The event, ‘From knowledge to action: Knowledge sharing to support implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme' critically examined how the UNFCCC's ‘Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change' frames information and knowledge sharing and it is taken up by its partner organisations (including IDS). The Nairobi Work Programme assists countries to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and make informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change.
"In rural areas, you can grow your own food, and probably you can access water, but the urban poor have fewer assets."
It's a story that is replayed so frequently, in so many different locations across the globe that it has become almost an archetypal image of life in the developing world.
Facing diminished economic prospects, rural people move to the city in search of new opportunities. But once there, they are at risk of becoming trapped in a downward cycle. Living in poverty — without access to proper sanitation, clean water or garbage collection — means the marginal lands they occupy may become unhealthy living environments. These worsening environmental conditions, in turn, damage residents' health and entrench the stigma and isolation of living in informal settlements, making it all the more difficult to escape from poverty.
The Agricultural Policy Support Facility (APSF) is an initiative to strengthen pro-poor, gender-sensitive, and environmentally sustainable evidence-based policymaking in Nigeria in the areas of rural and agricultural development. This workshop was held at the Chelsea Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria on September 20 2007.
IDRC’s Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) jointly hosted a regional workshop entitled “Towards a Regional Strategy in Climate Change Adaptation: Sharing Knowledge on Climate Risks and Adaptation Options”. The workshop, held at ECA headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, brought together policymakers and researchers to discuss how adaptation research can be given a regional dimension, and the capacities regional institutions and policymakers need to leverage and implement effective policies.
The workshop’s first three days were devoted to exploring the links between climate change, poverty and sustainable development in Africa. Discussion focused on water resources and food security; bridging the divide between researchers and policymakers; and the feasibility of transboundary strategies for climate risk management and knowledge sharing on adaptation.
The final two days of the workshop served as an inception meeting for the CCAA program’s first project proponents. Days 4 and 5 brought together CCAA staff and research partners, focusing on practical ways of sharing knowledge emanating from CCAA-supported research projects. Participants, resource persons and facilitators also reviewed key methodologies to strengthen project design and development.
Summary of proceedings of the workshop on “Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Poverty Reduction: Towards .....Posted on: 7 July 2008 - 1:52pm
Scientists predict that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas with significant exposure to disasters caused by natural hazards and they will be affected. Suffering the most from disasters will be the poor who live in fragile areas and are least able to cope. Mainstreaming risk and vulnerability considerations into poverty reduction programs is critical, and policy makers and planners need to better understand the linkages between climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Against this background, the workshop provided a timely forum for discussions of the challenges that climate change, disaster risk and poverty reduction pose to the development process. The aim was also to arrive at a common understanding and a set of agreed practical measures in mainstreaming disaster risks and adaptation to climate change in country development strategies.
The workshop was organized jointly by the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Sida), the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), and the World Bank under the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
In the last thirty years Asia has experienced dynamic growth and structural transformation, and has achieved substantial poverty reduction. The incidence of people living in poverty fell from more than 50 percent in the mid-1970s to 18 percent in 2004, and the incidence of hunger fell to 16 percent. However, Asia is still home to more than half of the world's poor, the majority of whom live in rural areas. Agricultural and rural development thus remains a critical component of an inclusive growth strategy for the region.
Recognizing that today's Asia faces new challenges and opportunities, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a high-level policy forum "Agricultural and Rural Development for Reducing Poverty and Hunger in Asia: In Pursuit of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth" in Manila in August 2007.
The secretariat organized a workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, as requested by the Conference of the Parties at its eleventh session. The workshop took place in Rome, Italy, from 30 August to 1 September 2006.
The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) decided that the workshop should provide an opportunity for Parties to share experiences and consider relevant aspects relating to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. Participants heard technical presentations on the theme of scientific, socio-economic, technical and methodological issues as well as presentations by representatives of Parties and international organizations on the theme of policy approaches and positive incentives. Participants also exchanged views and discussed in detail issues relating to the topics and addressed possible links between the two themes. Several possible next steps were proposed to advance the work of the SBSTA and to allow the body to report at its twenty-seventh session.
