Displaying 1-20 of 33 key documents
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
Source: International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2011
This report, published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) outlines how technology transfer, climate change, and human rights-based approaches explicitly come together. It focuses on how human rights-based approaches to technology transfer bear on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Twenty years' after the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, technology transfer is still a contentious term and an unclear goal for policy. The report aims to address this by examining the human rights issues that emerge — at both the theoretical and political level — in relation to technology transfer. It also examines how technology transfer can be used to secure basic human rights and set rights-based standards that can improve the living conditions of those most vulnerable to climate change.
The report suggests that human rights can provide a platform for agreement that can inform technology policy and help move it forward by prioritising needs and objectives. It concludes with relevant recommendations for governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies.
This report presents the results of a study of six African agricultural carbon projects and identifies institutional innovations — such as financial management and carbon monitoring systems — that have helped make them successful. It also puts forward emerging research questions and discusses the future of the project.
The study found that direct carbon payments to farmers were low, but non-cash benefits were received after careful management. The projects successfully established systems for financial management, agricultural extension, and carbon monitoring, using a complex set of partnerships. They also found that mechanisms for settling conflict over land and benefits were crucial, as were methods for managing power dynamics to ensure equitable decision-making and participation.
Source: DFID | July 2012
This report presents the results of a project that aimed to harmonise approaches to the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of climate change adaptation in Africa. The project also aimed to test ways of improving training materials on selected methodologies, and to develop a strategy for outreach. It was implemented by a core group of representatives from regional and sub-regional organisations, climate change adaptation initiatives and funding agencies.
The authors conclude that the project successfully facilitated an increased understanding of M&E practices, methods and tools in the context of climate change adaptation, and encouraged improvements to stakeholder organisations. The report recommends that the resulting M&E toolkit should be disseminated in Africa.
Source: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) | July 2012
These country fact sheets aim to provide updated information on the status of national climate policy and market mechanisms — including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), greenhouse gas emissions, and nationally appropriate mitigation actions — in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The goal is to provide countries with guidance on how to make progress towards low-carbon development.
Each report includes an overview of national climate change risks and policy responses for adaptation and mitigation. It outlines recent policy actions and activities, as well as the structure of designated national authorities, the approval process for CDM projects, and information on climate mitigation options and mechanisms. All reports are available in English, and the reports from Indonesia and Malaysia are also available in their national languages.
Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | June 2012
This report examines how refugees and displaced people from several countries in the East and Horn of Africa have perceived, experienced and responded to climatic variability and the negative impacts of climate change. Through interviews and focus groups, and supported by a literature review, the report assesses how people manage the impact of climate change and environmental stress, how these factors affect livelihoods and vulnerability, and to what extent they influence people's decisions to move from their homes.
Key findings include that climate change had negatively impacted farming and livestock husbandry, and triggered conflict by further exacerbating existing resource scarcity. However, people tended to employ a wide range of adaptive strategies, only moving home as a last resort. The report also states that migration was often viewed as temporary, and very rarely occurred across national borders. It concludes that political conditions, civil disorder and state oppression inhibited people's coping strategies.
Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization | June 2012
This report argues that more sustainable use of forestry resources can help reduce poverty and hunger, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and create more sustainable sources of bio-products and bio-energy. It was released at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where many of these challenges were discussed.
The report highlights that 350 million of the world's poorest people depend on forests for survival, and that investing in wood-based enterprises creates jobs and improves livelihoods. It argues that when sourced sustainably, wood products can store carbon and be easily recycled, and highlights that sustainable forestry offers a renewable, alternative source of energy. It says that more resources need to be invested in creating small and medium forest-based enterprises that benefit local communities.
The report concludes that promoting a sustainable forest-based industry can both improve local economies and meet sustainability goals. But this will require policies, programmes and incentives.
