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What would eliminating OCO mean for US aid funding?

Devex - 12. November 2019 - 14:50
Kategorien: english

“Swimming against the tide”

D+C - 12. November 2019 - 14:21
Bangladeshi scholar Saleemul Huq assesses the role of the EU in international climate talks

In what sense is the EU important in climate talks?
It is extremely important because it is a block of rich nations which are still willing to be ambitious. By contrast, the USA under President Donald Trump is abandoning the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. His administration is now arguably the most corrupt government in the world. It has entirely sold out to the special interests of fossil fuel industries. The governments of other important countries, such as Japan, Australia and even Canada, have not declared intentions to quit the Paris Agreement, but they really aren’t doing much to live up to the promises made in Paris. The EU is thus the only block of prosperous nations that developing countries can still rely on in climate negotiations, and without its proactive stance in past talks, we would never have got the Paris Agreement. We must not forget, moreover, that the prosperous nations emit much more greenhouse gases than least-developed countries do. It is therefore good that the EU, as a big group of countries, is still committed to climate action.

European environmentalists find its action unconvincing however.
Yes, and they have a point. We should acknowledge, of course, that it is difficult to achieve consensus in a supranational orga­nisation with so many members. At the same time, there is an irritating ambivalence. Germany, for example, tends to be a leader internationally when it comes to spelling out ambitions, but your country is currently lagging behind the targets your own government set. Let’s hope you will speed up climate protection and not begin to lower the ambitions. The international community really needs to aim much higher. The climate crisis is escalating faster than even some of the most worried scientists predicted, but policymakers are not responding to the growing danger. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has evidently failed. In its context, we keep patting one another on the shoulder for all too moderate aspirations. At the same time, extreme weather keeps having worse impacts – from wildfires in California to drought in the Sahel region and the devastating typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes that build up over all three oceans. The multinational system is not working.

What do you want Europe to do in this setting?
At this point, I no longer expect much of governments. What I find inspiring is the energy and dynamism of protest movements like the school strikes or Extinction Rebellion. The young people understand that their future is at risk, and they are taking the lead. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager, inspired millions of her peers to rally for climate protection. It adds force to their protests that they are skipping lessons and thus breaking rules. This international movement started in Sweden, spread to other European countries and is now mobilising young people everywhere. This is the spirit we need. We need global action to rise to global problems, and global solidarity must be the foundation. Nation states on their own cannot rise to the climate challenges. As governments tend to respond to public opinion, however, protests may yet make a difference, egging them on to more effective cooperation.

Is it a coincidence that both the school strikes and Extinction Rebellion started in Europe?
No, it is not. First of all, the young people want their governments to rise to the challenges and fulfil environmental promises made in the past. That is the same in the USA, where the young generation is demanding a Green New Deal. It also matters that international media are still dominated by institutions like the BBC, CNN or Deutsche Welle. They are based in prosperous nations and define what is considered important around the world. However, they really only take into account what is happening in their own world regions. Teenagers in Dhaka, our capital city, are just as worried about global heating as members of their age group are in Europe, but they cannot get the kind of attention that Greta got in Stockholm. The international media are only interested in our countries when we suffer disasters. They do not cover the legitimate policy demands we raise. Al Jazeera is different. It does not run the same headlines. The good news, how­ever, is that the climate protests we have been witnessing for about a year now are indeed international.

You say the multilateral system is not working. How do you assess the Sustainable Development Goals, which, by the way, EU members endorsed?
I think the SDGs are valuable. They are not legally binding, so they are only soft law, but they do reorient policymakers’ attention to crucial issues. Our prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, for example, keeps referring to them as a yardstick. She is also a UN champion, promoting the water SDG at an international level. It is crucially important, moreover, that the SDGs are a truly global agenda and not just something developing countries are supposed to finally take care of. That was what was irritating about the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs emphasise global efforts, and that we need that, cannot be stated too often. My impression is that we are all swimming against the tide, but we have to keep on fighting. Perhaps we can still make a difference, and in that context, the SDGs are a resource.

Soft law is not enough for rising to global challenges though. We need binding commitments. Do you see the EU as a model for supranational governance?
As far as I can tell, various regional organisations are copying the EU approach to trade issues, establishing free trade areas, customs unions et cetera. How effective those organisations are, varies from region to region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is more dynamic than the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which has been hampered by India and Pakistan always being at loggerheads. However, not even ASEAN is doing anything to stop the human-rights offences against the Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, and Bangladesh must take care of the refugees on its own. So no, I don’t see supranational governance evolving according to the EU model.