Organic Agriculture, Poverty Reduction, and the Millennium Development Goals: A Review of Research Methodology and Preliminary Results
The ADBI workshop was part of an international conference on "Sufficiency Economy, Poverty Reduction, and the MDGs", jointly sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative, ADBI, FAO, and DANIDA. On the first day about 800 participants attended. The theme was on "sufficiency economy", a development philosophy that emphasizes self-reliance, responsible consumption, and respect for social values. These are some of the same principles underpinning organic agriculture. The King of Thailand introduced this as a development tool in the 1980s, particularly for poor farmers in marginal areas.
Forests, Conservation and Poverty Alleviation – Participatory Forest Management and the Role of the PoorPosted on: 7 July 2008 - 1:44pm
The move towards participatory forest management in developing countries is one of the most important forest policy developments of the past decades. Much progress in forest governance has been made in many countries: national policy has opened up to more stakeholders and the rights of forest-dependent people have strengthened. This shift from centralized forest management toward more decentralized local management has brought optimism for its contribution to sustainable management and poverty alleviation.
To explore some of the recent developments in participatory forest management the seminar presents results from researchers and practicians with the aim of providing participants with opportunities to exchange experiences and contribute to a better understanding of where participatory forest management is heading.
The seminar was organized by the Danish Institute for International Studies as a partner of the Participatory Environmental Management Programme (PEMA) and is funded by Danida.
The GECHS project recently organized a workshop on Climate Change and Poverty. The objective of this workshop was to discuss climate-poverty links relevant to mainstreaming adaptation to climate change into official development assistance. Participants from development agencies and academia shared experiences and information needs, including the challenges of linking scientific research on vulnerability with development projects aimed at reducing poverty. The workhop was held from 9-10 January 2006 in Oslo, Norway. It was organized by GECHS Associates Siri Eriksen and Richard Klein, with support from Norad.
The Globalization Research Center-Africa (GRCA) and the Globalization Research Network (GRN) held an international conference, "Global Cities: Water, Infrastructure and Environment" in the summer of 2006 as the first activity under the newest GRCA Signature Project area--Water, Urban Governance and Poverty Alleviation. Other activities in this area included the provision of funding to UCLA graduate students Laura Russ and Matthew Graham in the Department of Urban Planning, whose work contributed to understanding the scope of the issues around water service delivery. The present workshop is the third activity under this signature project area.
The transfer of knowledge to the practical level makes institutions and organizations more effective and expands the scope for action of the individuals affected. If practical experience is taken into account in theoretical concepts, the quality of scientific findings is enhanced.
What ideas, initiatives and experience already exist with respect to a knowledge transfer in the field of disaster reduction? Where are the problems and difficulties (including communication difficulties), and how can these be solved? Some answers can be found in this publication, which records the results and discussions of the 7th Forum and Disaster Reduction Day.
The document recaps the 8th and 9th meetings of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Fourteenth Session in 2006. The following discussions are detailed:
- Thematic Discussion on Industrial Development for Poverty Eradication
- Thematic Discussion on Air Pollution and Atmospheric Problems
- Thematic Discussion on Industrial Development and Sustainable Natural Resources Management
- Thematic Discussion -- Links between Climate Change, Sustainable Development
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) African Regional Workshop on Adaptation was held at the M Plaza Hotel in Accra, Ghana, from 21-23 September 2006. The workshop aimed at highlighting African concerns related to climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction, with a view to identifying specific adaptation needs to be considered under the UNFCCC. Sixty participants were in attendance, mainly from Africa, but also from developed countries, as well as representatives from UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations.
