical uncertainties that affect food security and agriculture. The report identifies a range of threats, opportunities, trends and outcomes of Southern Africa’s agricultural futures, and offers recommended actions to address them. The report.

A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR TRANSPORT: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED, TECHNOLOGY-LED AND USER FRIENDLY SYSTEM
(EC, 2009)

The European Commission has released this Communication, summarizing a process of reflection on the future of transport in Europe. It refers to recent developments of the European Transport Policy and outstanding issues; looks at the future, identifying trends in transport drivers and the likely challenges they could pose to society; proposes intermediate policy objectives that could be pursued to address the emerging challenges in the transport sector; and describes some available instruments and possible lines of intervention for achieving the stated objectives. The ideas in this Communication are meant to stimulate further debate aimed at identifying policy options, without prejudging the formulation of concrete proposals in the next White Paper of 2010. The communication.

FOOD PRICES: SMALLHOLDER FARMERS CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

(IFAD, April 2009)
This brief, published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), notes that there are about 500 million small farmers in developing countries, supporting the livelihoods of at least one third of the world’s population. It also notes that the number of undernourished people worldwide has risen to 963 million in 2008, an increase of 40 million from 2007 levels. Nevertheless, it indicates that investments through public expenditures or foreign assistance for agriculture in developing countries have not increased. The brief highlights possible solutions to the problem, underlining the role of small holders in resolving the problem. The brief.

 

LAND GRAB OR DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY? AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENT AND INTERNATIONAL LAND DEALS IN AFRICA

(IFAD, IIED and FAO, June 2009)

This report is the first detailed study of large land acquisitions, including purchases or leases, in Africa. It highlights the misconceptions about what have been designated as land grabs. It notes that land-based investment has been rising over the past five years due to food security concerns, food supply shortage and growing production of biofuels. It indicates that while foreign investment dominates, domestic investors are also playing a big role in land acquisitions. The report.

 

FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FOOD CRISIS

(UNCTAD, June 2009)

This report, prepared by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the 47th session of the Trade and Development Board, focuses on lessons learned from the 2008 food crisis. It indicates that the food security situation of African countries could further deteriorate if low productivity and market regulation issues are not addressed. The report indicates that out of 36 countries worldwide facing a food security crisis, 21 are African. It estimates that over 300 million Africans are facing chronic hunger. The report.

BIOFUELS FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
(ENERGIA, 2009)

This book of case studies represents a collaborative effort to explore the potential of biofuels to provide sustainable livelihoods and local sources of energy for people in rural areas of developing countries, with a special emphasis on women. Although there are many forms of bio-energy that can be useful in this regard, book focuses on plant products, mostly seeds, used to produce oil - which is then either utilized directly in engines or equipment, or processed into biodiesel. The book was presented at the 17th session of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. It was developed with support from IUCN and edited by Gail Karlsson and Khamarunga Banda. The book.

THE ECONOMIC REPORT ON AFRICA 2009: DEVELOPING AFRICAN AGRICULTURE THROUGH REGIONAL VALUE CHAINS

(UNECA and AU Commission, May 2009)
This report, published by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AU), highlights the recent economic trends and prospects in Africa with a focus on addressing the challenges to develop African agriculture within the framework of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The report focuses on structural transformations needed and on options to develop regionally integrated value chains and markets for selected strategic food and agricultural commodities. It calls for s
pecial attention to agriculture, as a means to providing employment, and generate economic growth, foreign exchange earnings and tax revenue. The report.

