International Institute for Environment and Development IIED

United Kingdom

International Institute for Environment and Development IIED

United Kingdom
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Pretty J.,University of Essex | Toulmin C.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED | Williams S.,Iju Isaga
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2011

Over the past half-century, agricultural production gains have provided a platform for rural and urban economic growth worldwide. In African countries, however, agriculture has been widely assumed to have performed badly. Foresight commissioned analyses of 40 projects and programmes in 20 countries where sustainable intensification has been developed during the 1990s-2000s. The cases included crop improvements, agroforestry and soil conservation, conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, horticulture, livestock and fodder crops, aquaculture and novel policies and partnerships. By early 2010, these projects had documented benefits for 10.39 million farmers and their families and improvements on approximately 12.75 million ha. Food outputs by sustainable intensification have been multiplicative - by which yields per hectare have increased by combining the use of new and improved varieties and new agronomic-agroecological management (crop yields rose on average by 2.13-fold), and additive - by which diversification has resulted in the emergence of a range of new crops, livestock or fish that added to the existing staples or vegetables already being cultivated. The challenge is now to spread effective processes and lessons to many more millions of generally small farmers and pastoralists across the whole continent. These projects had seven common lessons for scaling up and spreading: (i) science and farmer inputs into technologies and practices that combine crops-animals with agroecological and agronomic management; (ii) creation of novel social infrastructure that builds trust among individuals and agencies; (iii) improvement of farmer knowledge and capacity through the use of farmer field schools and modern information and communication technologies; (iv) engagement with the private sector for supply of goods and services; (v) a focus on women's educational, microfinance and agricultural technology needs; (vi) ensuring the availability of microfinance and rural banking; and (vii) ensuring public sector support for agriculture. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming project. © 2011 Earthscan.


Fergutz O.,Fundacion AVINA | Dias S.,Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing WIEGO | Mitlin D.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2011

In Brazil's large cities, more than half a million people survive by collecting and selling solid waste. Most face very poor working conditions and have very low incomes as the intermediaries to whom they sell pay low prices. Their activities are even considered illegal in some nations. But the waste pickers save city governments money, contribute to cleaner cities and reduce the volume of waste that has to be dumped (by up to 20 per cent). After describing the waste pickers and the city and national associations they have created, this paper describes the recycling industry and gives some examples of better methods of recycling. These include waste picker cooperatives that can sell the materials they collect direct to industries and that have partnerships with city governments who provide access to wastes, better prices and facilities to improve working conditions (including transferring the recycling from dumps to recycling centres). © 2011 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).


Satterthwaite D.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2011

This article considers the prospects for urban areas in the Global South to adapt to climate change. It describes how most of the needed adaptations in the next few decades can be integrated into existing government functions, investments, regulations, and agencies. It also considers why most such measures are unlikely to be implemented-because of either the lack of capacity within urban governments or their unwillingness to address the infrastructure and service needs of their low-income populations. Most urban centers in the Global South also have very large deficits in the basic infrastructure and services that are needed for resilience to climate change impacts. The article also considers how the policies and practices of higher levels of government and international agencies need to change if the much needed adaptive capacity is to be built in urban areas. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Horstmann B.,German Development Institute | Abeysinghe A.C.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Climate Law | Year: 2011

The Adaptation Fund of the Kyoto Protocol is seen by many as a model for financing adaptation activities, which should also play a strong role in the institutional design of the Green Climate Fund under the UNFCCC. The article analyses whether the status of operationalization of the Adaptation Fund meets international institutional criteria and requirements for an effective and efficient fund arrangement. These are derived from the UNFCCC and the Paris Agenda on Aid Effectiveness. The analysis shows that the Adaptation Fund meets most of the funding requirements. Due to its institutional features, particularly the direct-access modality, the Adaptation Fund has the potential to practically link international climate change with development finance for adaptation to climate change. However, the analysis also shows that there are a number of challenges remaining, including criteria which the fund does not meet yet and the practical implementation of fund operations, particularly at the national level. © 2012-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Satterthwaite D.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2013

The impacts of climate change in any city are obviously influenced by the quality of its housing and other buildings, its infrastructure and services. These were not built with climate change risks in mind, although they were influenced by environmental health risks that were present when they were constructed (including those from extreme weather) and often by responses to past disasters. Well-governed cities that have greatly reduced these risks have accumulated resilience to the climate change impacts that exacerbate (or will exacerbate) these risks. In so doing, they have also developed the social, political, financial and institutional structures that provide the basis for addressing these and other risks. These structures were developed through social, environmental and political reforms, driven by such factors as democracy, decentralization and strong social movements representing the needs of those with limited incomes, or other factors associated with vulnerability. These "bottom-up" pressures from citizens and civil society on national and city governments are critical for developing the institutions and measures to reduce climate change-related risks (especially for those most at risk) and to support resilience. © 2013 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).