The workshop was convened following a request by the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in decision 1/CP.10, calling for the UNFCCC Secretariat to organize three regional workshops and one expert meeting for small island developing states (SIDS) to enable information exchange and integrated assessments that would assist in identifying specific adaptation needs and concerns. The African workshop is the second of these, following the Latin American workshop that was held in April 2006. COP 10 further requested the Secretariat to prepare reports on the outcome of these workshops, which will be considered by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) at its twenty-sixth session in May 2007, with a view to making a recommendation on further action to COP 13 in November 2007.
The workshop was structured around four sessions: impact and vulnerability assessments; adaptation planning and implementation; regional collaboration; and outcomes and ways forward.
The convening of a workshop on “El Niño Early Warning for Sustainable Development in Pacific Rim Countries and Islands” was inspired by the deliberations of an earlier workshop held in Shanghai, China in October 2003 on Early Warning Systems: Do’s and Don’ts. The Galapagos workshop was the ninth “Usable Science” workshop organized by the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group at NCAR in the past ten years.
While preparing the materials for this workshop, the organizers came to realize that El Niño information encompasses much more than just an El Niño forecast as an early warning of potential harm. That realization led to the use of a shadow title for the meeting: “El Niño Knowledge for Sustainable Development.” It was a realization about the need to broaden concern from one primarily about a forecast of a specific event (e.g., El Niño) at a given point in time to one that includes all available information about El Niño including forecasts but also including historical and traditional (including indigenous) accounts of El Niño-related socioeconomic impacts that resulted from droughts, floods, fires, and infectious disease outbreaks.
For example, people and governments in Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Australia have been coping for a long time with droughts and floods, only some of which may have been related to El Niño. Thus, there is considerable knowledge, much of it unrecorded or unpublished, about El Niño’s impacts and responses at the local level.
According to the WHO, smoke from burning solid fuels is estimated to be responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year in the world's poorest countries. Indoor air pollution affects poor women and small children far more than any other sectors of society, killing almost 1 million children under five every year.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), hosted a seminar entitled "Smoke in the Kitchen: Health impacts of indoor air pollution in developing countries" on 8 February, 2005 in New York. This paper discusses the seminar proceedings, wherein key next steps were suggested to improve research and review progress.
WHO, in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the German Development Cooperation (GTZ), the Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development of the University of Berkeley, and the Aprovecho Research Center, organized an African training workshop to empower governmental and non-governmental agencies to evaluate the impact of their intervention projects on indoor air pollution levels, health and wellbeing, the socioeconomic situation of the household, and the local and global environment.
Environmental-flows (E-flows) refers to water provided within a river, wetland or coastal zone to maintain ecosystems and their benefits where there are competing water uses. In most river basins the natural flows have been modified to some extent, to meet the needs of human settlements, irrigators, flood controllers, or energy generators. Proponents of E-flows acknowledge these different uses, but argue that ecosystems are another valid user, and that ecosystem and livelihood services must also be valued and included in negotiations.
The 2nd Southeast Asia Water Forum, from 29 August - 3 September 2005, was an ideal opportunity to bring together a dialogue between delegates from across Southeast Asia to evaluate E-flows and multi-stakeholder platforms as tools for more effective water resource management. IUCN’s “Environmental Flows – Ecosystems and Livelihoods – The Impossible Dream?” session was held on the morning of 31 August 2005. The objectives of the session were to disseminate and debate the concept and practice of E-flows, and to assess the potential of E-flows to assist Southeast Asia water negotiations. This report summarizes some of the main outcomes of the session.
This document is the summary of the meeting for the Danish resource base arranged by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida),
Research Network for Environment and Development (ReNED) and DWF Research. Presentations delivered at the meeting are included.
WHO, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development of the University of Berkeley, and the Aprovecho Research Center, organized a Central American training workshop to empower governmental and non-governmental agencies to evaluate the impact of their intervention projects on indoor air pollution levels, health and wellbeing, the socioeconomic situation of the household, and the local and global environment.
