Agriculture and poverty reduction (id21)

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Rural development research
id21 is the free development research reporting service bringing you UK-sourced research on developing countries

Agriculture’s vital contribution to pro-poor growth

After two decades of decline, investments in agriculture are rising. Some 75 percent of the world’s poor people live in rural areas. Evidence shows that agricultural growth, through its leverage effects on the rest of the economy, enables poor countries, regions and households to embark on the process of economic transformation which is essential for poverty reduction.

Agriculture is a broad concept, encompassing farming, herding, livestock production, fishing, aquaculture and non-timber forest cultivation, as well as food, feed and fibre processing and trading. Growth in the agricultural sector reduces poverty by harnessing poor people’s key assets of land and labour, lowering and stabilising food prices, providing labour-intensive employment for poor people, and stimulating growth in the rural economy. Policy analysts from development agencies, coming together in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), reviewed the evidence of agriculture’s contribution to pro-poor growth, and have proposed a new agenda for a stronger agriculture sector. Continue reading “Agriculture and poverty reduction (id21)”

Dimensions of rural poverty (Rural Poverty Portal / IFAD)

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Rural Poverty Portal (IFAD)

Dimensions of rural poverty

At the heart of every human experience is the desire to survive and prosper. To live without fear, hunger or suffering. To imagine how your life could be better and then have the means yourself to change it. Yet, every day, 1.2 billion people – one fifth of the world’s inhabitants – cannot fulfil their most basic needs, let alone attain their dreams or desires.

The largest segment of the world’s poor are the 800 million poor women, children and men who live in rural environments. These are the subsistence farmers and herders, the fishers and migrant workers, the artisans and indigenous peoples whose daily struggles seldom capture world attention.

Empowering rural people is an essential first step to eradicating poverty. It respects the willingness and capability that each of us has to take charge of our own life and to seek out opportunities to make it better.

Source: IFAD

Poverty drops below 1 billion (Rural Poverty Portal / World Bank)

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Rural Poverty Portal (IFAD) – 30 April 2007

Poverty drops below 1 billion, says World Bank

Global poverty rates continued to fall in the first four years of the 21st century according to new estimates published in the World Development Indicators 2007, released today. The proportion of people living on less than $1 a day fell to 18.4 percent in 2004, leaving an estimated 985 million people living in extreme poverty. By comparison, the total number of extreme poor was 1.25 billion in 1990. Two-dollar-a-day poverty rates are falling too, but an estimated 2.6 billion people, almost half the population of the developing world, were still living below that level in 2004.
Source: World Bank 

Nitrogen-fixing hedgerow species (EP-library)

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Performance and Selection of Nitrogen-Fixing Hedgerow Species (Focus on Godavari #4)
ICIMOD 2004 paperback 25 pages Price: USD 10.00. ‘); document.write(‘Add to shopping basket‘); } // –>

The series ‘Focus on Godavari’ has been developed to provide a platform for wider dissemination of information on topics related to the activities at ICIMOD’s Demonstration and Training Centre, Godavari, including background information about technologies, species, and general approaches for integrated mountain development; results of trials and recommendations of appropriate species and technologies; and reports on outreach and training activities both on and off site. Three titles in this series appeared at the end of 2004.

Soil and water conservation initiatives worldwide (EP-library)

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Where the Land is Greener: Case studies and analysis of soil and water conservation initiatives worldwide.
EP-library 2007 paperback Price: USD 45.00

‘Where the land is greener’ looks at soil and water conservation from a global perspective. In total, 42 soil and water conservation technologies and 28 approaches are described – each on four pages with photographs, graphs and line drawings – from more than 20 countries around the world. This unique presentation of case studies is drawn from WOCAT’s extensive database. These and many other experiences deserve to be documented, analysed and used for decision support. The book is, furthermore, a prototype for national and regional compilations of sustainable land management practices.

UNEP’s Earthprint Library : best-selling publications (UNEP)

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Earthprint Library

The Earthprint library contains a variety of key environmental titles from a number of commercial publishers. These are all recent, best-selling publications which will be of interest to the majority of Earthprint customers. This area also contains environment related titles from smaller NGO’s or organisations with a few environment titles.


Some examples :

GEO (Global Environment Outlook) Year Book 2007
UNEP 2007 paperback 88 pages Price: USD 20.00.
The GEO Year Book 2007 is essential, informative, and authoritative reading for anyone with a role or an interest in our changing environment. The 2007 edition covers fisheries to forestry and climate to freshwater management underlining risks and opportunities of globalization. Continue reading “UNEP’s Earthprint Library : best-selling publications (UNEP)”

New interactive feature : Ask UNEP every day (UNEP)

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For further information on the Ask UNEP feature, please contact:

Shereen Zorba
Public Information Officer, DCPI
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Tel. (+ 25420) 62 4511
Mob. (+ 254) 722 503 928
Fax. (+ 25420) 623 692 / 623 927

UNEP Online is proud to bring you the new interactive feature Ask UNEP. Every day a new UNEP expert will be available to answer your question.The expert – a – day exercise aims to bring the environment into public consciousness and to create a healthy discourse on the major issues that affect the health of our planet and the sustainability of natural resources. The feature also lends a human face to the work of UNEP by allowing in-house experts to discuss the work undertaken by the organization – taking on board suggestions and perspectives of international constituents and stakeholders.

