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Aisha Khan on Pakistan's losses and damages

Devex - 16. November 2022 - 20:43
Kategorien: english

The Agribusiness Working Group Goes Resilient

SNRD Africa - 16. November 2022 - 13:29

Report from the annual meeting of the ABIVCD working group

The post The Agribusiness Working Group Goes Resilient appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

‘Bridges across digital divides’ needed to boost development, Guterres tells G20 

UN #SDG News - 16. November 2022 - 13:00

With the right national policies, digital technology can give “an unprecedented boost to sustainable development”, particularly for the poorest countries, the UN chief told the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday. 

Kategorien: english

COP27: Protecting biodiversity is protecting the Paris Agreement

UN #SDG News - 16. November 2022 - 13:00

While for many years the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis have been treated as separate issues, the reality – as highlighted on Wednesday at COP27– is that there is no viable route to limiting global warming to 1.5°C without urgently protecting and restoring nature.

Kategorien: english

Broadening the tax base by registering informal workers

D+C - 16. November 2022 - 11:40
So far, only 6 million people pay taxes in Kenya

As payments are mostly made in cash, business records are poor and many entities are not registered. Undocumented transactions, however, often prove impossible to tax. At the same time the people concerned typically do not benefit from government-sponsored social protection or any kind of private insurance coverage. Livelihoods in the informal sector are mostly precarious. Things are similar in many developing countries, especially in Africa and South Asia (for the example of Pakistan, see Marva Khan on www.dandc.eu).

As informal workers’ incomes are unpredictable, their families live hand to mouth. One implication is that attempts to enforce tax legislation across the entire informal sector is likely to cost more money than actually bypasses tax collection. To actually improve government revenues, as Kenya’s government intends to do (see main story), the challenge is thus to include those people in the system who can afford to pay without unduly burdening those who cannot.

According to Kenyan law, all adults must register with the tax agency and obtain a personal identification number. However, people who do not rely on the financial-service industry never need that identification number in their daily lives, so many remain unregistered.

Only 6 million registered taxpayers

So far, there are only 6 million registered taxpayers, of whom 3 million enjoy formal employment and another 3 million work in the informal sector. An estimated 15 million informal workers, however, are not covered.

The tax authority intends to recruit 2 million more taxpayers in the next two years. Ruto’s plan is to set up a special fund to give low-interest loans to the bottom-of-the-pyramid “hustlers”, such as street vendors, handcart pushers or boda boda operators (passenger-carrying motorcyclists). To access the new government fund, these persons will need a bank account, and to get one, they will have to register as taxpayers. Ultimately, value-added and income taxes can be collected as they do business to service their government loans.

This approach is smart and growth-oriented. It aims to boost an informal business to make it strong enough to pay taxes before actually charging taxes. At the same time, it makes the tax base broader and more promising in the long run.

Alphonce Shiundu is a journalist, editor and fact-checker in Kenya.
Twitter: @Shiundu

 

Kategorien: english

Economic effects of FDI: how important is rising market concentration?

GDI Briefing - 16. November 2022 - 11:31

Many governments adopt policies and actively compete to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Particularly for lower-income countries, attracting FDI – and with it the benefits of cooperating with multi-national enterprises (MNEs) – is a promising strategy for participating in global supply chains and increasing local firm productivity. However, empirical findings show contrasting effects and there is heated debate over FDI’s advantages and drawbacks. The current trend to rising market concentration also begs the question: Have FDI effects changed in recent years?
This Policy Brief aims to address these questions by studying FDI and what the apparent growth in market concentration implies. Although foreign investment theoretically raises productivity, creates employment and offers many other benefits, the empirical evidence is not unequivocal. Initial coarse country-level data found that receptivity to FDI raises the host country’s economic growth. But later research used more detailed sector data and showed ambiguous effects (Görg & Greenaway, 2004). New microdata confirm that FDI effects are differential: Not all workers and households benefit equally. They also showcase the different ways in which MNEs and FDI benefit firms, workers and households in host countries. Recently, superstar firms, which capture large shares of industries and thereby increase market con-centration, have emerged. Linked to reduced national economic dynamism and evident in global markets, the rise of superstar firms could negatively impact on FDI effects. They differ from MNE competition effects and confer market power so that MNEs can determine prices and wages. This trend toward rising market concentration is observed across multiple sectors and has several possible causes, such as technological and legal factors.
A literature survey reveals a lack of evidence about how rising concentration in global markets is affecting FDI gains. However, other evidence suggests that the positive spillovers to domestic firms may well be lower, with higher market concentration negatively affecting wages and employment. The following takeaways can be derived for policy-making:
1. Integrate competition policy: Competition effects should be considered when evaluating FDI and policies should be introduced to ensure competitive practises after FDI entry.
2. Improve monitoring: Collect data on competi-tive forces and how they change when MNEs enter host economies.
3. Absorb regressive effects: Introduce social benefits to counter the potential mixed effects of FDI and MNE market power.

Kategorien: english

Kenya’s new president wants to collect more tax money

D+C - 16. November 2022 - 11:28
Kenya’s huge public debt is choking public spending and undermining the economy

When Kenya’s new President William Ruto addressed the country’s Parliament after taking office in September, he did something unusual. Typically, presidential speeches in Kenya focus on how the government will spend money. Instead, Ruto told legislators that he plans to collect more taxes.

The national budget is indeed over-stretched. More than half of the national revenues go to paying back the colossal public debt. In the past decade under President Uhuru Kenyatta, the country’s debt increased four-fold, not least due to ambitious infrastructure projects. Ruto is not entirely blameless, since he served as Kenyatta’s deputy president.

External shocks have made matters worse. They include the impacts of Covid-19, food and fertiliser shortage due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high oil prices, persistent drought in Kenya’s north and the locust invasion in 2020.

The government obviously needs more money and must therefore generate more revenues. The groundwork for the new tax policy and related forms was actually laid by the Treasury in the summer, before Ruto became the head of state. He has proudly adopted the policy.

What he told legislators must have pleased the embassies of high-income countries. After all, donor countries have a long history of demanding that developing countries should “mobilise domestic resources” (see Stefanie Rauscher on www.dandc.eu).

Catching up with donor governments

Indeed, Ruto’s elaborations showed that he wants Kenya to become more like high-income countries in regard to taxation. He stated several ambitions:

  • The rich need to pay more taxes.
  • Taxation must become equitable, efficient and customer-friendly.
  • Kenya has to net more money from wealth, consumption and incomes, rather than relying heavily on foreign-trade related tax and customs revenues.
  • The tax-base must become broader, so more citizens are included.