Turok I.,HSRC | McGranahan G.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2013

The relationship between urbanization and development is a vital policy concern, especially in Africa and Asia. This paper reviews the arguments and evidence for whether rapid urban population growth can help to raise living standards. The main finding is that the development effects of urbanization and the magnitude of agglomeration economies are very variable. There is no simple linear relationship between urbanization and economic growth, or between city size and productivity. The potential of urbanization to promote growth is likely to depend on how conducive the infrastructure and institutional settings are. Removing barriers to rural-urban mobility may enable economic growth, but the benefits will be much larger with supportive policies, markets and infrastructure investments. Cities should use realistic population projections as the basis for investing in public infrastructure and implementing supportive land policies. Governments should seek out ways of enabling forms of urbanization that contribute to growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, rather than encouraging (or discouraging) urbanization per se. © 2013 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).


Cotula L.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Journal of Peasant Studies | Year: 2012

Over the past few years, agribusiness, investment funds and government agencies have been acquiring long-term rights over large areas of farmland in lower income countries. It is widely thought that private sector expectations of higher agricultural commodity prices and government concerns about longer-term food and energy security underpin much recent land acquisition for agricultural investments. These processes are expected to have lasting and far-reaching implications for world agriculture and for livelihoods and food security in recipient countries. This paper critically examines evidence of trends, scale, geography and drivers in the global land rush. While this analysis broadly corroborates some widespread assumptions, it also points to a more complex set of drivers that reflect fundamental shifts in economic and geopolitical relations linking sovereign states, global finance, and agribusiness through to local groups. Only a solid understanding of these fundamental drivers can help identify levers and pressure points for policy responses to address the challenges raised by large-scale land acquisitions. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Haque A.N.,University of Cambridge | Dodman D.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED | Hossain M.M.,Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2014

The relationship between "coping" and "resilience" increasingly features in academic, policy and practical discussions on adaptation to climate change in urban areas. This paper examines this relationship in the context of households in "extreme poverty" in the city of Khulna, Bangladesh. It draws on a quantitative data set based on 550 household interviews in low-income and informal settlements that identified the extent of the underlying drivers of vulnerability in this setting, including very low income, inadequate shelter, poor nutritional status and limited physical assets. A series of focus groups were used to explore the ways in which physical hazards have interacted with this underlying vulnerability, as a means to understand the potential impacts of climate change on this particular group of urban residents. These outcomes include frequent water-logging, the destruction of houses and disruption to the provision of basic services. The main focus of the paper is on describing the practices of low-income urban residents in responding to climate-related shocks and stresses, placing these in a particular political context, and drawing lessons for urban policies in Bangladesh and elsewhere. A wide range of specific adaptation-related activities can be identified, which can be grouped into three main categories - individual, communal and institutional. The paper examines the extent to which institutional actions are merely "coping" - or whether they create the conditions in which individuals and households can strengthen their own long-term resilience. Similarly, it examines the extent to which individual and communal responses are merely "coping" - or whether they have the potential to generate broader political change that strengthens the position of marginalized groups in the city. © 2014 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).


Satterthwaite D.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2011

With more than half the world's population now living in urban areas and with much of the world still urbanizing, there are concerns that urbanization is a key driver of unsustainable resource demands. Urbanization also appears to contribute to ever-growing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, in much of Africa and Asia and many nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, urbanization has long outstripped local governments' capacities or willingness to act as can be seen in the high proportion of the urban population living in poor quality, overcrowded, illegal housing lacking provision for water, sanitation, drainage, healthcare and schools. But there is good evidence that urban areas can combine high living standards with relatively low GHG emissions and lower resource demands. This paper draws on some examples of this and considers what these imply for urban policies in a resource-constrained world. These suggest that cities can allow high living standards to be combined with levels of GHG emissions that are much lower than those that are common in affluent cities today. This can be achieved not with an over-extended optimism on what new technologies can bring but mostly by a wider application of what already has been shown to work. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Cotula L.,International Institute for Environment and Development IIED
Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law | Year: 2015

This article discusses diffusion of law in relation to investment treaty annexes on indirect expropriation. These annexes clarify the circumstances under which environmental regulation may constitute an expropriation requiring States to compensate investors. The article briefly reviews theoretical perspectives in diffusion of law debates and links them to investment treaty making. It then explores three diffusion moments in the development and spread of expropriation annexes: the transition of indirect expropriation concepts and rules from the jurisprudence of the United States (US) Supreme Court to the indirect expropriation annex included in the US model investment treaties of 2004 and 2012; the inclusion of a comparable annex in the 2009 Comprehensive Investment Agreement of the Association of South-East Asian Nations; and the inclusion of an indirect expropriation annex in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union. The findings interrogate traditional concepts of diffusion of law and highlight the complexities of law formation in a globalized world. They also compound the case for comparative environmental lawyers to study the interface between national and international law and between environmental law and other branches of law that can affect options for environmental regulation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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