If you want to interact with our experts and join the global discussion on the environment, click here to access the current session and submit your question(s) to our expert. UNEP experts answer your questions on the environment live, every day.

UNFF : agreement to protect forests (UN News Centre)

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UN News Centre

UN adopts new International Agreement to protect world’s forests

28 April 2007 After 15 years of discussions and negotiations on a global approach to protect the world’s forests, countries meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York have adopted a landmark agreement on international forest policy and cooperation following two weeks of intense negotiations. The final agreement was reached after delegates to the UN Forum on Forests worked through the night, concluding just after dawn this morning. Exhausted delegates nevertheless called the agreement a milestone, noting it was the first time States have agreed to an international instrument for sustainable forest management.” Continue reading “UNFF : agreement to protect forests (UN News Centre)”

CSD searching for solutions on energy (UN News Centre)

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UN News Centre

UN sustainable development meeting in search for balanced solutions on energy

27 April 2007 Energy policies that can fuel economic and social development while reducing air pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change will be considered by more than 2,000 participants at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development’s (CSD) annual session, which starts on Monday in New York. Almost 80 government ministers are expected to attend the Commission, which will attempt to chart a sustainable course of action on the interlinked issues of energy, climate change, air pollution and industrial development. The chair of this year’s session, Abdullah Hamad Al-Attiyah, Qatar’s Energy Minister, stressed ahead of the opening that all delegates should remember that many people still do not have access to modern energy services. Continue reading “CSD searching for solutions on energy (UN News Centre)”

UN-backed solar energy project in rural India (UN News Centre / UNEP)

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UN News Centre


Building on success, UN-backed solar energy project poised for expansion

30 April 2007 An estimated 100,000 people in poverty-stricken rural India are now receiving several hours of reliable solar-powered lighting every night thanks to a United Nations-led pilot project that is set to expand to a number of other developing countries. “The project underlines the multiple benefits accruing by providing clean and renewable energies in developing countries,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner. Its success “should also serve as a catalytic blueprint for similar schemes across the developing world and lead to the scaling up of renewable energies everywhere,” he added. Continue reading “UN-backed solar energy project in rural India (UN News Centre / UNEP)”

Special UN Envoys on Climate Change (UN News Centre)

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UN News Centre (see Blogroll left column)

Ban Ki-moon names 3 prominent Special Envoys on Climate Change

1 May 2007 The first woman Prime Minister of Norway, the former President of Chile, and the President of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly were today named Special Envoys for Climate Change by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has made the issues one of his top priorities. The three envoys named are also prominent in international environmental affairs, according to a statement released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Michele Montas. Continue reading “Special UN Envoys on Climate Change (UN News Centre)”

Desertification in Mauritania (Technorati /Adventures in puddles)

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Technorati : desertification

Adventures in puddles

Mauritania: an introduction of sorts, parte deux

The following is the introduction to my master’s thesis. I wrote it some months ago and haven’t yet edited it so please pardon any and all mistakes.

Land and Climate

Situated in northwest Africa, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a largely desert country, measuring 1 030 000 square kilometers in size with a shoreline some 700 kilometers long. It is bordered by Morocco and Algeria to the north, Senegal and Mali to the south and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The large expanses of flat plains that cover the northern and central regions are occasionally interrupted by ridges, sand dunes and rocky plateaus, which are often rich in iron-ore. The most significant of these deposits occur in Zouérat, in northern Mauritania. The southern portion of the country is mostly flat scrubland.

The rainy season occurs from the months of July to September; average annual rainfall in the Sahara region is less than 100mm while that in the south is approximately 600mm. The limited rains allow for some cultivation. Desertification, however, is a severe problem. The Sahara, which covers approximately 75% of the country, including Nouakchott, is slowly expanding southward. Wood has become scarce, with most cooking now being done on kerosene stoves. Further cause for environmental concern comes from increasing livestock herds, which as a result of additional wells and human population growth, is contributing to overgrazing.

Mauritania has recently experienced several natural disasters. Some 150.000 square kilometers of land were transformed into desert during the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, causing a mass migration of peoples towards the south. Apart from the Senegal River, surface water is scarce. This, along with a recent worsening of the water crisis has led to food insecurity, damage to infrastructures caused by advancing sands, and various health problems. In addition, drought stricken lands often become submerged in floods during the rainy season. These conditions have fueled urban migration, resulting in a 53% increase of the urban population and the appearance of several squatter settlements around urban centers within the recent past [Red Cross Annual Report: Mauritania {14 July 2006}]. Consequently, today only some 10% of the population is officially nomadic, compared 83% in the late 1960s. Continue reading “Desertification in Mauritania (Technorati /Adventures in puddles)”

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