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The latest issue of ADB's quarterly magazine explores the concept of green growth: the embracing of environmentally sound and sustainable policies with the need to maintain high economic growth. It features an exclusive interview with leading expert Ashok Khosla, who takes a hard look at the promises and failings of green growth. Also, it highlights pioneering efforts to deliver medicine through a soda company's distribution network.
Water is central to all aspects of green growth, from human development to food security, energy, urbanization, and climate change. This holistic vision, embraced by the World Bank, implies support for all sizes of “green” water infrastructure, including large dams, to help countries adapt to climate change and ensure access to water and energy for poor populations.
At the World Water Forum in Marseille, France, March 12-17, World Bank experts and other speakers discussed that vision and the importance of working across sectors and increasing support for basic sanitation globally.
Read more: http://go.worldbank.org/WMGZT5JQI0
Not long ago, Azerbaijan's national oil company SOCAR wasted nearly half a billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. That is because a lot of natural gas escapes when oil is extracted from below ground, and SOCAR failed to capture it, either releasing or burning it. In the process known as flaring, one fifth of the gas released during Azerbaijan’s oil production went up in flames.
During more than 150 years of oil production, wasting gas was not considered to be an environmental or economic problem. Consequently, Azerbaijan did not have procedures in place for recovering this valuable by-product and turning into a commodity.
Read more: http://go.worldbank.org/U5UYWWBQR0
Social justice and environmental protection are equally urgent and intrinsically linked universal goals, with coordinated global action needed on both fronts at the UN’s ‘Rio+20’ Conference on Sustainable Development in June, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to an audience of development experts, civil society leaders and government officials at the first Global Human Development Forum here today.
Cities in Canada, India, Italy, Sweden and the United States will be invited this year to participate in an Earth Hour City Challenge, urging them to take a leadership role in the global transition towards a low carbon economy.
“Cities currently account for over 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions – so their leadership in reducing emissions will be crucial if we are to avoid escalating levels of climate change” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.
Fact: Regardless of where you live, it is quite likely that an invisible bond ties you to 6 million km2 of seas in the Asia-Pacific region that are just bursting with marine life—this is the Coral Triangle, the nursery of the seas.
Visit the website: http://mycoraltriangle.wwf.or.id/coralweb/
Khat — a leafy plant used as a natural stimulant in the Horn of Africa — has become the backbone of the region’s economy, providing the main source of income for farmers, as well as jobs for thousands of others employed in the value chain.
“As households earn more income from khat cultivation, they have reduced their dependence on selling fuel wood — a major driver of deforestation in Africa,” said Habtemariam Kassa, CIFOR scientist and co-author of Khat and livelihood dynamics in the harer higlands of Ethiopia: Significance and challenges.
CIFOR scientists are helping to estimate the extent of deforestation that accompanies road paving in the Amazon — even before such roads have been built — which could allow state planners to better assess the costs and benefits of development projects in the region.
The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held December 2009 in Copenhagen. The spotlight fell on forests, forestry and REDD+. After Copenhagen, forestry stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific have raised many questions about the meaning of COP15 for people, forests, and forestry. This FAO/RECOFTC report presents expert answers to a dozen key questions.
An ambitious new research program, launched today by the world’s largest consortium of agricultural researchers, aims to address some of the world’s most pressing problems related to boosting food production and improving livelihoods, whilst simultaneously protecting the environment.
The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems is a ten year commitment to bring about a radical transformation in the way land, water and natural systems are managed. It is being led by the International Water Management Institute, which has just been named this year’s Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.
If anything, the world's ecological problems have only grown over the past 20 years since the Earth Summit of 1992 held in the Latin American city of Rio de Janeiro. As the developing world catches up with lifestyles that until recently were the privilege of the leading industrialised countries, the future looks even more perilous than before.
Read more: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1093/fe1.htm
"Despite the world's third largest economy, India still has huge problems with poverty, graft, water distribution and the environment. There is much to be done, especially with India's children."
That's how environmental journalist Robert Weir summed up his recent seven months in India, spent mostly in Calcutta (Kolkata), working with Rosalie Giffoniello's "Empower the Children" program.
WITH two months left before leaders assemble for the United Nations Rio Summit, prospects for a radical fix of the planet’s worsening environmental ills and poverty seem remote.
Around 100 heads of state and government are expected in Rio de Janeiro for the June 20 to 22 summit on sustainable development. It takes place 40 years after the first big global environment meeting and 20 years after the near-legendary Earth Summit, where the United Nations set up two fora to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
For the last 40 years, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world to call attention to some of our most pressing environmental and social problems, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and dwindling natural resources. This year, the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet (www.NourishingthePlanet.org) highlights 15 agricultural innovations that are already working on the ground to address some of those problems.
As part of ADB’s ongoing mission to promote solar investment across the region, experts and investors have gathered in Jodhpur, Rajasthan for the 4th Asia Solar Energy Forum to explore the latest trends and issues.
ADB.org speaks with S.Chander, Director-General of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department about the quest to kick start the use of this clean, virtually inexhaustible power supply in the region.
