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German Development Institute Die

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Rademacher-Schulz C.,University of Bonn | Schraven B.,German Development Institute DIE
Climate and Development | Year: 2014

This article examines the interrelationships between rainfall variability, livelihood/food security and migration in rural Savannah communities in Northern Ghana. It addresses the question of how strong dry season migration is pronounced and whether the recent dominant migration type is a coping or adaptation mechanism. The analysis is based on empirical research conducted in four communities of the Nadowli District (Upper West Region), using a mixed methods approach. It was found that the households are highly dependent on rain-fed subsistence agriculture and livestock rearing, showing a low degree of economic diversification. Study participants in general complained about the unpredictability of the weather and linked changes in rainfall to declining crop yields and livestock possession as well as to increasing food prices. A common livelihood strategy used by households is dry-season migration to more suitable farming areas and to mining sites. Research in 2011 revealed that the majority of migrants were forced to migrate during the rainy season in order to feed the household members. This observation may indicate a shift in seasonal migration patterns with potentially harmful consequences for household livelihood security in the future. © 2013 © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

Herrfahrdt-Pahle E.,German Development Institute DIE | Pahl-Wostl C.,University of Osnabrück
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

In recent years recurring political, economic, and environmental crises require questioning and re-evaluating dominant pathways of human development. However, political and economic frameworks seem to encompass deeply rooted resistance to fundamental changes (e.g., global financial crisis, climate change negotiations). In an effort to repair the system as fast as possible, those paradigms, mechanisms, and structures that led into the crisis are perpetuated. Instead of preserving conventional patterns and focusing on continuity, crises could be used as an opportunity for learning, adapting, and entering onto more sustainable pathways. However, there are different ways not only of arguing for sustainable pathways of development but also of conceptualizing continuity and change. By focusing on institutions, we illustrate the tension between the concepts of continuity and change, how they interact, and how they build or degrade institutional resilience. The analysis draws on empirical research in South Africa and Uzbekistan, which were locked in persistent regimes over decades. Faced with the challenge to transform, Uzbekistan chose a pathway of institutional continuity, while South Africa opted for comprehensive reforms and a high level of change. Based on these case studies, we illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of institutional continuity and change. Elements of institutional continuity during times of transformation include preserving key institutions, which define how the rules are made; maintaining social memory; providing transparency of reform processes and allowing them time to take effect. Elements of institutional change required during phases of consolidation include flexible legislation; regular reviews; and adaptation of legislation during and after implementation. © 2012 by the author(s).

Bodas Freitas I.M.,Grenoble Graduate School of Business | Bodas Freitas I.M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Dantas E.,German Development Institute DIE | Dantas E.,University of Sussex | Iizuka M.,Maastricht University
Energy Policy | Year: 2012

This paper examines whether the Kyoto mechanisms have stimulated the diffusion of renewable energy technologies in the BRICS, i.e. Brazil, Russian, India China and South Africa. We examine the patterns of diffusion of renewable energy technologies in the BRICS, the factors associated with their diffusion, and the incentives provided by the Kyoto mechanisms. Preliminary analysis suggests that the Kyoto mechanisms may be supporting the spread of existing technologies, regardless if such technologies are still closely tied to environmental un-sustainability, rather than the development and diffusion of more sustainable variants of renewable energy technologies. This raises questions about the incentives provided by the Kyoto mechanisms for the diffusion of cleaner variants of renewable energy technologies in the absence of indigenous technological efforts and capabilities in sustainable variants, and national policy initiatives to attract and build on Kyoto mechanism projects. We provide an empirical analysis using aggregated national data from the World Development Indicators, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and secondary sources. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Schluter M.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Schluter M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Herrfahrdt-Pahle E.,German Development Institute DIE
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

Water from the Amudarya River is a vital and strategic resource for semi-arid Uzbekistan because of its heavy reliance on irrigated agriculture. The Uzbek water management regime, however, has proven to be rather reluctant to adapt to changing environmental and socio-political conditions despite recent massive pressures caused by political, environmental, or donor-induced developments in the region. The aim of this paper is to explore reasons for the low adaptability of the Uzbek water sector and assess implications for the resilience of the Uzbek social-ecological system (SES). By analyzing past losses of resilience as well as first attempts at institutional change in land and water management, we identify drivers as well as structural factors and mechanisms that act as barriers for adaptation and transformation towards a more sustainable system. With the collapse of the Aral Sea fisheries and the basin-wide large scale soil salinization, the SES in the Amudarya River Basin has shifted to a new, less desirable regime. However, the high resilience of the social system is keeping it in its current undesirable state and further degrades its long-term resilience. Our analysis identifies reinforcing feedbacks caused by ecological dynamics, vested interests, and a patronage system that contribute to the resistance to change and keep the system locked in its current unsustainable state. These factors are rooted in the history of the SES in the river basin, such as the economic dependence on cotton and the state-centered management approach. The window of opportunity for significant changes of the larger scale institutional setting that might have been open after the breakup of the Soviet Union was or could not be used to achieve a transformation to more sustainable resources use. Measures aimed at an incremental improvement of the current situation are not sufficient to prevent further losses of resilience. Resilience and transformability of the larger scale SES (political, economic, and institutional settings) are needed to enable the smaller scales (regional and local water management) to adapt and change. However, we identified opportunities for change arising from the slow acceptance of bottom-up management institutions in the water sector and from the extensive restoration capacity of the ecosystems. © 2011 by the author(s).

