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2017-06-19

EfD Colombia raises awareness on air pollution problems and the need for action to improve air quality in Medellin

During March 2017, the metropolitan area of the Aburra Valley, where Medellin (Colombia) is located, experienced critical air quality episodes that exceeded the air quality standard of PM2.5 for several days. The problem caught the attention of policy makers and academicians. EfD Colombia through its Research Group on Environmental, Natural Resource and Applied Economics Studies (REES) organized a seminar (April 3d) and a meeting (April 4th) with the environmental authorities to discuss the implementation of the warning system and the effectiveness of the transport policies to address the bad air quality events. These activities were organized by Clara Villegas, Sergio Orrego and Santiago Arango affiliated to Universidad Nacional – Medellin, members of REES.

2017-06-13

Greening Africa’s growing cites

Africa’s cities growth might have kicked off a bit later than many other developing world countries, but they are growing fast. This presents on this content with an opportunity to do so in a way that creates ‘a more harmonious relationship between their natural and built environments. This is according to a new report by the World Bank, which concludes that ‘focused action is necessary’ in order to avoid ‘largely unchecked (negative) impacts on the natural environment, and the degradation of natural assets and ecosystems within African cities’.

2017-05-23

Airtight bags for maize reduce food waste

Food insecurity and malnutrition is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.  By introducing airtight bags and train small-scale farmers in better grain handling practices, food waste related to storage can be reduced in Tanzania.  

2017-05-17

EfD at the OECD 2017 Conference on Behavioural Insights

EfD Central America Senior Researcher Francisco Alpizar participated in the OECD-Ten Conference: Behavioural Science in Public Policy: Being Green, Consumer Centric and with well-Functioning Markets and Organizations and in the OECD 2017 Meeting: Nudging for Good, Responsibly.

2017-05-08

Can Canadian fisheries management work for South Africa?

A South African research economist recently returned from a five-month sabbatical to British Columbia where he explored whether Canada’s approach to managing river salmon, and to a lesser extent sturgeon, could be replicated successfully for in-shore coastal fisheries management here.

2017-05-04

    Launch of new EfD collaborative Research Program on Forestry

    In late June, 2017, EfD will formally launch its latest cross-center research initiative: the EfD Forest Collaborative (FC), a 'community of practice' focused on evaluating the impacts of the decentralization and devolution of forest governance in developing countries.

    2017-04-28

    Cleaner stoves can save Tanzania’s forests

    A government policy which encourages subsidies of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves, or provides for households to buy these with credit, could reduce deforestation in Tanzania by nearly a half. This is according to research done by the Environment for Development centre (EfD) at the University of Dar es Salaam in 2016. 

    2017-04-28

    Nudging people to save water and power

    Having competitions between staff, appointing water-saving ‘champions’ in your office block, or recognising people for their efforts to use energy more sparingly: these are small but powerful ways that cities can encourage people to cut their water and electricity use. Now, behavioural economists at the University of Cape Town’s Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) are about to embark on a three-year collaboration with Cape Town’s utility managers, to see how they can implement these ideas across the city, and get them written into municipal policy. 

    2017-04-28

    Adaptation to Climate Change Can Improve Supply of Body Energy Needs and Reduce Malnutrition

    Researchers at EfD-Kenya have found new evidence that nutritional poverty is linked with climate change and variability. ‘In Kenya and other African countries, a majority of farmers depend on rainfall that is increasingly unpredictable,’ said Dr Richard Mulwa, Senior Research Associate at EfD-Kenya and one of the lead investigators in the study. ‘Also, increasing temperature reduces food production. Therefore, it is critical for these farmers to change their farming practices in response to climate change’.  

    2017-04-28

      Five-year research plan for Ethiopian climate resilient strategy

      The Ethiopian government’s goal is to become a middle-income economy by 2025, and to do so in ways that are climate resilient and environmentally sustainable. ‘These objectives are laid out in a formal policy – the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) plan’, said Dr Haileselassie Medhin, director of the Environment and Climate Research Centre (ECRC). ‘However, policy makers recognize that, to achieve this goal, they need help from researchers so that they can adopt evidence-based policies that get results when they are implemented in practice’. 

      2017-04-28

      Review finds China’s renewable energy subsidies are unsustainable

      High state subsidies have helped speed the growth of the renewable energy sector in China, but they now threaten the sustainability of the government’s funding policy for this sector. This is particularly true given the recent reduction in the cost of solar and wind technologies globally. Together, these factors are making the supply side of the sector extremely profitable in China, but are depleting state funds that are earmarked for this much-needed growth.  

      2017-04-28

      Scientists review controversial Chilean fisheries law

      A task team of international and local fisheries experts, including an EfD researcher, recently assisted the Chilean government with an extensive review of a new fisheries law, in a bid to help the administration address public concerns that an important amendment to this law was tainted with corruption. 

      2017-04-28

      Nature helps farmers cope with climate change

      Central America has more than 2.3 million families depending on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods, making them vulnerable to climate change risks such as rising temperatures, extreme events such as drought and flooding, and also crop diseases. Researchers associated with the Swedish-based Environment for Development (EfD) initiative are running an ecosystems-based adaptation project in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica that supports smallholder farming communities in adapting to changing conditions. This project scales up the needs and opportunities of smallholders to promote changes in public policies at a regional level.

      2017-04-28

      Climate change is affecting food security

      A recent study in Kenya shows that climate change and variability will increase food insecurity and that different food crops will respond differently to climate change variables. The study also highlights the different factors influencing food insecurity in a changing climate. This is important information for farmers as well as the government.

