As deforestation and land use issues get more global attention, leaders shouldn't forget the people living on these lands. A new report from the Food and Land Use Coalition outlines solutions that help rural and forest communities thrive.
Armed with satellite-generated maps, indigenous peoples are successfully fending off unwanted destruction of their traditional forests.
A broad partnership of indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations today launched LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform to map lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities. The platform was created to fill a critical gap in indigenous and community rights and make clear that these lands are not vacant, idle or available to outsiders.
The launch of LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform that provides maps and other information on lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities.
El apetito mundial por el chocolate está a un punto máximo sin precedentes, y los productores buscan nuevos lugares para cultivar cacao, la materia prima del chocolate y del cacao en polvo. Algunos productores han recurrido a Sudamérica, donde las imágenes satelitales resaltan a una plantación de cacao que está invadiendo la selva tropical amazónica.
Bonn, Germany (March 21, 2015)– Since 2011, countries participating in the Bonn Challenge have restored more than 60 million hectares of forests and landscapes and are on track to meet an ambitious global restoration goal of 150 million hectares by 2020.
Leaders from Latin American countries will announce a major new initiative to restore forests and agricultural lands during COP 20.
WASHINGTON (September 4, 2014)— Global Forest Watch, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system developed by the World Resources Institute with over 40 partners, has been selected as one of two winners of the Big D
In advance of the 2014 World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, the World Resources Institute analyzed the extent to which economic, social, and environmental sustainability are embedded in the design of World Bank projects.
In the world of forestry, bamboo doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Dismissed as a weed or marginalized in traditional forest management, bamboo could actually play an important role in forest and landscape restoration. With adequate attention, investment, and the right standards in place, it could become a major renewable and sustainable crop—if we can update our outmoded view of it.
Brazil has developed a suite of sector-specific greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions that it estimates will result in a reduction of 36.1 percent to 38.9 percent below a projected hypothetical baseline in 2020.
Actions Needed to Improve Food Production and Consumption to Close the Projected 70 Percent Gap by 2050
We invite you to join us for a dialogue on Sustainable Transport and Traffic Safety from 12:30pm to 3:15pm on December 5, 2013.
This event will explore the link between traffic safety and sustainable transport and will include a presentation on a newly released EMBARQ publication - "Saving Lives with Sustainable Transport" - examining evidence of the safety impact of sustainable transport projects and policies including Bus Rapid Transit, biking and pedestrian infrastructure. Attendees will be invited to interact on how cities can best address traffic safety through sustainable transport, street design, and sustainable urban development.
This post was written by Lord Nicholas Stern, president of the British Academy, and Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico and a WRI Board member. It originally appeared on Project Syndicate.
This Friday, in its latest comprehensive assessment of the evidence on global warming, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will show that the world’s climate scientists are more certain than ever that human activity – largely combustion of fossil fuels – is causing temperatures and sea levels to rise.
In recent years, a series of extreme weather events – including Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, floods in China, and droughts in the American Midwest, Russia, and many developing countries – have caused immense damage. Last week, Mexico experienced simultaneous hurricanes in the Pacific and in the Gulf of Mexico that devastated towns and cities in their path. Climate change will be a major driver of such events, and we risk much worse.
This puts a new debate center stage: how to reconcile increased action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with strong economic growth.
Last month, Death Valley, California experienced the highest June temperature ever recorded (129 degrees F!). Fires have been blazing in the western United States, leading to catastrophic losses of life. We’re barely more than a month into summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and it has started off extreme.
Last week in São Paulo, WRI, ICLEI, C40, USP-IEE, and EMBARQ Brazil jointly brought together more than 200 Brazilian city officials and experts to discuss how to use the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC) to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cities. Representatives from Brazil’s federal and state governments, as well as city-level governments including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Piracicaba, shared their experiences in conducting GHG inventories and implementing local climate actions.
Brazilian cities and municipalities vary in the status of their efforts to collect GHG data and conduct emissions inventories. The event focused on emissions management efforts so far. Below are six lessons highlighted by participants in the discussion:
1. Strong political commitment is crucial for success. Many cities in Brazil have made strong political commitments to address climate change. For example, Rio and Belo Horizonte have created municipal climate change laws with mandatory GHG reduction targets. Rio’s target is to reduce emissions by 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, while Belo Horizonte’s is 20 percent by 2030. In both cases, city-wide GHG inventories have been conducted to inform and track performance toward these targets.
2. The inventory is the first step in low-carbon development. Participants stressed the importance of the GHG inventory process (see figure below) as a planning tool to help cities assess their emissions, identify emission sources, set reduction targets, prioritize mitigation actions, and track performance. For instance, Belo Horizonte’s inventory found that the transportation sector is the city’s major source of GHG emissions (71 percent); this information will help the city identify reduction measures. Prof. Jose Goldemberg, former federal Minister and São Paulo State Secretary of Environment, stressed that GHG inventories help cities identify key emission sources and implement low-carbon technologies. Nelson Moreira Franco, Director for Climate Change Management and Sustainable Development for the City of Rio, stressed that the “GHG inventory is a powerful instrument to manage emissions and influence policy-making.”
This post was written by Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile and a member of the high-level advisory panel for the Climate Justice Dialogue. The Climate Justice Dialogue project is a joint initiative between WRI and the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice. This piece originally appeared on Reuters Alertnet.
Global emissions just crossed 400 parts per million, an ominous threshold for the climate. Despite this marker, there are signs of new life for international climate action, including during the recent United Nation’s climate meeting in Bonn, Germany.
It’s become abundantly clear that in order for the world to reach an international climate agreement by 2015, the usual approach isn’t going to work. World leaders need to find common ground and work toward solutions. They need to engage their citizens and infuse new passion into the issue. Climate change is not just an environmental issue – it is one of the great moral tests of our times.
In Chile, we know all too well the impacts of climate change, marked in particular by more frequent droughts and increasing water scarcity. This affects people and our economy across sectors, from agriculture and manufacturing to mining and energy. Sadly, the people most affected by climate change are the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
In the face of this challenge, we need a new narrative that engages people and presents the issue as a social and economic story rather than as just an environmental one. We need to create a world in which people prosper but without increasing pollution. This is not a distant dream, but a real possibility.
UPDATE, 4/19/13: Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries adopted an ambitious Plan of Action to improve access rights on April 17, 2013. Read WRI's press release for more details about the Plan of Action for the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration.
Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. This point is especially evident in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, expansion of agriculture into virgin forests, and the disruption of indigenous practices.
Many of these conflicts occur because countries lack strong laws and practices that encourage the public’s access to information and early participation in government decision-making. Without these laws in place, citizens can’t legally obtain information on projects like proposed oil wells or highways—or engage in the decision-making processes about developing and approving these projects. Governments can then make decisions without considering the impact on local citizens. The resulting social, environmental, or health costs often fall disproportionately on the affected communities. (See our video, "Sunita," for more information on the need for access to information laws).
But the situation in the LAC region could be poised to change, depending on what happens at a meeting this week. Representatives from 13 countries and two observer countries will meet with civil society groups in Guadalajara, Mexico, to finalize a two-year action plan on implementing the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration. If attendees come up with a strong plan, several LAC countries will come closer to adopting a plan for improving environmental justice and public participation rights across the region.
TESTIMONY OF JONATHAN LASH
PRESIDENT, WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE
HEARING BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SENATE
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
“LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON S. 1733, CLEAN ENERGY JOBS AND AMERICAN POWER ACT”