United Nations Development Program

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News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

-- Riding the success of this week's inaugural K(NO)W Identity Conference,  One World Identity (https://oneworldidentity.com/)is announcing plans to bring the event back to Washington D.C. early next year.  The conference wrapped yesterday, May 17at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Center with over 800 business leaders and experts in attendance.  Kicking off with keynote speaker Edward Snowden—whistleblower and former NSA contractor, the three-day event boasted a lineup of 150+ notable speakers including Jai Arun of IBM, David Birch of Consult Hyperion, Pascal Bouvier of Santander Innoventures, Carmi Gillon of Cytegic Cybersecurity and many more. Leading sponsors included BBVA, IBM, Trulioo and Trusona.The K(NO)W Identity Conference provided a forum for identity experts across all industries to be at the nexus of ideas and policies that will fundamentally change identity around the world.  Attendees dove into critical topics such as biometrics, blockchain, identity access management, fraud prevention and identity verification."As new technologies appear and mature every day, IBM is committed to helping organizations explore how they can use them to innovate and transform business applications,"said Jai Arun, Program Director, Blockchain and Identity Solutions, IBM. "At the K(NO)W Identity Conference, we saw how some of the leading minds in the identity verification space are applying innovations such as blockchain for highly secure, trusted and consumer-friendly solutions that have the potential to shape how we manage and verify identity moving forward."The fully immersive event, featured the world's best event technology connecting attendees both digitally and physically. BBVA held the finals for the identity category of the Open Talent Competition at the conference, giving dozens of startups the opportunity to compete for funding and valuable mentorship from the global Spanish bank."Identity is a hot topic in financial services, and we see it as one of the keys of our own digital transformation,"said BBVA Head of Open Innovation Marisol Menendez. "K(NO)W Identity brings together an active and engaged audience that understands the power of identity. Combining that influential audience and the BBVA Open Talent Identity competition was an opportunity we could not pass up."The BBVA Open Talent Competition sought for innovative identity companies that would help BBVA achieve the goal of transforming the world of banking. Amongst ten startups, this year's winner was SnapSwap, a Luxembourg based startup offering fully automated remote customer onboarding for financial institutions. SnapSwap brought home 30,000 euros and an invite to the Open Talent Global Summit and Immersion Week held in October 2017 at the BBVA Group headquarters in Madrid. BBVA Open Talent has grown to offer more fintech startups around the world the chance to compete and win competitions focused in seven key areas."We are very grateful to the BBVA team for the invitation, and the chance to showcase our product and be on stage with all of the other great startups here," added Denis Kiselev, CEO of SnapSwap.On Tuesday, the K(NO)W Nodes Awards recognized and celebrated the most compelling startups, individuals, and identity innovations of the year.This year's winners included:• Identity Leadership – Timothy Ruff (Evernym)• Identity Government Leadership – Niall McCann (United Nations Development Program)• Rising Innovator – Robin Tombs (Yoti Ltd.)• CEO of the Year - Emma Lindley (Innovate Identity)• Investor of the Year - Liron Gitig (FTV Capital)• Greatest Social Impact Through Identity  - Onfido• Greatest Social Impact Through Identity Non-Profit - OpenID Foundation• Best New Startup - Civic• Overall Startup - Confirm.io• Trailblazer - ID.MeThe K(NO)W Identity Conference came on the heels of a global ransomware cyber-attack, discussed by Snowden in his keynote speech. The attack highlighted the need for increased immediacy in spurring innovation and enacting change within the space."We created the K(NO)W Identity Conference with the goal of creating dialog that we didn't see happening between the pioneers solving today's identity challenges " said Travis Jarae, Co-Founder and CEO of One World Identity. "We could not be more thrilled with the result of this year's event, and look forward to topping it next year."The premier global event for the identity industry, the K(NO)W Identity Conference brings together the innovators, regulators and policy-makers shaping the future ofidentity. From payments, biometrics and FinTech to access management and anti-fraud,the identity industry is at the core of conducting business in the internet era. The 2017K(NO)W Identity Conference was held May 15-17, 2017 at the Ronald Reagan Buildingand International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. featuring 150+ speakers, 300+companies and over 1,500 attendees.The hub for all things identity, One World Identity aims to foster communication, open standards and innovation among the companies and professionals of the identity industry.Visit us at www.oneworldidentity.com for the latest in identity news, events, opinion and research coverage.

