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2016-06-01

CEGA-EASST Welcomes Remidius Ruhinduka To UC Berkeley

Remidius Ruhinduka, a lecturer and EfD research fellow at the University of Dar Es Salaam, participated in a short-term visiting fellowship with CEGA-EASST at UC Berkeley from April 18-22, 2016. Over the course of the week, Dr. Ruhinduka was able to meet with CEGA faculty across UC Berkeley and Stanford University to discuss research and potential avenues for collaboration.

2016-05-27

Planning for climate responses’ unintended fallout

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: When home owners at a seaside residential complex in Milnerton, Cape Town, decided to pile up sandbags between the beach and their gardens in the early 2000s, their intention was to stop the high tide from eating away at their plots during storm surges. What they didn’t anticipate was that this erosion control measure would make their property prices fall, reduce beach space, drive away tourists, and leave the beach strewn with litter.

2016-05-18

Better banking, communications, needed in Southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: When a touring group of 289 mountain bikers needs to cross legally from Botswana into Zimbabwe, and then South Africa (SA), far from any official border posts, it means setting up informal but bureaucratically-sound passport control points in dry river beds or on dirt tracks.

2016-05-09

Is there an economic case for fracking?

WORCESTER, SOUTH AFRICA: If the South African government gives the green light for private energy companies to begin extracting shale gas using the method of hydrological fracturing, or ‘fracking’, will it have economic benefits for the region and the country? And if so, could these be offset by the cost of the potential negative impacts to other sectors and communities in the water-scarce Karoo, where fracking is being considered?

2016-04-21

Putting a price tag on natural water purification

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Nature can help to purify the water we drink. When a forest upstream of a water treatment plant is intact and healthy, the water arriving in the plant can be of  better quality than if the forest has been heavily harvested or clear-felled. Better quality water arriving in the plant, means fewer chemicals needed to clean the water, and the purification costs are therefore lower.

2016-04-21

Standardising the valuation of nature’s services

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: A working group of resource economists met in Cape Town this April to agree on the methods they will use in order to contribute to the development of a standardised national accounting system for valuing ecosystem services.

2016-04-07

Workshop on the standardising of accounting system for nature’s services

When a country wants to tally up its economic performance, it generally uses ‘gross domestic product’ as its measuring stick. That’s a global standard of accounting, agreed upon according to the United Nations’ ‘systems of national accounting’, which allows all countries of the world to compare apples with apples in their economic reporting. 

2016-04-01

‘Time of use’ tariffs in the spotlight

SOUTH AFRICA: Charging a premium for peak-time electricity could be an effective way of getting city consumers to spread their power use more evenly throughout the day, helping the national utility to manage the country’s grid more effectively.

2016-03-30

    EPRU brings current research to utilities policy makers

    CAPE TOWN: Careful demand-side utilities management is an important tool to reduce energy and water use within South African municipalities, measures which could delay by several years the large capital outlays needed to build new infrastructure, such as new coal-based power stations or dams.

    2016-03-30

    Smart device cuts geyser energy by up to a third

    Stellenbosch, South Africa: An experimental geyser control device, which is operated via the internet a smart phone app, has the potential to cut household water heating by up to 30 percent without users noticing a change to their hot water use habits. 

    2016-03-30

    Tracking water use trends in SA’s ‘mother city’

    CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: In informal settlements and lower income homes in Cape Town, most household water use is for doing laundry. However, in the middle class suburbs, it’s mostly for showering and topping up swimming pools. This finding, from a recent municipal survey in five suburbs across South Africa’s ‘mother city’, underpins an ongoing drive to educate city residents about their water use patterns, in order to urge behaviour change.

    2016-03-30

    Utilities-based funding model is a problem in SA cities

    CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s bigger cities get a large amount of their revenue from the sale of electricity and water to consumers. And owing to the pricing structure of these services, cities earn more from large-volume users, and use this revenue to cross-subsidise smaller volume users, who often fall in lower income communities.

    2016-03-30

    EfD Kenya hosted their Research Day

    EfD Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis – (KIPPRA) held its Research Day on March 3rd 2016, at the Nairobi Safari Club, Nairobi.

    2016-03-29

    ECRC held Annual Review Meeting with Norwegian Embassy

    On Thursday March 10, the Embassy attended the annual meeting with the Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC). ECRC officially launched in February 2015 after a year-and-half of ground work. Norway signed an agreement with Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) in June 2015 to support the establishment of the research center.

    2016-03-03

    Research and policy interaction workshop in Tanzania

    A workshop for researchers and decision makers organized by the Environment for Development Initiative in Tanzania (EfDT) on 29th February, 2016 was of great interest and success. The aim of the workshop was to provide a platform for interaction with stakeholders by  opening up discussions on research and policy issues in Tanzania.