“The economic principle of equitable taxation requires that the tax burden reflects the ability to pay,” Ruto said. He also insisted that “we are overtaxing trade and under-taxing wealth.”

To achieve the goals, a host of measures will be needed. The greatest challenge is probably to widen the tax base by gradually including more informal workers in the system (see box).

By comparison, it is much easier to change the name of the tax authority from Kenya Revenue Authority to Kenya Revenue Service. This step makes sense because the new name sounds more friendly and can, to some extent, help repair the agency’s reputation of ruthlessness. The Kenyatta administration had weaponised the authority to harass political opponents. This harmful pattern is prevalent in many countries where institutions tend to be weak, and the national administrations feel free to arbitrarily use legal regulations for partisan political purposes. Governance must improve.

Simpler legislation, easier payments

The government wants to make the tax payment process easier. The focus is on simplifying tax laws and procedures as well as setting up more offices, especially outside urban centres. Awareness-raising efforts are underway too.

Another policy adopted by the previous administration will continue. Since January 2021, the tax authority has been running a voluntary tax disclosure programme. Those who retro-actively declare tax liabilities that they failed to pay between July 2015 and June 2020 get full or partial relief on penalties and interest payments.

The new policy anticipates tax disputes and seeks to make the dispute resolution process more credible. In particular, the tax appeals tribunal’s independence has been questioned. The reason is that the head of the tax agency appoints tribunal members in spite of the tax agency being party to disputes. This must change.

All in all, Kenya’s current approach to taxation reflects principles outlined by Adam Smith 250 years ago in his classic book “The wealth of nations”. The policy recognises that everyone should pay taxes according to their ability. The process must be simple, so everyone understands it. Finally, the point of taxation is not to kill the goose that lays golden eggs – taxpayers must keep enough money to create more taxable income in the future.

The need to invest in IT

For good reason, Kenya’s new tax policy proposes more investment in information technology (IT) and continuous IT training of tax administrators. The double goal is to generate revenues from the bustling digital economy and to put a check on cross-border tax avoidance and evasion. Illicit financial flows are a serious international challenge of course (see Ronald Ssegujja Ssekandi on www.dandc.eu).

Kenya’s government deserves some praise for having managed to make internet giants like Amazon, Netflix, Google and Meta pay some taxes. However, the tax agency generally appears frustrated because multinational corporations doing business in Kenya often find ways to avoid taxation. For example, they shift profits abroad and declare them in countries with particularly low tax rates. Too many wealthy individuals move their financial assets to offshore tax havens.

To get a grip on both legal and illegal ways of reducing tax burdens, the government wants to regularly review and update international treaties on taxation. Also, the tax agency will set up a special international unit to:

  • keep track of cross-border transactions and transfer prices,
  • audit multinational corporations and
  • monitor changing international patterns of taxation.
International cooperation

Kenya’s new policy also includes more information sharing with other tax jurisdictions. High-income countries are increasingly doing that to enforce their laws.

Kenya belongs to two, partially overlapping regional organisations, the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Most other EAC and COMESA members, however, have weaker taxation systems, and statehood is actually quite fragile in some countries. Info-sharing with them may thus not help much.

Indeed, Kenya plans to tighten border controls, not least by applying modern IT. The goal is not just to stem security threats and organised crime, but also to put a check on smuggling, infiltration of counterfeits as well as the misdeclaration and misclassification of goods.

The president’s rhetoric sounds good, and the new policy makes sense. Implementation, however, will be a huge challenge. External shocks such as extreme weather, market disruptions due to war or yet another health crisis may make things even more difficult.

Alphonce Shiundu is a journalist, editor and fact-checker in Kenya.
Twitter: @Shiundu

Kategorien: english

The west must respect international law more consistently

D+C - 16. November 2022 - 10:53
In the Ukraine war, the US and its allies are paying the price for having badly damaged their own credibility in the past

The territorial integrity of a sovereign state like Ukraine can only be changed by negotiation, not by military force. This principle is spelled out in the UN Charter’s prohibition of the use of force, which is the fundamental norm of the international order. Anyone who violates this norm challenges the world order itself.

Russia has done that. By launching its war of aggression against Ukraine, it committed a fragrant breach of international law. It is daily making matter worse, including with carpet bombings or so-called referendums and subsequent annexations.

The countries of the west are providing Ukraine with massive political, financial, humanitarian and military support. At the same time, they have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia. They claim their Ukraine policy is designed to defend the prohibition of the use of force and restore the rules-based international order. Not only the US as leading power has taken that stance. German policymakers have done so too, for example Annalena Baerbock, the federal foreign minister.

At the international level, however, the west’s response to Russia’s war of aggression is by no means fully endorsed. The UN General Assembly resolutions of 2 March (explicit condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression) and 12 October (condemnation of the so-called annexations) show that 141 and 143 of 193 states voted in favour and thus sent a clear signal to Moscow. Yet, the practical implementation of this normative call was rather limited. Only about 40 states took tangible steps such as imposing economic sanctions on Russia or providing military support to Ukraine. That is regrettable and astonishing in view of how severely and consistently Russia is violating international law. Several developing countries and emerging markets, in particular, have not sided with the west.

Damaged credibility

There are a number of reasons for this limited global support. They range from injustices committed in colonial times, other post-colonial legacies as well as current Russian support in either economic or military terms for the countries in question (also see Imme Scholz at www.dandc.eu).

It also matters that the west’s credibility has been dented by violations of international law committed by western countries in the recent past. Unfortunately, the list is quite long. The US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 under then President George W. Bush was a particularly important example: it violated the prohibition of the use of force under international law because it was neither sanctioned by a UN Security Council resolution nor justified by the right of self-defence.

More recent incidents include extrajudicial drone executions carried out as part of the United States’ “war on terror”. One more recent example is the killing of Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the Afghan capital Kabul in late July. Such breaches of the law undermine the west’s credibility on international law issues – even if, in many ways, Russia’s breaches are different and arguably worse (see Hans Dembowski at www.dandc.eu).

The ensuing loss of credibility affects not only the United States, but its allies too. Germany and the EU should therefore take a more consistent line on international law than they have done so far, for example clearly rejecting the US policy of extrajudicial executions. They should firmly declare where their interests are in conflict with those of the USA, and they should express criticism and concern where necessary. Unless the west consistently observes international law itself, it cannot credibly defend that law when it is violated as massively as at present in Ukraine.

