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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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Agricultural and rural development reconsidered

This paper is a guide to current debates about agricultural development. It analyses the changes in development approaches and thinking in recent decades and explores today's critical issues in agricultural and rural development policy. With the main focus on Africa, the paper also includes insights from Asia and Latin America.

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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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Action for Climate Empowerment: guidelines for accelerating solutions through education, training and public awareness

Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) is a term adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It refers to Article 6 of the Convention’s original text (1992), focusing on six priority areas: education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues. These guidelines provide a flexible, phased approach to the strategic and systematic implementation of ACE activities at the national level, driven by each country’s circumstances. The guidelines are divided into 4 phases and 10 steps.

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New paradigm for Caribbean development: transitioning to a green economy

This study focuses on the exploration of options for greening Caribbean economies in a variety of sectors. An additional goal of the study is also to contribute to knowledge about, and the understanding of the fundamental requirements for transitioning to a green economy in the Caribbean and the attendant implications for policy and institutional arrangements.

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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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Water: securing Bhutan's future

Water has been sculpting Bhutan’s landscape for millennia, flowing down from majestic alpine mountains to the narrow valleys and deep gorges that make up the country’s iconic landscape before spreading out toward the southern plains. Water needs to be managed well, and in an integrated and adaptive way. This kind of management is very challenging because it involves many actors and stakes. Water is not a sector in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a complex fabric—particularly in Bhutan—of interconnections between agriculture, ecology and energy that need to be recognized and managed as a system. This view of water management gives coordination a central role. Bhutan’s framework for integrated water resource management (IWRM) adopts coordination as its core management principle. It builds on a strong Bhutanese tradition of water sharing and collective management, examples of which are illustrated in this book.

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Agricultural production and groundwater conservation: examples of good practices in Shanxi Province, People’s Republic of China

Climate change and declining water resources threaten food production systems worldwide, increasing the need for efficient agricultural processes. The Shanxi Province in the PRC has been experiencing declining groundwater tables since 1956. This publication provides examples of how ADB’s development support met the rising challenges in water security, food production, and climate change faced by communities in the Shanxi Province. It describes initiatives in four counties in the Shanxi Province selected as pilot areas, where traditional farmers learned modern methods of groundwater use and management. As a result, options for more sustainable use of groundwater were introduced, while farm labor was reduced, crop yields increased, and water was used more efficiently.

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Nature-based solutions for building resilience in towns and cities: case studies from the Greater Mekong Subregion

Urban populations are projected to increase from 54% to 66% of the global population by 2050, with close to 90% of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. Cities and towns—a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions—will need to address challenges posed by climate change. A nature-based approach in identifying climate change vulnerabilities and developing relevant adaptation options was conducted in three towns of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Working with local governments, non-government organizations, women’s groups, and professional associations, town-wide adaptation measures were defined by overlaying climate change projections on town plans and zoning schemes for strategic infrastructure. This publication captures valuable experience and lessons from the project.

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Enhancing urban climate change resilience: seven entry points for action

Growing interest in the concept of urban climate change resilience (UCCR) recognizes the complexity of rapid urbanization and uncertainties associated with climate change. This working paper synthesizes existing knowledge on urban climate change resilience to identify seven entry points for actions. It is expected that the proposed entry points will benefit ADB’s developing member countries, development partners, staffs and projects under the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund to take actions for strengthening urban resilience.

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Cobenefits and trade-offs of green and clean energy: evidence from the academic literature and Asian case studies

This paper assesses the positive cobenefits of promoting green and clean energy in Asia, and discusses four case studies where cobenefits have been delivered in practice in Indonesia, People's Republic of China, Japan, and Singapore. It first defines what is meant by “clean” energy across the four technological systems of cooking, renewable electricity, energy efficiency, and urban transport. It summarizes at least four general types of cobenefits to investing in these systems.

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Mainstreaming gender into climate mitigation activities

Actively engaging women in climate mitigation activities can yield multiple benefits, including improved jobs, better livelihoods, and more equitable revenue flows. Efforts are moving forward to design climate funding mechanisms to help capture these benefits, but policy makers and other stakeholders need more guidance on designing gender-responsive climate policies and funding proposals. The guidelines in this publication fill this void. It is hoped that these guidelines would equip policy makers with pragmatic advice on how to mainstream gender into climate change mitigation actions and funding proposals. This publication reflects on applications for the guidelines as well as relationships between climate planning and funding proposal.