Unlike most other regional organisations, the EU has powerful joint institutions, including an administrative body, a law court and a parliament. It has indeed pooled sovereignty. Is that desirable?
Yes, I think it is. I have lived in Britain with my family for two decades. We have dual citizenship. We very much appreciated the growing sense of a European identity which is increasingly supplementing many people’s national identity. The Erasmus programme which allows students to spend a semester at a university in another EU member country is wonderful in this regard. My son went to Spain. It is interesting to note, moreover, that many Britons now appreciate their European identity more than they ever did in the past. Before the Brexit referendum, the European flag was hardly ever seen in the United Kingdom. Now, “remainers” are displaying it all the time. That said, Brexit has proven incredibly disruptive and it has been distracting people from more urgent matters, especially the climate crisis.

But doesn’t the British government insist it will not trim down environmental standards?
That is what it says, but the deregulation agenda it is pursuing speaks a different language. The Brexiteers pretend that British industries will become more competitive once they are basically allowed to do whatever they want. Environmental regulations obviously limit that freedom. More generally speaking, I find it striking that climate denial is common among right-wing populists everywhere, and that is true of many Brexiteers too. It is quite evident that powerful fossil industries are supporting this trend. We know now that Exxon scientists accurately predicted how the climate crisis would evolve in the 1980s, so the top management must have known too. Nonetheless, fossil industries have always fought determined climate action and they still are doing so.

So they are running the show?
Well, apart from mass climate protests, there is another bright light: private-sector investors are now shying away from coal. Only governments worried about voters in coal-mining regions still invest in that sector. Who knows: if mass rallies manage to raise more awareness internationally yet, that may stop too.

Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) in Dhaka. He is also a senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development.
saleemul.huq@iied.org
http://www.icccad.net/

Kategorien: english

The Changing Landscape for Agriculture and Rural Development Policy in Africa?

SNRD Africa - 12. November 2019 - 13:25
Brief statement by Steve Wiggins of ODI
Kategorien: english

Globalisation

SNRD Africa - 12. November 2019 - 13:06
Keynote address by Steve Wiggins of ODI
Kategorien: english

Digitalisation and New Technologies

SNRD Africa - 12. November 2019 - 13:02
Keynote address at the 2019 SNRD conference by Michael Hailu of CTA
Kategorien: english

Engulfed by the lake

D+C - 12. November 2019 - 12:12
Fishermen on Zambia’s Lake Kariba are drowning in growing numbers

Early this month, in the latest instance of a series of tragic accidents, two fishermen drowned on Lake Kariba after a massive wave, driven by furious winds, hit their fishing rig and caused it to capsize. Two other fishermen on the rig survived. Last month, five fishermen drowned on Lake Kariba in separate incidents. In general, the rate of deaths by drowning for fishermen on the lake has been rising steadily in recent years.

The incident in early November followed a sadly familiar course: In the wee hours of the morning, a massive storm built up on the lake and overwhelmed the fishing vessels moored there.

The latest victims were based in Siavonga District on Lake Kariba’s northern shore. The lake, which lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is among the world’s largest man-made lakes by volume. The men had been fishing for kapenta, a type of sardine.

Drowning has become an increasing concern in other coastal regions as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths worldwide. In 2015, there were an estimated 360,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.

The deaths, while tragic in themselves, also cast a cloud on the region’s economic future. After tourism, fishing is the second most important source of employment in the Siavonga district. In Zambia, fish is an important component of food security, with Lake Kariba accounting for 70 % of fish protein, according to the Fisheries Department.

Climate change is a likely cause of the series of drownings, since vessels that previously were seaworthy have proved no match for more powerful storms.  Missing upgrades to the vessels may also be an issue. “I suspect that the fishing rig sunk because most of these rigs have mechanical challenges,” said Felix Kanyembo, a Siavonga fish monger.

Accordingly, local authorities have called for tighter construction standards and other security measures to protect the lives of fishermen on the lake.

Others in the region see the problem entirely differently. Local folklore holds that ‘Nyami Nyami’ or ‘Water Spirits’ are causing fishermen to drown on the lake. According to African mythology, ‘Nyami Nyami,’ the River god who lives in Lake Kariba, is a serpent-like creature about three metres wide.

Some members of the local Tonga tribe who witnessed the construction of the Kariba dam wall in the 1950s add a further interpretation. They say the River god is married and that the building of Kariba dam wall separated him from his wife. To the tribesmen, the recent series of drownings is nothing more than the River god’s revenge.