Book
Ambos, K., 2022: Doppelmoral – Der Westen und die Ukraine. Frankfurt a.M., Westend.
There are shorter versions in English (Journal of International Criminal Justice) and Spanish (Editores del Sur).
https://academic.oup.com/jicj/advance-articles
https://www.editoresdelsur.com/productos/la-guerra-en-ucrania-kai-ambos-autor-leandro-dias-y-lucila-tunon-coord/

Kai Ambos is a professor of criminal law, criminal procedure, comparative law, international criminal law and public international law at the University of Göttingen.
kambos@gwdg.de

Kategorien: english

The CSCP at the Circular Valley Forum: Communication is Key to Circularity

SCP-Centre - 16. November 2022 - 9:42

On 18 November 2022, 600 decision makers will come together at the Circular Valley Forum in Wuppertal’s Historic Town Hall to address a leading question of our time: How can we manage the transformation from a linear to a Circular Economy?

Given the paramount potential of Circular Economy to mitigate climate change, protect and preserve biodiversity, and drive the sustainability agenda in general, the forum will offer a platform to exchange and synergise. Major actors from fields such as politics, business, science and civil society will discuss how technology, regulation, communication and collaboration can promote the Circular Economy.

The forum, which is organised by the Circular Valley Foundation, will include panels on numerous topics such as “The challenge ahead”, “Technology”, “Regulation”, “Communication” and “Value chain collaboration”.

CSCP’s Executive Director, Michael Kuhndt will join the panel on communication, as a key a prerequisite for the Circular Economy to succeed, in particular when it comes to consumer acceptance of circular products and services.

Kuhndt will focus on retailers and their role as gatekeepers. Considering their interface with the supply chain as well as their direct access to consumers, retailers have the unique opportunity, but also the challenge, to use their influence on both sides accordingly.

“We experience that consumers want to participate in climate protection and resource conservation, but that they find it very difficult to implement this in their everyday lives, often due to complex information flows. Retailers can address precisely these issues by facilitating consumers’ circular actions, reminding and providing them with information as well enabling and empowering them.”, notes Kuhndt.

The CSCP is a Circular Valley partner.

For further questions, please contact Michael Kuhndt.

 

The post The CSCP at the Circular Valley Forum: Communication is Key to Circularity appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Development in crisis: some reflections

EADI Debating Development Research - 16. November 2022 - 9:27
By Christiane Kliemann The accelerating frequency, interconnectedness and mutually reinforcing nature of contemporary crises call for holistic responses and a focus on synergies and potential discrepancies between various fields of action. What has Development Studies to offer here? Will it be able to prove that is truly inter- and transdisciplinary and contribute to the understanding …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

LDCs and Their “Graduation”

Global Policy Watch - 15. November 2022 - 23:23

By Alexa Sabatini, Julie Kim, Barbara Adams, and Karen Judd

Download this briefing (pdf version).

“Leave no one behind – these four words are the promise at the heart of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. This is the principle this UN body committed to… Today, not only do smaller Nations and younger democracies like Malawi still feel left behind but feel much farther behind than before.”

Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi at the 77th UNGA General Debate

The UN established the category of least developed countries (LDCs) in 1971, as many developing countries were navigating a path to development in the post-colonial period. The classification identified specific development challenges faced by these countries. As the UN ECOSOC Committee for Development Planning (renamed in 1998 Committee for Development Policy – CDP) acknowledged in 1971:

“[w]hile developing countries as a group face more or less the same general problems of underdevelopment, the difference between the poorest and the relatively more advanced among them is quite substantial…. The least developed among them cannot always be expected to benefit fully or automatically from such general measures adopted in favour of all developing countries. Some special supplementary measures are therefore called for to remove the handicaps which limit the ability of the least developed countries to derive significant advantages from the Second United Nations Development Decade.”

Criteria for the LDC classification and to “graduate” out of that classification have evolved over the last 50 years, as has the number of countries so designated. The path to graduation has become, implicitly and explicitly, a measure of successful development. There have been different iterations of graduation criteria, with multivariate indices to better capture the complexity of development progress in LDCs. The evolution continues as the CDP – primarily responsible for determining these criteria – adopted a work plan to evaluate the process at its 2022 annual meeting. The CDP is a 24-member subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) set up to provide independent advice to the Council on development policy issues.

Concomitantly, UN Member States adopted the fifth decade-long blueprint for LDC development in March 2022: the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA). To address the graduation challenges, the DPoA established targets that “i. enable 15 additional LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation by 2031. ii. Improve the scope, where necessary, and use of smooth transition measures and incentives for all graduating LDCs. iii. Provide specific support measures to recently graduated countries for making the graduation sustainable and irreversible” (para 312). It also welcomed the establishment of a Sustainable Graduation Support Facility “as a concrete country-led solution of dedicated capacity development support” (para 319).

To date, there have been four UN conferences to support LDC development. The fifth LDC Conference (LDC5) scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar in January 2022 was split into two parts due to the impact of COVID-19: 17 March 2022 for the formal adoption of the DPoA and 5-9 March 2023 for the five-day conference in Doha. The rescheduled fifth LDC Conference in 2023 provides a timely occasion to plan a quality review of the implementation of the DPoA that extends beyond ticking off a mid-term checklist as well as evaluating the relevance and quality of the metrics used, and support required on the path to graduation.

This briefing is a backgrounder on the dynamics of the graduation process from the LDC category. It addresses the developments, challenges and possible next steps of a process that provides either a path or a roadblock for sustainable development in LDCs.

Six key focus areas of the Doha Programme of Action to support sustainable graduation:

  • Eradicating poverty and building capacity to leave no one behind
  • Leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Supporting structural transformation as a driver of prosperity
  • Enhancing International trade of least developed countries and regional integration
  • Addressing climate change, environmental degradation, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development
  • Mobilizing international solidarity, reinvigorated global partnerships and innovative tools and instruments: a march towards sustainable graduation

*************

When the LDC category was created in 1971, the number of LDC countries defined as those with GNI below US $2018 was 25. By 2003, the number had grown to 50, and soon thereafter to 52. By 2020, only six countries had graduated: Vanuatu (2020), Equatorial Guinea (2017), Samoa (2014), Maldives (2011), Cabo Verde (2007) and Botswana (1994), leaving 46 countries still in the group. Over the last two decades, LDCs have made considerable progress in reducing poverty and improving structural development. LDCs have also implemented effective policies to prevent the severe spread of COVID-19 within their countries.

The 2021 State of the LDCs OHRLLS Report outlined progress LDCs had made in a number of target areas of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), that was adopted in 2011. These include: access to information and communications technology (ICTs); sustainable energy; health; education; gender; and governance. However, the pandemic hampered the development gains of the IPoA, along with the progress toward graduation. Additionally, a number of targets remain unmet, with gaps between the LDCs and other developing countries continuing to increase, calling into question the very definition of development and the concept and criteria of their graduation.