 

UPDATE: WORLD ECONOMIC SITUATION AND PROSPECTS 2009

(UNDESA, May 2009)

This mid-year update to the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009 report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), predicts a more severe decline in the world economy than anticipated in the initial report. The update.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOD CRISIS: THE ENVIRONMENT’S ROLE IN AVERTING FUTURE FOOD CRISES
(UNEP, May 2009)
This report on the environmental food crisis provides an overview of how environmental stresses such as climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact food prices and world food security, and proposes a seven-point plan to reduce the risk of hunger and rising food insecurity in the 21st century. The report stresses, among other conclusions, the need for a Green Revolution in Africa, noting the challenges of water scarcity, lack of infrastructure and impacts from climate change. The report also addresses the problems of food waste, post-harvest losses, yield loss due to environmental degradation, drought and weed infestations, and interrelated threats from climate change. The report.

AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: AN AGENDA FOR NEGOTIATION IN COPENHAGEN
(IFPRI, 2009)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released a collection of policy briefs addressing technical and policy issues on agriculture and climate change that should be addressed as part of a new international agreement on climate change. The volume comprises 12 policy briefs covering issues such as: agricultural science and technology needs for mitigation and adaptation; mitigation through tree and soil management; the potential for soil carbon sequestration; mitigating emissions from livestock systems; monitoring, reporting and verification methodologies in agriculture, forestry and other land uses; and the role of international trade. The briefs are preceded by an overview piece summarizing the major issues that should be addressed in the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. The volume.

A THIRST FOR DISTANT LANDS: FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURAL LAND AND WATER
(IISD, May 2009)
This paper surveys a recent surge of a new breed of foreign investment in agricultural land, financed predominantly by state-owned and private investors from Arab and wealthy Asian states (Japan, China and Korea) into Africa and Southeast Asia. Tracts covering tens to hundreds of thousands of hectares are being leased or bought for export food production in response to the recent food crisis, or for production of biofuels. The paper considers both the land and water issues involved in the “thirst for distant lands.” It focuses in particular on the linkages between domestic law, international investment contracts and international investment treaties, asking what they mean for community and individual rights to land, water and food. The paper.

MAINSTREAMING POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES INTO DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: A HANDBOOK FOR PRACTITIONERS

(UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative, April 2009)

The UN Development Programme and UN Environment Programme (UNDP-UNEP) Poverty-Environment Initiative has published this Handbook, which is designed to serve as a guide for champions and practitioners engaged in mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages. It draws on experience at the country level and lessons learned by UNDP and UNEP in working with governments, especially ministries of planning, finance and environment, to support efforts to integrate the complex interrelationships between poverty reduction and improved environmental management into national planning and decision-making. French and Spanish translations are currently under preparation and will be made available soon. The handbook.   

MAKING THE ECONOMIC CASE: A PRIMER ON THE ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS FOR MAINSTREAMING POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES INTO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

(UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative, March 2009)
This new primer provides guidance on presenting evidence about the economic, development and poverty reduction benefits of the environment to public sector decision-makers, so as to justify and promote “environmental investment.” This primer is designed to help interested countries and governments engaged in the environmental mainstreaming challenge to succeed in making their case, ensure that they have the evidence to back it up, and identify entry points to engage the attention of economic and development decision-makers and to enter into meaningful dialogue with them. The resource.

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
(UNESCAP, 2009)

This study by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) examines: the roots of the 2008 food price crisis, including climate change and disasters; the threats to sustainable agriculture, including climate change and biofuels production; the resilience of communities, including through adaptation to climate variability; and an agenda for food security that includes adaptation to climate change as a long-term measure. The study.

HUNGER AND MARKETS

(WFP, April 2009)

This third volume of the World Hunger Series, published by the World Food Programme, explores the relationship between markets and the availability of food, identifying sources of market failure in addressing hunger and highlighting methods for improvement. The volume.

 

FOOD AID INFORMATION SYSTEM

(WFP, April 2009)

The World Food Organization, with the support of the European Commission and the Government of Canada, has launched a database on Food Aid Information System (FAIS).  This database contains data on food aid flows and was developed to strengthen the coordinated international response to food aid shortages. The database.

