Displaying 1-20 of 61 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: IISD | June 2012
This paper gives an overview of the financing needs of smallholder farmers, their current sources of financing, and ways to deliver these funds to help them achieve the triple dividends of enhanced food security, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. It offers recommendations for mobilising investment to enable further progress towards this goal.
The authors argue that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, and suggest that adaptation funds and the private sector could be a source of additional support, in the absence of public sector financing for agriculture or a carbon market for smallholders. They conclude with recommendations for policymakers, such as building on prior experience and knowledge, and creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agricultural investment.
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: UNFCCC | June 2012
This report provides a summary of key financing and support opportunities — excluding multilateral and domestic sources — available to Climate Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Africa and other underrepresented regions. Funding sources covered include the KfW Carbon Fund, World Bank group carbon funds and initiatives, the carbon facility of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Fund (ABREF), and the Africa Carbon Asset Development Initiative (ACAD).
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: 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: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | April 2012
This report analyses pledge on emissions reductions put forward by Parties in the Cancún Agreements, including information emerging since the negotiations took place in 2010.
It focuses on the uncertainties and risks of achieving the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, and provides a detailed overview what the pledges and actions of the 12 countries and regions with the largest emissions could mean for reduction targets.
The report highlights that since the Cancún negotiations, developing countries have published new information about their emission projections which have led to higher than expected emission levels, and have increased the emission gap.
It suggests that a selected set of mitigation options in addition to existing pledges could result in emission reduction which would narrow the gap towards achieving the two degrees Celsius goal. It also concludes that uncertainties in accounting rules and projections could mean that global emissions remain at business-as-usual projections for 2020.
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: UNEP | February 2012
This report presents important environmental events and developments of 2012, and provides an overview of the status of key environmental indicators. It highlights the benefits of carbon storage in soil and the decommissioning of nuclear power plants as issues of emerging significance, and aims to strengthen science policy in these areas.
According to UNEP's executive director, although these may seem like separate issues, they go to the heart of questions about ensuring enough food and fuel while combating climate change and handling hazardous waste.
The report points out that the draining of peatlands is producing carbon dioxide emissions that amount to around six per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions; and their degradation is occurring 20 times faster than peat is accumulated. It also suggests that the nuclear industry needs to develop safer, faster and cheaper decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
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: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
This online book, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, explores Africa's potential for intensifying agricultural production through ecological agriculture — the integration of traditional, conservation oriented farming techniques with modern science and technology.
Building on discussions from the Conference on Ecological Agriculture, held in Ethiopia in 2008, it outlines past experiences such as lessons learned from the Green Revolution in Asia; trends in African agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development; and climate change implications for agriculture.
The book concludes that ecological agriculture can benefit smallholder farmers in several ways such as helping to increase Africa's productivity, and therefore improving food security, and helping farmers adapt to climate change by making agro-ecosystems more resilient to stress. But scaling up ecological agriculture will require policy support as well as additional resources and information.
Source: Center for Global Development | March 2011
This working paper, published by the US-based Center for Global Development, outlines a market-oriented approach to funding the development and deployment of low-carbon energy technologies in developing countries. It describes how a green venture fund, with money coming from public and private investors, could help the development of green technologies suitable for use in low-income countries "in time to avoid catastrophic climate change". The authors discuss the commercialisation of these technologies; the structure and rationale of the funding strategy; and how the fund could operate, addressing key issues such as setting technology priorities, geographic focus, and the treatment of public and private investors.
Source: The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) The Earth Institute at Columbia University | 2011
This report highlights advances in the use of climate information to predict and prepare for climate-related natural disasters. It draws together 17 case studies that capture the current state of knowledge within the humanitarian community, and identifies research innovations. It presents the challenges and opportunities that disaster risk managers face in using climate science with a three step approach: indentifying the problem, developing tools, and taking action.
The results show that effective partnerships are crucial and can help to build the information needed for effective response. They also suggest how the use of this information can be improved — for example by focusing on immediate opportunities for action in countries and regions more likely to benefit. Recommendations also include developing realistic expectations, in order to maintain trust in the information and those who provide it, and encouraging national meteorological services to tailor their information to the problem at hand.
Source: Stockholm Environment Institute | February 2011
This report introduces the Climate and Regional Economics of Development (CRED) model — a climate vulnerability index that estimates the economic damage from climate change in nine world regions based on three measures: freshwater resources per capita, the share of population living in coastal areas, and the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) of climate-sensitive economic sectors.
The report reviews the current literature of climate change vulnerability indices and describes the CRED climate model, including the data sources and methods used to create the index. It presents the results by region and compares them with the results of other indices. It concludes that although other indices contain more variables that produce more detailed results, they are more difficult to interpret. CRED indicators are quantifiable, can be updated when new information becomes available, and inform climate change policy by identifying regions and countries where intervention to prevent damages is crucial.
Source: infoDev | October 2010
This report aims to give practical recommendations on the design of Climate Innovation Centres (CICs), which seek to tackle barriers to the transfer, development and deployment of climate technologies in developing countries. It was commissioned by infoDev in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development and the UN Industrial Development Organization.
The report argues that developing countries lag in their capacity to transfer, develop and deploy innovative climate technologies — making them passive recipients of technologies developed elsewhere that are not suited to local conditions.
It highlights gaps and barriers to climate technology innovation based on a survey of 62 developing countries, and after screening more than 550 organisations to identify 67 as potential CICs. To be successful, it says, CICs will need to perform several functions such as committing their own capital to climate technology innovations or finding new ways to attract investors; coordinating research and development; and performing technology needs assessments.
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: Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) | November 2010
This background document presents scientific information on the effects of climate change on food production, and the implications for adaptation and mitigation efforts. It discusses how countries can manage the predicted average temperature rise of two degrees Celsius by 2100, which is enough to undermine farming systems. This will have major impacts on food security and rural poverty.
The report highlights two ways that countries can work towards adaptation. One is to better manage the agricultural risks of climate variability, for example using improved information services. The other is to speed up adaptation, with technological and policy tools for farmers.
It says that investing in technological innovation is needed to take full advantage of the agriculture sector's capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change. This could include building monitoring systems for small-scale farmers.
Decision-makers and researchers working on climate, agriculture and food security should interact more to link knowledge with action, the report says.
Source: UNFCCC and UNDP | June 2009
This handbook offers developing countries guidance on how to conduct technology needs assessments systematically to address climate change.
It was prepared by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Expert Group on Technology Transfer of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat and the Climate Technology Initiative.
This updated version of the 2004 handbook provides a more detailed framework for the development and implementation of needs assessments designed to help countries make informed choices on the technologies they can adopt to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. In particular, it advises on how to identify, assess and prioritise technologies. It also examines ways to support capacity building and help establish environments to enable technology transfer.