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2017-09-19

    SA’s urban green spaces in spotlight

    The Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA), a 3 000 hectare piece of green open space that is still zoned exclusively for agriculture within Cape Town’s urban sprawl, may take up space that could be used for housing, but its value to the city could well justify this, according to a University of Cape Town resource economist.

    2017-09-15

      The Conversation: smart metering and water conservation

      A smart water metering device, developed by EPRU research associate Ass Prof Thinus Booysen from Stellenbosch University's  Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department, features in The Conversation this month. The device 'measures and reports water use by the minute,' he writes in the Africa edition of the online magazine.

      2017-09-13

      EfD Annual Meeting 2017: Information for participants

      This year the EfD annual meeting  will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from:  October 27-30, 2017. It is hosted by the Environment and Climate Research Center (EfD - Ethiopia) and the EfD Secretariat. The EfD annual meeting is a forum to bring together researchers from all EfD centers and their collaborators. EfD would also like to attract key stakeholders for exchange of research ideas. Updates for participants will be displayed here.

      2017-09-11

      Redesigning water-friendly cities

      If Cape Town’s urban surfaces are designed to be porous and water-catching, it could help meet many of the city’s water needs through recharging the Cape Flats aquifer, while also helloing to manage rainy season flooding and stormwater pollution challenges.

      2017-09-11

      Aloyce Hepelwa from EfD Tanzania will participate 5th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) in Kigali

      Dr. Aloyce Hepelwa EfDTanzania research fellow will participate to the 5th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) that will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 23 to 25th October, 2017 at Kigali Marriott Hotel. The Forum is organized by Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and in partnership with Development Partners (BMZ/GIZ, BMU/GIZ and World Bank).

      2017-09-11

      Prospects and Challenges for Harnessing Demographic Dividend in Tanzania: A Window of Opportunity

      EfD Tanzania researchers, Dr. John Mduma and Dr. Wilhelm Ngasamiaku, in collaboration with researchers from University of Dar es Salaam and African Institute for Development Policy carried a study on Prospects and Challenges of Harnessing Demographic Dividend in Tanzania. The study was commissioned and funded under the USAID project titled Evidence to Action for Strengthening Reproductive Health through Pathfinder International Tanzania.

      2017-09-09

      Chilean EfD center is organizing Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Short Course to Policy Makers

      Research Nucleus in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Concepción is organizing the Fifth Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics,  5th and 6th October 2017, and the Fourth Short course to policy makers on “Compliance and Enforcement of Environmental Policy and Management of Natural Resources”, 4th October 2017. It will take place at Termas de Catillo, Maule Region in Chile.

      2017-08-25

      Researchers focus on collapsed SA squid fishery

      PORT ELIZABETH: The collapse of the local squid fishery on the south-east coast of South Africa in 2013 has prompted an international body of scientists and policymakers to meet this September. The group will bring together different research disciplines to discuss this small but high-value export fishery, which collapsed in the summer of 2013 and 2014.

      2017-07-26

      Kenya: mini-hydro plants need strong rules, leaders

      Small-scale, community-managed hydro power schemes in remote rural Kenya function well if they are run by strong leaders, and have firm rules for how the scheme should be managed. When members of the mini-grid system know they will be disconnected from the grid for breaking those rules, they tend to cooperate more willingly.

      2017-07-26

      Micro-hydro may boost rural Kenyan economies

      For the average rural Kenyan, having a fully charged mobile phone isn't just a luxury that allows them to make phone calls. It’s a complete office for running their small businesses. So when people have access to an electricity source that allows them to keep their phone batteries charged, it means the entire local economy benefits.

      2017-07-26

      Kenyan policy landscape ‘fertile’ for micro-hydro

      The mountainous countryside in Kenya is ideally suited for small-scale hydro power plants, particularly for communities that are too far from the national electrical grid, or where the infrastructure and connection costs are too high. But the government of this East African country has not exploited its hydro power opportunities, something which environmental economist Mary Karumba hopes to change as she returns to government service after completing her doctoral studies in South Africa.

      2017-07-18

      In loving memory of Wilfred Nyangena

      Wilfred Nyangena, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics, University of Nairobi passed away on July  17th, 2017 after a long and brave struggle against cancer. Wilfred did his PhD in Environmental Economics at the University of Gothenburg and on his return to Kenya he became the founder and first director of EfD-Kenya.

      2017-07-03

      Behavioural Nudges for Water Conservation: Experimental Evidence from Cape Town

      The City of Cape Town has been working with EPRU to find an evidence-based answer to which methods are most effective in encouraging more prudent water use by the public. Prof Martine Visser, Dr Kerri Brick, and Johanna Brühl are behavioural economists at EPRU. The EPRU team was supported by Samantha De Martino from Sussex University, and Jorge Garcia from Cicero in Norway. The results assist the municipality to design policy that will help manage the city’s water supplies in an increasing climate change-stressed future. The study focuses on identifying which incentives best motivate households of different income levels to reduce their consumption.

      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 cities

      Africa’s cities growth might have kicked off a bit later than many other developing world countries, but they are growing fast. This presents 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. 

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