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Myanmar: energy sector assessment, strategy, and road map

Myanmar has abundant energy resources, particularly hydropower and natural gas. However, the country’s energy sector has been underdeveloped due to global isolation and lack of financial and technical capacity. This is the first energy sector assessment, strategy, and road map for Myanmar prepared by ADB's Southeast Asia Energy Division. It highlights energy sector performance, major development constraints, government plans and strategy, past ADB support and experience, other development partner support, and future ADB support strategy. This document is linked to and feeds into ADB’s country partnership strategy for Myanmar and will be updated as strategic developments and program changes are needed.

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The economics of greenhouse gas mitigation in developing Asia

This study uses an economy–energy–climate model to assess the long-term effects of Paris Agreement pledges on developing Asia, in comparison with business as usual and more ambitious scenarios to limit warming to 2°C. It finds potential for modest macroeconomic costs of ambitious mitigation, but that clean energy investment needs are substantial. When costs, benefits of avoided climate change, and cobenefits are considered together, investment in mitigation policy is found to have substantial economic returns for the region—if action is taken rapidly and international carbon market mechanisms are implemented to allow mitigation to occur where it is least costly.

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The impact of climate change, desertification and land degradation on the development prospects of Landlocked Developing Countries

This study seeks to identify Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)’ priority areas on climate change, land degradation and desertification that could be included in their new development agenda. In order to achieve this objective, the study: (a) provides a comprehensive review of the impact of climate change, desertification and land degradation on LLDCs, (b) reviews national, regional and international interventions which have been implemented in LLDCs; (c) identifies best practices, lessons learnt and emerging opportunities and (d) proffers recommendations for inclusion in a new development agenda for LLDCs which will assist them to ameliorate the negative impacts of climate change, desertification and land degradation.

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State of the Least Developed Countries 2016

The current report builds on the first and second editions, which considered the issues of productive capacity building as well as extreme poverty eradication in the least developed countries (LDCs) and the post-2015 development agenda. These reports provided analysis relating to the inclusion of LDC issues in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This year’s report is dedicated to the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs using synergies with the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA). Part 1 of the report assesses progress towards achieving the goals and targets of the IPoA, particularly in the eight priority areas; reviews efforts towards this end; and identifies challenges ahead. The report argues that enhanced, coordinated and targeted support to the LDCs fulfilling ODA commitments but also going beyond, will remain critical to effectively implementing the IPoA. Part 2 of the report assesses the complementarities of the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda. It maps the goals, targets and actions of the IPoA with the SDGs, focusing on means of implementation. Furthermore it looks at how the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs can be fostered, including its mainstreaming and monitoring and followup. The conclusions and policy recommendations cover the findings in both parts of the report. As the report finds significant synergies between the IPoA and the Agenda 2030 it highlights the importance of leadership and political will and effective global partnership.

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Supporting vulnerable countries on their path to poverty eradication and prosperity

From the General Assembly in 1971 that established the LDC status, to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, this brochure will highlight the evolution of the different international mandates supporting the UN’s most vulnerable countries, and UNIDO’s intervention within them, taking into account previous achievements and unmet challenges. The brochure concludes with a discussion of the future path for these countries, emphasizing issues that development strategies must address in order to reach their goal of poverty eradication and increased prosperity. Effort is being made to highlight selected UNIDO interventions, however the mentions in this brochure are non-exhaustive.

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: achieving the industry-related goals and targets

UNIDO’s vision to address today’s economic, social and environmental challenges is enshrined in the Lima Declaration, which was adopted by UNIDO Member States in December 2013. On this basis, the Organization pursues Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) to harness industry’s full potential to contribute to lasting prosperity for all. The mandate is based on the recognition by Member States that poverty eradication “can only be achieved through strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic and industrial growth, and the effective integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.” The present document summarizes the contribution of UNIDO’s mandate as well as current and planned future activities vis-à-vis the SDGs, with a special focus on SDG-9, which highlights and affirms the critical importance of ISID and its contribution to all 17 goals.

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World Economic and Social Survey (WESS) 2016: Climate Change Resilience

Evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people, and these impacts are largely caused by inequalities that increase the risks from climate hazards. This survey found that governments can play a significant role in reducing the risks of climate change to vulnerable populations. Through transformative policies, the report shows that governments could address the root causes of inequalities and build climate change resilience. While there is considerable anecdotal evidence that the poor and the vulnerable suffer greater harm from climate-related disasters, the report determined that much of the harm is not by accident, but that it is due to the failure of governments to close the development gaps that leave large population groups at risk. The report argues that while climate adaptation and resilience are overshadowed by mitigation in climate discussions, they are vital for addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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Strengthening the capacity in integrating REDD+ projects into BioTrade strategies in Colombia

Market based mechanisms for climate change mitigation and trade of biodiversity-based products and services offer an opportunity for countries to conserve their forests and invest in low-carbon emission paths to achieve sustainable development. The combination of REDD+ and BioTrade offers additional financial incentives for developing countries to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while sustainably using and tradings derived products and services such as essential and vegetable oils, and ecotourism, among others. Harnessing these opportunities for developing countries is what UNCTAD aimed to explore and enhance through the project "Strengthening the capacity of policy-makers and business leaders in three BioTrade beneficiary countries in integrating REDD+ projects into BioTrade strategies" in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. This report presents the findings of the project in Colombia. It provides an overview of the regulatory framework, initiatives, opportunities and constraints pertaining to the implementation of REDD+ and BioTrade in Colombia. It also analyses the feasibility of linking REDD+ strategies and BioTrade in Colombia and provide recommendations on the way forward.

