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Estimating economic losses from perceived heat stress in urban Malaysia

GDI Briefing - 25. Juni 2020 - 14:51

Higher temperatures linked to climate change lead to people feeling increasingly heat stressed compromising their health and reducing economic activity. In this paper we assess the potential economic impact of heat stress on working people in urban Malaysia by analysing the loss in productivity that they associate with heat stress. We found that nearly every respondent (99%) from a sample of 514 drawn from an online survey sometimes feels heat stressed and also less productive as a result. The median number of days in a year on which people felt their productivity had been compromised because of heat stress was 29. On those days half of the respondents felt their work capacity had been at least halved. The estimated median annual loss from reduced productivity was 257 €, nearly 10% of respondents' median annual income. Respondents who work in mentally challenging jobs are more affected by heat than those in physically intense jobs. They also receive the highest incomes, so suffer the highest losses. Our research suggests that the real economic costs of heat has probably been underestimated because most research has so far focused on people working in physically intense outdoor jobs or those performed in very hot environments.

Kategorien: english

Human action

D+C - 25. Juni 2020 - 14:36
Deforestation continues on a global level although it is damaging to human interests in several ways

Three hundred years ago, deforestation and resource extraction had become so bad in Germany that the paradigm of sustainability was invented. It applied only to forestry initially. The idea was to keep forests stable by not cutting down more trees than regrow over a certain time span. Today, the international community demands sustainability in all industries. Short-term profiteering is often based on excessive resource extraction nonetheless.

Today, about one third of Germany has a forest cover once again. Internationally, however, deforestation keeps getting worse. In particular, the huge tropical forests, which are of great climate relevance, are being destroyed. The most prominent example is the world’s largest forest system in the Amazon basin. Deforestation rates there had actually declined for a while, but then started to increase again, with things getting especially bad after Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil.

Agriculture, the timber industry and mining are depleting forest areas elsewhere too – from Siberia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The damage is tremendous, especially where primary forests disappear. They are the habitats of most terrestrial animal and plant species. The erosion of biodiversity is depressing and not only for sentimental reasons. Food security and human health depend on biodiversity, and that is especially true in low-income countries.

Local communities are affected worst. They not only live in the forest, but their livelihoods depend on the forest. They use the resources sustainably, and many belong to indigenous peoples. However, their rights tend to be violated, their habitats eroded and their essential resources depleted.

Deforestation alters regional climates moreover. Patterns of rainfall change and desertification intensifies. Of course, deforestation also exacerbates global climate change. Dead trees release carbon, and storage capacity is lost.

In some countries, forest protection has improved, for example in Indonesia. The international donor community is making efforts to support such action by setting appropriate incentives and helping to implement programmes. It is also true, however, that the consumerism of high-income countries is a driver of deforestation. Environmental destruction is financially lucrative because of their demand for things like timber, soy and palm oil. Soybeans are needed for meat production, and palm oil is used as a fuel and as a component of food and cosmetic products.

In recent months, deforestation has made headlines as forest fires in Brazil and later bush fires in Australia attracted global attention. Disasters of that kind are shocking. Hopefully, they will eventually trigger preventive action. It actually does not make much difference whether forests are set ablaze intentionally or whether fires result from unusual heat and dryness. Either way, human behaviour is the root cause. To some extent, this is actually good news. It means that deforestation is not our fate. It is up to us to stop it.
 

Katja Dombrowski is a member of the editorial team of D+C Development and Cooperation / E+Z Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit.
euz.editor@dandc.eu

 

Kategorien: english

Understanding the role of natural hazards in internal labour mobility in Australia

