Urbanization is often associated with greater independence and opportunity for women – but also with high risks of violence and constraints on employment, mobility and leadership that reflect deep gender-based inequalities. These issues are explored in the April 2013 issue of Environment and Urbanization, on Gender and Urban Change. It includes papers on: where and when urban women enjoy advantages over their rural counterparts; community savings schemes that build women’s leadership and support upgrading; how transport planning still fails to respond to women’s travel needs; how urban contexts can reduce gender-based violence, although often they can increase it; how income and ideology influence women’s decision-making in rural and urban areas in Nicaragua; the changes in women’s participation in labour markets in Dhaka and the tensions this can generate within households; what was learnt from a project working with girls and boys with disabilities in Mumbai; and the particular roles of women in seeking to get better services for their low-income/informal neighbourhoods in Bengalaru. The editorial summarising the key issues covered is open-access. This issue also has two papers on climate change, which are a detailed benefit-cost analysis applied to Durban; and the different responses of low-income tenants and squatters to adaptation in Khulna. Other papers include: the limitations in the Indian government’s Basic Services for the Urban Poor Programme; the politics of non-payment for water in Manila’s low-income communities; community-managed reconstruction in Old Fadama (Accra) after a fire; developing a solid waste collection service in informal settlements in Managua; how well-connected individuals control land allocations and water supply in an informal settlement in Dhaka; and an assessment of provision for water, sanitation and waste collection in two informal settlements in Kumasi.
EITI and sustainable development: Lessons and new challenges for the Caspian region
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is sparking renewed interest and debate on issues such as transparency of government–company contracts, reporting on revenues from natural resources by company and by project, and reporting on revenue expenditure. An overarching concern is how to ensure that revenue transparency ultimately leads to better sustainable-development outcomes, including socio-economic development, poverty reduction and environmentally responsible extractive-industry practices. This discussion paper highlights key issues and new challenges related to EITI implementation, as well as broader issues of transparency and good governance in the extractive industries. It focuses on three countries of the Caspian Sea Region: Azerbaijan – the first country globally to become EITI Compliant; Kazakhstan – an EITI Candidate country seeking to become Compliant;and Turkmenistan – which is not a signatory of EITI but has expressed some interest in learning about the initiative. This paper will be of interest to stakeholders as they prepare for the next biennial EITI conference in Sydney in May 2013. It will also inform the public and stakeholders working towards EITI implementation in the Caspian Region, and contributes to ongoing debates on EITI and sustainable development more broadly.
Demand-side interventions to reduce deforestation and forest degradation
Global demand for food, wood products, biofuels and other agricultural products drives the majority of deforestation and forest degradation. The importance of trade and increasing dominance of a relatively small number of multinational traders and retailers suggest a role for demand-side interventions to reduce incentives for deforestation driven by the expansion of commodity production. A variety of demand-side measures have been developed and implemented over the last decade or more by government, private sector and civil society. Examples include legislation, public procurement policies, voluntary bilateral arrangements, multi-stakeholder roundtables, independent certification, moratoria, voluntary disclosure, investor activism and consumer campaigns. This paper reviews demand side measures affecting five types of ‘forest risk commodity’, namely timber, soy, palm oil, beef/leather and biofuels. Information was collected from literature, interviews and an international meeting to identify challenges and opportunities.