 

CROP PROSPECTS AND FOOD SITUATION

(FAO, April 2009)

The April 2009 issue of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, is now available. This issue reports that high food prices continue in developing countries even though there has been a sharp decline in international food prices. According to FAO, food emergencies or risk of food insecurity persist in 31 countries, despite the harvest results for 2008 cereal crops. The issue.

 

COUNTRY STUDIES ON AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(World Bank, April 2009)

The World Bank has published country notes for Latin America and the Caribbean on climate change and agriculture. The Country Notes identify specific climatic constraints and policy interventions related to the agricultural sector, highlighting the institutional make-up in the dialogue of climate change and agriculture. The notes.

 

SMALL SCALE BIOENERGY INITIATIVES: BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND PRELIMINARY LESSONS ON LIVELIHOOD IMPACTS FROM CASE STUDIES IN LATIN AMERICA, ASIA AND AFRICA
(FAO and PISCES, January 2009)

This study, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES), covers 15 bioenergy projects across 12 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, on the linkages between livelihoods and small-scale bioenergy initiatives. The study focuses on the impacts that different types of local level bioenergy initiatives can have on rural livelihoods in different contexts in the developing world. Livelihoods, as defined by the study, are the enhancement of the full range of natural, financial, human, social and physical capitals on a sustainable ongoing basis. The study.

 

UN ECOSOC PRESIDENT’S CORNER WEBSITE

(UN ECOSOC, March 2009)

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOOC) launched a President's Corner website. The site presents information about the key issues on the ECOSOC agenda, communications from the 2009 UN ECOSOC President Ambassador Sylvie Lucas and online lecture series featuring the views of policy and decision-makers on the issues. The website.

COUNTRY STUDIES ON AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(World Bank, March 2009)
The country notes for Latin America and the Caribbean on climate change and agriculture identify specific climatic constraints and policy interventions related to the agricultural sector, highlighting the institutional make-up in the dialogue of climate change and agriculture. The country notes.

AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: AN AGENDA FOR NEGOTIATION IN COPENHAGEN
(IFPRI, 2009)

This brief, authored by Gerald Nelson, outlines three key messages related to the urgency of including agriculture in the ongoing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, which will culminate in Copenhagen in December 2009: climate change will affect agriculture, but it is uncertain where and how much; agriculture can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; and cost-effective ways are needed to help poor farmers adapt to climate change.  The brief also prescribes specific negotiating outcomes for the December meetings. The brief.

UNDERSTANDING FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ADAPTATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY: THE CASE OF THE LIMPOPO BASIN, SOUTH AFRICA
(IFPRI, 2009)
This research paper, authored by Glwadys Aymone Gbetibouo, uses a “bottom-up” approach, seeking to gain insights from farmers themselves based on a farm household survey. The study examines how farmer perceptions correspond with climate data recorded at meteorological stations in the Limpopo River Basin and analyzes farmers’ adaptation responses to climate change and variability. The analysis shows that farmers’ perceptions of climate change are in line with the climatic data records. However, only approximately half of the farmers have adjusted their farming practices to account for the impacts of climate change. Lack of access to credit was cited by respondents as the main factor inhibiting adaptation. Household size, farming experience, wealth, access to credit, access to water, tenure rights, off-farm activities, and access to extension are the main factors that enhance adaptive capacity. The paper recommends that the government should design policies aimed at improving these factors. The paper.

NATIONAL BASIC FOOD PRICES DATA AND ANALYSIS TOOL
(FAO, 2009)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed this resource, which shows the prices of different food commodities in local currencies or dollars and local measurements as well as standard weights. It allows for price comparisons between domestic and international markets, between different markets in the same country, as well as between countries. The price tool.

STATE OF AFRICAN CITIES REPORT 2008
(UN-HABITAT, March 2009)
This annual report, a flagship publication of UN-HABITAT, notes that, with rapid urbanization, cities in Africa are facing increasing challenges and will have to find ways to deliver urban services, livelihoods and housing for more than twice the current urban population by 2015. The report.