Source: UNESCO and UNU | June 2012
This report highlights scientific literature relating to the contribution of indigenous and traditional knowledge to understanding climate change vulnerability, resilience and adaptation. It aims to strengthen consideration of indigenous knowledge in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due for release in 2014.
The report, written for climate policymakers, includes topic overviews that include the identification of indigenous communities, understanding climate risks, vulnerabilities and adaptation, and the role of traditional knowledge in analysing vulnerability. It includes chapters on indigenous knowledge and science, and challenges in correlating indigenous and scientific observations.
Its authors note that despite the recognition of traditional knowledge as a vital tool for developing adaptation strategies, indigenous knowledge has remained largely outside the scope of IPCC assessments. Yet indigenous knowledge, practices and coping strategies can reinforce the adaptive capacity and resilience of communities. They warn that policies that undermine this capacity should be avoided.
Source: Forest and Climate Change Programme of FAO | May 2012
This report presents the results of the survey of forest stakeholders, soliciting their views, opinions and observations on issues that influence the ability of forest managers to respond to climate change. It is aimed at forest managers, policymakers, researchers, communications specialists and those interested in forests and climate change.
The survey was conducted to develop guidelines to help forest managers respond effectively to climate change challenges through actions consistent with sustainable forest management. Survey questions covered a range of areas including climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation measures, laws and regulations, and relevance of existing guidelines. The respondents indicated how much support they receive, and how much they need, in order to implement adaptation and mitigation measures. A complete set of the results are available on the FAO Forests and Climate Change Programme website.
Source: Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change (CSACC) | March 2012
This report lays out a set of policy recommendations for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and reduction of food waste to create a resilient global food system. Based on a review of scientific evidence, it pinpoints seven actions that policymakers — including those attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) — should adopt to foster sustainable agriculture and efficient food supply chains.
Recommendations include integrating food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;
intensifying agricultural production while reducing negative environmental impacts; and creating comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems.
This policy roadmap will require the reshaping of food production, distribution and consumption patterns, and empowering vulnerable populations to build a sustainable global food system.
Source: World Resources Institute
This report provides an overview of the National Adaptive Capacity (NAC) framework to help governments incorporate institutional capacity development into planning for climate change adaptation.
The report introduces the framework, which is a tool that can be used to systematically assess institutional strengths and weaknesses relevant to adaptation, support planning through the identification of specific gaps in capacity that can be filled through investment and action.
It helps to evaluate national institutions' performance of five key functions, including: assessment, prioritisation, coordination, information management, and climate risk management. These functions are considered indicators of a country's adaptive capacity.
The report also describes three pilot assessments conducted using NAC in Bolivia, Ireland, and Nepal, noting that the countries used the framework in different ways, suggesting that the tool can be adapted to different process of planning and evaluation.
Source: UNESCO/IOC | November 2011
This report, produced by several UN agencies and programmes, presents tangible recommendations to prioritise and improve the management of the ocean ahead of the Rio+20 conference in June. It aims to provide context for discussions to take place at the conference, and to ensure that ocean and coastal management strategies are incorporated in the new sustainable development approaches that will emerge from Rio+20.
They include plans to mitigate and adapt to ocean acidification; create a 'blue carbon' market for carbon dioxide captured in the ocean; establish institutional mechanisms for protecting habitats and biodiversity not covered by national regulations; adopt a plan to help small island developing states transition towards a green economy; and improve the governance of ocean resources.
The report suggests that there is a strong case for the UN to lead by encouraging improved dialogue, coordination and cooperation among UN agencies, funds and programmes. This could lead to a proposal for a new mechanism for ocean coordination to be put forward at Rio+20.
Source: European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA) | November 2011
This report explains how acidification, warming and de-oxygenation are affecting the oceans, and encourages policymakers to mitigate these stressors and prepare appropriate policy statements ahead of Rio+20. It was written with the aim of raising awareness of ocean issues at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa.
