Displaying 1-20 of 34 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: International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2011
This report, published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) outlines how technology transfer, climate change, and human rights-based approaches explicitly come together. It focuses on how human rights-based approaches to technology transfer bear on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Twenty years' after the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, technology transfer is still a contentious term and an unclear goal for policy. The report aims to address this by examining the human rights issues that emerge — at both the theoretical and political level — in relation to technology transfer. It also examines how technology transfer can be used to secure basic human rights and set rights-based standards that can improve the living conditions of those most vulnerable to climate change.
The report suggests that human rights can provide a platform for agreement that can inform technology policy and help move it forward by prioritising needs and objectives. It concludes with relevant recommendations for governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies.
Source: IISD | June 2012
This paper gives an overview of the financing needs of smallholder farmers, their current sources of financing, and ways to deliver these funds to help them achieve the triple dividends of enhanced food security, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. It offers recommendations for mobilising investment to enable further progress towards this goal.
The authors argue that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, and suggest that adaptation funds and the private sector could be a source of additional support, in the absence of public sector financing for agriculture or a carbon market for smallholders. They conclude with recommendations for policymakers, such as building on prior experience and knowledge, and creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agricultural investment.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) | June 2012
This report gives an overview of the last 40 years of work carried out by HRP, the Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which was established in 1972, following a World Health Assembly resolution.
HRP aims to advance sexual and reproductive health. The organisation is the central mechanism within the United Nations system for research into human reproduction — bringing together policymakers, scientists, healthcare providers and community representatives to identify and address priorities for the sexual and reproductive health agenda.
The report highlights key achievements, including helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; promoting human rights and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health; and widening access to family planning.
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: Millennium Project | January, 2005
This report outlines the role that science, technology and innovation can play in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It draws from lessons learned over the past five decades, and describes actions needed to help achieve the MDGs through technological innovation, including building scientific infrastructure, investing in education and promoting business activities in science and technology.
The report acknowledges three main actors in technological innovation: governments, academic institutions and private enterprise. It argues that they must work together to improve the policy environment, technological infrastructure and capacity-building in developing nations. It suggests that global partnerships, advising policymakers and good governance should be encouraged, and points out that the diversity of political environments and resources means that countries should not have a one-size-fits-all approach to policy development.
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.
This report reviews the achievements made by the 'Promotion of Grassroots Innovation in Asia-Pacific Countries' project, which aims to build capacity for member countries to source, document and disseminate grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge as a means of economic and social development.
The first section documents the theory and practice of grassroots innovation using case-studies of existing organisations, such as the Honey Bee Network. It illustrates the diversity of approaches used to engage with this type of innovation, as well as the ethical aspects of informed consent before obtaining knowledge from local populations. The second part describes advances made during national and regional workshops on the subjects of capacity-building, promoting grassroots innovation and creating partnerships.
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.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | September 2011
This report presents two case-studies that illustrate problems arising from subsidising fertiliser and electricity for groundwater irrigation in India — a policy put in place in the 1960s to boost food production and food security. It aims to analyse why subsequent reforms of these policies have done little to resolve economic and environmental problems; identify reforms that could prove successful; and outline political processes that could help achieve them.
Using India's experience, it highlights political challenges of using subsidy policies that could also be relevant to other countries.
This analysis is based on a literature review and interviews with stakeholders. The report also presents the conceptual framework, and gives an overview of fertiliser policy in India: how it has evolved, the stakeholders involved in the political process, and the policy implications of subsidy reform. Case-studies of electricity supply in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab are used to demonstrate policy reform feasibility.
The report concludes that for both electricity supply and fertiliser policies, various reforms could be adopted that are unlikely to face significant political obstacles. It argues that experimental and research-based knowledge could be used more effectively.
Source: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) | June 2011
This report, from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), highlights the results of research into what drives and inhibits the uptake of new crop-livestock farming techniques by small-scale cattle farms in Asian countries. The authors describe five farming systems in China, Indonesia and Vietnam that have attempted to increase beef production and profitability by integrating new farming knowledge and technology with help from ACIAR. Using these case studies, the authors draw out lessons learned for future initiatives. Key findings include the importance of partnering with local people who have a good understanding of the farming system, and having a realistic expectation of the scale of improvements that can be made with new technologies.
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: 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: 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: The Henry L. Stimson Center | January 2010
This report presents a collection of regional perspectives that examine the environmental threats to the Indian Ocean's coastal areas, including sea level rise and storm surges, and explore the challenges facing decision makers, including limited funding and poor institutional infrastructure. The authors present opportunities for technological innovation and discuss how policies must integrate multiple sectors while reflecting local needs.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development | February 2010
This report analyses the lending activities of 22 microfinance institutions in Bangladesh and Nepal to assess the extent to which microfinancing can help the poor adapt to climate change. The authors find that microfinance is promoting some adaptation strategies such as crop diversification, better access to irrigation, and improved sanitation to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases. But they suggest that it could play a greater role in disaster preparedness and use of early warning systems.