GDI Briefing - 25. Juni 2020 - 14:23

Australia is among the countries most exposed to natural hazards, particularly wildfire, cyclones, floods and heat waves. Natural disasters are expected to increase in frequency and severity as climate changes. For some people, the increase in risk from these disasters is a reason to move away from certain places or avoid others. Contemporary migration literature has largely ignored environmental factors for mobility, concentrating instead on economic and amenity or lifestyle factors. In this study we fill this gap by exploring the extent to which People in Australia consider natural hazards in their location choices and mobility decisions. Results from a survey using best-worst scaling showed that non-environmental factors prevail, with safety from crime the factor People consider most important when moving somewhere for a new job, followed by living costs and provision of adequate health care. Environmental factors were secondary in people’s migration decisions but more important than attractive scenery and educational opportunities. The reasons people in Australia are not particularly dissuaded from moving to places where the prospects of good employment opportunities are high even though they risk the effects of natural disasters, might be a belief in their ability to cope with the disasters should they occur (self-efficacy). Among the environmental factors, high wildfire risk was most important in people’s migration decisions, even though the survey was conducted before the devastating wildfires in 2019/20 which were unprecedented in their extent and severity. Wildfires might since have become more important in people’s migration decisions, leading to long-term demographic change if people start avoiding high fire risk regions.

Kategorien: english

Livelihoods transformation and climate change adaptation: the case of smallholder water buffalo farmers in the Philippines

GDI Briefing - 25. Juni 2020 - 14:16

Livelihood transitions in most agricultural nations are conditioned by changes in both human and climate systems. In the Philippines, climate change related extreme weather events such as typhoons, floods, and droughts have detrimental impacts on crop production and have significantly affected the livelihoods of cash crop focused rural villages. A shift from crop to livestock production is emerging as a buffer activity to recover from crop losses; however, whether this adaptive response is viable is still unexplored. The aim of this study is to understand how Farmers perceive water buffalo as a transformative opportunity and how they use water buffalo in the adaptation process to sustain their livelihoods when the climate becomes more volatile. Data were collected from farming villages in the Nueva Ecija province, the Philippines using mixed methods. It was found that farmers' livelihood patterns evolved as economic consequences of recurrent crop failures caused by typhoons, flooding, and dry spells. Farmers' changed their farming activities as an adaptive response driven by past experiences of climatic changes, farmers' social relations, household capacity, and resources available. The increasing trend of shifting to water buffalo dairying demonstrated farmers' preferences for less risky sources of income in lieu of the opportunities and options available. Thus, local adaptation can be understood to be an outcome of both farmers’ livelihood survival strategies and the institutional Dynamics in their localities. The results imply a need to integrate adaptation programs that are linked to local livelihood development, particularly in the Carabao Development Program (CDP). This study concludes by suggesting issues to be considered for water buffalo dairying as a viable adaptation option for climate-resilient livelihoods.

Kategorien: english

CIAP: Fostering Circular Behaviours in the Electronics Sector and Beyond

SCP-Centre - 25. Juni 2020 - 11:59

Looking for effective ways to enable circular behaviour change in the electronics, plastics and textile sectors? Then, the Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) is the right framework. Through a hands-on collaboration process with businesses, start-ups, NGOs, researchers and European policy makers, CIAP aims to mobilise and support frontrunners in enabling circular behaviours. To do that, CIAP will connect circular production to consumption, go deeper into understanding the consumer behavioural elements of the circular transition, and unlock the practical applications of behavioural insights to enable more circularity in various sectors.

Each European generates 16.6kg e-waste per year. In general, E-waste reached 50 million tons in 2018 globally, a figure that grows 3-4% every year[1]. This is partly due to the fact that the lifetime of most electronic products is decreasing and a growing number of appliances are replaced before they reach their average service life of 5 years[2]. In the meantime, according to Eurostat, it is estimated that less than 40% of electronic waste is recycled in the EU, while over one third of European consumers have never repaired an electronic product [3]. These are some of the challenges faced in the electronics sector in Europe, not to mention the critical resource, carbon and water footprints that result from this.

How can we improve the take-back schemes to motivate consumers to return obsolete electronics, such as smartphones, to the right collection points? What are the effective ways to enable consumers to choose more durable products? Can behaviour change play a role in engaging consumers to exercise their right to repair?

EU policies and decision-makers have long recognised the importance of understanding and integrating consumer knowledge and behavioural insights into the circular economy transition. The new EU Circular Economy Action Plan is more than ever focused on “empowering  consumers  and  providing  them  with  cost-saving  opportunities”, a  key  building  block  of the transition towards a circular economy in Europe. Among several important goals, the Action Plan aims at “improving the collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment including by exploring options for an EU-wide take back scheme to return or sell back old mobile phones, tablets and chargers”, which will certainly entail having a better understanding of the barriers faced by consumers in playing their part.

