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Strengthening the national biodiversity strategies and action plans: revision and implementation

The present document is aimed at supporting and enhancing a better understanding of seven key biodiversity conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Convention on Migratory Species), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the International Plant Protection Convention in the context of updating/revising/reviewing the NBSAPs and their subsequent implementation.

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Avoiding future famines: strengthening the ecological foundation of food security through sustainable food systems

The report provides detailed analysis of the many factors threatening the world’s food supplies and its ability to continue to generate calories and proteins in the 21st century. It also provides a series of forward-looking recommendations and remedies to the many grim scenarios that often accompany the food security debate.

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Barbados' green economy scoping study

The inclusion of green policy objectives in Barbados can be traced to the National Strategic Plan (2006-2025) and the Budget Speech of 2007. The process was given further impetus in 2009 when the then Prime Minister laid down the challenge of committing Barbados to become the “most environmentally advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean”. It was against this backdrop that the government engaged the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the establishment of a partnership to support the country’s transformation.

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Unlocking the sustainable potential of land resources: Evaluating systems, strategies and tools

Better matching of land use with its sustainable potential is a “no-regrets” strategy for sustainably increasing agricultural production on existing land, targeting restoration efforts to where they are likely to be most successful, and guiding biodiversity conservation initiatives. Land potential is defined as the inherent, long-term potential of the land to sustainably generate ecosystem services. This report provides an introduction to land potential evaluation systems, strategies and tools necessary to implement this strategy. It provides information that both private landowners and policymakers can use to increase long-term productivity and profitability, while at the same time addressing global objectives defined through land-related Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly 15.3 (land degradation neutrality).

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Economic analysis of mangrove forests: a case study in Gazi Bay, Kenya

This study was undertaken as part of UNEP efforts of promoting forests as a significant green economy asset for Kenya. Forests should be taken into account when calculating the national accounts because the global rush for land and the increasing demand for agricultural products and urban infrastructure continue to intensify the pressure on tropical and coastal forests. The fact that forests provide goods and services which currently have no valued assigned to in economic markets exacerbates the deforestation and land conversion.

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Enhancing synergies across global biodiversity conventions: experiences from the global South

Over the past few years, UN Environment has led a multi-stakeholder process to identify options for enhancing synergies and cooperation among the global biodiversity conventions. To that effect, UN Environment organized a workshop on NBSAPs and synergies among Biodiversity Conventions held in Nairobi, Kenya from March 15-17, 2016. The workshop brought together national focal points, government representatives and biodiversity experts from countries the African, Caribbean, Latin America, Pacific regions as well as MEA Secretariats in an important, first-of-its-kind knowledge and experience sharing exercise. The select countries who participated in the workshop are all at various stages of the revision of their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) – a key instrument for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the national level.

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Guidelines for integrated environmental assessment of urban areas

Planning and management for sustainable development require an understanding of the linkages between environmental conditions and human activities and encourage participation by all sectors of society in decision-making. This publication is a useful tool that will help strengthen institutional capacity to prepare environmental assessments and comprehensive reports on cities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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Water and sanitation interlinkages across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This UN-Water Analytical Brief analyses the central role of water and sanitation to describe the links and interdependencies between the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation and those of other Goals. It aims to stimulate United Nations Member States’ consideration of the water-related linkages within the Goals to facilitate an integrated approach to implementation. The Brief highlights the importance of mainstreaming water and sanitation in the policies and plans of other sectors, and how the management of interlinkages supports the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Towards a worldwide assessment of freshwater quality

The world is facing a water quality challenge. Serious and increasing pollution of fresh water in both developing and developed countries poses a growing risk to public health, food security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Pollution is strongly linked to economic development – with population growth and the expansion of agriculture, industry and energy production all in turn producing wastewater, much of which goes into surface and groundwater bodies uncontrolled or untreated. Despite recent preliminary assessments of the current worldwide water quality situation, the magnitude of the challenge is still unknown. Better information is required on where the issues lie and what is needed to effectively and efficiently take action to protect and improve water quality. This Analytical Brief provides information about past assessments, outlines the challenge but also provides a plan for a world water quality assessment, which, if undertaken, would provide decision makers with the information they need to address this challenge. The Analytical Brief also explores the strong linkages between water quality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 6, “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” includes a specific target (6.3) dedicated to water quality. Central questions include: ‘how can the water quality target be achieved?’; ‘How will worsening water pollution affect SDGs for health, food security, and biodiversity, among others?’; Or, conversely, ‘how can actions to protect and enhance water quality help meet other SDGs?’.

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Who will be accountable? Human rights and the post-2015 development agenda

This publication is intended to help fill some of the more pressing accountability gaps that impede the realization of global and national development goals. We approach this challenge from the perspective of human rights, as a universal normative and legally binding framework embodying the minimum requirements of a dignified life, encapsulating universal values that a post-2015 agreement should strive to prioritize and protect as well as essential features of a road map to take us there.

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Protecting people through nature: natural World Heritage sites as drivers of sustainable development

This Dalberg and WWF report shows that natural World Heritage sites support livelihoods for communities, and provide communities with vital protection against the impacts of climate change.

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Protecting tigers from Asia's infrastructure development boom

The wild tiger population fell from over 100,000 in 1900s to 3,200 to 2010. A new report, from WWF and Dalberg, discusses how to double the number of wild tigers by safeguarding them from linear infrastructure developments.