    2016-03-01

    Economists hail Cape wetland conservation

    Local economics researchers have hailed the announcement this month that the City of Cape Town will reverse a decision to sell a section of the Princess Vlei wetland near Diep River to developers, who planned to build a shopping mall.

    2016-02-15

    EfD Tanzania policy interaction & dissemination workshop

    On January 29th , 2016 the EfDT secretariat organized the policy interaction and dissemination workshop that was held at Hazina square, Ministry of Finance, in Dodoma, a capital city of Tanzania which is about 460 km from Dar es Salaam. The workshop was organized to present four research papers and one report falling within Environmental Economics and poverty.  

    2016-02-11

    Sharing the Berg River’s contested waters

    CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA  The water flowing down the Berg River, towards the Cape West Coast and Saldanha Bay, is the lifeblood of two competing sectors: heavy industry, and agriculture. But as demand for this limited resource grows, how do the water managers decide who gets access to it, when the water in the river is already fully allocated between existing users?

    2016-02-01

    Research flows into new water prices

    Academic research made a real connection with the lives of poor residents of Nairobi, Kenya, when the Nairobi City Water and Sewer Company’s decreased the price for water bought at public kiosks.

    2015-12-09

      Sida supports EfD for five more years – and the network is expanding

      The Environment for Development Initiative (EfD) has recently received the positive news of another five years of financial support from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. With the continued support, EfD is planning on extending the network.

      2015-12-01

      Knowing angler ‘hotspots’ could help enforce catch limits

      Anglers along the South African coastline choose their fishing spots on the likelihood of catching the most fish, rather than how far they have to walk to get to the spot, or weather conditions. Knowing where these fishing ‘hotspots’ are could help authorities enforce catch limits, as line fish stocks have depleting dramatically in recent years.

      2015-11-30

      Debunking Africa’s ‘resource curse’

      Not all economists buy into the notion of the ‘resource curse’ - namely, that resource-rich countries end up with slower growth and stalled development, in spite of having bankable natural assets. Newly appointed associate professor Mare Sarr argues that principles of transparency, accountability and institutions are more important factors leading to whether countries use or abuse their natural wealth.

      2015-11-30

      EfD Tanzania project winner “Utilization of Research results for Improved Livelihood”

      The University of Dar es Salaam organized a Research Week exhibition that was held in March 2015. This was organized in order to increase visibility of the output of UDSM academic staff in the area of research and its contribution in solving national problems.  The event was the first of its kind as each unit participated.  It was organized at two levels; namely unit (Colleges/Schools/Institutes) level and university level. The theme of research week was “Utilization of Research Results for Improved Livelihood”.

      2015-11-30

      Don’t oversell nature’s services in cities, scientist warns

      Natural spaces within city limits, such as wetlands or forests, can offer important support to cities in terms of helping to manage waste water, or slow down flood waters. But scientists shouldn’t over-sell certain of these ecosystem services when lobbying for their protection with city managers, because it could lead to greater pressure being put on these already over-pressured systems.

      2015-11-30

      What’s the ‘play’ value of SA’s Kogelberg coast?

      The beautiful Kogelberg coastline - a 100 km long stretch of towering mountains and craggy beaches about an hour’s drive east of Cape Town - and its surrounding tourist attractions are estimated to have a ‘recreational value’ of about US$27.2 million (ZAR272 million) annually.

      2015-11-27

      Zimbabwean peasant farmers could learn from commercial conservationists

      Zimbabwe’s community-based conservation approach, which brings together peasant farmers in a tourism-focused approach to wildlife management, has not curbed poaching along the edge of protected areas as intended. And communities haven’t benefited as much from the income they hoped to gain from selling hunting licences, either.

      2015-11-26

      Zimbabwean economist gets UCT professorship

      Newly appointed professor Edwin Muchapondwa has travelled a long way since he left his home town of Bindura, near Harare, when he was eight years old. Over three decades later, the conservation and development challenges of rural Zimbabwe remain front and centre for the University of Cape Town (UCT) economist.

      2015-11-24

      CASCADE Project reviews its progress and prepares for 2016

      As part of its Third Annual Meeting, members of the CASCADE project, which is co-led by Conservation International (CI) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education), reviewed the overall progress of the initiative as well as the main results obtained in the different lines of research.

      2015-11-22

      Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regime-new e book out

      This year, for the first time ever, nearly all of the world’s countries are making pledges to help limit future climate change. As of October 1st, 147 countries, representing about 85 percent of global emissions, have submitted their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).

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