Environment

Africa’s Industrial Development: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

When world leaders gathered in New York for the 70th session of the General Assembly back in 2016, and proclaimed the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), it reaffirmed the importance of industrialization in supporting Africa’s own efforts towards sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and accelerated development.

We Need Biodiversity-Based Agriculture to Solve the Climate Crisis

The Earth is living, and also creates life. Over 4 billion years the Earth has evolved a rich biodiversity — an abundance of different living organisms and ecosystems — that can meet all our needs and sustain life.

The Social Impact of Economic Inequality

Increasing economic inequality is a defining challenge of our time. In recent years, it has triggered analysis and reflection by many scholars, politicians and others on its causes and consequences on economic growth and efficiency, politics and democracy, human rights, individual behaviors, access to health, social cohesion and environmental degradation. The perception that the top 1% of income earners are gaining at the expense of the other 99% has resulted in widespread public debates in many countries on the social and political repercussions of inequality.

In Southern Brazil, Need Becomes an Environmental Virtue

The state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil is the largest national producer and exporter of pork and this year it also leads in exports of chicken, of which it is the second-biggest producer in the country.

World’s Hard Fought Battle Against Climate Change

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describes the ongoing crisis as a “climate emergency”-- as the world continues its hard fought battle against devastating droughts, floods, hurricanes and rising sea levels that threaten the very existence of small island developing states located in low-lying areas.

Confronting the New Climate Reality in Asia and the Pacific

In less than ten days world leaders will be gathering at the United Nations in New York for the Climate Action Summit. Their goal is simple; to increase ambition and accelerate action in the face of a mounting climate emergency. For many this means ambition and action that enables countries to decarbonize their economies by the middle of the century. But that is only half the equation. Equally ambitious plans are also needed to build the resilience of vulnerable sectors and communities being battered by climate related disasters of increasing frequency, intensity and unpredictability.

A Brief Guide to the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production

Food may be a universal language – but in these record-breaking hot days, so too is climate change. With July clocking in as the hottest month on Earth in recorded history and extreme weather ramping up globally, farmers are facing the brunt of climate change in croplands and pastures around the world.

‘I Want my Kids to Know What a Rhino and Turtle Are’ – #ClimateStrike Kids Say

From Nigeria, to Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to South Africa, thousands of African climate campaigners have taken to the streets joining millions around the world for the global Climate Strike ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, which starts in New York next week.

Rural Bangladesh Families Spend 2.0 Billion Dollars on Climate Change ― Dwarfing Government & International Finance

In an alarming imbalance struggling families in rural Bangladesh spend almost US$2 billion a year on preventing climate-related disasters or repairing damage caused by climate change ― far more than either the Bangladesh government or international bodies.

Biogas Makes Pig Farming More Sustainable in Southern Brazil

Biogas has the potential to provide 36 percent of the electricity consumed in Brazil or replace 70 percent of diesel if purified as biomethane, according to the Brazilian Association of Biogas and Biomethane (Abiogas).

Not Enough Good Information About Africa’s Climate for Adaptation

"We don't have a good appreciation of our local weather systems," says Dr James Kinyangi head of the African Development Bank's climate and development Africa special fund, which supports investments in climate and weather observations networks in Africa.

Community Management, Outmigration Help Nepal Double Forest Area

New analysis of historical satellite imagery indicates that Nepal’s forest area has nearly doubled, from 26% of land area in 1992 to 45% in 2016. The midhills have experienced the strongest resurgence, although forests have also expanded in the Tarai and in the mountains. This makes Nepal an exception to the global trend of deforestation in developing countries.

As Climate Crisis Worsens & Poverty Rises, UN Appears Off-Track on Development Agenda

The two key goals in the UN’s development agenda are the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. But most of the world’s developing nations, currently fighting a losing battle against rising poverty and hunger –and suffering from the devastating impact of climate change-- are likely to miss the deadline for most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the latest report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Key Changes in International Agriculture and Rural Development Issues: Three Priority Areas in the Context of the 2030 Development Agenda

Transformations in international agricultural and rural development issues Some major changes in international agricultural and rural development over the last 30-40 years need to be taken into account in efforts to promote sustainable development and an inclusive rural transformation (IFAD 2016) as we approach the third decade of the millennium. This opinion piece, drawing on a longer article published in Agriculture for Development Journal (Summer 2019 Issue), seeks to stimulate reflection and debate on how work to support agricultural and rural development can evolve to address key challenges and opportunities related to migration, sustainable urbanization and youth in a changing global policy context.

Tana River Bears the Cost of Development

The damming of Kenya's River Tana and the environmental degradation upstream, has reduced the amount of silt and water reaching the Tana River Delta over time. Hence the sea has been pushing further and further inland unhindered, jeopardising livelihoods.

World’s Whale Population Struggles to Recover from Carnage Amid Serious Concerns

Sri Lanka is endowed with an impressive and large concentration of whales off its shores and it is believed they are not a population that migrates seasonally. 26 species have been spotted in Sri Lankan waters, including the massive blue whales.

