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Global Climate Change (CC) resulting from an increasing concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has become an accepted and major theme in today‘s world.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel  on  Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.6 ° C over the last century and it is expected to further increase by 1.4 to 5.8 º C by the end of the current century. These changes in temperature are but the crest of the many environmental, social  and  political  issues  which  will  follow in  the  wake of  the changing climate. Unfortunately the major causes of a rapidly warming climate can be attributed to anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fuel, the depletion of forests and changes in land use (conversion of forest into agriculture land).


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In April 2008, Washington identified Pakistan as a “Global Food Initiative” priority country needing assistance in addressing its food security situation. It is expected that such assistance will play an important role in enhancing stability in Pakistan and within the region. In the following months, USAID/Pakistan initiated an effort to design a food and agriculture project in response to this initiative. An initial concept paper was prepared as a first step in the project design effort. The present paper expands that initial step into a more detailed project description. Pakistan is characterized by a high degree of income inequality and geographic disparities, two major sources of potential destabilization. Those divisions are particularly pronounced in the rural areas, where most of the rural poor lack access to land, irrigation water and other factors of production. Reducing poverty and income inequality will require revitalization of the rural economy.


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Contract farming is one solution to overcome market related transaction costs. When transaction costs are small or absent, market transactions are usually efficient and improve aggregate welfare. However, when transaction costs are high, or markets fail owing to reasons like asymmetric information, a number of voluntary but non-spot transactions are often carried out between economic agents. There are many ways that markets fail in Indian agriculture. Imperfect credit markets, lump sum transportation costs for small amounts of produce, imperfect information about market prices, lack of technological knowledge, inability of small and marginal farmers to absorb the risks of loss, etc. are only a few of them. In this paper we look at specific cases to see how some of these problems have been solved through agreements among farmers and between farmers and integrators.



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Paddy soil samples taken from different sites in an old primitive electronic-waste (e-waste) processing region were examined for eco-toxicity and metal contamination. Using the environmental quality standard for soils (China, Grade II) as reference, soil samples of two sites were weakly contaminated with trace metal, but site G was heavily contaminated with Cd (6.37 mg kg−1), and weakly contaminated with Cu (256.36 mg kg−1) and Zn (209.85 mg kg−1). Zn appeared to be strongly bound in the residual fraction (72.24–77.86%), no matter the soil was metal contaminated or not. However, more than 9% Cd and 16% Cu was present in the non-residual fraction in the metal contaminated soils than in the uncontaminated soil, especially for site G and site F. Compared with that of the control soil, the micronucleus rates of site G and site F soil treatments increased by 2.7-fold and 1.7-fold, respectively. Low germination rates were observed in site C (50%) and site G (50%) soil extraction treated rice seeds. The shortest root length (0.2377 cm) was observed in site G soil treated groups, which is only 37.57% of that of the control soil treated groups. All of the micronucleus ratio of Vicia faba root cells, rice germination rate and root length after treatment of soil extraction indicate the eco-toxicity in site F and G soils although the three indexes are different in sensitivity to soil metal contamination.

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The world’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate and this change will continue over the following decades (IPCC 2007). There is ample evidence that climate change has ecological consequences (Walther et al. 2002; Parmesan & Yohe 2003; Root et al. 2003; Parmesan 2006). The two best recorded climate-change-induced shifts are changes in phenology, i.e. in timing of vegetation development (Menzel & Fabian 1999), in spawning date in frogs and toads (Beebee 1995), return date of migrant birds (Hu ̈ppop & Hu ̈ppop 2003) and butterflies (Sparks et al. 2005), egg hatching date in insects (Visser & Holleman 2001), laying dates in birds (Crick et al. 1997), etc. and in range shifts, in the distribution of butterflies (Parmesan et al. 1999), breeding range (Thomas & Lennon 1999) or overwintering range (Austin & Rehfisch 2005) of birds, etc. Less widespread documented consequences of climate change are shifts in body size (Millien et al. 2006; Yom-Tov et al. 2006) and in changes in the strength of competition between species (Bertness &Ewanchuk 2002; Jiang & Morin 2004).



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Adaptation is becoming a key issue of post-2012 international climate policy negotiations. The December 2009 Copenhagen Accord (1) establishes that by 2020 developed countries will provide US$ 100 billion per year to address the needs of de veloping countries, including funding for adaptation. Indeed, even ambitious mitigation policies [e.g., the 2 °C target proposed by the European Union (EU) and endorsed by the G8 (2, 3)] will need to be complemented by adaptation strategies to lessen the impact of residual warming (4). Europe is preparing for a coordinated adaptation climate strategy from 2013, as set out in the European Commission White Paper on Adaptation (5). One of its main conclusions is that much still is unknown about the potential impacts of climate change on the European economy as a whole or with respect to different economic sectors and geographical regions of Europe (6–9).


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The severity of damaging human-induced climate change depends not only on the magnitude of the change but also on the potential for irreversibility. This paper shows that the climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop. Following cessation of emissions, removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide decreases radiative forcing, but is largely compensated by slower loss of heat to the ocean, so that atmospheric temperatures do notdrop significantly for at least 1,000 years. Among illustrative irreversible impacts that should be expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase from current levels near 385 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to a peak of 450–600 ppmv over thecoming century are irreversible dry-season rainfall reductions in several regions comparable to those of the ‘‘dust bowl’’ era and inexorable sea level rise. Thermal expansion of the warming ocean provides a conservative lower limit to irreversible global average sea level rise of at least 0.4 1.0 m if 21st century CO2 concentrations exceed 600 ppmv and 0.6 –1.9 m for peak CO2 concentrations exceeding _1,000 ppmv. Additional contributions from glaciers and ice sheet contributions to future sea level rise are uncertain but may equal or exceed several meters over the next millennium or longer.


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