Climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world today. Long-term development planning must now include measures to deal with it.
Displaying 1-20 of 54 key documents
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: United Nations Environment Management Group | October 2011
This report outlines the first coherent strategy drawn up by the UN to address dryland management, taking into account environmental concerns and the well-being of dryland communities. It examines the relationship between drylands and climate change, food security and livelihoods, and highlights ways in which the UN is working to mainstream drylands into policymaking processes.
Climate change is already having an impact on crop yields and nutrition in areas that rely on rain-fed agriculture, according to the report, and these impacts will intensify by 2020 in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The impacts of climate change may be most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, suggesting that those already vulnerable will be affected the most.
A key message is that the international community has an opportunity to address the underlying causes of dryland degradation. The report concludes that global cooperation must be intensified if the ten-year strategic plan of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification — whose aim is to tackle desertification and degradation — and the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.
Source: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
This report, published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), details a survey of all significant nuclear-related developments that took place in 2010 worldwide, and outlines how each of the developments has affected the work of the IAEA.
It provides updates on the status and trends in nuclear power, including plants that are under construction, and offers up-to-date details of global uranium resources, safety and emergency preparedness guidelines, and applications of nuclear technology in areas such as cancer treatment. Changes in nuclear law, proposals for nuclear waste management and the status of decommissioned sites are also discussed. The report concludes that countries, international organisations and civil society must work together and respond to future challenges collectively if nuclear energy is to benefit development.
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: 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: Institute for Global Environment Strategies | May 2011
This series of factsheets publishes information on clean development mechanism (CDM) activities for Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand. CDM projects involve the use of clean technologies such as solar panels to generate emission reduction credits that can be counted towards meeting targets of the Kyoto Protocol.
The factsheets provide an overview of CDM project developments in Asia. They offer country-specific information, including domestic greenhouse gas emissions and useful references. They also outline national legislations, processes and criteria required for project approval. Some of the factsheets list examples of approved projects and contact details of the relevant authorities. The Indonesia report is available in Indonesian and the booklet is available in Japanese.
Source: UK Department for International Development and AEA | May 2011
This set of factsheets presents key data on the impact of low carbon development on several areas linked to sustainable growth including poverty reduction; natural resource scarcity; 'green' jobs; transport; and fossil fuel subsidies.
Each factsheet synthesises the latest evidence from research conducted by institutions, consultancies and leading thinkers. The work aims to understand how investment in clean energy in developing countries can lead to economic growth. The first factsheet, for example, discusses how investment in small-scale, off-grid renewable energy can create jobs.
To illustrate the issues discussed, the factsheets use case studies from specific countries and projects. They use the phrase 'triple win' to indicate where low carbon development brings benefits in mitigation, adaptation and poverty reduction, and 'double win' where benefits are seen in two of these areas.
This paper reports the results of a systematic review of the impacts of climate change on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. The study, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), assessed eight food crops — rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, yam, plantain and sugarcane — that make up more than 80 per cent of agricultural production in these regions. Its findings aim to inform DFID's policies, allocation of resources and other practices according to the need for a stronger focus on evidence-informed decision-making on agriculture in a changing climate. The report provides background information; a detailed account of the review protocol and methodology; the data extraction strategy; data collection; meta-analyses; a synthesis of results; and key findings for all crops organised by region. It recognises that climate change will worsen environmental conditions that already affect crops, such as heat, drought, salinity and submergence in water.
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: 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.
This document, published by nongovernmental organisation WaterAid, highlights some of the key predicted impacts of climate change on water resources. The authors specifically address likely impacts in Africa and Asia, highlight the inequitable burden that climate change places on poor and developing countries, and suggest suitable adaptation strategies.
Source: International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
This project outlines deployment models and decision support tools for supplying energy, including solar, to rural areas in developing countries. It showcases practical examples of rural energy supply from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including the use of solar home systems in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, among others. The project also lists experts in rural energy supply across different regions of the developing world.
Source: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21)
This interactive map provides information on policies, targets, shares, capacity, production and scenarios for renewable energy by technology and country or region. Information on the state of both solar photovoltaics and solar thermal is available, as well as wind power, geothermal energy, hydropower and biomass.
Source: The Broker | April 2009
This special report, published in The Broker magazine, provides a collection of articles on solar energy. It includes an article on how solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies work, a report on solar energy in developing countries, and a case study of solar energy in India — from market trends to rural electrification programmes.
Source: UN Environment Programme | 2009
This annual report from the UN Environment Programme highlights investment trends in renewable energy, including solar technologies. It finds that new investment in renewables continues to rise — despite the global financial crisis — as a result of a growing focus on climate change, energy insecurity, fossil fuel depletion and new technologies. In 2008, the solar sector received US$33.5 billion of new investment — a rise of 49 per cent from 2007.
Source: Overseas Development Institute (ODI) | December 2009
This article, published by the Overseas Development Institute, summarises the findings of a study on the challenges of incorporating science, technology and innovation into policy in developing countries and highlights the role of science in promoting effective climate change adaptation measures.
The study, commissioned by SciDev.Net and the UK Department for International Development, included investigations of how to improve structures and institutions for delivering climate change adaptation and how to integrate adaptation measures into developing country policies as a critical priority.
The article suggests finding innovative ways to embed scientific knowledge into national policy through, for example, placing researchers in government bodies or creating citizen juries to judge adaptation measures.
Source: CIFOR | June 2009
This factsheet from The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) aims to answer common questions about the role of reducing forest emissions in tackling climate change.
This includes explaining why reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is important and identifying the four key challenges facing REDD projects — measuring carbon, making payments, accountability and funding. The authors summarise ongoing global initiatives to implement REDD, including the UN REDD Programme Fund and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.
A glossary of terms used in the debate is included as well as a list of facts and figures on key variables such as forest cover and forest loss. Contact details for some of the key people involved in CIFOR research are provided.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change | 2003
The third IPCC assessment report, Climate Change 2001, includes this section on the links between climate change and health. It offers a detailed look at how variations in climate, such as temperature or rainfall, could affect vector-borne disease. In particular, it evaluates computer models that predict climate impact on dengue fever and malaria. The assessment also looks at specific diseases such as leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis, explaining how the disease is spread and how changes in the environment might alter that spread.
The authors take a holistic look at the various factors involved. For example, in assessing schistosomiasis, they also consider the irrigation systems that will likely be needed to cope with expected water shortages resulting from climate change. The schistosomiasis parasite uses water snails as an intermediate host, so irrigation systems will need to be designed in such a way that they do not cause snail populations to multiply.
An update to the research on climate and vector-borne disease is also included in the fourth IPCC assessment report[796kB] although not in as much detail.