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There is an increasing need to develop indicators of vulnerability and of adaptive capacity both to determine the robustness of response strategies over time and to understand better the underlying processes. The climate change policy process has increasingly focussed on the potential for adaptation. National level indicators of vulnerability or adaptive capacity directed towards the allocation of resources to support
financial mechanisms of the UNFCCC, for example, will only find acceptance if based on agreed criteria that are transparent and robust.
In this project we find that it is possible to compare the vulnerability of people and places across time and space at different scales. It is less meaningful to aggregate vulnerability across scales since the processes that cause vulnerability are different at each scale. We have explored issues of aggregation and construction of indices, weighting of indicators, and the efficacy of these to explain observed vulnerability to weather-related natural disasters. We are now in a better position to identify robust and transparent indicator sets. We find that national level adaptive capacity is dependent on social infrastructure and the accountability of institutions more than on the level of economic activity.

 

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The importance of cities in climate policy stems from the simple reality that they house the majority of the world’s population, two-thirds of world energy use and over 70% of global energy use emissions. At the international level, global carbon markets have become an important new source of financing for mitigation projects and programmes. Yet to date, the participation of urban authorities and of urban mitigation projects in the global carbon market remains extremely limited. The under-representation of urban carbon projects can be linked both to the difficulties to implement urban mitigation projects and to the difficulties for cities to access the carbon market. This paper reviews 10 in–depth case studies of urban projects proposed and operating within the realm of Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. It explores the drivers of success for projects, examining in particular: types of projects that have been successful and their profitability; leadership and other roles of various actors in project initiation development and operation (i.e. local, regional and national governments as well as international, private sector or other non-governmental organisations); the role of local cobenefits; and project financial structure and risk management approaches. This paper also considers how these lessons learned may inform decisions in the future about how to best tap the potential for carbon markets to offer increased levels of financial support for urban mitigation projects or programmes.

 

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The potential of a ‘rising Asia’ has begun to dominate economic discourse as the world is witnessing the most profound shifts in the global economic landscape for a century. In the midst of the rapidly growing Asian region, South Asia has experienced striking levels of economic development within the last two decades as a result of greater openness to the world economy and overall market-oriented policy reforms with a focus on inclusivity. Average GDP growth in region leapt from 5.3 per cent in 1990 to 8.3 per cent in 2007/08, prior to the global downturn. While the region enjoyed the subsequent rewards, including declining levels of poverty in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, the global financial crisis placed pressures on these economies, with growth falling to about 6.3 per cent in 2009 and brought to the fore the fundamental challenges that they still need to address. If the region as a whole, and the countries that constitute it, are to see sustained rapid growth, take full advantage of the strategic location – amidst ‘rising Asia’, and emerge as a prosperous region, these challenges need to be tackled comprehensively. In this context, this publication seeks to understand South Asia’s development and continued challenges faced by the region through four key themes – harnessing human capital potential; managing water resources, food security and climate change; addressing intra-country growth disparities; and building competitiveness of the private sector – and put forward an agenda for action towards building a stronger, more dynamic, and more inclusive region.

 

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It won’t happen to me” is a widely found syndrome. It is a tendency we observe more particularly in cases of extreme misfortune, especially in the face of  major disasters and accidents. While discussing possibility of such occurrences, the first thought in the minds of most of people, whereas very few think otherwise and accept, “Yes, it could happen to me.

 

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Imagine a situation where you and your vehicle are all set for a perfect smooth drive but you have no clue of your destination? Most probably, you will not able to even start your journey. Now just flip the situation where you are intending to go, you have drawn a map and have full realization of travel requirements but you have neither a car nor the fuel to translate your travel plan into actuality.

 

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Super-typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) tore through the Philippines exactly one year ago, devastating thousands of lives and leaving millions of people homeless. It was the strongest typhoon to make landfall ever recorded, causing a storm surge that ripped through coastal neighbourhoods and agricultural lands across much of central Philippines. The international humanitarian community responded quickly and most generously to the humanitarian needs in the wake of Haiyan. While the scale of the disaster was in many ways unprecedented, Asia is already the most disaster-prone region in the world, and worryingly, the impacts of these disasters are growing. In the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, scientists foresaw, with high confidence, that "extreme climate events will have an increasing impact on human health, security, livelihoods, and poverty, with the type and magnitude of impact varying across Asia.

 

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