Monitoring payments for watershed services schemes in developing countries
Payments for watershed services (PWS) are schemes that use funds from water users (including governments) as an incentive for landholders to improve their land management practices. They are increasingly seen as a viable policy alternative to watershed management issues, and a means of addressing chronic problems such as declining water flows, deteriorating water quality and flooding. In some places, local governments, donor agencies and NGOs are actively trying to upscale and replicate PWS schemes across the area. While their apparent success and progress in launching new initiatives is encouraging, there is still much to be learned from formative experiences in this field, especially with regard to monitoring and evaluation. In this paper we discuss the monitoring and evaluation criteria behind compliance or transactional monitoring, which ensures that contracts are followed, and effectiveness conditionality, which looks at how schemes manage to achieve their environmental objectives regardless of the degree of compliance. Although the two are usually linked, a high degree of compliance does not necessarily ensure that a scheme is effective. This is because a poorly designed scheme may target the wrong land managers and land that is at least risk, meaning that payments do not generate the desired hydro-ecological or conservation benefits. As the levering capacity to demand payments for better watershed management increases, so does the need to understand the dynamics of such activities and demonstrate their impacts. While the growing interest in such schemes shows that participants believe in the principle of land management, evidence of their impact is needed to determine which initiatives genuinely add value and are worth pursuing.
Collective trademarks and biocultural heritage: towards new indications of distinction for indigenous peoples in the Potato Park, Peru
The indigenous farmers of the Potato Park in Cusco, Peru, produce goods drawn from their collective traditional knowledge, biodiversity and fundamental ties to the land: their ‘biocultural heritage’. How can they promote these products, while also protecting their collective intellectual property? Existing intellectual property tools tend to be unsuitable for this purpose, and even ‘soft’ intellectual property tools such as collective trademarks and geographical indications can be beyond the legal and financial capacity of remote rural communities. This paper presents the experience of the Potato Park communities in applying for formal protection through a collective trademark, and also in adopting an informal trademark for their products and services. The process of registering the collective trademark brought to light the incompatibility of the registration requirements with Peruvian law on indigenous governance, and the application was unsuccessful. The Potato Park communities have instead opted to use their trademark informally, and it is now widely recognised as a distinctive symbol of the Park. A survey found that as well as raising prices and increasing sales, the mark has helped to ensure social cohesion. However, while the trademark is informal, it lacks protection. This report concludes with a proposal for an alternative indigenous ‘biocultural heritage indication’ (BCHI) which could draw on geographical indications, design rights and unfair competition law. Such a tool could open up the current IPR system to rural communities, alleviating poverty while protecting traditional knowledge, and strengthening biological and cultural diversity.
Media perceptions and portrayals of pastoralists in Kenya, India and China
Resilient food systems depend on appropriate policies that enable people to take advantage of their own adaptive capacity. Pastoralists use their mobility to take advantage of resources – pasture and water – that are patchily distributed in space and time. Pastoralism can make major contributions to food security, livelihoods and economic prosperity. However, these benefits often go unacknowledged – by policy makers, donors and the public at large. This is in part because of development and media narratives that paint pastoralism as something bad that needs to change. This Gatekeeper paper explores how the media portrays pastoralism. To do so, we analysed the content of newspaper articles about pastoralists in Kenya, China and India, and also invited journalists in these countries to complete an online survey and telephone interview. We identified significant gaps – and inter-country differences – in the media’s portrayal of pastoralists.
Protecting Traditional Health Knowledge in Kenya: The Role of Customary Laws and Practices
There is a new policy framework on traditional medicine and medicinal plants in Kenya, and medicinal plants represent a sector with an established economic value, and related practices constitute part of a living culture among the Kenyan population. However, traditional health knowledge and healthcare is now facing significant threats. Given the lack of existing legal protection for the intellectual rights of traditional healers in Kenya,this study addressed the urgent need to develop a sui generis system for protecting the rights of communities over TK and related biological resources (BRs).
Sustainability standards in China-Latin America trade and investment: A discussion
Trade and investment between China and Latin America has increased at unprecedented rates in recent years. This brings with it new challenges and opportunities for collective sustainability efforts. This discussion paper summarises initial evidence on the growing trade and investment between China and Latin America in mining, forestry and agriculture, with a particular focus on Chile, Peru and Brazil. It explores the use and impact of sustainability standards, both international and national – for example, Forest Stewardship Council certification and China’s national forestry certification scheme. After analysing the drivers and governance factors shaping the design and uptake of standards, it identifies several important questions for future research, in this under-researched but important topic for sustainability.
