Climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world today. Long-term development planning must now include measures to deal with it.
Displaying 21-40 of 230 key documents
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: 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: World Bank | November 2011
The purpose of this toolkit is to offer guidance to groups or development practitioners who collaborate closely with communities, on researching and implementing climate adaptation coalitions. It says that using the Adaptation Coalition Framework can build capacity for the informed participation of local communities in decision-making. This is critical because climate change impacts are likely to be variable, longer-term and difficult to predict, yet have unique local effects because of the socioeconomic and environmental conditions of every community.
The toolkit outlines a series of steps towards building coalitions, starting with exchange of knowledge and moving on to information gathering, feedback and planning, and finally coalition strengthening. It provides information on how to train local community adaptation teams to continue the work over the long-term, and how to report back findings to a community. The report identifies the resources and time commitments needed, and elements likely to make coalitions successful, such as having a collective goal.
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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: Practical Action | January 2012
This report analyses the links between energy access, income and livelihoods. It examines the definition of energy access, and reintroduces — and updates — the concept of 'total energy access' as a progressive framework to measure how people use energy in a healthy and productive way.
It states that agriculture is one of the sectors hardest hit by unreliable supplies of electricity, and argues that, for smallholder farmers, more use of modern energy services at various steps along the value chain can contribute to increasing incomes.
The authors conclude that energy access cannot guarantee improved livelihoods without reliability, quality, and cost-effectiveness of energy supplies — combined with access to markets, networks, and sufficient demand. Their analysis also suggests that making the transition from traditional to modern energy supplies holds new opportunities to earn a living from supplying energy.
Reaching poor people with modern energy carries social, economic and environmental benefits, and stakeholders — national governments, donors, utilities, businesses and civil society, community groups, and individual consumers — have a crucial role to play in creating universal energy access.
Source: World Resources Institute | September 2011
This paper provides guidance for policymakers working on identifying low-carbon technologies, and discusses why they should put innovation at the centre of any green growth strategy. The authors argue that the need for innovation in the low-carbon power sector is critical in terms of preventing climate change and promoting development.
The paper explains the innovation process in the low-carbon power sector, and highlights participants and rules in the innovation process. It introduces the 'innovation ecosystems' approach — designed to capture the complexity of innovation processes — and to identify the services innovators need. The final section lays out a step-by-step process for identifying and making the most of opportunities in this sector. The authors conclude that innovation is key to using technology effectively and solving global problems requires everyone to live up to their potential as innovators.
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.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
This policy brief looks at the role of intellectual property rights in developing and accessing technologies for mitigation and adaption to climate change. It provides an overview of intellectual property rights as the main mechanism of encouraging technological innovation for responding to climate change, and describes the issues that prevent constructive discussion in the area. The brief brings together diverse perspectives to propose action, beginning with building trust and exploring potential policy options, challenging countries to go beyond their entrenched positions and thus enable productive climate talks. It concludes with a caution that without reaching a compromise, the impasse will prevent a significant move towards green technologies.
Source: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, examines the role of renewable energy sources and technologies in the mitigation of climate change and provides policy relevant information. The authors evaluate the scientific literature on six renewable energy sources — bioenergy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy — and their current deployment. The report describes how each of these power sources can be integrated into future energy systems, and outlines future research needs in the context of sustainable development. It puts forward strategies to overcome environmental and social consequences associated with the deployment of such technologies, and compares the cost of energy from renewable sources to non-renewable sources.
Source: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
This report, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), presents a framework for developing programmes to monitor interventions for climate change adaptation. Although it is not meant as a definitive guide, it includes potential indicators for tracking and evaluating the success of programmes, and calls for more work to establish baseline measures.
The first section of the report discusses key issues in evaluating adaptation, and challenges in using adaptation indicators. The second section outlines the framework and proposes indicator categories that can be tailored to specific contexts — such as using climate and monitoring data in programme design, and introducing mechanisms that target poor people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It concludes by suggesting the use of the framework for more effective investments in climate-resilient development.
Source: The Royal Society
This report, published by the UK's Royal Society, reviews evidence about solar radiation management (SRM), a 'geoengineering' technique that involves deliberate intervention in the climate to counteract global warming, which was gathered during a year-long project — Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative. It also summarises issues raised during the project by 27 experts from 17 countries and other stakeholders.
The report explores the scientific, ethical, political, social and technological challenges raised by proposals for research into SRM, as well as perspectives on how to address these challenges. It offers no recommendations, but states that the uncertainty about the risks and benefits of SRM can be resolved with the successful governance of research, and concludes with a number of 'messages' that provide a foundation for greater dialogue.