LDC Designation and Graduation

The CDP, mandated since 1998 to review the progress of LDCs and determine graduation readiness, undertakes such a review triennially. Following a comprehensive review in 2020, the CDP refined LDC graduation criteria so that currently, LDCs must meet a HAI of 66 or above, an EVI of 32 or below, a GNI per capita of US$1,230 or above (US$2,460 for an income only criterion), across two triennial reviews to qualify for graduation. Graduation does not have to be approved by the LDCs but does take country concerns into consideration.

International Support Measures for LDCs

Unlike the Low-Income Countries designation of the Bretton Woods Institutions, the UN category approach includes commitments of the LDCs, and crucially, of their “development partners” in the form of International Support Measures (ISMs). LDC specific support measures are centered on three targets: international trade, development cooperation, and participation in international forums. Following are some of the support measures which graduation from the LDC category impacts, altering the amount and types of support offered during and after graduation.

  • Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a critical source of external financing for LDCs, and for many of them the largest source of external public finance. However, commitments have consistently been unmet and, according to UNCTAD, reduce “aid effectiveness and the building of LDC state capacity to deliver on the PoAs and other development goals”. As described in the CDP’s Handbook on LDCs, “ODA includes grants, ‘soft’ loans and the provision of technical assistance, and can be provided bilaterally, from donor to recipient, or channelled through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations or the World Bank. LDCs received 24 per cent of total ODA disbursed by DAC countries in 2018-2019.” Nevertheless, the quantity and quality of commitments varies markedly from the providers of ODA, affecting the grant element and untied aid, for example.
  • The United Nations Development Fund (UNDF provides several financial resources dedicated to LDCs; however, graduation can affect the amount and loan terms of these resources as well.
  • Countries will lose access to the LDC Fund under the Global Environmental Facility upon graduation, reducing their access to climate financing.
  • Graduating LDCs are also expected to transition out of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization: Angola and Bhutan, expected to graduate in 2024, have already transitioned out of the Global Alliance, while São Tomé and Príncipe and the Solomon Islands are in the alliance’s accelerated transition phase.
  • The Technology Bank for LDCs, established in 2018, assists countries in the production of research, capacity development and strengthening academies of science within LDCs. Graduating countries lose access to the bank after five years.
  • The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) supports LDCs by providing assistance in national planning and implementation strategies that build trade capacities that drive development and facilitate a smooth integration into the global trading system. Like the Technology Bank, graduating LDCs lose access to EIF support after a five-year period, on top of the phasing out of preferential treatments under WTO rules, such as duty-free and quota-free market access.
  • The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) offers LDCs “last mile” finance methods to unlock public and private resources to support economic development. Post-graduation, UNCDF financing is provided for another three years. UN organizations and conventions ensure that LDCs are eligible for travel benefits to maintain their participation in LDC processes; but these too are limited to three years after graduation.

COVID-19 and LDC Graduation

According to UNCTAD’s 2021 LDC Report, “[as] the economies of ODCs [other developing countries] and developed countries recover from the pandemic shock, many LDCs risk being left behind… and face a risk of a lost decade of development and of remaining on the margins of the global economy. They may spend the coming years just trying to recover from the COVID-19 shock and eventually achieve little real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals during the 2020s.”

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CDP in their 2021 triennial review approved an additional five-year preparatory period for four countries scheduled to graduate from the LDC category: Bhutan in 2023, and Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe and Solomon Islands in 2024. The five-year extension will allow for a fuller analysis in the 2024 triennial review, on the effectiveness of this period in managing the impact of the pandemic, or whether another extension is needed. The CDP identified Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Nepal for graduation in 2026, but recommended deferral of Myanmar and Timor-Leste until 2024. Similarly, while the CDP endorsed Kiribati and Tuvalu for graduation, ECOSOC deferred decision until 2024. Cambodia, Comoros, Djibouti, Senega and Zambia all met the graduation criteria for the first time; if they meet the thresholds for a second triennial review in 2024, they will be considered for graduation by the CDP.

Despite the lack of data on the full impact of the pandemic, neither ECOSOC nor the CDP had originally postponed the 2021 Triennial Review. In an October 2020 letter, Third World Network, a global civil society organization based in Malaysia, urged Ambassador Ligoya of Malawi to request a deferral for the 2021 CDP Triennial Review. The letter highlighted “the gigantic impact of the crisis and the inability to assess the totality of impacts at this point, [making] the Review rather presumptive and at the least unscientific. The review will be based on data up to 2019 with, at best, limited data on COVID-19 impacts in 2020. This will not even begin to catch the full impact of the crisis on LDCs that may be recommended for graduation.”

To address the pandemic’s lopsided impacts on LDCs found in its 2021 Triennial Review, the CDP identified three critical adjustments for successful graduation amid the crisis: an extended preparatory period of five years to address the health and economic impacts; a review of the pandemic’s impact on each LDC; and additional international assistance, including the extension of LDC support measures, addressing the effects of the pandemic, and increasing capacity building.

The CDP subsequently conducted a comprehensive study on the impacts of the pandemic on LDCs and concluded that “significant negative impacts of the pandemic must be factored into the graduation process” to address additional demands that arise during planning, interruptions to ongoing structural transformation processes, and LDC specific international support measures, both existing and new, in which development partners play an important role.

Continued Evolution of the Graduation Process

In the current graduation process, when a country is identified for graduation eligibility, UNCTAD drafts a country vulnerability profile and DESA prepares an ex-ante impact assessment. The CDP then consolidates the reports into one assessment, taking into account the LDC criteria and country-specific factors. The CDP also determines the length of the preparatory period before graduation, recommends priorities and the type of support needed for a smooth transition to be confirmed by ECOSOC. During years 3-6 of the graduation process, the country finalizes and implements its smooth transition strategy and reports to the CDP. After year 6, graduation becomes effective, and the country is no longer classified as an LDC. Following graduation, the country will continue to monitor its transition strategy and report back to the CDP annually for the first three years and triennially after two triennial reviews.

Both LDCs and UN entities recognize the importance of international development support during this crucial period. OHRLLS established the UN Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in 2017 for LDC graduation, which works in collaboration with other UN agencies and international organizations. To assist LDCs to adapt development strategies and minimize risks of premature graduation, IATF called on development partners to strengthen aid mechanisms for transition that prevents deviation from graduation trajectories. It emphasizes the need to guarantee that the country’s transition is aligned not only with its development strategy, but also its development situation.

