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.
Academia and policy makers were brought together to take the first steps of uniting research efforts towards an Environment and Development National Research Agenda during the EfD Central America Policy day.
Healthy forests in sub-Saharan Africa are an important source of wild pollinators, and thus support agricultural productivity and food security in the region, a conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, heard this November.
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.
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.
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.
South Africa’s official unemployment rate is over 25 percent. Amidst a virtually stagnant economy, it is unlikely that this will drop to the desired developing world target of below 10 percent in the foreseeable future.
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.
In relation to the EfD Annual meeting, the Chilean EfD center (NENRE) organized a policy day as a forum for policy makers and EfD researchers to meet and exchange ideas. The focus of this year´s event was fisheries and energy.
In spite of much development progress in Tanzania, the people of this East African country still continue to struggle with many core threats to their prosperity: poverty, disease, aid dependency, the dearth of infrastructure, and corruption.
Inequality, state politics, collective action, and the environment. That summarizes the academic focus of Rohini Somanathan, professor at Delhi School of Economics and Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. She combines her academic work with engagement in rural development.
The Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) held a meeting from 23-25 September 2016 to review milestones and targets that were set for the last 6 month.
The effect of improved biomass cook-stoves on indoor air pollution and respiratory health in rural Ethiopia
The Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) of the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) organized a half-day research project launch workshop on “The effects of improved biomass cook-stoves on indoor air pollution and respiratory health in rural Ethiopia”.
EfD- RFF Coordinator and Senior Research Fellow Allen Blackman organized and led training workshops on two forest conservation webtools developed by an RFF Project Team that includes Jessica Chu, Alex Egorenkov, Len Goff, and Juha Siikamäki. The first workshop, on October 12, was for stakeholders representing US-based institutions and the second, on October 17 and 18, was for stakeholders representing Mesoamerican-based institutions. The webtools, which are for targeting and evaluating forest conservation policies, will be publically launched in the coming months via a webinar. Their development was mainly funded by NASA’s SERVIR program. The training workshops were sponsored by and held at SESYNC in Annapolis, Maryland.
EfD Central America shares our deepest sympathy on the passing of our dear friend Karin Backteman. To celebrate her life the EfD Central America Center organized a Plant a tree memorial. " A living tribute to a beautiful and generous spirit" Forever in our hearts, rest in peace Karin Backteman.
Produce from small-scale farms is a mainstay for most Tanzanian households, and the ecosystem services provided by wild pollinators play a central role in their productivity.