GREEN TRANSPORT: RESOURCE OPTIMIZATION IN THE ROAD SECTOR IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
(Asian Development Bank, 2009)
This study examines how the development of China’s road system affects land, energy and environmental quality. It recommends policies and guidelines and presents a handbook to better balance the needs of economic growth with energy, resources and environmental impact concerns. The book.

HARVESTCHOICE WEBSITE
(IFPRI, 2009)
The HarvestChoice initiative has launched a comprehensive collection of data products designed to better inform strategic policy and investment decisions aimed at improving farm productivity and profitability, and market development. The data collection focuses on factors relevant to crop production and marketing in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) agriculture, such as climate, soil and pest conditions and constraints, current and future cropping systems geography and performance, and access to markets. Recognizing the site-specific nature of many interventions designed to boost productivity, especially in the rainfed systems common throughout SSA, HarvestChoice takes a spatial approach, using interfaces built around open-source platforms such as Google Maps. The website will continuously be updated and improved over time. HarvestChoice.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND OIL EXPLOITATION IN UGANDA
(IIED, December 2008)
This paper first analyses the adequacy of the existing legal framework on access to information and participation. Its findings show that although law and policy in Uganda indicate certain efforts to open up environmental decision-making processes to public influence, this is not the case in the oil production sector. The culture of secrecy within government bodies, weak civil society structures as well as the politics of patronage remain substantive challenges for the fair and equitable management of natural resources in Uganda. The paper.

UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF CONTRACT FARMING: LESSONS FROM GHANA
(IIED, December 2008)
This paper analyses sorghum contract farming in north-east Ghana in order to explore ways of making contractual arrangements viable for small farmers. The analysis draws on the convergence of science and social relations interactions among the relevant stakeholders as important for developing small farmer-relevant agricultural innovations. It reveals that the failure and problems encountered in this particular scheme were both technical and institutional. The authors argue that if contracts are to be fair, they must allow for compensation, contingencies and production risks. But scientific knowledge is required in order to adequately incorporate these elements. The paper.

RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA
(IIED, December 2008)
This study aims to broaden understanding of climate change and its impacts in Argentina. Most focus on climate change in Argentina has been in the north, where impacts are more noticeable. But this study shows how changes in the south, in the Patagonian province of Chubut, are also likely to be significant. The paper.

FAIRER FLYING: AN INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL LEVY FOR ADAPTATION
(IIED, December 2008)
This paper explores that possibility of adopting an adaptation levy on international air travel, through which a small per-trip payment by passengers would contribute from US$8 billion to US$10 billion a year towards adaptation. The paper suggests that similar schemes in France and elsewhere show that this kind of ethical solidarity and ‘polluter pays’ approach would be simple to implement in practical and institutional terms. The briefing.

BEYOND BORDERS: THE NEED FOR STRATEGIC GLOBAL ADAPTATION
(IIED, December 2008)
This paper suggests that the ‘adaptation is local’ mantra is no longer valid. Climate impacts are pervasive, inevitably crossing geographic and political boundaries, and the paper states that we need to move far beyond measures like National Adaptation Plans of Action. The ramifications of this new scenario are much more than physical and biological: there are significant socioeconomic and geopolitical implications on a par with those of mitigation. Adaptation must be understood, negotiated and financed in that light. The opinion.

ADAPTATION IN AFRICA: THE GLOBAL FAILURE TO DELIVER FUNDING
(IIED, December 2008)
This paper notes that Africa’s geographic position and high sensitivity to climatic variability make it vulnerable, with large swathes of Africa already see more frequent and severe flooding and droughts, shrinking agricultural production, the spread of diseases and the rise of conflict over scarce resources. At the same time, it indicates that African governments are poorly equipped to respond. The paper suggests that overcoming these challenges demands concerted international effort – yet a huge gap yawns between the global promises, and timely action on them. The briefing.

