Displaying 1-14 of 14 key documents
Source: UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Philosophy and Democracy | 2011
This report offers the most up-to-date and rigorous compendium of every existing human rights-based international and regional instrument and framework.
Published annually, the report also provides key statistics and comparative international analysis of evolving human rights standards and implementation of key rights-based mechanisms. It offers data on how rights-based instruments have impacted particular social and cultural groups (including women, refugees, and children with disabilities). It also provides scope for reflection on how the vast array of rights-based instruments implicitly and explicitly engage with science, technology, and development issues.
The report is divided into three sections. The first looks at universal instruments, the second regional, and the third consists of a copy of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
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: OECD-FAO | June 2012
This is the eighteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, which outlines projected market trends (from 2012 to 2021) for major agricultural commodities and biofuels, and presents recent developments and uncertainties associated with those markets. It focuses on the challenges of meeting the rising demand for food alongside input costs, resource constraints, environmental pressures and the impacts of climate change.
The report finds that world prices for many agricultural crops are expected to remain high over the long-term, in spite of a short-term decline. It highlights progress in improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, and calls for the private sector to take a leading role in creating the right environment.
The report concludes by arguing for better agronomic practices and commercial, technical and regulatory environments, and strengthening agricultural innovation systems, as essential policy challenges. It calls for developing countries to invest in agricultural infrastructure in rural areas and in human capital, and to put in place policies for reducing food loss and waste.
Source: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) | June 2012
This report presents a new index, which could become an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index as a means of assessing a country's economic development. The Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) measures nations' wealth by taking into account natural resources and ecological conditions, and a long-term view on wellbeing and sustainability.
The IWI was applied to 20 countries — representing over half the world's population and three quarters of global GDP — revealing changes in inclusive wealth between 1990 and 2008. The report found that an accurate representation of development depends on accounting for factors such as population change, the effect of global variables, and the price of natural or social capital. It recommends that governments integrate the IWI into planning, development and economic policies; protect their natural capital; and establish research initiatives to help evaluate natural capital components.
The report will be published every two years, offering policymakers practical frameworks and encouraging more holistic approaches to economic development assessments.
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.
This paper gives an overview of the history of science technology and innovation (STI) institutions and policies in the Latin American region, and the challenge of using STI to meet development needs.
The paper gives examples of public, private and civil society initiatives illustrating regional efforts to develop a 3D innovation agenda — one that concentrates on direction, distribution and diversity of innovations. It outlines areas for action to advance STI in Latin America, which include agenda setting, funding, capacity building, organising and monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Limitations and failings of STI are considered, and recommendations of further research are offered; they include persistent social and economic inequalities, institutional and political resistance to change, and the role of power relations in determining directions of STI policy in the future.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
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: The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRU) | September 2011
This report presents 17 case studies of good practice in coastal management across island territories of the Asia-Pacific region. These illustrate examples of locally tailored, evidence-based and cost-effective actions at a local, provincial, national and regional level.
For each case study — including efforts in the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Solomon Islands — the report provides background information, intended outcomes and how they were addressed, what was achieved and lessons learned.
The report concludes that communities in the region can make progress with integrated coastal management to deal with primarily land-based threats facing coastal areas. It highlights the importance of enhancing the role of government and strengthening enabling environments; multi-sector partnerships; scaling-up small initiatives and achieving cost effectiveness; and providing information through education, awareness, monitoring or research.
This report, from the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation (CAAST–Net), aims to promote cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors argue that Africa must build up a domestic knowledge base and Europe must help transfer technology. In this regard, they evaluate European-African partnerships and African participation in both the EU Framework Programmes and the European Development Fund.
Source: LEAD Africa
This report, published in English and French, looks at the unique responsibilities of African regional institutions in leading the continent on climate issues.
The report makes six recommendations for action by regional institutions: provide technical advice to African climate negotiators; help develop a coherent continental framework for action against climate change; play a 'bridging' role between pan-African organisations and national ones; improve the availability of climate data on the continent by sharing information; and compare strategies for adaptation to inform policymaking.
Source: The Oxford Health Alliance
Chronic diseases — heart and lung disease, cancer and diabetes — are having a negative economic impact on both the developed and developing world, says this report, which is why they should be properly addressed by domestic and international policy makers. Compared to the epidemiological evidence on the rise of non-communicable diseases in developing nations, there is little information on how this increase will affect their economies.
This report investigates the demographics of the problem and finds that contrary to popular belief, the disproportionate burden of disease on the elderly does have economic implications. The reason is that though the elderly may not be part of the workforce, they are still consumers and therefore a part of the economic equation.
Whether approaches to tackling chronic diseases are cost-effective or not is a vital issue for countries whose health budgets are already overstretched — the report outlines some of the interventions that offer most bang for buck. The authors point out that strategies that work well in developed countries are not so effective in developing countries, and call for more research to assess what will be appropriate.