However, in the lead-up to LDC5, LDCs consistently expressed their concerns about losing LDC specific support measures post-graduation. In November 2020, the Group of LDCs submitted a proposal (WT/GC/W/807) to the WTO General Council for the creation of an effective smooth transition mechanism (STM) for graduating countries. The proposal calls for a 12-year extension of LDC-oriented technical assistance, capacity building programmes, and facilities that are provided under the WTO system for graduated countries. Smooth transition strategies are a critical tool for ensuring a sustainable graduation. They identify the loss of LDC benefits, such as interest-free loans and trade preferences, and effective responses to crisis situations, and then adjust institutional and legal frameworks to align with international obligations. STMs are, however, still limited as they do not extend existing support mechanisms to assist graduating LDCs.

Special & Differential Treatment at the WTO

[The] Group of 90 developing and least-developed countries expressed grave alarm at the World Trade Organization on 23 September over continued “disengagement” by the major developed countries on improving special and differential treatment (S&DT) for realizing their development goals. [At] a time when the gains made by most of their economies are being reversed because of the “poly crises,” there has been no constructive engagement by the major industrialized countries. [They] are now forced to “contend with external shocks such as rocketing inflation, and the food and energy crises, and balance of payment challenges, among a host of threats to their economic recovery and development aspirations.”

“This confluence of global economic shocks will disproportionately affect developing countries, including LDCs, for decades to come,” the G90 countries argued.

The group said that “the Ministers’ commitment at the Twelfth Session of the Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC12) and an objective appreciation of the current global economic environment and its challenges provides an opportunity for WTO Members to frankly reflect on the efficacy of policy tools within WTO agreements and to ask the all-important question whether they are congruent with the commonly stated desire to ensure that …trade be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment, pursuing sustainable development of Members, and enhancing the means for doing so in a manner consistent with Members’ respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development”.

(Excerpts from TWN SUNS #9655 dated 28 September 2022)

UNCTAD maintains that development continues beyond graduation, and that development success is tied to the foundations that countries are able to create during their graduation phase. It asserts that pre- and post-graduation strategies must be synchronized to promote a sustainable graduation and long-term development. In its 2021 Strategy for Graduation with Momentum (SGM), UNCTAD proposed a new objective policy framework for graduation strategies, as well as a new timeframe for the implementation of the strategy. The SGM is centered on three elements: expanding productive capacities; fostering structural transformation; and catching-up with developed countries. The SGM aims to counter the growing gap between LDCs and ODCs.

The CDP also upholds the need for development and trading partners to extend LDC specific support, phase-out measures gradually, and provide assistance throughout the entire graduation and smooth transition process to mitigate existing challenges that often continue after graduation. It recommends that trading partners consider market access alternatives, like free trade agreements and preferential market access arrangements, to continue post-graduation, and extend specific measures for graduating nations through bilateral and regional trading agreements.

The Productive Capacities Index and UNCTAD

In February 2021, UNCTAD developed the Productive Capacities Index (PCI) to support productive capacity building in developing countries. The PCI scores a country’s development capacities by analysing its effective strategies. As a multi-dimensional index, the PCI aims to support the implementation of holistic and evidence-based policies, while considering the effectiveness of previous policies. It identifies gaps and limitations that hinder productive capacity building and structural transformation in LDCs. The index considers: human capital, natural capital, energy, transport, ICTs, institutions, private sector, and structural change.

An August 2021 UNCTAD Policy Briefing detailed the role of institutions in capacity building. To support strong institutions and policies in LDCs, the paper advocated for: institutional tools to implement effective policies, utilizing the PCI to monitor development progress, conduct gap assessments, increase efforts for institution building, establish advisory bodies on policy formulation, improve public and private sector collaboration, foster greater inclusion of non-governmental actors in policy development, and increase institutional coordination.

(For the latest from UNCTAD: LDC Report 2022)

A CDP background paper on working towards a resilience building framework further highlighted the need for better monitoring of graduating and graduated countries, urging that HAI and EVI be maintained as Crisis Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) indicators to guide decision making throughout the graduation process. It called for enhanced monitoring of pandemic effects in graduated countries and strengthened support for the graduation process, including establishing a crisis response and management mechanism, and rapporteurs for each graduating and graduated country.

The Secretary-General in a 2021 report addressed these two concerns regarding STMs and monitoring. The report identified the need for technical assistance and capacity building to avoid financing gaps or debt traps and proposed a crisis response process to be included in the annual monitoring cycle to analyse the impacts of shocks on the smooth transition strategy. It particularly identified LDC5 as an opportunity for the international community to adopt improved aid mechanisms, especially regarding concessional finance and innovative financing measures. The conference will also be an opportunity for the UN system, OHRLLS, and resident coordinators to step up and commit to increased support toward LDC graduation.

With the pressure of coping with climate, conflict, food and debt crises added to the already precarious circumstances of LDCs, graduation and how it is facilitated are critical for LDC development that adheres to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Speaking at an LDC5 preparatory meeting in the Asia-Pacific region, Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, explained: “Transformative development is on the horizon but strong support to realize it is urgently needed…. LDCs and their international partners must collaborate to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle the climate crisis, but also provide specific support for LDCs to graduate smoothly out of the Least Developed category.”

In response, the CDP established an enhanced monitoring mechanism, called for by the 2022 DPoA for LDCs, which purports to better respond to emerging crises and link monitoring to specific support. To complement existing national and international monitoring processes by focusing on the impact of crises on the smooth transition out of the LDC category, the mechanism is meant to be closely linked to a country’s own monitoring of its smooth transition strategy. The monitoring mechanism consists of three main elements: improved annual monitoring, the new crisis response process and strengthened support measures linked to the monitoring.

The crisis response process enables monitoring to react quickly to a crisis situation in a graduating or graduated country. It can be triggered by the country directly or through the UN resident coordinator, or by way of an automated trigger, using a set of agreed upon crisis indicators. The CDP country rapporteur then assesses the situation and its potential impact on graduation, and advises whether additional, crisis-specific graduation support measures may be needed.

At its 24th session in February 2022, the CDP elaborated on this mechanism and reported monitoring the development progress of one recently graduated country, Vanuatu, and seven graduating countries: Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Sao Tome and Principe and Solomon Islands. It also reached out to countries whose graduation had been deferred, namely, Kiribati and Tuvalu, to discuss development challenges.

