Ameth Diagne was asleep when the first waves lapped at his back door, the lukewarm, salty water seeping into his bedroom an impassive portent of the final days of his 650-year-old fishing community.
He had kept his two wives and many of his 16 children with him long after the neighbours had fled, in the vain hope that his once-bustling, tenacious west African village could survive the remorseless advance of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some farmers in Ghana kill saplings on their land over fears their food crops will one day get damaged by loggers who come to clear the trees.
And in Cameroon, while communal forests can generate up to 50 times more income than what they did under state control, almost none of that money goes to families or toward roads, schools and other projects that benefit the community as a whole.
Studies published in a special issue of the journal Conservation and Society say despite reforms designed to promote community-managed forests in Africa, local people often have little incentive to preserve them.
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.