Displaying 1-20 of 42 key documents
Source: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme | July 2012
This collection of papers was presented at a conference on linkages between climate change, water, conflict and migration, held in September 2011 at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the discussion focused on: capacity building and resilience in climate hotspots; conflict prevention; and a legal framework to protect environmental migrants.
The publication includes a conference summary and a background document providing an overview of how climate change, water stress and environmental problems are increasingly seen as major threats to human security. Also included are papers that explore connections between these issues from the perspective of vulnerability; put forward a research and capacity-building agenda for climate-induced migrations; and review current literature, evidence and implications for policymaking on the environment, climate change and human displacement.
Source: SustainUS | June 2012
This guide provides an overview of water-related topics up for discussion at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). It aims to introduce the Rio+20 process and facilitate relevant stakeholder participation.
It gives an overview of global water commitments, emerging issues related to water resources such as sound management and sustainable urban development, and an outline of where water features in the draft document prepared for the summit. It concludes with policy recommendations which include national strategies that recognise the human right to water, and the establishment of gender indicators that strengthen women's participation in governance. The authors say that a strong unified front from the water community is required to ensure a positive result from the agreements made at Rio+20.
Source: ICRISAT | January 2012
This paper looks at how climate change could affect the rate of phenological development — biological events related to climate, such as flowering — and rainfall patterns during the growing season. The authors suggest that these changes may result in mismatch between water demand by crops and water availability from rainfall.
The paper describes a project that combines a new analysis of meteorological data with previously published data on climatic changes to assess the expected consequences of this mismatch for food security.
The authors illustrate how understanding how key crops might be affected by climate change in the Asia-Pacific region can help farmers, community workers and policymakers to prepare and adapt. Strategies include timing of planting, managing rainwater resources, use of new varieties, alternate crops and shifts in geographic distribution of crops.
Source: UN University | April 2012
This online book aims to offer insight into development issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples that can be useful in policymaking. It provides an overview of more than 400 relevant projects, case studies and research activities.
Different sections cover climate and environmental changes, including local observations, and the impact of these changes on indigenous communities. The book also outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies — based on traditional knowledge and survival skills — that are being implemented by them.
The authors highlight that climate change effects reported by indigenous people include loss of livelihoods; land degradation; impacts on food security; health issues; and water shortages that can affect agriculture, infrastructure, forestry and energy amongst others areas.
Source: EDF and the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) | May 2012
This publication presents case studies that illustrate the strong links and inter-dependencies between water, food and energy, from the perspective of a range of organisations worldwide. It was produced to inform discussions of the High-Level Panel on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus, held during the 6th World Water Forum 2012. The forum highlighted the need to integrate strategies on water, food and energy and increase resource productivity, as well as improve grassroots participation for sustainable development.
Case studies presented in the report addressed policy processes for ensuring water, food and energy security in African countries, issues associate with management of the Machángara River Basin in South America, drip irrigation in India, dam building in South-East Asia, and irrigation and hydropower in Asia.
Each case study outlines the background and how the case relates to the nexus between water, food and energy; objectives and a summary of actions taken; and results including lessons learnt.
Source: UNESCO | March 2012
The report provides a global overview of water resources and their importance for development. It also outlines how major global changes, risks and uncertainties interact with water resources.
The report aims to encourage all stakeholders including water managers, government, civil society and businesses to engage early in decision-making about managing water to ensure successful implementation.
It consists of three volumes covering issues around managing water under uncertainty and risk; the state of knowledge about water; and facing the challenge of coping with pressures on resources. The chapters cover a range of issues including water management; regional differences and demands; and approaches for managing water under changing conditions. The report highlights the need for political, social, economic and technical changes to promote more responsible action by water users.
Source: Global Environment Facility (GEF) | March 2012
This report gives an overview of how water resources can be protected and used efficiently based on the work of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It provides examples of how the work has encouraged cooperation across sectors and national borders. Case studies cover topics including pollution control, sustainable use of water for food security, and energy security through water management.
The authors conclude with a description of initiatives that aim to improve public health through wastewater management and ecological sanitation. They suggest that cooperation towards a shared goal is needed to sustain the benefits of water systems. The report is available in English, French and Spanish.
Source: Ramsar Convention and the WHO | March 2012
The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.
The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.
The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report describes trends in the use of key resources such as water, food and biodiversity in Asia and the Pacific, and what this means for economies. It was produced by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank and the UN Environment Programme.
The report highlights how policy has changed over the past few years, driven by rising demand for resources and by climate change, and presents data on patterns of resource-intensive growth in the region. It outlines key policy actions for sustainable economic growth; and recommends strategies to improve the resilience of societies and economies, including changes in governance. The final section highlights the report's implications for the two themes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | December 2011
This report examines the challenges of managing water resources for agricultural use — specifically in the context of food production — in the face of a changing climate. It provides an overview of climate change impacts in different parts of the world, details options for adaptation and mitigation, and offers practical recommendations on how developing countries can cope with these impacts.
The report outlines methods to assess impacts on water and agriculture, and stresses that water and agricultural policies must be more closely aligned. It concludes with suggestions for action to help countries in carrying out such assessments and adapting agricultural water management. These include using methods such as decision analysis to improve predictions; developing and applying downscaling techniques to build capacity for better analyses and climate adaptation; and coordinating analyses of the level of investment required for different solutions.