The 2022 report acknowledged that owing to multiple crises, all of these countries find it difficult to maintain macroeconomic stability. With reduced fiscal space, it is hard for them to prioritize both short-term recovery and long-term sustainable development, potentially involving policy trade-offs. The enhanced monitoring mechanism would provide another layer of protection against crisis situations arising from these external pressures on LDCs by identifying potential issue areas and mitigation measures.

There are multiple crises facing LDCs, existing prior to and beyond the pandemic, including the alarming and accelerating increase in global warming, natural disasters, armed conflict and related crises of hunger and food security. While these multitude of crises impact all countries negatively, the detriment is exponential for LDCs with their manifold and specific vulnerabilities. This risks LDCs straying from the DPoA goal of “accelerating the number of least developed countries reaching the graduation thresholds and for ensuring sustainable and irreversible graduation” (para 265), and already graduated countries will no longer meet the criteria and in fact, slide back. With the DPoA target of another 15 to meet the graduation criteria by 2031 and more than a third of LDCs in various stages of the graduation process, the CDP is “deeply concerned that a significant number of least developed countries, particularly those in Africa, will remain far behind and struggle to achieve graduation”.

With many unknown variables in this perennial state of crises, it will be important for the graduation criteria to be reviewed and updated to be fit for purpose: a sustainable and irreversible graduation – and more importantly, sustainable development – of all LDCs. The external stressors of interlocking crises disproportionately burden the “poorest and most vulnerable,” as the UN Secretary-General underlined in his address to the 2022 General Assembly and pose a challenge to the global system that is “a case study in moral and economic injustice.”

The post LDCs and Their “Graduation” appeared first on Global Policy Watch.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Tackling fragility and promoting integration in the Horn of Africa through ‘development diplomacy’

Brookings - 15. November 2022 - 21:18

By Vijay Pillai, Miguel de Corral

Stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa is critical for the subregion and for the world. Until quite recently, the Horn of Africa appeared to be on a positive trajectory in the context of strengthened regional relations, political transitions, and encouraging economic growth and poverty reduction trends. For example, a recent analysis has shown that the region’s economic growth in the recent past was higher than in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa—with Ethiopia achieving an average of over 6 percent GDP per capita growth between 2014 and 2019—and extreme poverty in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya falling from 40 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2015.

However, events over the last three years have posed a serious challenge to this progress, particularly in light of the outbreak of a major conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, a military coup in Sudan, continued cross-border political tensions and security challenges—including violent extremist threats in Somalia and northeast Kenya—and compounding shocks such as climate change and COVID-19. The ongoing food crisis arising from successive droughts and the war in Ukraine is also rapidly threatening the Horn, with an estimated 55 million people currently facing food insecurity—a situation that will likely deteriorate in the coming months. Furthermore, countries across the Horn continue to feature high levels of vulnerability and marginalization, with an estimated 57 million people living in extreme poverty, according to World Bank estimates.

Shared fragility challenges

These crises are manifestations of the underlying causes of fragility in the Horn, which spill across borders, are diverse, multifaceted, and have their roots in complex historical legacies. First, these include issues relating to inter-communal contestation over resources—such as water, pasture, and land—and which are exacerbated by pressures such as climate change and rapid demographic growth. Second, regional fragility and conflict dynamics are driven by weak state legitimacy and fractured social contracts, particularly in marginalized borderlands that exhibit high levels of socioeconomic deprivation. And third, these dynamics are intensified by geopolitical contestation over control and access to strategic regional resources, such as fresh water, seaports, and mineral reserves. Ultimately, the region’s susceptibility to violent conflict, coupled with high levels of vulnerability and exclusion, as well as the impact of diverse shocks, threatens to push more people into extreme poverty and reverse development gains.

In light of these shared fragility challenges, a new development approach for the Horn is needed.  While country-level programs are important, regional platforms that help build the foundations for greater cooperation and economic integration are pivotal to build resilience and help communities adapt and cope with emerging shocks. In addition, approaches cannot “bypass fragility”—rather, they need to be squarely focused on addressing the root causes of fragility and conflict in order to unlock the region’s development potential. Finally, while diplomatic actors are key in addressing regional political or security related challenges, there is a need to link these efforts with development initiatives through a new approach of “development diplomacy”—a process in which development assistance focused on priority investments and policy harmonization combines with high-level political engagement to incentivize and sustain cooperation to tackle shared regional challenges.

The Horn of Africa Initiative: Development diplomacy in action

In this context, forums for regional dialogue and development cooperation, such as the Horn of Africa Initiative, are essential. Launched in 2019 by ministers of finance from across the region, the initiative aims to promote concerted action to face common development challenges which are hampering economic growth and poverty eradication efforts. Since then, the initiative’s members—Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan (who has recently joined), and Sudan (whose membership has been paused since the coup)—with the support of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Union, have significantly scaled-up resources for regional projects that aim to improve shared development outcomes, strengthen resilience against shocks, and directly tackle some of the root causes of fragility. To date, over $7 billion in financing has been mobilized for priority regional projects, with an added focus on promoting necessary policy reforms and ensuring country- and regional-level ownership of implementation.

A key example of how the initiative is tackling fragility is through the focus on spatially targeting investments to support areas most impacted by conflict, such as neglected borderlands. For instance, a $750 million project has helped to strengthen infrastructure, boost access to services, and connect markets in the fragile and underserved areas of northeastern Kenya.

The initiative has also sought to strengthen regional resilience to climatic and other emerging shocks that can exacerbate localized conflict and intensify poverty. A concrete example is through a recent $385 million program that will help the region—and particularly communities across borders that often compete over scarce water resources—tap into shared groundwater aquifers. In addition, a $327.5 million project will help pastoralists across the region to mitigate the impacts of drought through innovative insurance products and better connect them to markets. Finally, the initiative aims to provide longer-term development support that can support livelihoods and complement essential humanitarian assistance. To this end, $2.3 billion has been mobilized to address the concerning levels of food insecurity across eastern and southern Africa, and which will particularly target assistance for the Horn.

Ultimately, the value of the Horn of Africa Initiative lies in its unique role of combining the scaled-up financing, policy dialogue on harmonization, and political-level engagement across countries—three key elements of development diplomacy—needed to build trust and strengthen cooperation among countries in the region. Only through such a comprehensive approach can the region address the underlying grievances and socioeconomic disparities that contribute to its instability and outbreaks of violence.

Looking ahead: Addressing fragility to maximize impact on-the-ground

The challenges faced in the Horn of Africa will not be addressed through development assistance alone. Critically, they require coordinated action by political, security, and humanitarian actors, as well as regional institutions such as the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. However, as demonstrated by the Horn of Africa Initiative, development does play a central role to complement these efforts and can offer an entry point to continue dialogue during periods of heightened tensions and deepen cooperation in strategic sectors.

