Pollution is not a uniquely urban challenge; in rural areas, indoor cook-stoves, undrinkable water and contaminated soil are toxic and stunt economic growth. Poor people, who can’t afford to protect themselves from the negative impacts of pollution, end up suffering the most.
Malawi is no stranger to significant flooding. In January 2012, floods affected more than 10,000 people and caused US$3 million worth of damage to households and infrastructure. But this year’s floods are much larger in magnitude, even unprecedented.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today approved a US$40.71 million loan to the Republic of Belarus for a new Forestry Development Project designed to enhance silvicultural management, reforestation and afforestation, increase the use of felling residues, and increase the overall contribution of forests to sustainable development. The project is also financed by a grant from the Global Environment Facility in the amount of US$2.74 million.
The green energy revolution used to look pretty far off. Today, businesses are starting to factor the cost of climate change into their planning, countries have set targets for increasing the use of renewable energy, and wind farms and solar panels are popping up everywhere. But large-scale renewable energy development is still a challenge – especially in the absence of government incentives. Large-scale renewable power such as solar, wind, and wave power, though technically viable, is often seen by investors as too expensive to develop and too risky.
In order to sustain economic growth, improve public health and reduce environmental impacts, East Asia’s cities need to address significant gaps in their sanitation services, according to two new World Bank reports released today. Substantial financing is needed to manage wastewater and septage that is generated by the urban population. According to some estimates, investment levels of at least US$250 per person are needed annually in the region over the next 15 years.