SMALL AND MEDIUM FOREST ENTERPRISES IN MOZAMBIQUE
(IIED, January 2009)
This report examines small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) in Mozambique, which account for 95.8% of the formally registered enterprises in the forest sector. Nonetheless, at present, the two formal channels for commercial timber production are inaccessible to community-based SMFEs that might bring about greater sustainability and poverty reduction. Legislation still views community based natural resource management as a process of subservient partnership between external forest enterprises and community management committees. Despite these challenges, there are a wide range of Mozambican programmes spanning government, civil society and private sector initiatives that support SMFEs. This report argues that a more coordinated effort is urgently needed between these programmes to develop business skills and capacity among SMFEs. The report.

SHIFTING THE BALANCE: EQUITY AND SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION
(IIED, January 2009)
This report highlights that there is a growing recognition that transformation towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy means tackling consumption as well as production. Governments and businesses are beginning to make concerted, if uncoordinated, efforts to reduce energy and resource use. Rethinking consumption could, however, drive an even bigger wedge between rich and poor. Any new agenda for consumption needs to factor in equity as well as environmental benefit. The briefing.

BUILDING PUBLIC TRUST: TRANSNATIONALS IN THE COMMUNITY
(IIED, January 2009)
Big business and poor communities can make for an uneasy fit. Transnational corporations in the energy sector, have come under fire from civil society organizations for adverse impacts on local environment and livelihoods. With international pressure for a solution growing, a number of these corporations are working towards inbuilt accountability. The briefing.

TAKING CONTROL: HOW CITIZENS CAN HOLD INDUSTRY TO ACCOUNT
(IIED, January 2009)
The oil, gas and mining industries look set to remain major players in global development, despite urgent efforts to end the world’s fossil fuel dependency and diversify energy sources. The activities of the extractive industries often impinge directly, and sometimes harshly, on communities and the environment. But local people are rising to the challenge. The briefing.

MALAWI’S GREEN GOLD: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM FOREST ENTERPRISES IN REDUCING POVERTY
(IIED, December 2008)
This study surveys a SMFE sector in Malawi. It looks in detail at four promising subsectors: timber, cane furniture, tree fruit juices and woodcarving. It describes both the challenges and opportunities for the governance of forest services in regards to SMFE, and ways of organising SMFEs to better meet market demand while sustaining the resource.  The report.

FAIR DEALS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES IN SOUTH AFRICA
(IIED, December 2008)
This report reviews the potential of developing payments for catchment protection services in the upper Ga-Selati sub-catchment and the Sabie Sand catchment. The study indicates that there is most potential for developing a payment mechanism between the buyers and sellers of catchment protection services in Ga-Selati, where improving the transport and storage of water would be the most cost-effective intervention. Key lessons and conclusions arising from the process, baseline studies and analyses of this review are presented. The report.

DEVELOPING LEGAL TOOLS FOR CITIZEN EMPOWERMENT: INCREASING LOCAL PARTICIPATION AND BENEFIT IN MALI’S MINING SECTOR
(IIED, December 2008)
This study identifies legal tools that can be used by local people to better secure their land rights and to participate more effectively in investment decisions and benefits. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, and the opportunities and constraints associated with them. It also considers ways to increase their effectiveness, and identifies next steps for policy engagement and capacity building work. The report.

THE GOVERNANCE OF NATURE AND THE NATURE OF GOVERNANCE: POLICY THAT WORKS FOR BIODIVERSITY AND LIVELIHOODS
(IIED, November 2008)
This book examines the governance of biodiversity - how it is managed and how decisions about it are made - at local, national and international level. It reviews experience with community-based conservation, mainstreaming biodiversity, and the Biodiversity Convention process, and includes case studies from India, Peru and Tanzania. It also recommends ways to improve the governance of biodiversity to deliver more benefits to people and planet. The book.