Moses Haambote, a Siavonga resident, is one who believes this interpretation. Locals usually consult elders and perform rituals before going out on the lake, he notes. “If you ignore their guidance, you embark on a trip at your own risk,” he adds.

 

Derrick Silimina is a freelance journalist based in Lusaka, Zambia. He focuses on Zambian agriculture and sustainability issues.
derricksilimina@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

INHERIT Publishes 3 Policy Briefs on Integrated Governance, Health Equity, and Behaviour Change

SCP-Centre - 12. November 2019 - 9:52

How can policymakers promote interventions that foster a “triple-win” — a benefit for environmental sustainability, health and health equity? Our INHERIT project’s new policy briefs suggest ways forward for integrated governance, behaviour change, and health equity, and cover the areas of living, moving, and consuming. They also include recommendations for actions and set out concrete examples of what can and has been achieved in different contexts across Europe, highlighting possibilities for scaling-up. The briefs have been developed by the Horizon 2020 INHERIT research project (2016-2019).

The problems are clear: chronic diseases are increasing, the environment and the climate are under threat, and inequalities are on the rise, with disadvantaged populations likely to suffer most from ill-health and the negative effects of climate change.

There are solutions: Integrated governance can help ensure that interconnected environmental, health, and equity issues are addressed cohesively. Participatory approaches allow citizens to engage with policymaking that affects their lives. Enabling and encouraging people to change behaviours is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of transitioning towards greater sustainability. Making sure that policy actions do not contribute to widening inequalities is not only just, it is also good for society as a whole. Policymakers at European, national, regional, and local levels are crucial, and can take concrete actions to put these solutions into place.

The policy briefs provide guidance on three critical areas at the heart of sustainable change:

  • Integrated governance is essential to harness synergies and can be fostered by setting strategic common goals across sectors, encouraging joint programming and financing, and creating institutional cultures that value collaboration over individual success.

Example: A range of local government sectors and actors are coming together in the STOEMP initiative, part of the award-winning city-wide Gent en Garde programme (Belgium), to determine how healthy and sustainable food can be made available to everyone.

  • Understanding and considering the impact of behaviour from the outset of policy-making can help policymakers to provide everybody with the capability, opportunity and motivation to make sustainable change.

Example: Measures to ensure that children connect with and learn through nature and enjoy healthy, sustainably produced food in school-settings can help them develop better habits throughout their lives, as is being done through the GemüseAckerdemie (Vegetable Academy) in schools across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

  • Health equity can be promoted and mainstreamed in practice by making it easier for everybody to engage in active travel, ensuring access to engaging green spaces that respond to residents’ needs, and subsidsing the cost of fruits and vegetables.

Example: The municipality of Malvik (Norway), converted a decomissioned railway into a path through an inclusive participatory process, and the path is now being increasingly used, particularly by people facing socioeconomic disadvantages.

Click here to view the policy briefs.

In December, INHERIT will complement the policy briefs with a broader policy toolkit, which will build on and further develop these elements, as well as areas for further work including collaborating with the private sector, meaningful public engagement, and education and training for the triple-win.

The results of the project will be discussed at the high-level conference ‘A Future for all to INHERIT: Taking Action Now’, taking place in Brussels on 10 December 2019. During this conference, EU Health Ministers, Members of the European Parliament, local policymakers, and leading researchers and economists, will debate what can be done now to ensure a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future, against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, please contact Rosa Strube.

Der Beitrag INHERIT Publishes 3 Policy Briefs on Integrated Governance, Health Equity, and Behaviour Change erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Europe gives go ahead to market Ebola vaccine

EURACTIV.com - 12. November 2019 - 8:10
The European Union authorised the marketing of a vaccine against Ebola on Monday (11 November), permitting the first wider commercial use of a protection that has helped stem an outbreak in DR Congo.
Kategorien: english

Women in the gig economy: paid work, care and flexibility in Kenya and South Africa

ODI - 12. November 2019 - 0:00
Report presenting findings from an in-depth study of women’s engagement in the gig economy in Kenya and South Africa.
Kategorien: english

How G20 governments can show real climate leadership

ODI - 12. November 2019 - 0:00
G20 leaders must be bold and end financing for fossil fuels immediately to avoid facing a climate reality that is beyond what the world can cope with.
Kategorien: english