Multidisciplinarity of Data: Time to Put Data at the Heart of UN’s 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, all meant to guide efforts by all countries towards a more sustainable, prosperous and equal future.

Asian & Arab Parliamentarians to Move Forward on Reproductive Health & Gender Empowerment

Over the years, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has worked in tandem with legislators and parliamentarians to help implement the historic Programme of Action (PoA) adopted unanimously by over 20,000 UN delegates at a landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo back in 1994.

Translating Ambition to Action: High Hopes for United Nations Action Week

In less than 10 days, countries from around the planet will come together in New York for the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit. I look forward to representing the Pacific Community (SPC) at this important event, and throughout “Action Week” during the upcoming UN General Assembly.

AfDB ‘s Solar Project Aims at Making Africa a Renewable Power House

When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the International Solar Alliance last October, he applauded the goal of mobilizing about $1 trillion dollars towards the deployment of some 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030.

Ministers Call for Coalition to scale up land restoration massively worldwide

1. On the road to the Climate Action Summit, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India and President of COP14, His Excellency Mr. Prakash Javedkar, and the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Her Excellency Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, hosted a high-level luncheon on land and climate on 9 September 2019, on the margins of the UNCCD Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14). The event was co-facilitated by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 2. During the meeting, participants underscored that land resources are the basis for human health, livelihoods, food security, and for our economic, cultural and spiritual well-being. Some 25 per cent of the world’s land is degraded (IPCC, 2019), affecting the lives of 3.2 billion people, particularly smallholder farmers, those in rural communities and the world’s poorest populations (IPBES, 2018). Women in particular are on the daily frontline struggle to salvage the large area of agricultural land already affected by land degradation. And the stewardship of indigenous peoples is essential to safeguard the world’s remaining biodiversity. All vulnerable groups who depend on sustainable land management and who can contribute to land restoration need our support. 3. Participants welcomed the IPCC’s special report on Climate Change and Land which constitutes the first comprehensive study of the entire land-climate system. As such, they agreed that it is a fundamental contribution to global negotiations on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable land management, and calls for synergies between the Rio Conventions. The report provides a sound basis for ambitious actions contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation as well as to combat land degradation and enhance food security. 4. Participants stressed that restoring degraded lands and achieving land degradation neutrality (SDG 15.3) provided an integrated solution to increase ecosystems and populations resilience as well as to enhance the capacity of our land for carbon sequestration. Land use must therefore be an integral part of the climate solution, rather than a cause of GHG emissions. This will strengthen biodiversity conservation, increase livelihoods and human security. It will also curb emissions from degrading lands and help close the projected emissions gap between Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Paris Agreement objectives. Most importantly, land degradation neutrality will improve the living conditions of affected populations and the health and productivity of their ecosystems. 5. Participants agreed that land restoration will deliver co-benefits to many Sustainable Development Goals and that the three Rio Conventions can actively work together to support restoration activities as an important contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 6. Participants agreed that the critical role of land restoration for climate mitigation and adaptation must be visible. The Climate Action Summit will send a strong political signal for more public funding and private investments to enable land restoration for impact at the scale needed, through gender-responsive, transformative projects and programmes that seek to generate and sustain fundamental and sustainable positive change. Every 1 USD invested in land restoration is expected to generate up to 10 USD in returns for society through more efficient agricultural practices, integrated water management, and vital ecosystem functions (GPFLR, 2018). 7. Participants indicated that time had come to turn the vicious circle between land and climate into a virtuous one by reinforcing the positive elements of the relationship, helping to manage emissions on the one hand and adapting to climate impacts on the other. Participants therefore called for more concerted policy action, more investments, and more capacity to scale up land restoration to achieve land degradation neutrality. They expect the Nature-Based Solutions Coalition to propose concrete and ambitious actions at the Summit. 8. Participants supported the global effort to achieve land degradation neutrality through ambitious initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge target of having at least 350 million hectares of degraded land under active restoration by 2030 and the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative. Participants also welcomed the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 (UN General Assembly resolution 73/284) as a unique opportunity to galvanize political will, increased investments, and action on the ground for land restoration at massive scale across the world. 9. Participants called for the UN Climate Action Summit to be the starting point for the establishment of a coalition of countries, to accelerate massive scaling up of land restoration activities worldwide, and to act as the building block of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030). A coalition of active countries could federate and accelerate the achievement of existing ecosystem restoration goals of all into the UN Decade – a decade of action and impact on the ground for the planet, for the people and for prosperity. 10. Participants included Armenia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Haiti, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, South Africa, Tajikistan, The United Kingdom, the European Union as well as CBD, GCF, GEF, FAO, IPBES, IPCC, UNCCD, UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC, UNRC India and the World Bank. For further information, please contact:
    • Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski, wwischnewski@unccd.int, Cell: +91 74284 94332/+49-173-268-7593 • Mr. Tim Christophersen, tim.christophersen@un.org, Cell : +254706044045

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