The 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 28 February to 5 March 2005. The conference was attended by delegates from over 30 countries. The thoughts of all participants were very much with the people of Sri Lanka as the recovery effort continued following the devastating tsunami of December 2004.
The theme of the conference was forestry’s contribution to poverty reduction. Within the Conference theme, sessions were structured around four cross-cutting themes: the Changing World, Governance, Forest Goods and Services, and Stakeholders. This document contains the resolutions that emerged from conference discussions.
Sustainable Development Opinion: Hitting the Target or Missing the Point?-Key Messages from an International Conference on MDGsPosted on: 4 November 2008 - 10:40am
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives that world leaders agreed to at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.
In November 2003 the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) organized an international conference to explore how tensions between global targets and local needs can be used creatively – as opposed to leading to paralysis or mis-direction. Participants came from a wide variety of contexts, with strong representation from Southern organizations focusing on local sustainability and also from donor agencies and international institutions. The following messages came through strongly from the event:
1. Local actors and organizations are central to achieving most of the MDGs.
2. There are many routes to achieving the MDGs, requiring innovation and change in current practice.
3. Among national governments, MDGs differ in status: some have given them very high priority, while others give them little or no attention.
4. For donor agencies, perhaps the main challenge is institutional. How
can they engage with bottom-up processes as well as support national governments?
5. There are obvious, important changes needed at global level to meet the MDGs, which depend on rich-world governments shifting policy in major ways.
6. How can the ambitious goals be assessed on whether they are being met, globally, nationally and locally?
7. The key principles within the Millennium Declaration should not be
forgotten in focusing on the MDGs – for these discuss the underlying causes of poverty and exclusion.
8. Next steps for IIED.
Issues of Decentralization and Federation in Forest Governance:Proceedings from the Tenth Workshop on Community-Based ManagementPosted on: 11 December 2008 - 11:35am
Decentralization and networks of community-based forest groups (forest federations) are often viewed as a means of promoting good forest governance that is more responsive and adaptive to local needs, especially those of the poor and underprivileged. Deteriorating forest conditions in many parts of Asia have compelled development planners and government officials to adopt these strategies. Documenting the lessons learned from such action research was a key objective of the writing workshop Decentralization and Federation to Promote Good Forest Governance, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, between 30 June and 25 July 2003.
The workshop was the tenth in a series organized by the East-West Center on Community Management of Forestlands, and the second co-hosted by the Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC). Since 1986, the Ford Foundation and the East-West Center have attempted to document the changes taking place in the management of forests in Asia as national governments collaborate with local communities in designing win-win land management scenarios. These brief sabbaticals have engaged key actors in reflection and debate over new policies and practices, provided an opportunity for forestry practitioners to assess and anticipate these changes within their countries, and to compare their experience with other national efforts. The workshops also provide an important venue for busy practitioners to take time to document their experience for wider analysis and sharing.
Under the leadership of the International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage (IPTRID)/FAO, and as part of the activities of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage-Working Group on Capacity Building, Training and Education (WG–CBTE), a half-day workshop was organized in September 2004 in Moscow. The focus of this workshop was on Capacity Needs Assessment in Agricultural Water Management. The purpose was to develop a suitable methodology to assess capacity needs as a first step towards formulating broad capacity development strategies. The workshop brought together agencies and institutions working in this important field, to share knowledge of best practice and to develop common approaches for achieving the goal of capacity development for efficient and effective water management for agriculture.
The workshop recognized the need for countries to be in the driving seat of a process, which must be based on the firm commitment of senior policy-makers linked to sector strategies as a whole. The process relies on proper facilitation and technical expertise from national and international sources. The workshop's chair concluded that it had contributed significantly to the progress of capacity development work began in the Montpellier workshop only a year before. The assessment of capacity needs, as an important specific step towards the development of a country’s capacity in irrigation and drainage, has become much clearer. It was suggested that a similar far-reaching workshop be organized in 2005 to thereby continue the positive momentum.
