Displaying 1-20 of 72 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.
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: 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: OECD-FAO | June 2012
This is the eighteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, which outlines projected market trends (from 2012 to 2021) for major agricultural commodities and biofuels, and presents recent developments and uncertainties associated with those markets. It focuses on the challenges of meeting the rising demand for food alongside input costs, resource constraints, environmental pressures and the impacts of climate change.
The report finds that world prices for many agricultural crops are expected to remain high over the long-term, in spite of a short-term decline. It highlights progress in improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, and calls for the private sector to take a leading role in creating the right environment.
The report concludes by arguing for better agronomic practices and commercial, technical and regulatory environments, and strengthening agricultural innovation systems, as essential policy challenges. It calls for developing countries to invest in agricultural infrastructure in rural areas and in human capital, and to put in place policies for reducing food loss and waste.
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: 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: 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: 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: Food and Agriculture Organization | March 2012
This report provides a visual overview of the trends and factors shaping global food and agricultural systems, including their interactions with broader environmental and socioeconomic concerns. It presents a selection of indicators on food and agriculture by country, aiming to be a reference point for policymakers, donor agencies, researchers, analysts and the public. These indicators are based on the FAOSTAT statistical database, which includes survey data submitted by countries, supplemented by national data.
Four sections cover provide an exhaustive overview of key themes: the state of agricultural resources, including pressures from demographic and macroeconomic change; food insecurity and malnutrition; the role of trade in meeting demands for food and feed; and the sustainability of agriculture in the context climate change and the need to provide ecosystem services.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) | March 2012
This report gives an overview of climate change impacts on forests as part of a process to prepare management guidelines, based on a review of the literature and a survey of forest managers. It reviews how changes such as temperature alterations and availability of water might impact growth changes, wildfires, pests and diseases. The authors identify what is needed to create an environment that would support forest managers' efforts in mitigation and adaptation.
The document concludes that, although some forest managers are already taking measures to combat climate change, there is a lack of proper monitoring to assess their effectiveness, efficiency and impacts. It highlights that these measures are designed in response to perceived risks rather than incentive schemes such as certification. And it provides a number of recommendations for forest managers to better prepare for climate change.
Source: AMCEN Secretariat | November 2011
This guidebook translates current knowledge on climate change and international climate policies into practical options for mitigation and adaptation in Africa, outlining the links with sustainable development. It is aimed at policymakers, decision-makers and other interested practitioners such as environment and climate change negotiators.
The guide focuses on potential climate change impacts on key sectors in Africa, such as small-scale farming. It highlights tools, methodologies and literature available to help countries assess mitigation and adaptation needs.
The authors outline the governance, technological, financial and capacity-building opportunities to take action on climate change, and how they can benefit development. The guidebook also includes sources of financing, and case studies on mitigation and adaptation, including rainwater harvesting, coastal zone adaptation, fisheries and restoration of degraded lands.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report, which is part of the UN Foresight Initiative, describes the 21 most pressing emerging global environmental issues — those recognised as very important to well-being by the scientific community, but are not yet receiving enough attention from the policymakers. These cover a range of themes, from food security to biodiversity, energy and technology.
One of the most important cross-cutting issues identified in the report is the need to rethink international environmental governance. Other areas in need of improvement include the science–policy interface, and coping with incremental damage to the environment.
Improving food security in light of changing climate is also high on the list of priorities, with the report suggesting a need for more comprehensive early warning systems, support for smallholder farmers, efforts to reduce food waste and increasing agricultural efficiency. Other issues highlighted include managing the impacts of glacial retreat; improving ocean governance; accelerating the implementation of renewable energy systems; and considering the environmental implications of nuclear reactor decommissioning.
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: 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 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: 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: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands | June 2011
This technical report examines methods for assessing the vulnerability of wetlands — particularly in the context of climate change — as part of a broader set of methodologies for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring. It gives an overview of available approaches to assessing vulnerability, including the frameworks available to incorporate climate change risks into development planning and projects.
The report identifies challenges and information gaps that have emerged from vulnerability assessments, including "multiple vulnerabilities" a lack of reliable data or long-term monitoring, and differing perceptions of the need to address wetland vulnerability. It concludes that to provide the information needed for sound management vulnerability assessments will need a better understanding of the complexity of interactive pressures that affect wetlands, such as land use and pollution; to develop appropriate metrics to assess vulnerability to multiple pressures; and to bolster data on the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of wetlands.