Localising protection responses in conflicts: challenges and opportunities

ODI - 12. November 2019 - 0:00
Exploring the tensions, challenges and opportunities inherent in a more localised approach to civilian protection.
Kategorien: english

New UN forestry project bids to help countries meet climate change commitments

UN ECOSOC - 11. November 2019 - 17:00
More than two dozen countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America are set to benefit from a UN project to help tackle climate change through better forestry management.
Kategorien: english

Iraq Protests: A Reporter in Baghdad Explains Why Thousands of Iraqis are Protesting the Government

UN Dispatch - 11. November 2019 - 16:32

For the past several weeks, Washington Post reporter Mustafa Salim has had a front row view to massive protests that have erupted in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq. As he explains in this Global Dispatches podcast episode, these protests are neither centrally organized, nor do they have an explicit set of demands. Yet, they may prove to be powerful enough to bring down the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The protests began in early October, mostly by young men from poorer Shi’ite cities and towns angered by corruption and their own economic distress. But now, the protests have since expanded to include women and men from all walks of life.

In our conversation, Mustafa Salim describes the scene on the ground in Baghdad where I reached him a few days ago. We discuss how these protests originated, where they may be heading, why Iran is a target of the protesters, and how humble drivers of three wheel taxis that cater to the urban poor, known as Tuk Tuks, became symbolic heroes of this protest movement.

If you have 20 minutes and want both a deeper understanding of what is driving the Iraq protests and what the mood is on the ground in Baghdad, have a listen.

 

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The post Iraq Protests: A Reporter in Baghdad Explains Why Thousands of Iraqis are Protesting the Government appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Digital Transformation and Sustainability; The Mittelstand 4.0 Zooms in on These Megatrends

SCP-Centre - 11. November 2019 - 9:08

87% of companies believe that digital transformation is a competitive opportunity! [1] Climate change, digitalisation, blockchain and new work environments have already arrived – How is your business affected? The Mittelstand 4.0 event presents answers to these questions during insightful, practice-orientated workshops.

Digital transformation and sustainability present a wealth of opportunities and challenges for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME’s). Crucial for the global agenda, these two major topics were the focal point of an event hosted by Mittelstand 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum eStandards on 10 October 2019. The keynote speeches and active workshops enabled participants to consider how their companies could benefit from becoming more digital and sustainable.

Michael Kuhndt, the director of the CSCP, opened the event with a speech on the importance of digitalisation for a good life. Elisabeth Kraut, sustainability manager of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, focused on the importance of data gathering, particularly with regards to product ingredients. Anna Yona, Founder of Wilding Shoes, demonstrated how digitalisation can be at the core of sustainable business models.

Workshop topics were diverse, yet complementary of each other. True to the core CSCP approach, they fostered collaboration and enabled participants to see the bigger picture. The main topics were:

  • Supply chain transparency: examples from sustainabill regarding supply chain traceability, along with the GS1’s tool Ecotraxx and blockchain project.
  • Resource efficiency and climate change mitigation: case studies presented by Maag, producer of flexible packaging, Happy Power Hour project and Cambio Analytics Gmbh.
  • Corporate digital responsibility: highlighted that digitalisation should take place in harmony with society and the environment and addressed how this could be achieved.
  • New work: presented workplaces of the future thanks to the Durchblick exhibition, as well as input from Impact Hub Ruhr
  • Digital sustainable business models: The CSCP and Resourcify helped participants to evaluate their status quo and understand the related challenges.
  • Circular economy: example of Cradle-to-Cradle certified Würth assembly system, circularity challenges faced by Wilding Shoes company and tools from R2Pi project helping companies to become circular.

Every workshop finished with open discussions or brainstorming on possible solutions. Participating companies engaged with speakers but also learned from each other.

“The practical orientation of the input providers has made complex topics very tangible. We benefit greatly from the fact that practical examples were used in such concrete ways”. Elisabeth Kraut was impressed by the diverse real-world examples.

The final panel-discussion on the future of digitalisation involved representatives from different organisations who provided perspectives on what companies could already do short-term, and which goals are to be accomplished long-term, in order to develop sustainably.

Anna Yona praised the insightfulness of the event:

“Even though we are already a very sustainable and digital company, we were able to take many concrete points for new ideas and further improvements with us from the event.”

For further information contact Patrik Eisenhauer.