      2017-04-28

      Sustainable energy transitions to support the Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy

      Ethiopia aims to build a green economy and to follow a growth path that fosters sustainable development. Through the development of its Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, which is based on carbon-neutral growth, it envisions attaining middle-income status by 2025. Improving the productivity of the agricultural sector, protecting forests, expanding the coverage of electric power from renewable sources of energy and transitioning into modern and energy-efficient technologies are the main pillars of Ethiopia’s CRGE strategy. 

      2017-04-25

      First annual conference on Ethiopia’s Green Development Path

      On April 25th opened the first Annual Conference on Ethiopia’s Green Development Path. The aim of the annual conference is to create an effective forum for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners to discuss the latest knowledge on the challenges and opportunities of realizing Ethiopia’s climate resilient and green development agenda.

      2017-04-25

      "Time poverty" alleviation received with singing and dancing in Kenya

      The EfD research project: Short- and long-term effects of exogenously reducing water collection times on school attendance, hours studying and time use: Meru County, Kenya; involves an experiment to reduce water collection time in a rural area in Kenya. This reduction is an important form of "time poverty" alleviation.

      2017-04-18

      Carrot-or-stick to ‘nudge’ water-wise behaviour

      There are many ways for city utility departments to get people to voluntarily reduce their water use during a time of drought and water shortages. Some are positive, ‘carrot’ approaches; others might be ‘stick’ approaches to enforce certain behaviours. Now, the City of Cape Town is working with behavioural economists to find an evidence-based answer to which methods are most effective.

      2017-04-18

      Public praise for water-wise behaviour: a lesson for city managers

      A team of behavioural economists has an important message for City of Cape Town’s water managers, who are currently implementing tight water restrictions after three years of drought in the region: if the city publicly praises individuals and households for their water saving efforts, this will get people to voluntarily contribute to even greater water-wise behaviour.

      2017-03-22

      Market mechanisms to nudge better watersheds management

      The traditional approach to managing watersheds globally is to do so using state regulations, or through publicly funded initiatives. A recent analysis by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) shows that using market mechanisms to incentivise better watershed management is a good complement to these more widely used methods.

      2017-02-13

        Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries: MOOCs from AMBS

        Two Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries, taught by  the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research’s Professor Dale Whittington and Dr Duncan Thomas were launched at the Alliance Manchester Business School On 29 January 2017.

        2017-02-13

          Bridging the research policy gap on food security in sub-Saharan Africa

          Better farming practices could boost food production among small holder farmers. Many African governments invest in agriculture as a key mean to grow the economy and reduce poverty, but many of these investments or policies have not sufficiently incorporated research findings even when those are available.

          2017-02-10

            EfD welcome three new centers

            On February 8th, good news came from the coordination committee, EfD´s decision-making body, that three new centers have been accepted to join the network.

            2017-01-30

            EEPC Highlights of the Autumn Term 2016

            Unique contribution to energy policy-making, quality and quantity of academic publications at a record high, and impressive appearances at international and local academic events are amongst the EEPC headlines of the Autumn Term 2016 (September 2016 – January 2017). We compressed some of these memorable moments into this news story.  

            2017-01-26

            Request for concept notes to develop collaborative multi-site research projects

            SETI (http://seti.duke.edu/) invites concept notes to seed collaborative research related to energy transitions. We particularly welcome proposals for work related to the SETI priority themes, including: Consequences of energy poverty, defined as a lack of reliable access to electricity and other modern fuels Drivers of the energy transition in low- and middle-income contexts, including lessons from past experiences Impacts of energy transitions at various scales (households, firms, and the regional and global environment) Policy levers and solutions to speed the energy transition; and analysis of their effectiveness Notable gaps in research on energy transitions

            2017-01-17

            EfD contributes to the Adaptation Finance Fellowship Programme (AFFP)

            The Adaptation Finance Fellowship Programme (AFFP) of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). is a training program for emerging leaders from research, policy, and the private sector who aspire to be equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge on adaptation finance and become climate ambassadors in their respective home countries and beyond.

            2017-01-04

            Fellowship for Environmental Studies at Duke Kunshan

            Duke Kunshan University is now accepting applications for the new international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) Program. The iMEP program is a two-year degree offered jointly by Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Nicholas School of the Environment.  Students will study core courses in both environmental management and public policy at Duke Kunshan University (China) and Duke University (United States).  We would really appreciate it if you could share this information with people who might be interested. 

            2016-12-09

            EPRU helps assess shale gas mining risk

            The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently released a scientific assessment of the risks and opportunities of shale gas mining, which is proposed for parts of the Karoo region of South Africa. 

            2016-12-05

            SA environmental policy should have climate change focus

            CAPE TOWN: The South African government has drawn up some of the most advanced environmental laws and policies on the continent, since its transition to a democratic state in 1994. In a recent overview of these, University of Cape Town (UCT) resource economist Dr Jane Turpie has identified key areas were future research is needed, in order to boost this policy further, with responses to climate change being a key theme.

            2016-11-29

            SA’s ocean economy reviewed

            CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s oceans and beaches boost the country’s economy by roughly 35 percent, in terms of the ‘goods and services’ they provide. This is highlighted in a report released recently by the local branch of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which gives an overview of the economic value of South Africa’s marine environments.

            2016-11-25

            How to drive water saving amongst office staff

            CAPE TOWN: Appointing a water-saving ‘champion’ in an office block context could be one way that municipalities and companies in South Africa can respond quickly and cheaply to the water restrictions facing many parts of the country, following two years of severe drought.

            2016-11-15

            Putting a value on Cape Town’s green spaces

            The people of Cape Town are being given a chance to tell city managers just how much they value the natural green spaces, manicured parks, sports fields, and street trees in their neighbourhoods. And what they say may help park authorities decide how to prioritise their spending, at a time when there is growing pressure to develop open green spaces for housing or business opportunities.

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