News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

When it comes to President Trump’s thinking on climate change, the White House has put its cards on the table — that such efforts are essentially a waste of national time and treasure. However, when it comes to joining the Paris climate accord, the administration is tipping its hand and might be taking a seat at the table. Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went to a meeting of the Arctic Council in Fairbanks, Alaska where the group signed a declaration affirming that the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the global average. That is causing upheaval there and around the world, the communique added, necessitating global action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. “In the United States, we are currently reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change,” Tillerson said in his remarks to the council, which is an intergovernmental forum comprised of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States. “We’re not going to rush to make a decision. We’re going to work to make the right decision for the United States,” Tillerson added. Those comments came two days after members of Trump’s team was to meet to decide whether to join the climate talks. But do the statements of the Arctic Council and Tillerson contradict the president’s executive orders to try and weaken rules for carbon and methane emissions? They are, in fact, inconsistent. Despite the ambivalence, carbon emissions in the United States have been falling for the last decade while the economy here has been steadily growing for almost as long. A study performed by the United Nations Development Program, meantime, says that if the goals of the Paris accord signed in December 2015 are achieved, job growth would escalate and climate risks could be averted. The key finding: economic growth would be 10%, or $12 trillion greater by 2030. “Global investors are eager to open their wallets to a low-carbon future, but it won’t happen without clear, stable policy signals from countries worldwide – in particular, the US government whose waffling on the Paris Climate Agreement is hugely troubling,” said Mindy Lubber, chief executive of the sustainability non-profit organization Ceres. Warming records have been set for 17 of the last 18 years, says the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. And 2016 was the warmest ever. The European Union, Canada and China are among the national governments in support of curbing carbon emissions. So, why is the United States so indecisive? Corporate Accountability International produced a report that concludes fossil fuel interests are intentionally trying to undercut the climate talks, many of which are based in this country. But companies such as Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Calpine Corp., Exelon Corp., General Electric, PG&E Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell are among those voicing support for the accord. Furthermore, 365 businesses that include DuPont, General Mills and Schneider Electric signed a letter asking President Trump to stick to the Paris agreement. Many other businesses are willing to spend money to reduce their carbon emissions and to implement procedures to see that such strategies are followed up and down the supply chain as well. Doing so motivates companies to do everything from becoming more energy efficient to procuring renewable energy to buying technology to curb emissions. The Carbon Disclosure Project is lauding such companies as Cummins Inc, Nissan Motor Co. and SUEZ. “If the U.S. stays in, some companies may find that new operational burdens will increase their cost of doing business. By how much? It’s extremely difficult to quantify in advance, but in isolation, it may be significant …," Allegro Development’s chief strategist Michael Hinton told this writer. “With regard to being in favor of staying in the agreement, the argument would be that, even if there are higher financial costs,” he adds, “it’s the responsibility of corporations to be on the side of protecting the environment and to pursue new technologies that may produce considerable economic benefits.” Corporate America will therefore become the primary force to drive forward the global climate change talks. Companies realize that to effect the outcome they can’t be isolationist or obstructionist. They, in fact, must participate in the discussions — the same view that Secretary Tillerson has espoused and the one that the president will likely heed.