Horlemann L.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Dombrowsky I.,German Development Institute DIE
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

Integrated water resources management (IWRM) forms the widely accepted ecosystem approach to managing water and its related resources in a sustainable way. Nevertheless, its implementation is still lagging behind, especially in developing and transition countries which are often short of essential resources and face complex political dynamics. IWRM often requires a fundamental realignment of governance structures. This may lead to problems of fit and institutional interplay as particular challenges of multi-level governance. Against this background, a case study of Mongolia was carried out, a transition country suffering from extreme climatic conditions and increasing depletion of its resources. While an attempt to introduce IWRM exists on paper, it is less clear how it will be made politically and institutionally applicable. A document review and stakeholder interviews were carried out to understand the progress and problems of introducing IWRM in Mongolia in the face of its transition and decentralisation process. Problems of fit and interplay-which are in part results of the transformation-were identified, as well as the approaches for their solution. Attempts are underway to overcome problems of fit such as the establishment of river basin councils which are presently facing the challenges concerning their room for manoeuvre. Problems of interplay arise when it comes to the cooperation and coordination of numerous water-related organisations which often lead to inconsistent water governance. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Ifejika Speranza C.,University of Bern | Ifejika Speranza C.,German Development Institute DIE
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2013

Building resilience to climate change in agricultural production can ensure the functioning of agricultural-based livelihoods and reduce their vulnerability to climate change impacts. This paper thus explores how buffer capacity, a characteristic feature of resilience, can be conceptualised and used for assessing the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change. It uses the case of conservation agriculture farmers in a Kenyan region and examines how their practices contribute to buffer capacity. Surveys were used to collect data from 41 purposely selected conservation agriculture farmers in the Laikipia region of Kenya. Besides descriptive statistics, factor analysis was used to identify the key dimensions that characterise buffer capacity in the study context. The cluster of practices characterising buffer capacity in conservation agriculture include soil protection, adapted crops, intensification/irrigation, mechanisation and livelihood diversification. Various conservation practices increase buffer capacity, evaluated by farmers in economic, social, ecological and other dimensions. Through conservation agriculture, most farmers improved their productivity and incomes despite drought, improved their environment and social relations. Better-off farmers also reduced their need for labour, but this resulted in lesser income-earning opportunities for the poorer farmers, thus reducing the buffer capacity and resilience of the latter. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Koch S.,German Development Institute DIE
Development Policy Review | Year: 2015

Aid to middle-income countries has become one of the most discussed issues among development researchers and in the current modernisation of the development policy of the European Union. This article argues that the question needs to be dealt with in the context of two interlinked challenges: (i) the need to reconceptualise dominant approaches to global poverty reduction beyond national income, and (ii) the growing range of global challenges and the strategically important role of middle-income countries. For EU development policy, the implications are twofold: (i) a better-co-ordinated cross-country division of labour, and (ii) a diversification of objectives towards a global rationale of development policy involving closer co-ordination with other EU external policies. © 2015 The Author.

Richerzhagen C.,German Development Institute DIE
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2011

Access and benefit-sharing (ABS) is a market-based approach aimed at preserving biodiversity. Its effectiveness has been questioned in international discussions for many years. It is evident that the approach's success has fallen far short of what was expected: degradation of biodiversity continues, and only few benefits arising from the commercial use of biodiversity have been shared with the providers of biodiversity. The reason for this failure is a lack of incentives. However, an analytical assessment of the effectiveness of the concept is lacking so far. The present paper raises the question how ABS must be designed in order to be effective while also helping to protect biodiversity and promote a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its commercialization. This paper identifies six critical factors that determine the effectiveness of ABS governance and discusses under what circumstances a critical factor increases or decreases in effectiveness. Furthermore, the paper analyses so-called countermeasures that impact on these circumstances. In specifying the critical factors and their interplay with the countermeasures, the paper gives guidance on how to develop more effective ABS regimes. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Guarin A.,German Development Institute DIE
Development Policy Review | Year: 2013

Global value chains are potential links between smallholder farmers in developing countries and lucrative markets in industrialised nations. However, food access for poor consumers in Third World cities depends largely on traditional domestic supply chains. This article focuses on the market for perishables in Colombia, which is dominated by peasant farming and ranching, wholesale (spot) markets, and small, family-run corner stores and butchers. Here, evidence suggests that, despite characterisation of traditional supply chains as inefficient, they provide critical outlets for smallholders' heterogeneous production while simultaneously ensuring availability of cheap food for poor urban consumers. © The Author 2013. Development Policy Review © 2013 Overseas Development Institute.

This review article examines the challenges that flood disasters in the Zambezi basin pose to development, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian interventions. It analyses how interventions address these challenges to identify how to reduce vulnerability to floods. Data are examined from disaster database entries from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, Emergency Database, and scientific articles and other literature. Results show that development interventions and DRR are not keeping pace with the vulnerability of the population affected by flood events, as humanitarian interventions seem to dominate. The article highlights the significant role played by international humanitarian agencies, the challenges posed by inadequate preparedness and weak collaboration, the exclusion of the vulnerable from active participation, and the frequent declaration of states of emergency. If these challenges are not addressed, climate change will exacerbate humanitarian crises and competition for humanitarian aid resources. Changes in social factors that do not require finance can improve flood disaster risk management. Accessing funding for adaptation for use in DRR can further alleviate the severity of flood impacts, but development interventions remain crucial for addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability. © 2010 Earthscan.

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