In honor of Earth Day, we run an interview with Yves-André Wainright, who discusses ways that poor governance and the role of foreign donors have contributed to the country’s environmental catastrophe. He also lays out a blueprint for what could turn the situation around, effectively mobilizing both government and the population to begin restoring the environment.
Yves-André Wainright served twice as Haiti’s Minister of Environment. Trained as an agronomist, Yves-André’s work has focused on environmental management, especially management of natural resources and waste.
Brazil’s Congress passed legislation late last night that strips the Amazon and other key regions of critical environmental protections, and grants amnesty to individuals accused of past illegal deforestation.
At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.
The valuing of ecosystem services such as food, fuel and clean water is currently high on the international agenda – it was highlighted at the World Bank’s recent Annual Meeting, and it is a major priority for the forthcoming Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
So it is timely that a project supported by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA) has produced the world’s first environmental health index to be based on long term historical data. This week’s announcement raises hopes the work could be used to help safeguard the future of rural livelihoods across the developing world.
Sustainable energy—energy that is accessible, cleaner and more efficient—powers opportunity. It grows economies. It lights up homes, schools and hospitals. It empowers women and local communities. And it paves a path out of poverty to greater prosperity for all.
Spread a blue message around the world! Be part of the massive celebration of the Coral Triangle - the world's centre of marine life - as individuals, organizations, and establishments come together on this special day, carrying one message: to protect the oceans that connects us all.
Visit the website: http://www.thecoraltriangle.com/day/
IUCN Pakistan is in the process of negotiating with Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT) an initiative focused on mangrove restoration and planting in Korangi Phitti Creek System near Port Qasim, Karachi.
IUCN began its efforts to restore degraded mangroves forests in Pakistan in the early nineties and these efforts are still ongoing. For several years restoration was carried out in Sindh and Balochistan and over 30,000 hectares have been restored and restocked. Under this afforestation programme many exotic and indigenous species have been re-planted on an experimental basis throughout the coast.
Lake Poyang, the largest freshwater lake in China, is known for its ecological diversity. It is the largest wintering area for migrating water birds in East Asia and home to the endangered freshwater porpoise. Connected to the Yangtse River, the lake serves as a natural overflow reservoir and provides an abundance of natural resources which millions of Chinese depend on for daily life.
Yet toxic waste from neighboring textile plants has threatened this important water source – which already suffers from severely reduced water levels – raising public health concerns and widespread alarm over the long-term development impact.
Reduce emissions. Consume less. Shift to renewables. Conserve forests. Save energy. Share technology. Take global action. These are the solutions President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prescribed for Indonesia to pursue sustainable growth with equity.
The solutions were simple but were hard to achieve, thus the importance of political will to overcome the resistance to environmentally-sound policies, the President said in a major policy address at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor on June 13.
A few years ago in Papua New Guinea on a holiday I was lucky enough to spend a day with a fisherman who took me out on his dugout canoe. For hours we slowly skimmed along the surface of the ocean, the clear water providing a wonderful lens to the world below teeming with life. Fish, starfish, coral, eels, plants—a world beyond my wildest imagination.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $600 million for a package of green projects that will transform waste into clean energy, reduce CO2 emissions, expand eco-friendly transport, and protect fragile wetland areas in fast-growing second-tier cities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“These four projects support PRC’s transition to a lower-carbon growth path built on a long-term commitment to green urbanization, better energy efficiency, and environmental preservation,” said Robert Wihtol, Director General of ADB’s East Asia Department. “We still have a long way to go, but with forward-looking planning and investment, the Chinese cities of the future can have clean air, blue skies, clean water and more green areas.”
Between 50 to 90 per cent of logging in key tropical countries of the Amazon basin, Central Africa and South East Asia is being carried out by organized crime threatening efforts to combat climate change, deforestation, conserve wildlife and eradicate poverty.
Globally, illegal logging now accounts for between 15 and 30 per cent of the overall trade, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL.
Farmers in the small community of Tuol Sdey, in the Svay Rieng province of southeastern Cambodia, have reason to be happy. For the first time in decades they can rejoice in having two harvests in one season.
This is largely due to the construction of a new water dam which stores rain in a nearby reservoir, providing farmers with the necessary water supply to irrigate their farmland and produce greater rice yields.
The new dam is one of 45 projects in Cambodia—implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility—aiming at improving the lives of people adversely affected by droughts and other climate change-related phenomena.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched two new contingent credit facilities for Latin America and the Caribbean today, one to help countries deal beforehand with shocks caused by external financial crises and another to help nations cope with the aftermath of natural disasters.
A new Development Sustainability Contingent Credit Line (DSL) will make $6 billion available to the IDB’s 26 borrowing member countries over the 2012-2014 period, with a maximum of $2 billion per year and with unused resources from one year carrying over to the next one. The new line is designed to help countries protect its poorest citizens from sharp fluctuations in commodity prices, global liquidity crises and other exogenous factors.
Governments meeting in India to make key decisions on our planet’s future have to prove the deal they struck two years ago was not just a display of good will but a serious commitment.
Over 190 nations will meet in Hyderabad from 8th to 19th October to discuss implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a legally binding treaty governing the sustainable use of our planet’s natural wealth.