Despite the growing importance of consumer engagement and behavioural insights for the circular economy transition, there is little research and action on how to effectively enable more circular behaviours. Similarly, the need to understand and address the actual consumer behavioural barriers to engage is still largely overlooked within circular strategies. To address this gap, the CSCP, Sitra and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) have launched in 2019 the Consumer Insight Action Panel, in partnership with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

The goal of the Consumer Insight Action Panel is to translate consumer needs and behavioural knowledge into impact-oriented and consumer-relevant policy recommendations, business innovations and civil society actions towards the circular economy. In other words, the main objective is to enable change towards the circular behaviours that really matter!

CIAP’s work has been organised in three clubs: electronics, plastics and textiles. Each club consists of a group of high-level stakeholders dedicated to exchanging knowledge, benchmark existing solutions, prototype and test innovations, and lead the sector when it comes to fostering circular behaviours. The stakeholders includes business, start-ups, NGOs, researchers and European policy makers. You can find more details about the clubs here.

The Electronics Club focuses on exploring ways to engage consumers more effectively in the transition towards more circularity and test behaviourally-informed approaches in retail stores, neighbourhoods and households. Moreover, the Electronic Clubs aims at fostering circular electronic goals such as boosting take-back schemes, enabling the fulfilment of the right to repair, and supporting product maintenance. Finally, the club is also keen on understanding how solutions to support circular behaviours might have social impacts and how to account for them.

Are you interested in driving behavioural knowledge and supporting behavioural change towards the circular economy transition in Europe? Would you like to be involved in prototyping and testing interventions towards circular behaviours in electronics, plastics or textiles sector?

Then, reach out to Mariana Nicolau.

Image Robin Worrall on Unsplash

[1] ITU, 2017

[2] Prakash et al., 2016

[3] DG JUST, 2018

Der Beitrag CIAP: Fostering Circular Behaviours in the Electronics Sector and Beyond erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Unbundling Corruption: Why it matters and how to do it

OECD - 25. Juni 2020 - 11:48
By Yuen Yuen Ang, Political Scientist at the University of Michigan, and the author of How China Escaped the Poverty Trap and China’s Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Growth and Vast Corruption Even amid a global pandemic, corruption persists and manifests itself in multiple forms, ranging from corrupt police extorting truck drivers delivering essential … Continue reading Unbundling Corruption: Why it matters and how to do it
Kategorien: english

Der globale Populismus stirbt nicht an COVID-19

GDI Briefing - 25. Juni 2020 - 11:08

Viele von Populisten regierte Staaten gehören zu den am stärksten von der Coronavirus-Pandemie betroffenen Ländern, wie die Fälle in den USA, Brasilien, Russland, Großbritannien und Indien veranschaulichen. Und obwohl populistische Regierungen gegenüber COVID-19 keinen einheitlichen Ansatz verfolgen, stellte sich ihr Krisenmanagement oft als eine Mischung aus Verleugnung und Inkonsistenz, Schuldzuweisungen, mangelnder Transparenz und allgemeiner Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit dar. Trotzdem ist es noch zu früh für die Aussage, dass die Pandemie dem Populismus nachhaltig schadet.

Die populistische Weltanschauung unterteilt die Gesellschaft in das „Volk“ und die „Elite“. Populisten betrachten diese Gruppen als homogen und antagonistisch. Sie argumentieren, dass Politik Ausdruck des allgemeinen Willens des Volkes sein sollte und dass sie die einzigen legitimen Repräsentierenden des Volkes seien. Dass manche populistisch geführte Regierungen nun mit der Krise zu kämpfen haben, bedeutet nicht, dass Populismus in einer Post-Corona-Welt verschwinden wird. Einige Studien argumentieren, dass Krisen wie die Finanzkrise und der starke Anstieg der Zuwanderung von Geflüchteten im Jahr 2015 den Aufstieg des Populismus beschleunigt hätten.