The report provides definitions of ocean acidification, warming and de-oxygenation. It includes a guide to ocean impacts predicted to occur this century unless greenhouse gas emissions are substantially reduced, and how these impacts will, in turn, affect the climate via feedback mechanisms. It also outlines recommendations for mitigation, adaptation and research to improve understanding of these stressors.
Source: Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) | November 2010
This report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of marine biodiversity and responses to environmental threats in islands in the central and western Pacific Ocean. This includes a description of known ocean characteristics in the region and a summary of country-specific climate change adaptation strategies.
It provides a comprehensive account of environmental statistics and outlines threats to the marine environment in individual island countries, including potential (and perceived) impacts from environmental change (including climate change); habitat loss; invasive species; fishing pressure; sedimentation and increased nutrients from land-use activities.
The report highlights the lack of ocean science data, which makes development of mitigation strategies difficult, and states that improved data as well as human, technical and financial capacity are urgently needed to improve mitigation strategies.
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: Climate Change Adaptation and Development Initiative (CC DARE), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
This paper suggests that research-based, small-scale interventions that help farming systems adapt to climate change can guide progress towards achieving food security and addressing the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.
It outlines lessons learnt from the Climate Change Adaptation and Development Programme jointly implemented by the UN Environment Programme and the UN Development Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors argue for a shift away from top-down, corporate approaches to agricultural research and practice, in favour of a democratic approach that involves giving more decision-making power to local people, including farmers and indigenous people. Small-scale initiatives reduce tillage, protect the soil surface and alternate cereal crops with legumes that enrich the soil.
The paper suggests that communicating food security solutions to the public can help balance vested interests and level the field in favour of small producers. Managed effectively, the current drought in the Horn of Africa offers a window of opportunity to re-establish food security as a global priority.
Source: AdaptAfrica | June 2011
This report documents the proceedings of the AfricaAdapt 2011 Climate Change Symposium that include research, experiences and knowledge about how to coordinate efforts to address climate change in Africa in anticipation of negotiations at COP-17 to be held in Durban, South Africa.
It includes summaries of and links to presentations, experience notes and comments offered by participants, as well as photos, videos and reports from the symposium's interactive plenary sessions. The topics covered include community-led responses to climate change and the role of media in translating and sharing information about climate change.
The report highlights ten overarching conclusions and lessons learned from the research presented. These include the need for improved research into indigenous knowledge and deeper links between adaptation, mitigation and low-carbon development; creating more African forums for knowledge sharing; and strengthening the availability of non-Anglophone researchers and practitioners.
AfricaAdapt is a network dedicated to promoting and facilitating the sharing of knowledge on climate change adaptation in Africa.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institution | June 2011
This report aims to identify strategies that the agricultural sector can adopt to mitigate and adapt to climate change, ensure food security, and improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder producers.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for poor people in developing countries, and improving agricultural productivity is key to achieving food security and meeting most targets set as part of the Millennium Development Goals. In Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is adding to existing development challenges, making it essential that mitigation, adaptation and rural development strategies are developed together.
By focusing on the example of smallholder farmers in Kenya, the authors suggest "triple win" agricultural practices that promise the greatest payoff in terms of increased resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change mitigation, adaptation, productivity and profitability. They include irrigation, soil and water conservation, integrated soil fertility management and improved livestock feeding.
Source: ActionAid | 2010
This report outlines the local, practical experiences and lessons learned from the action research project Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR). The goal of the project was to help local people analyse their own vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and work collaboratively to explore better adaptation practices.
It ran from 2008 to 2010 in three areas of rural Bangladesh where natural hazards occur frequently: Sirajganj on the Jamuna River, which is vulnerable to floods; Naogaon in the north-west, vulnerable to drought; and Patuakhali on the coast, which is vulnerable to cyclones, sea-level rise and salinity intrusion.
The report includes an analysis of the strengths and weakness of activities that mobilise local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It concludes with several recommendations for future policy and implementation, and highlights that local people are best placed to understand changes in their environment.
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.