Source: Food Security (2011) | April 2011
This journal article investigates the significance of drought and other water-related constraints in South Asia compared with other limitations to the production of four major food crops — wheat, rice, sorghum and chickpea — in five South Asian farming systems.
The study was based on a survey of 330 'expert informants'. It indicates that water shortages and constraints such as high-cost irrigation or flooding of low-lying fields contribute to no more than 30 per cent of current yield gaps in major food crops. Other constraints contribute the most to yield losses, particularly soil infertility and poor management of fertiliser, weeds, pests and diseases. The respondents suggested interventions to address these constraints and improve food security, which include biotechnology and improvements in soil fertility.
Source: The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRU) | September 2011
This report presents 17 case studies of good practice in coastal management across island territories of the Asia-Pacific region. These illustrate examples of locally tailored, evidence-based and cost-effective actions at a local, provincial, national and regional level.
For each case study — including efforts in the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Solomon Islands — the report provides background information, intended outcomes and how they were addressed, what was achieved and lessons learned.
The report concludes that communities in the region can make progress with integrated coastal management to deal with primarily land-based threats facing coastal areas. It highlights the importance of enhancing the role of government and strengthening enabling environments; multi-sector partnerships; scaling-up small initiatives and achieving cost effectiveness; and providing information through education, awareness, monitoring or research.
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: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | September 2011
This report presents two case-studies that illustrate problems arising from subsidising fertiliser and electricity for groundwater irrigation in India — a policy put in place in the 1960s to boost food production and food security. It aims to analyse why subsequent reforms of these policies have done little to resolve economic and environmental problems; identify reforms that could prove successful; and outline political processes that could help achieve them.
Using India's experience, it highlights political challenges of using subsidy policies that could also be relevant to other countries.
This analysis is based on a literature review and interviews with stakeholders. The report also presents the conceptual framework, and gives an overview of fertiliser policy in India: how it has evolved, the stakeholders involved in the political process, and the policy implications of subsidy reform. Case-studies of electricity supply in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab are used to demonstrate policy reform feasibility.
The report concludes that for both electricity supply and fertiliser policies, various reforms could be adopted that are unlikely to face significant political obstacles. It argues that experimental and research-based knowledge could be used more effectively.
Source: EastWest Institute | May 2011
This report aims at encouraging increased trans-boundary cooperation in water resource management in Afghanistan and Central Asia, through a bottom-up, basin-based approach that adheres to the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
The largest river in the region, Amu Darya, is crucial for the 43 million people who live in the Aral Sea Basin — but river flow and water availability are becoming increasingly unreliable because of the impact of climate change and inefficient water management. This is a security threat heightened by an expected 50 per cent increase in the region's population by 2025, says the report.
It calls for countries that rely on the Amu Darya — Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — to follow the IWRM approach to balancing competing demands for water, build trust and share practices at the local level by training experts from different countries in joint forums, and avoid multilateral agreements that involve management mechanisms too broad to be effective.
Source: Society for Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA) | November 2010
This report gives background information on current applications of nanotechnology for providing clean drinking water. It includes both technologies still being developed in the laboratory and those that have reached the market.
New water filters and purification systems are now being designed with nanomaterials including carbon nanofiltration membranes, and nanocatalysts such as iron and silver. Such technologies could help countries in the developing world cope with the pressures of a growing population and stressed water services.
The review features research into water nanotechnologies from around the world, with special attention to those developed and marketed in India's water sector. It points to key challenges that may hinder their impact in providing clean drinking water to the poor, and identifies technologies that could be further researched and developed.
Source: UN Environment Programme | March 2010
This report synthesises data and published studies into water quality problems and potential solutions, highlighting successful attempts to prevent pollution, treat contaminated water, and protect ecosystems.
It gives an overview of major water contaminants, such as nutrients and trace metals, and describes human activities that affect water quality, including agriculture, industry and population growth. Additional sections outline the environmental, health and economic impacts of poor water quality.
Case studies from Europe, Latin America and South Asia are used to discuss ways of improving water quality. These are followed up by key recommendations for the international community, governments, communities and households.
They include using technologies for pollution prevention and wastewater treatment; strengthening legal guidelines for pollution prevention; ensuring that good data are available and monitoring is ongoing; and building capacity for effective interventions.
Source: Pacific Institute and Ceres
This report, commissioned from the Pacific Institute by nongovernmental organisation Ceres, identifies and discusses the water-related risks in water intensive industries such as energy, mining, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. The authors discuss what companies can do to better evaluate and manage water risk and provide advice for potential investors.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report from the IPCC, provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the current knowledge and understanding of climate change. The report includes four separate documents that cover the physical science basis for climate change, projected impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of different populations, mitigation strategies, and a synthesis report for policymakers.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This technical paper from the IPCC provides a comprehensive overview of the impacts of climate change on water resources, including a summary of the links between climate and water resources, projected changes in the availability and accessibility of water, potential mitigation and adaptation strategies, implications for policy and gaps in our current knowledge.