Forests and trees play a critical role in supporting the livelihoods of people, particularly the world’s poor. Many of these people depend fully or in part on forest resources to meet daily subsistence needs. Sustainable forest management contributes to developing economies in a wide range of ways. It provides income, employment, food security and better housing where it is most needed, particularly for the poor who inhabit forest areas.
Finding ways to balance these human livelihood needs with sustainability of forest resources concerns is the very essence of sustainable forest management. More than 1.6 billion people depend on forests, to varying degrees, for their livelihoods, including some 400 million people who live in, or around, forests. Many threats to forests originate outside the forest sector. Sound forest policy therefore, requires cross-sectoral policy harmonization at the national, regional and global levels.
United Nations Forum on Forests was established for that purpose, to serve as the key intergovernmental body for comprehensive, international forest policy formulation and implementation, and the alarming rate of deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics was the key the driver of international debate on forests. This document is from a symposium on Forest Certification in Developing and Transitioning Societies.
Sustainable forest management has for a long time been the primary goal of forestry policies. The development and use of economic and policy instruments such as forest revenue-collection systems to increase rent capture has been recognized in the international dialogue about forestry as key to promoting sustainable forest management, and several of the proposals of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, Intergovernmental Forum on Forests focus on this issue.
The workshop on which this report is based, “Reforms of Forest Fiscal Systems to Promote Growth, Poverty Reduction, and Sustainable Forest Management,” was designed to contribute to the learning process among a selected group of tropical countries that are actively trying to implement forestry policies to achieve sustainable forest management where the forestry sector could potentially have a significant impact on poverty reduction.
The workshop focused especially on the politics of the reform process, taking into account situations of vested interest, corruption and poor governance, and weak institutional structures.
This document is a key note from a workshop on Environmental Research for Sustainable Development, held in November 2002 in Vienna, Austria.
Introduction: In the wake of the Johannesburg Summit 2002 the notion of sustainable development has reappeared on the international agenda. The workshop “Environmental Research for Sustainable Development” is therefore right in time. What makes this workshop even more important, is the fact that it addresses the contributions of Austrian environmental research and its partners in tropical, sub-tropical and mediterranean regions in bringing about sustainable development. But the goal of sustainable development is not achievable without tackling poverty in so-called developing countries. The purpose of this introductory statement is therefore to highlight the nexus between poverty and sustainable development and subsequently derive some general remarks on how research can benefit both ends.
For most ACP countries, the centerpiece of any poverty-reduction strategy is to establish a thriving rural sector. This entails empowering individuals and communities by facilitating their access to resources, markets and services, so that they can participate fully in both agricultural and non-agricultural economic growth. In the right circumstances and with the right approaches, sector programs can contribute substantially to these objectives. The challenge to the European Commission, and to others, is to work with governments and civil society to increase the effectiveness of such contributions.
The aims of the workshop were to explore the conditions under which sector approaches in agriculture can best be used to reduce poverty, and to identify means by which this can be achieved. Experience was drawn from the lessons learnt from the emergent sector strategies and investment programmes in Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda in particular.
How can the UNFPA Technical Support Services (TSS) system enhance the contribution of population programmes to poverty alleviation and to the promotion of sustainable development? That was the critical question addressed by an FAO/ILO Thematic Workshop on Population, Poverty and Environment, held in Rome on 26-30 October 1998.
This Special includes documents from the Workshop on Population, Poverty and Environment. These are:
- Population and poverty: the policy issues, by Geoffrey McNicoll
- Population and environmental change: from linkages to policy issues, by Alain Marcoux
- Rural poverty: population dynamics, local institutions and access to resources, by EveCrowley and Kirsten Appendini
- Anthropometric, health and demographic indicators, by Simon Chevassus-Agnès
- Workshop report highlights
The Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC) aims to provide a forum for the exchange of solutions to reducing poverty and environmental degradation. This paper is the result of preparations and discussions leading to and during the September 29, 1999 meeting of the Forum's Ministers of Poverty and Environment.