Producing enough food for a rapidly growing population, and taking care of our planet are two of the world's biggest challenges.
Displaying 1-20 of 22 key documents
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
This document is one of the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Early Warning in 2006, held in Bonn, Germany. It presents a series of practical checklists that cover elements, actions and good practices to assist in developing, evaluating or refining early warning systems. It is presented as a non-technical reference tool rather than an extensive 'how-to' list for designing early warning systems. The document also provides background information on early warning, which includes an overview of four key themes (risk knowledge, monitoring and warning service, communication, response capability), as well as cross-cutting issues such as governance and involvement of local communities. It also outlines the roles of key actors (such as local governments and international bodies) within each theme,, without discussing any overlap of responsibilities and how they relate to the different elements of early warning systems.
Source: Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe | 2009
This publication discusses the importance of considering gender differences in the design, implementation and life-cycle of early warning systems, as part of a series of briefs aimed at practitioners. It introduces the terminology and concepts behind gender and early warning systems, illustrates how women are excluded from key elements of these systems, and briefly outlines steps towards integrating gender issues.
The publication acknowledges that although women are one of the major vulnerable groups affected by disasters, they are unrepresented in the coordination of early warning systems, while gender is still often ignored in efforts aimed at disaster preparedness. It also acknowledges that women do not just represent vulnerability, but provide opportunities for enhancing early warning systems through social ties and local knowledge.
Source: UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction, Kyoto University, European Union
This document aims to build awareness for indigenous knowledge as an effective tool for reducing risk from natural hazards including earthquakes, cyclones (typhoons) and droughts.
It presents a collection of 18 indigenous practices developed by communities in the Asia-Pacific region. These include earthquake-safe traditional house construction practices in Kashmir, soil and water conservation through bamboo plantation in Assam, and village tank cascade systems for drought mitigation in Sri Lanka.
The collection also provides an overview of the types of indigenous knowledge that can exist in the context of disaster preparedness and early warning, and how integration with scientific practices can lead to better outcomes.
Source: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) | June 2012
This report presents a new index, which could become an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index as a means of assessing a country's economic development. The Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) measures nations' wealth by taking into account natural resources and ecological conditions, and a long-term view on wellbeing and sustainability.
The IWI was applied to 20 countries — representing over half the world's population and three quarters of global GDP — revealing changes in inclusive wealth between 1990 and 2008. The report found that an accurate representation of development depends on accounting for factors such as population change, the effect of global variables, and the price of natural or social capital. It recommends that governments integrate the IWI into planning, development and economic policies; protect their natural capital; and establish research initiatives to help evaluate natural capital components.
The report will be published every two years, offering policymakers practical frameworks and encouraging more holistic approaches to economic development assessments.
Source: World Agroforestry Centre | June 2012
This book compiles the findings of over a decade of ecoregional research and methodological innovation by the Africa Highlands Initiative, drawing on case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. It describes the experiences of stakeholders involved in integrated natural resource management (INRM) activities in the eastern Africa highlands.
The book showcases innovative tools and practical methods for putting INRM into action, and tangible results from these efforts in five countries. It shows the importance of an integrated approach to managing agro-ecosystems, and includes lessons learned on what works, where and why. It also shows that achieving sustainable agricultural development in the region is a complex task, and requires combined efforts and commitment by individuals and institutions with complementary roles.
Source: Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) | September 2007
This technical report presents a tool designed to help understand the consequences of climate change on the coastal zone systems of the Asia Pacific regions, and examine long-term adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The tool comprises three components: a model of hydrological and biogeochemical processes, an impact assessment tool and a multi-criteria decision-making tool. It focuses on flooding, nutrients, salinity and sedimentation in the coastal areas of Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The report presents the methodology used to develop the tool, results of case studies conducted using the tool, and key findings. It highlights that different countries prioritise flooding issues and adaptation measures differently. The case studies are ongoing, and are due to be expanded to other parts of Asia Pacific and to include other issues such as groundwater.
Source: Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) | November 2011
This book assesses the vulnerability of fisheries and aquacultures in the Pacific in light of predicted climate change and variability. It examines how climate change could affect the region's plans to maximise socioeconomic benefits from this sector, which is already facing challenges related to population growth. It also offers recommendations — adaptations, policies and investments — on ways to protect these sectors.