Looking ahead, development actors must continue to adapt and strengthen their engagement to maximize development impact and address fragility challenges across the region. To this end, partnerships should also be deepened with civil society organizations, particularly those with on-the-ground presence across the region that can operate in hard-to-reach areas, build community buy-in for development programs, and support local peacebuilding initiatives.

It is also important to proactively address incipient risks and grievances—such as those regarding access to services or resources, or related to significant socioeconomic disparities—before they turn into full-blown crises that can spill across borders. A key area to be explored includes regional development projects to address low human-capital outcomes, building on successful examples in other regions, such as the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project.

Finally, it is critical to remain engaged over the long term, despite setbacks and the recurrence of violence. Addressing the complex and deep-rooted drivers of fragility and conflict is a long-term endeavor in which progress will not be linear. It is therefore imperative for development actors, in full partnership with the countries of the region and stakeholders from across the international community, to remain engaged and help the region fulfill its potential of a more stable, peaceful, and prosperous future.

      
Kategorien: english

Andrew Steer on the future of the Bezos Earth Fund

Devex - 15. November 2022 - 21:16
Kategorien: english

Earth is headed towards 2.8 degree warming

D+C - 15. November 2022 - 17:11
UNEP warns that the window to control global warming is closing fast

The international community is not on track. The nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to mitigating the climate crisis, which sovereign governments had submitted to the UN before this year’s summit in Egypt, will only reduce projected global greenhouse-gas emissions enough to keep global warming just under 2.8 degrees in this century. To fulfil the multilateral agreement, emissions must go down 45 % below   than what currently pledged national policies would deliver.

The report emphasises that incremental changes are not enough. Comprehensive economy-wide transformations are required. The authors state that the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic led to a massive, but short lived reduction in global emissions in 2020. In 2021 they rebounded to 2019 levels.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are highly uneven across regions. About 55 % of global emissions result from international transport and the top seven emitters, which are China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the USA (not in that order). According to UNEP, it is the G20 members who are especially far behind in delivering on their climate mitigation commitments.

By early November, 88 sovereign governments have adopted net-zero targets, which basically means they set a timeline by when they will no longer emit GHG which they cannot capture or compensate for, the report states. They account for 79 % of global emissions. Another 19 governments have pledged to adopt such a target. The problem is that things are happening too slowly. Emissions must be phased out faster than promised, according to UNEP.

The UNEP experts point out that change is particularly urgent in four sectors:

  • electricity supply,
  • industry,
  • transport and
  • buildings.

According to UNEP, most progress has been made in the power sector because the costs of renewables technology has declined fast. For building operations and road transport, ­efficient technologies exist too, but must be adopted. New technologies are needed in ship transport and aviation, zero emission technologies need further development. The UNEP reports recommends three strategic approaches:

  • Avoid building new infrastructure that will require fossil-fuel use for many years or even decades.
  • Promote the development of new ­zero-carbon technologies.
  • Apply those technologies.

Moreover, UNEP calls for change in agriculture, which is not only a driver of global warming but also contributes to the dwindling of biodiversity (see Chimezie Anajama on www.dandc.eu). Eco-friendly reforms are indispensable.

Action in the financial sector

According to the authors, the financial system must be geared to promote the massive structural changes they consider to be necessary. They identify six approaches:

  • Financial investors need better information on climate risks if they are to make more environment-friendly decisions. Raising awareness and stronger institutional guidelines can serve that purpose.
  • Carbon pricing can be done with carbon taxes, which are levied on emissions, or cap-and-trade systems, which set a maximum level of emissions subsequently letting companies bid for amount of fossil fuels that correspond to that level. Both give investors incentives to keep emissions low.
  • Financial markets are marked by incomplete asymmetry, risk aversion and herd behaviour. Taxation and regulations can change investor attitudes and influence investors in a positive way.
  • Market incentives matter. Public policies can create new markets for low-carbon technology and encourage innovation through public finance. Multilateral banks can support this approach.
  • Central banks and financial regulators should modify their policies in ways that encourage eco-friendly investments and discourage harmful ones (see Uli Volz on www.dandc.eu).
  • Set up climate clubs and cross-border finance initiatives.

Link
UNEP, 2022: Emissions Gap Report 2022
https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2022

Suparna Banerjee is a Frankfurt-based political scientist.
mail.suparnabanerjee@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

VHS Learning Portal, Germany

UIL UNESCO Hamburg - 15. November 2022 - 16:11
Kategorien: english, Hamburg

Small loans for rural women

D+C - 15. November 2022 - 16:00
Micro loans help rural women to start small businesses and to get more financially independent

Many of these women are largely excluded from mainstream financing systems. Banks often require collateral security as a precondition for financing businesses.

HYCF has come up with financing options which can easily be accessed by the predominantly poor women. They offer loans as low as 50,000 Kwacha (50 Euros) to the women to start small scale businesses. HYCF hopes the women will be enabled to get financial independence through successful business ventures.

24-year-old Caroline Munthali who lives in Mwenelondo, a rural community in Karonga, had for long been unemployed and only relied on her husband’s small income from his barbershop to support their family. “It was really tough for me and my husband, I felt sorry for him because he had to earn everything for me and our children,” she says.

In April 2022, Munthali secured a micro loan from HYCF. This money helped her to start a small business. She sells roasted fish, and the profits she makes help to support her family. “It is good to do something for a living other than depending on a man for everything,” she says. “Times have changed, and couples need to work hard to support children. I now feel empowered because I can buy food for the family.”

So far, the HYCF has given loans to 20 women in Mwenelondo. “Women’s economic empowerment is key to the country’s growth. Therefore, it is important to empower these women to be self-reliant,” says David Ghambi, founder of HYCF.

Financial literacy is critical if the women are to thrive in business. Without it, it is likely that the loans will be misused. HYCF therefore trains the women in business-management skills to increase their likelihood of success.

23-year-old Esther Mwalwimba, borrowed 50,000 Kwacha (50 Euros) to start a meat shop. She also benefited from HYCF’s financial literacy training. “The training equipped me with skills to run my small business. I will repay the loan on time so that others can borrow and benefit just like I have done.” She says the business income helps to pay school fees for her child.

HYCF’s David Ghambi is hopeful that the programme will expand to more communities in Karonga district and serve more rural women. “It is nice to see that this loan programme has transformed the lives of vulnerable women. These women are now able to give their children more nutritious food and send them to school, so indeed, there is need of scaling up this initiative in many areas because we have seen how impactful it has been,” he says.

