Displaying 81-100 of 275 key documents
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: Médecins Sans Frontières | May 2011
This report, from medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, explores the impact of and lessons learned from the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS since 2000, when it began providing this to people in need of urgent treatment. It presents results of a survey conducted in 16 countries with different prevalence levels of the disease, which together account for 52.5 per cent of the global HIV/AIDS burden, and outlines the progress, strengths and weaknesses of the international response to the disease.
The report provides an overview of key treatment strategies to improve care and reduce its cost for patients and health systems; discusses the impact of decreased donor funding; and suggests policies that can help lower drug costs, for example, or foster innovations for more effective and affordable treatment. Most HIV-prevalent countries still lack the capacity to treat more than 50 per cent of their population in need of ART, or to provide ART in more than 50 per cent of existing facilities — underlining the need for more domestic and external resources.
Source: WHO | April 2011
This report examines the threat posed by non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, which carry nearly 80 per cent of the world's burden of cardiovascular disease; diabetes; cancer; obesity; and chronic respiratory disease. It includes tables and maps of global, regional and country-specific trends including estimated mortality rates. The data are also used to predict future trends and assess factors contributing to non-communicable disease.
Drawing on what developed countries have learned about these diseases, the report outlines options for tackling them, such as early detection and treatment. To encourage immediate action, it puts forward a series of highly cost-effective solutions that are affordable even where resources are limited. It also emphasises the need for strong health-care systems, improved surveillance and monitoring, and nongovernmental and civil society participation in efforts to reduce the burden of non-communicable disease.
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: WHO | December 2010
This report, published by the WHO, collates data obtained over 8 years by WHO assessment teams working in 26 African countries. The teams analysed different aspects of national regulatory systems such as management, funding and quality control procedures. Poor regulatory systems in impoverished nations are often blamed for allowing the spread of counterfeit drugs in the developing world. The report says that although mechanisms for drug regulation existed in every country, and there were guidelines for quality-control inspections, these were often not well executed because of a severe lack of resources and staff.
Source: Economic Commission for Africa | 2010
This report assesses how much African countries are benefiting from and participating in the global technology market. This is based on trends in technology transfer and a comparison between flows of technology between various regions of the world and among African countries between 1990 and 2008. The report recommends simple steps that African countries can take to speed up the uptake and use of foreign technologies without stretching their budgets or changing their institutions.
Source: STEPS Centre | 2010
This report considers whether biochar — a charcoal-like substance made by burning biomass in oxygen-deprived conditions — is a silver bullet for meeting the global challenges of climate change mitigation, soil fertility and sustainable energy production. Biochar buried in soil can capture and store atmospheric carbon.
The report assesses the prospects of biochar becoming part of sustainability measures, and whether it can meet the livelihood priorities of small-scale farmers in rural Africa, for example.
It provides an overview of current arguments and interested parties in the polarised debate about whether biochar could contribute significantly to climate change mitigation. The authors argue that there is a "politics of promise" around its potential, and although this is driving research and investment, biochar has yet to make significant impact on the ground.
Source: UN Environment Programme | March 2010
This report synthesises data and published studies into water quality problems and potential solutions, highlighting successful attempts to prevent pollution, treat contaminated water, and protect ecosystems.
It gives an overview of major water contaminants, such as nutrients and trace metals, and describes human activities that affect water quality, including agriculture, industry and population growth. Additional sections outline the environmental, health and economic impacts of poor water quality.
Case studies from Europe, Latin America and South Asia are used to discuss ways of improving water quality. These are followed up by key recommendations for the international community, governments, communities and households.
They include using technologies for pollution prevention and wastewater treatment; strengthening legal guidelines for pollution prevention; ensuring that good data are available and monitoring is ongoing; and building capacity for effective interventions.
Source: International Livestock Research Institute | February 2011
This report highlights small-scale farmers who combine growing crops with raising animals. Although this farming system may appear old-fashioned, it remains the most prevalent and has gained popularity in recent years.
Most poor people currently rely on around one billion of these 'mixed' family farmers cultivating rice paddies and raising a few animals, for example. It is not big farms but these small agricultural systems that will play the biggest role in global food security over the next several decades, according to the report.
The study is the first to investigate mixed farms. It argues for a transition towards this farming system because it has a huge potential for increasing productivity in developing countries, provided that farms are managed appropriately.
The international donor community should fund and commit to policies that foster this neglected form of agriculture, it suggests, or their money will go to waste.
Source: IFPRI | February 2011
This report explores the role of agricultural growth in reducing and preventing undernutrition — deficiencies in energy, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
It describes how agricultural growth increases the capacity of households to produce more nutritious food and to buy more nutritious food by boosting income levels. Agricultural growth also improves nutrition through a broader effect on the economy, such as increasing government revenues to fund education, health, infrastructure, and nutrition intervention programmes.