The book describes the approach taken to conduct a vulnerability assessment and how the results can be used to help Pacific communities adapt. It provides practical guidance for learning about coastal and oceanic fisheries activities across the Pacific, and the ecosystems that support these industries. It stresses that sustainable use of fisheries is vital to the survival of communities in this region, and that this will only become possible with improved knowledge and information that can be factored into decision-making for sustainable development.
Source: Tropenbos International | January 2012
This guide aims to help researchers working in tropical rainforests consider ethical issues in field-data collection and publication activities that involve indigenous or local knowledge.
Several cases of bio-piracy and an increasing focus on the rights of indigenous peoples mean that researchers are often called on to follow rules and regulations.
The guide is broken down into chapters that discuss the importance of creating a code of conduct, provide an overview of existing codes of conduct and international policy guidelines, and address issues related to informed consent. It also presents a protocol that can be adapted to the needs of researchers in various countries.
Source: The World Bank | May 2011
This sourcebook provides an overview of current and upcoming information and communications technology (ICT) for agricultural innovation, and discusses their potential to improve productivity, services institutions and value chains. It aims to provide both technical and policy guidance to development professionals and decision makers, and focuses on how ICT can support poor smallholder farmers including female farmers.
The guide includes fourteen modules on various aspects of ICTs in agriculture, including how to use the technologies to boost livestock, crop and fishery production; increase smallholder farmers' access to financial services; and improve rural governance. Each module provides information about current trends in ICT use, identifies challenges and lessons learned, notes how technologies have been used to achieve specific goals, and offers examples of successes or failures. The report describes the contributions these technologies can make, provides guidance on how to design and implement ICTs and on how to evaluate them.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | November 2011
This report provides guidance on improving forest health practices by explaining the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), and assisting policymakers, planners and managers — particularly in developing countries — to apply these standards. This advice aims to help prevent the spread of insects, pathogens and other non-indigenous pests as a result of growing global trade and the exploitation of new market opportunities.
The guide includes information on how the ISPMs and regulations put in place by national plant protection organisations (NPPO) affect the import and export of forest commodities; how management approaches can help people reduce the risks of spreading pests in the forest; and how ISPMs can be used to prevent the spread of forest pests. It suggests that forest sector personnel and NPPOs need to work more closely to develop and implement ISPMs, and help preserve forest health.
Source: Center for Global Development | September 2011
This report presents findings from the first randomised evaluation of a cash transfer programme delivered using mobile phones. The study investigated the effect of mobile phone technology on monthly cash transfers to households in Niger that were affected by a severe drought.
Villages that received cash in this way, known as 'zap', saw benefits such as reduced costs of receiving cash, more diverse purchases and diets, and more types of crops. This, suggest the authors, is down to the zap mechanism encouraging different decision-making in the household, as well as due to lower costs and greater privacy.
They conclude that mobile transfers are a cost-effective way of transferring cash to remote rural populations, especially those with limited road and financial infrastructure, but caution that more research is needed on broader effects on the welfare of these populations.
Source: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
This safety guide, published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is designed to help countries prepare plans to improve their capacity to respond to nuclear or radiological emergencies whether as a result of an accident or malicious use of nuclear material. The guide can also be used to meet IAEA's safety requirements.
It outlines generic and operational criteria, according to specific radiation doses, to help policymakers decide between different courses of action to protect the public, emergency workers and the environment. It includes guidelines for assessing food and water contamination, and subsequent remediation measures, as well as on how to set safety perimeters around an incident depending on initial observations at the scene. The guide also outlines lessons learned from past experiences.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) | March 2011
This policy guide, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, lays out the key requirements for developing effective and efficient smallholder seed enterprises, and how the process can be supported through policy. It argues that the best way to ensure production and distribution of quality seed in developing countries may be to support smallholder seed enterprises, but this approach can only succeed if the right policies and capacities are in place.
The report gives an overview of each stage of the evolution of the seed sector and possible interventions, as well as priority activities for policy support at each stage. These may include national policies to encourage linkages between research, quality control and financial systems that can support local smallholders in taking over seed production from the public sector. It outlines specific requirements for the establishment and sustainable operation of smallholder seed enterprises.
