Last month, China was granted US$95 million to reduce its production of hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), substances that are used primarily for cooling, refrigeration, and the manufacture of foam products. The funding comes from the Multilateral Fund (MLF) of the Montreal Protocol, because HCFCs deplete the ozone layer and are controlled under the Protocol. With access to these funds, between now and 2015 China will reduce its production of HCFCs by 10%, or 47,000 metric tons from 2010 levels, allowing it to meet the first reduction targets set by the Protocol.
The United Nations Rio+20 Conference called last year for urgent action to put the world on a more equitable and sustainable development path. Countries agreed that systems and behaviors that worsen poverty and inequalities, exclude women and marginalize others, are pushing our planet to its limits and must change.
Achieving sustainable energy yields benefits beyond the environment. It enables children to study at night, allows health clinics to store needed vaccines, and frees women from backbreaking chore and life-threatening smoke from wood-burning stoves. It creates a platform for better and more productive lives.
In the face of unprecedented deforestation and biodiversity loss, policy makers are increasingly using financial incentives to encourage conservation.
However, a research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) revealed that in the long run, conservation incentives may struggle to compete with future agricultural yields.
Their findings were first published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 15 April 2013.
We've been thinking a lot lately about investing in "natural capital" in Asia and the Pacific - one of four key thrusts of ADB’s newly approved Environment Operational Directions for 2013-2020.
Ecosystems and biodiversity are on the decline in Asia and the Pacific. We put out a report last year together with WWF which depicts a stark picture. In the last 40 years, there has been a 67% decline in the health of ecosystems in the region. This is twice the global average!
Adaptation is a key feature of sustainable social-ecological systems, as well as a recent and increasing focus of research and policy regarding responses to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. This article examines the meaning of adaptation and its relationship to the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and sustainability. It illustrates that, in many cases, societies ‘manipulate’ their social-ecological contexts rather than adapt to them.
This is part one of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against.
While the Song Bung 4 Hydropower project disrupted the lifestyle of the Co Tu ethnic group in central Viet Nam, it also became an opportunity for its members, especially women and children, to gain better education, health care, and improve their income opportunities. Their active participation in the resettlement process was key to the successful completion of a project that helped them design and build their future.
European funding to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate is dropping remarkably at a time when it needs to be scaled up in line with UN commitments and people are dealing with increasing impacts of extreme weather events.
As part of an assessment that shows significant cuts in development aid to poor nations, the OECD has just revealed that funding for programs mainly focused on helping developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change fell globally from $3.1 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2011. Although the OECD has not yet released climate finance figures for 2012, research by Oxfam suggests that levels of public climate finance did not improve last year.
As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, CIFOR is organizing with its partners a two-day policy and science conference entitled "Sustainable forest management in Central Africa: Yesterday, today and tomorrow." Bringing together the region's leading policy makers, donors, media, researchers and forest experts, the conference will provide a forum for open discussion of the most critical issues and challenges facing the sustainable management of Central Africa's forests, the biodiversity they embrace and the people who depend on them.