OSLO, Norway, May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After two days of celebration, winner of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award, long-time South China businessman, Dr. Harley Seyedin, along with Elon Musk, Durreen Shahnaz, and Murad Al-Katib were presented their coveted prize at the Oslo City Hall. The Business for Peace Award is the highest recognition a global businessperson can receive. The selection took place in London on February 9th, where the independent Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics decided the 2017 winners from a pool of nominees from over 40 countries put forward by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Celebrations included a private dinner hosted by their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway at their Residence 'SKAUGUM'. Speakers included Erna Soleberg, Prime Minister of Norway who also opened the 2017 Business for Peace Roundtable attended by nearly 200 Board Chairs and CEOs from leading global companies, investors, civil societies and politics. The Award Committee included Nobel Peace Laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui, Nobel Economics Laureate Finn Kydland, Governing Mayor of the City of Oslo Raymond Johansen, and Board Chair of Business for Peace Foundation Per Saxegaard. The Oslo Business for Peace Award is not bestowed in recognition of philanthropy or for corporate social responsibility. It is given to individual business leaders who are willing to take risks and who challenge and inspire their surroundings, in order to reach a better union between business and society. The award is conferred when enlightened leadership has a business contributing to the potential between business and society, rather than retreating to claims that "the business of business is business". Award Committee member Ouided Bouchamaoui stated: "This year again, the Business for Peace Nominees are the proof that working ethically and looking for sustainable development is viable and worthy. The nominees are accomplished entrepreneurs helping people in need and showing the world that being businessworthy can also serve the values of trade." Elon Musk receives the Award for his leadership of the way forward in the automotive industry, and for his showcasing of business' ability to help confront and solve the world's most demanding and complex problems. The battery technology of Tesla has recently been successfully combined with solar energy in his company SolarCity, USA's second largest provider of solar systems. Dr Harley Seyedin is an Iranian immigrant to USA, who has spent his life building a multi-national electricity and low carbon infrastructure development business with great success in China and Southeast Asia. He has lived more than 20 years in China and for the past 12 years he has held the position as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China. Murad Al-Katib, son of Turkish immigrants to Canada, receives the Award for his entrepreneurship in leading the way in sustainable agriculture and contributing to feeding millions of refugee families in the Syrian crisis. His company AGT Food and Ingredients is one of the world's largest lentil companies, handling about a quarter of the global supply. Durreen Shahnaz receives the award for her work in spearheading the transformation of the way financial and capital markets work, focusing on purpose and maximizing impact. Her work in Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), the world's first stock exchange dedicated to social enterprises -- which she founded in 2009, has positively impacted 10 million lives to date. Please find the justification for the Honorees here.

Kurukulasuriya P.,United Nations Development Program
Environment and Development Economics | Year: 2012

This study predicts the impact of climate change on African agriculture. We use a generalized linear model (GLM) framework to estimate the relationship between the proportion of various Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs) in a district and climate. Using three climate scenarios, we project how climate change will cause AEZs to shift, causing changes in acreage and net revenue per hectare of cropland. Our results predict that Africa will suffer heavy annual welfare losses by 2070-2100, ranging between US$14 billion and US$70 billion, depending on the climate scenario and cropland measure considered. © Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012.

Diouf D.,Enda Sante | Drame F.M.,University Gaston Berger | Ndaw M.,Enda Sante | Traore C.,United Nations Development Program | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for HIV in Senegal, with a prevalence of 21.5%. In December 2008, nine male HIV prevention workers were imprisoned for "acts against nature" prohibited by Senegalese law. This qualitative study assessed the impact of these arrests on HIV prevention efforts. A purposive sample of MSM in six regions of Senegal was recruited by network referral. 26 in-depth interviews (IDIs) and 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in July-August 2009. 14 key informants were also interviewed. All participants reported pervasive fear and hiding among MSM as a result of the December 2008 arrests and publicity. Service providers suspended HIV prevention work with MSM out of fear for their own safety. Those who continued to provide services noticed a sharp decline in MSM participation. An effective response to the HIV epidemic in Senegal should include active work to decrease enforcement of this law. © 2011 Poteat et al.

Pinho R.C.,National Institute of Amazonian Research | Miller R.P.,United Nations Development Program | Alfaia S.S.,National Institute of Amazonian Research
Applied and Environmental Soil Science | Year: 2012

This paper discusses the effects of trees on soil fertility, with a focus on agricultural systems in Amazonia. Relevant literature concerning the effects of trees on soil physical and chemical properties in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions is reviewed, covering both natural ecosystems and agroecosystems. Soil carbon, in the form of organic matter, is considered as an indicator of biological activity as well as in relation to policy issues such as carbon sequestration and climate change. In the case of tropical soils and Amazonia, information on the effects of trees on soils is discussed in the context of traditional agriculture systems, as well as in regard to the development of more sustainable agricultural alternatives for the region. Lastly, attention is given to a case study in the savanna region of Roraima, northern Brazil, where a chronosequence of indigenous homegarden agroforestry systems showed clear effects of management practices involving trees on soil fertility. The use of diverse tree species and other practices employed in agroforestry systems can represent alternative forms of increasing soil fertility and maintaining agricultural production, with important practical applications for the sustainability of tropical agriculture. © 2012 Rachel C. Pinho et al.