[1] The secret to a successful digital transformation

 

Der Beitrag Digital Transformation and Sustainability; The Mittelstand 4.0 Zooms in on These Megatrends erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Women at the forefront of Sudan’s political transformation: recommendations from a workshop on women’s rights, representation and resilience in a new Sudan

ODI - 11. November 2019 - 0:00
This paper presents the findings of an ODI workshop that convened Sudanese women to discuss women's participation in Sudan's political future.
Kategorien: english

Brown to green: the G20 transition towards a net-zero emissions economy 2019

ODI - 11. November 2019 - 0:00
This report takes stock of G20 climate action in the context of 1.5 °C benchmarks.
Kategorien: english

Pressemitteilung: Recherche belegt Lobbyoffensive - Arbeitgeberverbände verweigern gesetzliche Menschenrechts-Vorgaben für Unternehmen

Global Policy Forum - 8. November 2019 - 18:07

Elf Treffen in fünf Monaten: Arbeitgeberverbände und Unternehmen haben sich in zahlreichen nicht-öffentlichen Lobbytreffen mit dem Bundeswirtschaftsministerium gegen gesetzliche Menschenrechts-Vorgaben ausgesprochen. Das zeigt eine heute veröffentlichte Studie von Global Policy Forum, Brot für die Welt und Misereor. Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten der „Initiative Lieferkettengesetz“ protestierten mit einer symbolischen Aktion vor dem Tagungszentrum des Deutschen Arbeitgebertags gegen den „Kuschelkurs“ von Bundeswirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier mit der Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände (BDA), der zulasten der Menschenrechte gehe.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Sorgfältig verwässert: Wie die Wirtschaftsverbände versuchen, ein Lieferkettengesetz zu verhindern

Global Policy Forum - 8. November 2019 - 17:56

Im Jahr 2016 hat die Bundesregierung den „Nationalen Aktionsplan Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte“ (NAP) verabschiedet, um die Einhaltung von Menschenrechten entlang der Lieferketten deutscher Unternehmen durchzusetzen. Der NAP beruht jedoch vollständig auf freiwilligen Maßnahmen von Unternehmen: Verbindliche Regeln hatte die Bundesregierung auf Druck von Unternehmensverbänden aus dem NAP gestrichen. Die vorliegende Recherche zeigt, dass dieser Lobbydruck seither nicht nachgelassen hat. Im Gegenteil: Wirtschaftsverbände versuchen aktiv, auch die im Herbst 2018 gestartete Überprüfung der menschenrechtlichen Sorgfalt deutscher Unternehmen zu verzögern und zu verwässern. Die Bundesregierung möchte dieses sogenannte „NAP-Monitoring“ zur Entscheidungsgrundlage nehmen, ob sie ein Lieferkettengesetz einführt oder nicht. Für die vorliegende Recherche haben Brot für die Welt, Global Policy Forum und MISEREOR sechs Anfragen nach dem Informationsfreiheitsgesetz (IFG) gestellt, unter anderem an das Auswärtige Amt (AA), das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) und an das Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ). Darin wurden Information zu Treffen und schriftlichem Austausch der Ministerien mit Unternehmen und Wirtschaftsverbänden zu den Themen „NAP-Monitoring“ und „Lieferkettengesetz“ angefragt. Die Auswertung der Dokumente zeigt: Eine wichtige Rolle in der Lobbyoffensive spielte Steffen Kampeter, Hauptgeschäftsführer der Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände (BDA), der bis 2015 noch Staatssekretär im Bundesfinanzministerium (BMF) war und daher über beste Kontakte zum Bundeswirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier und zum Bundeskanzleramt verfügt. Unter massiven Druck geriet auch der Bundesentwicklungsminister Gerd Müller, nachdem im Februar 2019 der Entwurf aus seinem Ministerium für ein Wertschöpfungskettengesetz an die Öffentlichkeit gelangt war. Brot für die Welt, Global Policy Forum und MISEREOR haben sich der „Initiative Lieferkettengesetz“ angeschlossen und fordern von der Bundesregierung die Einführung verbindlicher Regeln für Unternehmen - unabhängig von dem auf Druck der Wirtschaftslobby stark verwässerten NAP-Monitoring.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Solving the low-income country debt crisis: four solutions

ODI - 8. November 2019 - 0:00
Preventing another widespread low-income country debt crisis require serious changes on the part of creditors and the international system.
Kategorien: english

Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

UN #SDG News - 7. November 2019 - 23:29
The UN Secretary-General is calling on business leaders to use their “enormous influence” to push for inclusive growth and opportunities that benefit all people and the planet.
Kategorien: english

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