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As world leaders prepare to converge on Rio in June for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), civil society groups around the world are making demands of their leaders. In India, a broad coalition of environment and development NGOs are decrying state-sanctioned violence during hearings for major projects. In Colombia, civil society groups are calling for training of judges who often don’t understand environmental law. These are just a few of the many governance demands made by NGOs in more than 30 countries associated with the Access Initiative (TAI). But, how will leaders react? Many may come to Rio+20 with commitments, but how can we hold them accountable to fulfill these commitments?

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The World Bank administered Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) are two leading multilateral efforts currently supporting developing countries to be

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This spring, Parties to the UNFCCC must decide whether or not to continue discussions on the REDD+ safeguard information system (SIS) guidance that started in Durban. In particular, Parties have the option of developing further guidance related to the “transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the information” in the SIS. Parties may not wish to reopen this discussion given the many topics that still need to be addressed to make REDD+ operational, but not re-opening the discussion may be a missed opportunity for REDD+ countries seeking to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the REDD+ safeguards. In order for these conversations to move forward, Parties may wish to have informal discussions next week during the REDD+ Partnership meeting in London.

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This week, WRI released a new report summarizing assessments of institutional readiness for adapting to climate change. The report, Ready or Not, focuses on pilot applications of the National Adaptive Capacity (NAC) framework in three countries: Bolivia, Ireland, and Nepal. Co-authors Heather McGray and Aarjan Dixit respond to questions about the NAC framework, which provided the analytic basis for this report.

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The Indonesian moratorium on the award of new licenses in primary natural forests and peat lands, announced in May 2011, is an important step for improving management of forest resources by “pausing” business-as-usual and allowing time to implement reforms.

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In December 2010, the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requested the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) to develop guidance relating to paragraph 71(d) of the Cancun Agreements in time for COP 17

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REDD+ presents an important opportunity for Tanzania to leverage its forest resources to bring in new capital flows, promote forest management and provide benefits to communities. With a legal framework designed to promote decentralization and more than a decade of experience with Participatory Forest Management, the country appears ready to capitalize on REDD+.

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This post was written with Sarah Lupberger, Project Coordinator with WRI's Electricity Governance Initiative.

A year and a half has passed since a political uprising rocked the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. The violent protests in April 2010 were in part a response to mismanagement of the energy sector and a loss of public trust in the government’s ability to provide essential services like electricity. These protests eventually grew into a revolution that ousted President Bakiyev.

Today, electricity sector reforms and engagement with civil society groups have begun to show signs of progress, according to WRI’s partners in the Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI).

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With all its complex processes and acronyms, it’s easy to forget that the international climate change negotiations are supposed to lead to changes on the ground. There have been several developments this year, however, which should remind us of the urgency of the task and the importance of getting each piece of the puzzle right, including incentives for developing countries to reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

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On September 20, eight governments will gather in New York to launch the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a new multilateral initiative to strengthen transparency, citizen participation, accountability, and share new technologies and innovation. The Brazilian and U.S. governments are leading the initiative, which also involves the governments of Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Kingdom as founding members.

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20 years after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, “Rio+20” will review progress on and reaffirm a global commitment to the policies designed to foster economic growth that is both inclusive and respects the planet’s limited carrying capacity. Amidst a lingering global recession, a widening gap between rich and poor, and heightened competition for energy, food and other scarce natural resources, the conference could not be more timely. Unfortunately, no clear vision for Rio+20 has emerged, and expectations of the Conference remain low.

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Though the Earth Summit, Rio+20, will take place next June, few governments have started to seriously assess their progress towards achieving the internationally agreed upon sustainable development goals outlined in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, according to a recent survey from the Access Initiative. Time is running short. In order to have a successful Rio+20, governments must submit meaningful and ambitious goals to the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document by November 1, which will outline the agenda and discussion points for Rio+20.

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As feed-in tariffs gain traction as a policy mechanism of choice, we must keep in mind the bigger picture of the financial health of developing country electricity sectors.

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From June 22-24, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) will co-host the premiere knowledge-sharing platform for clean energy investment in Asia, the 6th Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF). Taking place in Manila, Philippines, the event brings together energy leaders from around the world to discuss clean energy policy, regulation, financing and innovative business models.

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