Displaying 1-7 of 7 key documents
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: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report from the IPCC, provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the current knowledge and understanding of climate change. The report includes four separate documents that cover the physical science basis for climate change, projected impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of different populations, mitigation strategies, and a synthesis report for policymakers.
Source: CEOS | 2008
This report, prepared by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), presents the main capabilities of satellite systems and their applications to detect, monitor and adapt to climate change, alongside plans for future relevant satellite missions.
The report is divided into three parts. The first discusses the Earth's changing climate, emphasising the role of satellite imagery in monitoring this. The second presents a number of case studies to illustrate how earth observing satellites provide data to improve our understanding of climate change, including charting sea-level rise to better cope with flooding.
The final part summarises satellite capabilities with a description of the different satellite missions and instruments as well as their applications, such as to improve weather forecasting or provide damage assessment associated with natural disasters.
Source: Tebtebba | September 2008
This guide, published by Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education), outlines the expected impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples around the world, and showcases traditional methods of climate change mitigation and adaption.
Following a basic introduction to climate change and the bodies, mechanisms and processes used for addressing it, the authors outline how climate change is impacting indigenous peoples in diverse ecosystems. For example, food and water insecurity arising from increased flooding or drought, and loss of biodiversity and traditional knowledge from rising temperatures.
The authors discuss the likely impacts of climate change mitigation measures highlighting, for example, the limitations of market-based strategies such as the Clean Development Mechanism. They discuss a range of alternative adaptation measures already being practiced by indigenous people, providing several case studies and examples of innovative strategies used in different regions. For example, African farmers using zero-tillage practices to moderate soil temperatures, Asian farmers growing varieties of crops to minimise the risk of harvest failure, and Honduran farmers using agroforestry and terracing to reduce erosion.
The authors go on to discuss measures for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and emphasise the need for indigenous people to be fully engaged in the debate.
Source: UNEP | February 2009
This report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) calls for international action to combat the global economic crisis with a stimulus package based on clean energy and environmental protection. The author — Edward B Barbier from the University of Wyoming — argues that while stimulating growth and creating jobs are key objectives, unless new policy initiatives also reduce carbon dependency, protect ecosystems and water resources, and alleviate poverty they will not be enough to avert future crises.
Developed countries must remove subsidies and adopt complementary carbon pricing policies, says Barbier. Developing countries should spend at least one per cent of GDP on improving access to clean water and should also expand educational and health services for the poor. And all economies should consider removing water subsidies to increase water efficiency, he adds.
He concludes that the international community has a central role to play in promoting this global green new deal — through global governance, facilitating access to development assistance and enhancing trade incentives.
Source: FAO | 2008
This report, jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the University of the South Pacific, examines the likely impacts of climate change on Pacific island countries, with a focus on food security threats.
Two reports from international meetings and three case studies — from Vanuatu, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Cook Islands — highlight small island vulnerability. Each case study includes an overview of the country's socio-economic status, an assessment of its agricultural sector and a list of likely climate change impacts, including ocean warming, frequent tropical cyclones, flash floods and droughts.
The authors include successes in each case and make recommendations for future action. They call for a systematic approach to climate change, using national development plans to implement adaptation programmes.
This report, written by a team of international scientists and published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), explores the effects of 'atmospheric brown clouds'(ABCs) on regional climate, agriculture and human health.
ABCs are large plumes of pollutant gases that result from burning fossil fuels and biomass. The authors of the UNEP report examine the spread of ABCs — particularly in Asia — and discuss their likely impacts, including decreases in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, accelerated glacial retreat and increases in surface ozone.
They suggest that ABCs threaten water and food security in Asia, impact human health and may mask the warming effects of climate change by 20 – 80 per cent. The authors recommend an international response to tackle the twin effects of ABCs and greenhouse gases, and the unsustainable development that underpins them.