Populisten können Krisen ausnutzen, um Anhänger zu mobilisieren. Indem er den Anspruch erhob der einzig wahre Repräsentant des Volkes zu sein, eröffnete Brasiliens Präsident Jair Bolsonaro in der Pandemie noch weitere Krisenfronten. Bolsonaro schürte den Konflikt mit den Gouverneuren, dem Parlament und den Gerichten. Er versucht zudem, die Aufmerksamkeit der Medien vom Corona-Missmanagement der brasilianischen Regierung durch polemische Äußerungen abzulenken, indem er etwa den Zugang der Bevölkerung zu Waffen verteidigt. Trotz des rasanten Anstiegs der Corona- und den damit verbundenen Todesfällen in Brasilien sind die Umfragewerte von Bolsonaro nicht gesunken, sondern liegen nach wie vor bei rund 30 Prozent. Bisher hatte keines der Amtsenthebungsgesuche gegen ihn Erfolg.

US-Präsident Donald Trump machte China für den Ausbruch der Pandemie verantwortlich und verlagerte den Fokus des Krisenmanagements auf den Ursprung der Krise. Er verurteilte auch die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO), welche er zu einer von China kontrollierte Organisation deklarierte. Dieser Narrativ traf bei seinen Anhängern aus der politischen Rechten auf große Resonanz, denn er harmoniert mit Trumps „America First“ Rhetorik.

Populistische Regierungen nutzen Kommunikationskanäle, um oft irreführende Informationen über die eigene Leistung zu verbreiten, einfache Lösungen für komplexe Probleme anzubieten und die zentrale Stellung der Führungsperson hervorzuheben. So propagierten Trump und Bolsonaro auch persönlich den Gebrauch von Chloroquin zur Behandlung von COVID-19, obwohl dessen Wirksamkeit nicht wissenschaftlich bewiesen ist. Die brasilianische Regierung versuchte zudem, die Infektionszahlen geheim zu halten und verbreitete, dass Brasilien bei der Anzahl der COVID-19-Genesenen weltweit auf dem 2. Platz liege.

Populisten in der Regierung untergraben die liberale Demokratie, und die aktuelle Gesundheitskrise stellt für sie eine besondere Chance dar, eine demokratische Erosion zu beschleunigen. In einigen Fällen wurde der Gesundheitsnotstand auch instrumentalisiert, um eine Zentralisierung der Exekutivgewalt zu rechtfertigen und die Opposition und die Massenproteste zum Schweigen zu bringen. Der Präsident der Philippinen Rodrigo Duterte drohte bei Verstößen gegen die Auflagen zur Eindämmung von COVID-19 sogar mit Erschießungen. In Polen profitierte der amtierende Präsident Andrezej Duda von der Pandemie, die mitten im Wahlkampf für die Opposition nur wenig politischen Raum ließ.

Auch auf längere Sicht könnten Populisten von – durch die Pandemie verschärften – sozialen Spaltungen profitieren. Der Aufstieg des Populismus spiegelt auch kulturelle Aspekte, soziale und wirtschaftliche Missstände wider. Der Rechtspopulismus hat in der Vergangenheit von wachsender Arbeitslosigkeit, Ungleichheit und Euroskeptizismus profitiert, also von Phänomenen, die durch die Corona-Pandemie verstärkt werden. So hat der Euroskeptizismus  vor allem in Italien zugenommen, was in engem Zusammenhang mit dem Mangel an Solidarität seitens der EU in der frühesten Phase der Pandemie steht. Schon jetzt versuchen populistische Akteure, die Unzufriedenheit und Unsicherheit für die Mobilisierung politischer Anhänger zu nutzen, und prangern die Krise als das Scheitern der Globalisierung, der „offenen Grenzen“, der internationalen Organisationen und des Liberalismus an. Wenn sich nun die Logik durchsetzt, die Grenzen zu schließen und die eigene Nation an die erste Stelle zu setzen, könnte dies die langwährenden Forderungen der Populisten legitimieren.

Auf kurze Sicht hat der Populismus durch schlechtes Krisenmanagement eine seiner Schwächen offenbart. Das bedeutet jedoch nicht, dass der Populismus nach Corona keinen politischen Erfolg mehr haben wird. Seine Fähigkeit, Anhänger zu mobilisieren, Kräfte zu bündeln und ein Krisennarrativ zu verbreiten, das seiner nationalistischen und autoritären Ideologie entspricht, sollte nicht unterschätzt werden. Durch anti-globalistische Narrative, Verschwörungstheorien und Polarisierung könnte er sich als widerstandsfähig erweisen.