From Conflict to Peacebuilding - The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment

(UNEP, 2009)

This report highlights that: without a focus on the environment and natural resources, intrastate conflicts are likely to escalate; post-conflict and peacebuilding plans and activities need to account for linkages with the environment and natural resources; and natural resources can contribute to peace. The report.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 – BREAKING IN AND MOVING UP: NEW INDUSTRIAL CHALLENGES FOR THE BOTTOM BILLION AND THE MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES
(UNIDO, February 2009)
The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has released its flagship publication, for which
Paul Collier, Oxford University, and John Page, Brookings Institution, served as the main authors. The report focuses on the opportunities and constraints faced by the countries of the “bottom billion,” which are trying to break into global markets for manufactured goods; and the middle-income countries, which are striving to move up to more sophisticated manufacturing. The report emphasizes that sustainable industrial development provides alternatives to lift the world’s bottom billion out of poverty living in low income countries and middle-income countries. The report.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOD CRISIS: THE ENVIRONMENT’S ROLE IN AVERTING FUTURE FOOD CRISES
(UNEP, 2009)
This report, which the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released during the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, provides an overview of how environmental stresses such as climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact food prices and world food security, and proposes a seven-point plan to reduce the risk of hunger and rising food insecurity in the 21st century. The Report (pdf or e-book).

CROP PROSPECTS AND FOOD SITUATION
(FAO, February 2009)
This first issue of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Crop Prospects and Food Situation report states that e
arly indications point to a reduction in global cereal output in 2009 from the 2008 record, because smaller plantings and adverse weather are expected to bring grain production down in most of the world's major producers. The report.

UNDERSTANDING FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ADAPTATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY: THE CASE OF THE LIMPOPO BASIN, SOUTH AFRICA
(IPPRI, 2009)
This brief, authored by Glwadys Aymone Gbetibouo, examines farmers’ perceptions of climate change and analyzes their adaptation responses. The brief recommends policy measures to facilitate adaptation, including access to affordable credit, investments in “smart” irrigation, and strengthening farm-level managerial capacity. The brief.

CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND MAIZE YIELD IN SOUTH AFRICA
(IPPRI, 2009)

This brief, authored by Wisdom Akpalu, Rashid M. Hassan and Claudia Ringler, explores direct impacts of climate variability on maize yields. The authors conclude that irrigation is a key factor in mitigating the impacts of decreased precipitation. The brief.

THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION ON FOOD PRODUCTION IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NILE BASIN, ETHIOPIA
(IPPRI, 2009)
This brief, authored by Mahmud Yesuf, Salvatore Di Falco, Temesgen Deressa, Claudia Ringler and Gunnar Kohlin, addresses the factors influencing adaptation and the implications of various adaptation strategies for farm productivity. The authors report that farmers’ decisions to adopt yield-enhancing adaptation strategies are influenced by, among other factors, available information on future climate change, seasonal rainfall, the agro-ecological setting, and several specific characteristics of households. They suggest improving farmers’ access to timely information about climate change, access to credit markets and farmer-to-farmer extension to encourage adoption of yield-related adaptation strategies. The brief.

GLOBAL CARBON MARKETS: ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA?
(IPPRI, 2009)

This brief, authored by Elizabeth Bryan, Wisdom Akpalu, Claudia Ringler and Mahmud Yesuf, examines Sub-Saharan Africa’s current involvement in carbon markets, potential for GHG emission reductions, constraints to further participation, and opportunities for expanding Sub-Saharan Africa’s market share. The authors argue that Clean Development Mechanism rules for determining baselines, monitoring carbon emissions and enforcing offsets should be simplified, and the range of eligible projects broadened to include avoided deforestation and soil carbon sequestration to facilitate the participation of Sub-Saharan African countries. The brief.