This guide aims to outline key actions and considerations towards developing a successful and sustainable forest carbon project that produces emissions reductions marketable under the most widely used carbon standards. It complements existing guidance by drawing on specific tools and resources already available to project developers, and indicating where specialised advice might be necessary.
The document provides guidance on how forest carbon project developers can navigate the challenges involved in complying with standards of analysing and documenting carbon benefits; working through legal, business, and community relationships; and carrying out forest and land management activities.
It includes a comprehensive discussion around technical aspects of quantifying carbon benefits using rigorous methodologies detailed in a Project Design Document, as well as subsequent steps needed to independently validate and verify these benefits so that certified carbon credits can be issued.
Source: South Pole Carbon Asset Management Ltd | November 2010
This handbook documents implementation issues and pitfalls to be avoided by developers of a Programme of Activities (PoA) — a tool designed to capture emission reductions associated with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows emission-reduction credits earned by developing countries to be traded and sold under the Kyoto Protocol.
PoAs aim to reduce the transaction costs of the CDM and help adapt it to small-scale activities. But progress in adopting the tool has been slow. This is mainly because running and operating PoAs differs from managing CDM activities, and carries additional requirements, says the report. Unclear and constantly changing operational rules is another factor.
The handbook provides guidance for those working on PoAs, including an overview of the tool, models of how it can be structured, managed and operated, as well as information on costs and registration details. It also gives information about new market opportunities, and management and issues associated with PoAs.
Source: World Bank | April 2009
This sourcebook provides guidance to managers involved in the design of projects that follow the World Bank's forest strategy, and draws on past experiences to highlight innovative strategies for implementing them. The first section addresses a range of topics including how forests can be managed to enhance their contribution to poverty reduction; engage the private sector; meet the growing demand for forest products; and improve forest governance. For each topic, the document gives a general overview of fundamental issues, constraints, policies, and institutional requirements that need to be considered, and includes a discussion of past World Bank activities. It also outlines future priorities for scaling up activities, and lists of key sources of information. The second section introduces the World Bank's Forests Policy and provides guidance for implementing safeguards, including how to use environmental assessment to identify critical forests and natural habitats.
Source: IFPRI | April 2011
This technical guide describes the Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS), a mechanism developed to address gaps in the capacity of many African countries to translate scientific evidence into agricultural and development policies. The SAKSS concept brings together "strategic analysis", an integrated framework used to identify strategies for attaining development goals, and "knowledge support systems", a network that supplies the evidence needed to formulate and implement these strategies.
The guide is aimed at policy analysts and researchers helping to set up SAKSSs in Sub-Saharan African countries, as well as governments and development partners looking for this type of knowledge support system. The first part gives an overview of SAKSS, including its objectives and underlying principles. The second part gives practical guidance on setting up a country SAKSS, followed by examples of existing applications and a list of resources.
Source: FIELD | December 2010
This guide aims to help developing country negotiators and others who are working on REDD-plus — a programme of activities that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, which includes a role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and increasing forest carbon stocks. It provides tips for negotiators such as how to make effective statements in a meeting and review written proposals, outlines the formal rules for negotiations, and provides useful glossaries.
The guide, written by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, includes related documents such as the Bali Action Plan and The Copenhagen Accord. It states that negotiations over activities that aim to reduce emissions while protecting forests are difficult because REDD-plus is a complex concept not yet clearly defined, whose components may have implications that need to be considered separately and in how they relate to each other or to future decisions.
Source: UNDP | November 2010
This report provides guidance to developers of forest carbon projects. It outlines the requirements for analysing and documenting carbon benefits, as well as legal, business, and community relations issues. The document also includes a guide to creating carbon benefits through reforestation, forest and land management activities.
It proposes steps for projects aiming to produce marketable emissions reductions under the most widely utilised carbon standards: the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Clean Development Mechanism, and, as co-certification to verify additional benefits, the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
The report states that although the future of projects in REDD+ forest-protection schemes is unclear, the approaches currently used will continue to be relevant to afforestation and reforestation activities that aim to generate and quantify carbon benefits effectively.
Source: Convention on Biological Diversity | December 2009
This guide explores the links between drinking water, biodiversity and development to alleviate poverty. It highlights the best technologies and procedures available for managing drinking water in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. It also provides a list of resources for more detailed information.