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Closing the distance: partnerships for sustainable and resilient transport systems in Small Island Developing States

This report informs about the maritime transport situation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and underscores the strategic importance of this economic sector for SIDS economies and communities. It provides an overview of the maritime transport situation in SIDS and presents data on relevant aspects, including shipping connectivity levels, direct and indirect shipping services, port issues, as well as trade structure and patterns. Relevant cross-cutting concerns such as SIDS high dependency on fossil fuel energy imports, exposure to climate change impacts and natural disasters as well as financial and human capacity constraints are also addressed. The report points to relevant opportunities which could be capitalised upon to support SIDS sustainable development and “blue growth”. Finally, the report concludes with a number of suggestions and recommendations for the way forward.

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Enhancing the contribution of Export Processing Zones to the Sustainable Development Goals

This exploratory report suggests that changes taking place in the global market mean that Export Processing Zones (EPZs), and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) more generally, can be restructured as centres of excellence for sustainable development. Such restructuring would increase the appeal of EPZs to multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their suppliers, while simultaneously contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as 'Global Goals'.

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Second-generation biofuel markets: state of play, trade and developing country perspectives

In 2015, countries made commitments toward a more environmentally balanced future through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and now seek to expand policies for low-carbon development after the agreement reached in Paris at COP21. The year also marked a milestone in the bio-economy, as the point in time when the production of second-generation biofuels (2G) finally took off at commercial scale. Developing countries now face a new set of market opportunities and policy dilemmas to enhance their usage of biomass, which can now be transformed into more valuable products. This report focuses on how these market opportunities can be capitalized on and how to promote technology transfer for developing countries interested in engaging in advanced biofuel markets for the attainment of the SDGs, and as an instrument to meet their commitments under COP21. By carrying out a non-exhaustive mapping of cellulosic ethanol projects and recent policy lessons around the globe, this report seeks to provide public and private practitioners with a macro-picture of the advanced biofuels sector, with a specific focus on cellulosic ethanol as of 2015-2016. The report concludes with five suggestions for the responsible development of the second-generation biofuels industry.

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Farm support and trade rules: towards a new paradigm under the 2030 Agenda

After more than two decades from the conclusion of the Uruguay Round, producer support remains a structural, systemic issue in agriculture. Most importantly, the playing field is far from level, due to factual and formal discriminations across countries. The Doha Round, if concluded, would redress these imbalances but only partially. The “historic” Nairobi Package on agriculture, agreed at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2015, eliminates agricultural export subsidies. But important distortions and imbalances in the area of domestic support would stay. In particular, the proposed Doha disciplines would not obstruct the main gate-ways through which producer support is channelled today. How then to move forward in this setting? Where to set limits to farm support policies, beyond the terms of the Doha Draft, and how to arbitrate trade-offs between “policy space” and “trade fairness”? Given the changed scenario, and given that agricultural production accounts for around 24 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, the way ahead requires a pragmatic and groundbreaking pathway. Trade rules in general and domestic support disciplines in particular are to be reorganized around sustainable development outcomes. The boundaries of the Green Box have to be redefined accordingly. This re-orientation is needed if trade policy is to fit into the new programmatic framework shaped by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Climate Change Conference. This paper elaborates on this move. It first briefly highlights the unfinished nature of trade policy reform under the Uruguay Round. It then moves on to consider the major limits of the proposed Doha disciplines on domestic support, as outlined in the Revised Daft Modalities for Agriculture of 6 December 2008 (hereafter, the Doha Draft). As a conclusion, it outlines options as to the way ahead.

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Trade and Environment Review 2016: fish trade

This review examines issues pertinent to the promotion of sustainable use of living marine resources in healthy oceans and seas, bringing together a collection of independent articles by 24 leading experts and practitioners on fish governance systems; fish harvest, production and consumption; unsustainable fishing practices; fish and marine ecosystems management; and fish trade. The Review provides a succinct diagnosis of some of the key challenges to be faced in addressing SDG 14, as well as novel suggestions and innovations to advance its implementation.

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