Dieser Text ist Teil einer Sonderreihe unseres Formats Die aktuelle Kolumne, die die Folgen der Corona-Krise entwicklungspolitisch und sozioökonomisch einordnet. Sie finden die weiteren Texte hier auf unserer Überblicksseite.

Kategorien: english

First Person: Innovation brewing at Hawaii coffee farm

UN ECOSOC - 25. Juni 2020 - 6:00
Innovation and experimentation are helping a coffee farm in the US state of Hawaii to prosper in a competitive market, an approach which has helped the company to get through the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Kategorien: english

COVID-19: Recovery will be slower following ‘crisis like no other’, IMF predicts

UN ECOSOC - 24. Juni 2020 - 22:00
Economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast, according to a report published on Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Kategorien: english

Why we need Global Public Investment after COVID-19

OECD - 24. Juni 2020 - 16:39
By Simon Reid-Henry, Reader in Geography and Director, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary University of London This blog* is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. The COVID-19 response has highlighted the … Continue reading Why we need Global Public Investment after COVID-19
Kategorien: english

Funding the UN: support or constraint?

GDI Briefing - 24. Juni 2020 - 10:09

Adequate and predictable funding to multilateral development organizations is key to promoting global sustainable development. Funding volumes and practices matter. They affect the scale and scope of solutions that can be offered. They reveal the extent to which multilateral organizations are owned by member states when looking at who shares the risks and costs of multilateral activities, and they demonstrate the level of trust placed in an organization. Through resource politics, states exercise influence and control over an organization. This influence can serve to support and strengthen multilateral organizations by helping them to be efficient, effective, and innovative. Or, it can also undermine international organizations by making their work harder, hampering development effectiveness, and eroding multilateral assets. The UN development system (UNDS) illustrates both kinds of financial engagement, often in parallel. This chapter begins by describing the current funding patterns of the UNDS, analyzes the main drivers, and assesses repercussions. It then takes stock of responses by individual organizations as well as by the system as a whole. The chapter concludes with some reflections about the inherent challenges in finding remedies to the unsustainable funding structures that endanger the system’s multilateral assets.

Kategorien: english

The ‘triple dividend’ of early warning systems: evidence from Tanzania’s coastal areas

ODI - 24. Juni 2020 - 0:00
A study of the socio-economic benefits associated with improvements in early earning systems in coastal areas of Tanzania.
Kategorien: english

Making international public finance more effective

ODI - 24. Juni 2020 - 0:00
Building understanding of how to maximise the impact of international public finance and to reform its architecture.
Kategorien: english

Using public funds to mobilise private capital

ODI - 24. Juni 2020 - 0:00
Informing more effective collaboration between public and private sectors in financing impactful investments.
Kategorien: english

Universal, inclusive education ‘non-negotiable’

UN #SDG News - 23. Juni 2020 - 22:11
Inclusive education should be a “non-negotiable” right for all children, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a new report launched on Tuesday.
Kategorien: english

COVID-19 | A conversation with Gilbert Houngbo

Devex - 23. Juni 2020 - 21:59
Kategorien: english

Moratoire sur la dette des pays africains : tout le monde doit participer !

OECD - 23. Juni 2020 - 17:02
Par Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, directrice France de l’ONG ONE Ce blog fait partie d’une série sur la lutte contre le COVID-19 dans les pays en voie de développement. Visitez la page dédiée de l’OCDE pour accéder aux données, analyses et recommandations de l’OCDE sur les impacts sanitaires, économiques, financiers et sociétaux de COVID-19 dans le monde. Alors que le monde … Continue reading Moratoire sur la dette des pays africains : tout le monde doit participer !
Kategorien: english

Extreme weather ‘record’ likely in Arctic Circle, says UN weather agency WMO

UN #SDG News - 23. Juni 2020 - 16:57
Reports that temperatures in a Russian town in the Arctic Circle likely reached a record 38C (100.4F), last weekend, have been approved by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) pending final verification, it said on Tuesday.
Kategorien: english

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