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.
Khadija Mtungakoa, a 38-year-old mother of three, wears a broad smile as she prepares food on her energy-saving stove.
She explains joyfully how it has helped reduce her reliance on the firewood she gathers from the nearby Amani Nature Reserve in Tanzania's Muheza District.
The government established the reserve in 1997 to protect the unique forest ecosystem of the East Usambara Mountains, a range in the Eastern Arc Mountains.
Mtungakoa's stove, made of clay soil and cow dung, stays hot for much longer than a conventional model, which makes it more efficient when simmering and allows her to reheat cooked food. And it uses much less wood.
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.
On Tuesday, 26 February, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) board formally approved its US$4.5 million co-funding for the new Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management program in the Heart of Borneo.
This funding is part of a program that was approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council in November 2012. In addition to the ADB’s US$4.5m, the GEF will provide US$2.5m, the Government of Indonesia US$0.5m and WWF US$2m. The GEF program is an example of the power of collaboration with public sector partners, which has resulted in several new funding mechanisms directed at the Heart of Borneo program.
Dawn is a mere glimmer on the horizon and the city is still plunged in darkness. Its cobbled streets are menacingly dark.
But specks of light pierce the breaking day in villages in Alanganallur block, Madurai East, Madurai West and Melur blocks. The streets are unpaved but streetlights powered by solar energy burn bright, lighting up the dips and curves on the village roads.
Load shedding has now become a way of life in Madurai, but good news is emerging from hamlets – big and small - in rural Madurai.
When The Hindu correspondent visited villages in the interior of Madurai East and Alanganallur, the villagers proudly displayed the solar panels they had installed in their homes.
Read more: http://www.propoor.org/news/?n=68146
Water Users Associations were first established in 1999, when Chhattisgarh was part of Madhya Pradesh State. They were revived under the Chhattisgarh Irrigation Development Program that kicked off in 2006. The program, financed in part by a $46.1 million loan from ADB, aims to improve small irrigation networks and how they are managed at state and community levels.
The associations had originally failed to get off the ground—or had become inactive—because the members were unskilled in water-system management or due to lack of finances because association water fees went to the state government, rather than feeding back into associations themselves.
Since then, this financial imbalance has been corrected, and the associations have been made more representatives of their communities. They now include more women, like Dhruw, and more members of otherwise largely ignored castes and tribes.
For Mahadevappa and Gauramma, life was a struggle farming their two-hectare plot in Karnataka state, India. Here, in the country’s second biggest dryland area, soil is poor and droughts frequent, making crop production difficult and harvests meager. Some parts of Karnataka have suffered drought in six out of the past ten years.
But now a holistic approach to natural resource management is helping farmers like this couple to produce results that they could only have dreamed of. In 2011, despite the region having been gripped by serious drought, three million farmers saw their yields rise by up to 66%, generating extra profits of US$130 million. Subsequent harvests have also shown significant increases in the state, whose farmers rely heavily on rainfed agriculture.
Behind the turnaround is a multi-pronged strategy pioneered by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT, a member of the CGIAR Consortium), which was called in by local authorities after Karnataka suffered stagnant agricultural growth rates for four years running, largely due to depleted soils and water deficiency.
“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