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Soils and pulses: symbiosis for life

This booklet aims to introduce the reader to the importance of preserving our soil resources by attending to the reciprocal relationship between soils and pulses. The ecosystem services provided by soil are presented together with the role of pulses in improving soil health, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and ultimately contributing to food security and nutrition. The book also discusses the role of pulses in restoring degraded soils and their contribution to pursuing the practice of sustainable soil management.

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Evaluation of FAO’s contribution in Guyana

The Country Programme Evaluation of FAO’s contribution in Guyana was conducted in 2015 with the main aim of informing the development of the new CPF cycle starting in 2016. It is intended that this exercise will provide inputs to better orient FAO’s programme in the next biennium, making it more relevant to the government priorities for the country. The evaluation was also intended to assess the strategic relevance in the national context of FAO’s programmes and interventions in Guyana.

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Forests in the climate change agenda

Where do forests and forestry stand today in international climate change negotiations? What exactly does it mean to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)? What are the opportunities and risks for forests in today’s changing climate and is there a clear path forward? The articles in this issue address these and other questions.

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Non-wood forest product value chains in Lebanon

This report triangulates qualitative and quantitative primary and secondary data to analyze Lebanon’s main NWFPs value chains: pine nuts – Pinus pinea -, honey, Syrian oregano and sage – Origanum syriacum and Salvia fruticosa -, and laurel - Laurus nobilis. For each value chain, the report proposes recommendations for the development of innovative and adaptive interventions that allow for the improvement of forest-based sustainable livelihoods.

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Gender and desertification: expanding roles for women to restore dryland areas

This review examines the impact of desertification on women, their role in the management of natural resources and drylands, and the constraints they face. It presents the experiences of several IFAD-supported programmes and projects in addressing women as natural resource users and managers in dryland areas, and highlights some of the approaches used to reach women more effectively. It also presents lessons learned from IFAD programmes and projects, and recommendations for expanding women’s roles in order to restore dryland areas.

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Managing forests, sustaining lives, improving livelihoods of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups in the Mekong region, Asia

This paper presents the Learning Route, ‘Managing Forests, Sustaining Lives, Improving Livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Groups in the Mekong Region’, undertaken in November 2012 by PROCASUR and AIPP with the support of IFAD. It describes the Learning Route process, outputs and outcomes, as well as lessons learned, in addition to two case studies – one in Lao PDR and the other in Thailand – of community-based forest management, communal land titles and sustainable livelihoods. The document also provides a general overview of the land tenure system and its effect on the traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups in Asia, with particular focus on Lao PDR and Thailand.

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The traditional knowledge advantage: indigenous peoples’ knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies

Working with indigenous peoples, IFAD has learned that the relationship between natural resources management, sustainable livelihoods and indigenous concepts of self-driven development are interrelated and interdependent. Indigenous peoples conceive and manage their livelihoods in harmony with nature and in accordance with agroecological conservation, natural resources sustainable management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation practices. In this paper, a number of cases from IFAD-funded projects analyse the important role of indigenous peoples’ knowledge preservation and application in community responses to climate change.

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IFAD’s approach in Small Island Developing States

This paper outlines IFAD’s strategic approach to enhancing food security and promoting sustainable smallholder agriculture development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the context of exacerbated impacts of climate change and persistent challenges to market access. A renewed approach will provide an opportunity for increasing results and impacts from agriculture and fisheries, reducing the high transaction costs of project delivery in SIDS, adjusting to an ever-changing development environment and – most of all – avoiding the overlooking of SIDS’ persistent fragility and the risk that they are cut off from development assistance.

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Learning from each other: South-South and triangular cooperation in East and Southern Africa

South-South and triangular cooperation has an enormous potential role in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, both in unlocking diverse experiences and lessons and in providing solutions to pressing development challenges. From the cases in this publication, a number of common lessons emerge. Meanwhile, the importance of adaptation also emerged from these documented cases. Inspiring examples in other regions or countries encourage people to take up certain approaches, but they can almost never be copied exactly into any new context.

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Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation

The 2016 Rural Development Report focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all. It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them. The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

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Climate-smart smallholder agriculture: what's different?

There is a growing consensus that climate change is transforming the context for rural development, changing physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. But there is less consensus on how smallholder agriculture practices should change as a result. The question is often asked: what really is different about ‘climate-smart’ smallholder agriculture that goes beyond regular best practice in development? This article suggests three major changes.

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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016. Education for people and planet: creating sustainable futures for all

The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 has been instrumental to shape the Sustainable Development Goal on Education to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It entrusts UNESCO with the leadership, coordination and monitoring of the Education 2030 agenda. It also calls upon the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report to provide independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4), and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years. The ultimate goal of this agenda is to leave no one behind. This calls for robust data and sound monitoring. The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets we have, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

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Southeast Asia and the economics of global climate stabilization

South-east Asia is likely to sustain larger economic losses from climate change than most other areas in the world. Moreover, those losses—the collective effect of impacts on agriculture, tourism, energy demand, labour productivity, catastrophic risks, health, and ecosystems—may be larger than previously estimated. When these loss estimates are considered simultaneously in the modelling, gross domestic product (GDP) is found to be reduced by 11% in 2100 under the business as usual emissions scenario of this study, which is 60% higher than the earlier ADB assessment. Climate change is a global concern of special relevance to South-east Asia, a region that is both vulnerable to the effects of climate change and a rapidly increasing emitter of greenhouse gases. From 1990 to 2010, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in South-east Asia have grown more rapidly than in any other region of the world.

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