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.
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.
Some thematic sessions during the EAERE conferences stand out for having a policy oriented goal in the tradition of the late David Pearce, or for being thematic. One such session on the 30th of June was entitled “The Trump Administration, Climate Change and the World”.
This year’s EAERE conference served as platform to showcase EfD’s research efforts. Including special sessions dedicated to specific initiatives such as the collaborative program from Duke University, The Sustainable Energy Transition Initiative (SETI).
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.
The Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative is starting a selection procedure to expand their global research network with two additional centers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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.
President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laurate 2016, Juan Manuel Santos, opened the 2017 SDRS Conference in Bogóta on June 14th. The theme of the conference was inclusive sustainability for development and engagement of academia, governments, communities and business.
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.
When individuals in China get well-defined and protected property rights of using forest, conservation increases. So does people´s income from the forest. In particular when they have transfer rights to their forest land.
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’.
Research findings from EfD-CA’s research project of the economic impact of diseases caused by air pollution were featured in national media such as La Nación newspaper and television news shows.
When temperatures climb above 26 degrees Celsius, high school students in Costa Rica are more likely to not attend lectures. The warmer it gets, the higher is the absentee rate.
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.
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.
Duke welcomed over 70 scholars and practitioners from 15 countries for the second annual Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative (SETI) Meeting, May 9-11, 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Researchers from EfD-CA and Conservation International publish a series of training guides on climate change and ecosystem-based adaptation for agriculture.
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.
Per the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, published this year, The Los Andes University represented by the Department of Economics was ranked second best school in Economics and Econometrics in the Latin American Region.
A panel discussion on climate change featuring renowned scholars and advocates will headline Loyola University Maryland’s fifth Hanway Lecture in Global Studies on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 7 p.m. in McGuire Hall.
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.
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.
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.
EfD- CA is pleased to announce our new Centre director with a message from Maria Naranjo:
PORT ELIZABETH: As long as farmers and wildlife have vied for their share of the veld here in South Africa, there has been a conflict, as the inevitable presence of wild predators has resulted in livestock loss.
ECRC’s Yitatek Kelemu attended three weeks advanced training program on climate change - adaptation and mitigation from 19 November – 9 December 2016 at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) in Norrkoping, Sweden.
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.
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
We are very pleased to announce that the second meeting of the Sustainable Energy TransitionsInitiative (SETI) will take place May 9-11 at Duke University (Durham, NC).
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.
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.
Two Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries
On January 29th 2017 the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester (UK) will launch a sequence of two Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries, taught by Professor Dale Whittington and Dr Duncan Thomas.
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.
What policies are needed to cope with the global environmental challenges? What can scientists learn from economists and vice-versa?
The Third International Conference on Sustainable Land and Watershed Management (SLWM3) was, held in Mek’elle in northern Ethiopia, which focused broadly on building resilience in the phace of climate uncertainty.