The report gives an overview of the relationship between nutrition and growth, examines different growth patterns and their nutritional outcomes, and identifies factors that influence this dynamic — such as a country's stage of economic development.
A new paradigm for agricultural development is needed, says the report, where agricultural growth leads not only to increased production and reduced poverty, but also to improved nutrition. It concludes with recommendations for future research, and aims to provide policymakers with knowledge about development and investment strategies that can improve nutritional outcomes.
Source: FAO | January 2011
This report provides an overview of fisheries and aquaculture, future challenges and the technological tools available to help manage them. It reveals the key role of this sector in meeting global fish demand, as well as its importance as a source of cash and high-quality protein — particularly in poorer countries.
A section devoted to case-studies reviews current scientific knowledge of the impacts of a changing climate. It also highlights a range of issues including standards and certification, development of aquaculture in South-East Asia and the use of geographical information systems to manage aquaculture.
Elsewhere, the document outlines efforts to control illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by establishing trade measures and improving the collection of global records about fishing vessels.
The report also pinpoints challenges ahead, including biodiversity protection and a greater demand to address concerns about public health and environmental protection.
Source: ActionAid | 2010
This report outlines the local, practical experiences and lessons learned from the action research project Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR). The goal of the project was to help local people analyse their own vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and work collaboratively to explore better adaptation practices.
It ran from 2008 to 2010 in three areas of rural Bangladesh where natural hazards occur frequently: Sirajganj on the Jamuna River, which is vulnerable to floods; Naogaon in the north-west, vulnerable to drought; and Patuakhali on the coast, which is vulnerable to cyclones, sea-level rise and salinity intrusion.
The report includes an analysis of the strengths and weakness of activities that mobilise local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It concludes with several recommendations for future policy and implementation, and highlights that local people are best placed to understand changes in their environment.
Source: WHO Mental Health and Poverty Project | December 2010
This report presents evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability and should be targeted for protection by development programmes. Mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are common but largely neglected.
The WHO makes the case that because of their vulnerability, people with mental health problems need to be given opportunities for education and work, and to be included in decisions that affect them.
It argues that mental health should be built into sectoral and broader plans for development, with government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders playing a key role in ensuring this. To make implementation a reality, interventions and mainstreaming efforts should be funded adequately, and recipients of development aid should be encouraged to address the needs of people with mental health conditions. The report recommends actions as a starting point towards these aims.
Source: UNDP | November 2010
This report provides guidance to developers of forest carbon projects. It outlines the requirements for analysing and documenting carbon benefits, as well as legal, business, and community relations issues. The document also includes a guide to creating carbon benefits through reforestation, forest and land management activities.
It proposes steps for projects aiming to produce marketable emissions reductions under the most widely utilised carbon standards: the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Clean Development Mechanism, and, as co-certification to verify additional benefits, the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
The report states that although the future of projects in REDD+ forest-protection schemes is unclear, the approaches currently used will continue to be relevant to afforestation and reforestation activities that aim to generate and quantify carbon benefits effectively.
Source: Meridian Institute | January 2005
This report, published by the Meridian Institute describes the growing interest of developing countries including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in nanotechnology. The ways nanotechnology applications could solve health, sanitation, and pollution problems and provide faster, cheaper information and communication technology are outlined. The challenges of using and developing nanotechnology for and in developing nations including the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders are also discussed.
The Meridian Institute says nanotechnology can play a role in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As a result, rich nations should dedicate a reasonable portion of their overseas development assistance to nanotechnology.
(To access the report, users must create a free login name and password.)
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: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This technical paper from the IPCC provides a comprehensive overview of the impacts of climate change on water resources, including a summary of the links between climate and water resources, projected changes in the availability and accessibility of water, potential mitigation and adaptation strategies, implications for policy and gaps in our current knowledge.
This report presents the findings of the WHO's flagship Vision 2030 study. Comprised of a series of summary and technical papers and fact sheets, the Vision 2030 report provides a comprehensive overview of current and projected climate change and its potential impacts on drinking-water and sanitation systems. The report also points to solutions to improve the resilience of infrastructure and services to predicted changes in rainfall.
Source: International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
This book, published by IWMI, evaluates the benefits, costs and impacts of water development over the past 50 years. The authors highlight challenges still facing poor countries today and outline some of the solutions people have adopted. The assessment is available as a summary, with specific policy recommendations, or in individual chapters covering topics ranging from integration and institutional reform to improvements in irrigation and groundwater use.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
This report, published to mark World Water Day 2007, reviews the multiple dimensions of water scarcity including increasing demand, competition and conflict and climate change. The authors consider opportunities for improving the efficiency of water use, suggesting the need to increase investments in water, value environmental services and build awareness of water scarcity among the general public.