IMPROVING ACCESS TO LAND AND TENURE SECURITY 

(IFAD, December 2008)

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has issued this policy paper on improving access to land and tenure security. The policy aims to provide a conceptual framework for the relationship between land issues and rural poverty, acknowledging the complexity and dynamics of evolving rural realities; identify the major implications of that relationship for IFAD’s strategy and programme development and implementation; articulate guiding principles for mainstreaming land issues in the Fund’s main operational instruments and processes; and provide the framework for the subsequent development of operational guidelines and decision tools. The policy paper.

 

WORLD ECONOMIC SITUATION AND PROSPECTS 2009

(UN, January 2009)

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009, an annual publication by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, emphasizes that the world economy is mired in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The report notes that world gross product will slow down to 1.0 percent, a significant deceleration compared to 2.5 percent growth in 2008. The report details the measures undertaken by policy makers to deal with the crisis and emphasizes that world commodity prices will continue to depreciate. Previous editions of the report have warned about the risks of the economic depression. The report.

CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND MAIZE YIELD IN SOUTH AFRICA: RESULTS FROM GME AND MELE METHODS
(IFPRI, December 2008)

This paper, authored by Wisdom Akpalu, Rashid M. Hassan and Claudia Ringler, investigates the impact of climate variability on maize yield in the Limpopo Basin of South Africa using the Generalized Maximum Entropy (GME) estimator and Maximum Entropy Leuven Estimator (MELE). It finds that increased precipitation, increased temperature, and irrigation have a positive impact on yield. Furthermore, results of the MELE show that the impact of precipitation on maize yield is stronger than that of temperature, meaning that the impact of climate variability on maize yield could be negative if the change increases temperature but reduces precipitation at the same rate and simultaneously. Moreover, the impact of irrigation on yield is positive but with a lower elasticity coefficient than that of precipitation, which supposes that irrigation may only partially mitigate the impact of reduced precipitation on yield. The paper.

THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION ON FOOD PRODUCTION IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NILE BASIN, ETHIOPIA
(IFPRI, 2008)
This paper, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute and written by Mahmud Yesuf, Salvatore Di Falco, Claudia Ringler and Gunnar Kohlin, presents an empirical analysis of the impact of climate change on food production in a typical low-income developing country. It estimates the determinants of adaptation to climate change and the implications of these strategies on farm productivity. The analysis relies on primary data from 1,000 farms producing cereal crops in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. IFPRI found that climate change and climate change adaptations have significant impacts on farm productivity. Extension services (both formal and farmer to farmer), as well as access to credit and information on future climate changes, affect adaptation positively and significantly. Farm households with larger access to social capital are more likely to adopt yield-related adaptation strategies. The paper.

2008 TOP NEWS ON THE ENVIRONMENT IN ASIA
(IGES, December 2008)

IGES has released this provisional version of a compilation of important environmental news topics selected by experts from the Asia-Pacific region. The 2008 edition brings 114 articles from three international organizations and 21 countries. Key stories address climate change as the most urgent issue facing the world today, along with efforts related to waste management and environmental conservation. The report.

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIOENERGY ON NUTRITION
(FAO and IFPRI, 2008)
This paper examines the consequences of climate change and rising bioenergy demand for sustainable development, food security and nutrition throughout the lifecycle. It also explores the implications of climate change and rising bioenergy demand for nutrition and analyzes potential strategies for cultivation of bioenergy crops that can contribute to poverty reduction, food security and sustainable natural resource management. The authors note that efforts to assure food security and good nutrition in the face of current climate change challenges must continue in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The report.

 

THE ESCALATION IN WORLD FOOD PRICES AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CARIBBEAN

(ECLAC, November 2008)

This report, published by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), focuses on the dynamics of world food prices, the causes for increases and the effect of these increases on the Caribbean. The report.

THE STATE OF FOOD INSECURITY IN THE WORLD 2008: HIGH FOOD PRICES AND FOOD SECURITY � THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES
(FAO, December 2008)
This report, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), notes that another 40 million people have been pushed into hunger in 2008, primarily due to higher food prices. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of the world�s hungry live in Asia, and one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa are chronically hungry. The report.

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