News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

70% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a conventional electrical grid. Even if they did, the service is often interrupted by a variety of factors. Now, Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited, a Nigerian company, and Renewvia Energy Corporation, an American firm, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide solar power to 25 communities across Nigeria using local microgrids. The communities are located in the Nigerian states of  Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun, and Osun. The microgrids are expected to be operational by the end of this year and have a total capacity of 10 megawatts. Clay Taber, managing director of Renewvia, says the microgrids will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminium racking, and energy storage backup power. He adds that Renewvia and CESEL will sell electricity to microgrid customers through Kilowatts, a “pay as you go” microfinance company. “The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel,” he says.  Most customers send about $6 a month for electricity from a solar microgrid. The project is supported by Power Africa, a US energy project initiated in 2013 to assist African countries in accessing energy. CESEL is a private Nigerian company that has led the community engagement for 6 operational microgrid projects in Nigeria that have received funding through the Nigeria Bank of Industry and United Nations Development Program. Renewvia is a private US renewable energy developer and solar power plant operator established in 2009. Renewvia specializes in providing minigrid and solar energy solutions for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications. Solar energy in Africa is not used to power air conditioning, electric cars, or hot tubs. It is used to provide LED lighting at night so people continue to do business after the sun sets, so the streets are lit to deter crime, and so school children can do their schoolwork at night without breathing toxic fumes from kerosene lanterns. One solar light can transform the life of a family that has never known the wonders of electrical energy. Solar power can also be used to charge cell phones, which helps people connect with each other and helps the development of cohesive communities. Akon: Words of Wisdom, Importance of Solar, Call to Climate Action… (Exclusive Video Interview) Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Sonwa D.J.,Center for International Forestry Research | Somorin O.A.,Center for International Forestry Research | Somorin O.A.,Wageningen University | Jum C.,Center for International Forestry Research | And 2 more authors.
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2012

In Cameroon and elsewhere in the Congo Basin, the majority of rural households and a large proportion of urban households depend on plant and animal products from the forests to meet their nutritional, energy, cultural and medicinal needs. This paper explores the likely impacts of climate-induced changes on the provisioning of forest ecosystem goods and services and its effect on the economic and social well-being of the society, including the national economy and the livelihoods of forest-dependent people. The analysis focuses on four identified vulnerable sectors - food (NTFPs), energy (fuelwood), health (medicinal plants) and water (freshwater) through a multi-stakeholder dialog at national and regional levels. We use a vulnerability assessment framework by combining the elements of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity to conceptualize vulnerability in these sectors. The identified sectors in relation to the forest ecosystem are discussed in view of providing an understanding of the sector's potential adaptive capacities for policy intervention. Our analysis presents the possible implications of the vulnerability of these sectors for planning local and national adaptation strategies. Local and national adaptive capacities to respond to climate impacts in the forest sectors includes: reducing poverty, enhancing food security, water availability, combating land degradation and reducing loss of biological diversity. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Weir T.,University of The South Pacific | Virani Z.,United Nations Development Program
Climate and Development | Year: 2011

Pacific Island countries are demonstrably vulnerable to the risks of climate change, disasters and conflict. This article outlines the conceptual links between these risks, briefly describes how each of the risks operates in the Pacific Islands, and goes on to demonstrate the interaction of climate change, disasters and potential for conflict in the Pacific Islands, by applying a new conceptual framework to some illustrative case studies. The case studies include relocation after the Gizo earthquake, 'environmental refugees' from sea level rise, and aggravation of the social issues of urbanization and unemployed youth by climate change. Fortunately, none of these cases has yet crossed the threshold into violent conflict, even though relocation of an affected community onto someone else's land is a particularly sensitive issue in the Pacific Islands. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Aoun N.S.,University of Tokyo | Harajli H.A.,United Nations Development Program | Queffeulou P.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea
Renewable Energy | Year: 2013

The present work is the first attempt to methodologically assess the wave power prospects off the coast of Lebanon. Working around 1.5 years of buoy data, measurements for the significant wave height and wave period were inputted to establish a joint frequency table that was related to power matrixes of three selected wave energy converters. The spatial and temporal representability of the analysis was extended through assessing altimeter data of Hs over 20 years and for three points off the coast of Lebanon; southern Lebanon, buoy location off the coast of Beirut, and northern Lebanon. The altimeter data indicated that Hs values as measured through the buoy is within 1 standard deviation of the offshore regional mean, however adopting the regional mean value of Hs would more than double the potential power from waves from 4.6 kW/m to 9.8 kW/m. This puts the wave resources in the lower end of what is 'technically viable' and therefore it can be concluded that, given the current state of technology, wave power cannot contribute to the 12% target of renewable energy in the Lebanese energy mix by 2020. A re-evaluation of the wave power prospects post-2020, based on an actual and more robust data collection system, is recommended. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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