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.
Floods are among the most common causes of disasters in cities. Many cities are built on rivers or on low-elevation sites on coasts so they’re vulnerable to flooding. As cities expand, so the increased building further limits natural drainage and can increase flood risks each time it rains heavily.
In the last year, the list of cities where serious floods and loss of life has occurred include Jakarta, Chittagong, Manila, Beijing, Krymsk, Buenos Aires, various cities in Nigeria, New York and other cities in the US, and the Caribbean which was hit by hurricane Sandy in October 2012. In 2011 floods in Thailand devastated Bangkok and many other Thai cities (and rural areas).
It’s time to turn off the snooze button on the alarm clock and wake up!
Incremental achievements in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are possible before they “expire” in 2015 if linkages among strategies to achieve various goals are made. MDG 5 demands an improvement in maternal health. MDG 4 calls for an improvement in child health. MDG 7c demands for improved water and sanitation. The links between WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and maternal and child health are evident. Accelerated efforts to improve WASH will not only move us toward achieving MDG 7c, but they will also contribute to the achievement of health MDGs 4 and 5.
According to the 2012 Joint Monitoring Programme Report, more than 780 million people, or 11% of the global population, remain without access to an improved source of drinking water. About 2.5 billion people in 2010 lacked improved sanitation. An estimated 1.1 billion people, or 15% of the global population, still practice open defecation. The adoption of better sanitation and hygienic practices require easy access to water sources. In fact, five out of six users of improved sanitation also use improved water sources.
Natural capital includes, first of all, the resources that we easily recognize and measure such as minerals and energy, forest timber, agricultural land, fisheries and water. It also includes ecosystems producing services that are often ‘invisible’ to most people such as air and water filtration, flood protection, carbon storage, pollination for crops, and habitat for fisheries and wildlife. These values are not readily captured in markets, so we don’t really know how much they contribute to the economy and livelihoods. We often take these services for granted and don’t know what it would cost if we lose them.
The concept of accounting for natural capital has been around for more than 30 years. However, progress in moving toward implementation has been slow.
A major step towards achieving this vision came recently with the adoption by the UN Statistical Commission of the System for Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA). The SEEA provides an internationally agreed method, on par with the current SNA, to account for material natural resources like minerals, timber, and fisheries. The challenge now is to build capacity in countries to implement the SEEA and to demonstrate its benefits to policy makers.
“We used to do a lot of things without thinking about the effects on the environment,” says Naume Toskovski, an apple farmer in the Prespa Lakes region of Macedonia. “We didn’t know that dumping apples would pollute the water. Perhaps it’s a different story with pesticides and fertilizers— the temptation for farmers is always to over-use these chemicals and we know they are harmful for nature— but we didn’t know just how harmful they were. Until recently we didn’t know of any better alternatives.”
Read and watch the video: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/environmentandenergy/su...
The Latin American and Caribbean region is home to 40% of the biodiversity on earth and unique ecosystems which can support and foster sustained economic growth if properly managed.
To help the region protect and use this natural capital to generate social and economic development, the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (BES) Program supports countries by:
Integrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into key economic sectors
Protecting priority regional ecosystems
Supporting effective environmental governance and policy
Creating new sustainable development business opportunities
Indonesia’s vast mangrove forests, CIFOR has recently discovered, are a valuable carbon sink. They shelter unique species, protect coastlines from stormy seas – and they are fast disappearing.
Conservationists would see them protected from the logger’s chainsaw.
But it’s possible that selective and sustainable logging of these forests can be done while retaining much of their carbon – and save them from worse fates.
“The threat to mangrove forests is not the cutting of the above ground wood, but conversion to other uses,” says Muljadi Tantra, the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of a group of companies that harvest mangrove wood for charcoal and paper pulp in the provinces of Kalimantan and Papua.
In his village near Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Nazeer Butt, 40, points to his ruined house on a steep mountainside.
“Three outer walls caved in and the roof was damaged when a torrent raced down the hill and hit it last month,” Butt told IRIN.