Rabson Kondowe is a journalist in Blantyre, Malawi.
kondowerabie@gmail.com

 

Kategorien: english

Sign language is crucial for integration

D+C - 15. November 2022 - 15:54
Deaf and dumb people in Zimbabwe are mostly excluded from social and work life because not enough people can use sign language

In Mufakose, a densely populated suburb of Harare, lives a deaf 27-year-old single mother Lizzy Chinopa. She lives a life of solitude with just her nine-year-old daughter for company. Many of her neighbours are unable to communicate with her. “People fear talking to my mother because they don’t know how to use sign language,” says Michele, Lizzy’s daughter.

Using sign language, some of which was being interpreted by her daughter, Lizzy speaks about her ordeal. “We have not enough to eat and sometimes my daughter goes to school without food. We always wait for well-wishers from local churches to bring us food.”

Sign-language use is still a very big challenge in the country. Many Zimbabweans cannot communicate with deaf and dumb people. Moreover, there are not enough sign-language experts in the country to help spread its use. Pro-Sign language activist in Harare, Lydia Chikate, says that “the more people don’t understand sign language, the more the deaf and dumb suffer in Zimbabwe”.

Inability to communicate also excludes deaf and dumb people from employment. “Maybe there are just a few deaf and dumb people working in government, but I can tell you most of them, even if they may have gone to school, are suffering on the streets as beggars or vendors,” Chikate says.

There are approximately 1.5 million people or even more who are deaf and hard of hearing in Zimbabwe. Barbra Nyangairi, who is executive director for Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, a voluntary organisation advancing the rights and interests of the concerned people, explains: “There are no actual statistics on disability disaggregated by the nature of disability hence basing on the national statistics agencies in Zimbabwe, we cannot demystify the actual figures of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She regrets that a lot of people have a negative attitude towards sign language. “People find it of no use learning sign language when they don’t have relatives or friends that are deaf,” she adds.

The government deserves blame for the plight of visually and auditory impaired persons in the country. No steps have been taken to document and standardise sign language in the country. Moreover, educational institutions are not prepared enough to handle such people. “The curriculum of sign language is developing at a slow pace resulting in deaf people borrowing signs from other sign languages,” Nyangairi says.

The rights of special interest groups such as deaf and dumb people matter. Governments must do more to care for them and allow them to live active lives just like other citizens.

Jeffrey Moyo is a journalist based in Harare.
moyojeffrey@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

From Fostering Dialogue to Capacity Building: Supporting Kyrgyzstan’s Efforts Toward Sustainable Tourism

SCP-Centre - 15. November 2022 - 15:01

Kyrgyzstan is home to large regions of snow-peaked mountains, natural springs and rich forests. Every year, thousands of tourists come to visit the country and experience its natural scenery and nomadic lifestyles. The tourism sector in Kyrgyzstan plays an important role in the overall economic development, however its environmental footprint remains a concerning issue. To help address this, over the course of the past months, our PERETO project has collaborated with key actors on three main aspects: capacity building for SMEs, enabling a policy dialogue on fostering sustainable tourism, and integrating a sustainability perspective into the higher education system.

Supporting SMEs through capacity building

Kyrgyzstan’s tourism sector largely consist of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating as Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes (HoReCa). These SMEs have a strong potential to become a driver for green growth and sustainable development in the country. Challenges such as lack of stable energy and water supply or limited awareness on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) are some of the issues impacting SMEs’ transition toward a sustainable economy.

To support SMEs in the tourism sector leverage their full potential, the CSCP held trainings in autumn 2022 to raise awareness and build capacities on integrating sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and energy/resource efficiency (ERE) into their daily activities. The training sessions dedicated to SMEs from Osh, Chuy and Issyk-kul regions also touched on the topic of green finance.

In the trainings, 50 pilot SMEs learned more on sustainable business models and products through interactive approaches consisting of theory, best practice examples and practical exercises using sustainable business model canvas and business planning.

Field visits to several exemplary SMEs followed the trainings. During the visits, the pilot SMEs met and learnt from the experience of their peers who have successfully adopted SCP/ERE measures, such as heat pump water heaters (using solar and geothermal energy), waste water treatment plants, and building insulation.

Policy dialogue on fostering sustainable tourism

Meanwhile, the project also conducted a high-level policy dialogue on sustainable tourism and green finance. The policy dialogue has invited key actors such as the Department of Tourism Kyrgyzstan, Ministry of Economy and Finance, European Union Delegation to Kyrgyzstan, banks (Optima Bank and Doscredobank) as well as business associations  (HoReCa Association). The PERETO project facilitated the discussion on the need for a national sustainable tourism strategy to drive sustainable tourism and the roles of SMEs’ access to green finance for sustainable tourism in the country.

University roundtable on sustainable tourism curricula 

The PERETO project also held a national roundtable on the integration of SCP into the curriculum of universities. The event gathered various universities from across the country. During the roundtable, the CSCP shared lessons learnt from international best practices on integrating SCP into higher education curricula and highlighted its opportunities. In collaboration with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), the PERETO project lead, the Kyrgyz Academy of Tourism has already started to offer several courses on sustainable tourism. The PERETO project sought to replicate the success of the Academy to other universities to prepare a next generation of young professionals in sustainable tourism.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Angraaeni. 

The post From Fostering Dialogue to Capacity Building: Supporting Kyrgyzstan’s Efforts Toward Sustainable Tourism appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Flood risk perceptions and future migration intentions of Lagos residents

GDI Briefing - 15. November 2022 - 15:00

Coastal communities across the world face intense and frequent flooding due to the rise in extreme rainfall and storm surges associated with climate change. Adaptation is therefore crucial to manage the growing threat to coastal communities and cities. This case study focuses on Lagos, Nigeria, one of the world's largest urban centers where rapid urbanization, poor urban planning, degrading infrastructure, and inadequate preparedness compounds flood vulnerability. We situate flood risk perceptions within the context of climate-induced mobilities in Lagos, which no study has done, filling a necessary knowledge gap. Furthermore, we apply a unique approach to flood risk perception and its linkage to migration, by using three measures of risk – affect, probability, and consequence, as opposed to a singular measure. Results show that the affect measure of flood risk perception is significantly higher than probability and consequence measures. Furthermore, flood risk perception is shaped by prior experiences with flooding and proximity to hazard. The effect of proximity on risk perception differs across the three measures. We also found that flood risk perceptions and future migration intentions are positively correlated. These results demonstrate the usefulness of using multiple measures to assess flood risk perceptions, offering multiple pathways for targeted interventions and flood risk communication.

Kategorien: english

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