Sustainable energy for all? Linking poor communities to modern energy services
This paper explores energy delivery models that provide sustainable and clean energy services to the poor. Four key building blocks are: the implementation process, including finance, resource sourcing, conversion and end use; support services (additional services such as training or micro-finance facilities); the enabling environment of policies, regulations and incentives; and the socio-cultural context including local norms and preferences, decision-making structures and levels of social cohesion. We cover a range of products and services targeted at communities located in diverse socio-cultural and geographical contexts. We identify useful experience that can help to replicate or scale up successful models that link the poor to modern energy markets. Linking Worlds series
Urban poverty, food security and climate change
The high and volatile food prices that triggered a renewed interest in food security since the 2008–09 crisis are expected to continue because of factors that include the impacts of climate change. Current policy prescriptions focus on food production; however, a broader approach based on food systems is more appropriate as it encompasses all aspects of food production, storage, distribution and consumption, all of which will be affected by climate change and especially by the growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events. As most low-income groups in both rural and urban areas are net buyers of food, access and affordability are central concerns. There is also a need for more attention to urban food security. While more than half of the world’s population now live in urban centres and on average benefit from higher incomes and better living conditions than rural residents, there is also considerable inequality between wealthier groups and the residents of low-income and informal settlements. Low and irregular incomes are the root cause of urban food insecurity, but inadequate housing and basic infrastructure and limited access to services contribute to levels of malnutrition and food insecurity that are often as high if not higher than in rural areas. They also increase exposure and sensitivity to the impacts of climate change and affect the ability to build resilience. Effective policies need to address urban food insecurity in both its income and non-income dimensions, and their impact on gendered disadvantage.
Dispute or Dialogue? Community perspectives on company-led grievance mechanisms
This book explores the use and impact of company–community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas, forestry, and mining sectors. Following the work of the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, there has been a surge of interest in company–community grievance mechanisms as a way to address and resolve human rights issues. Having identified a lack of material on the community perspectives of company-led grievance mechanisms – their effectiveness and impact on sustainable development and livelihoods locally – IIED sought to address this. The book provides an overview of recent trends in the design and use of grievance mechanisms and explores drivers for their use. It considers in detail the effectiveness of company-led grievance mechanisms related to the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in the Russian Far East; the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline in Azerbaijan; the operations of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois in the Congo Basin; and, in the mining sector, those of Anglo American (global), TVIRD in the Philippines and Kaltim Prima Coal in Indonesia. The book’s findings demonstrate the importance of having an open and responsive overall approach to stakeholder engagement within which a grievance mechanism can sit. It offers examples of effective approaches for enhancing dialogue – from civil society capacity building to engagement designed around traditional decision-making processes. The book also offers a number of specific recommendations on how grievance mechanisms can be designed and implemented to better meet the needs of communities and to avoid the risk and costs of community disputes for business. Innovations in implementation range from electronic systems for logging and monitoring grievances, to mechanisms designed to work with and build on indigenous community decision-making structures.
Supporting small forest enterprises – A facilitator’s toolkit. Pocket guidance not rocket science!
The goal of this toolkit is to help supporters of small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) work more effectively. It is aimed at 'facilitators', for example donors at the international level and, most importantly, government extension services and non-governmental organisations at the national level. We have not written this toolkit for enterprises – although they may find some of the materials in component three useful. We have arranged the toolkit in a series of self-explanatory modules (or tools) for different elements of SMFE support divided into three components. Component one deals with broad international considerations on setting up capacity building programmes for SMFE support (primarily aimed at donors). Component two provides considerations on national level planning and capacity building, before providing in component three more hands-on advice for direct facilitation activities. The idea is that practitioners at any level can dip into sections that catch their eye, and those unfamiliar with enterprise support can read through the toolkit in a logical way. Each of the sixteen modules (or tools) provides step-by-step guidance, followed by practical tips based on our personal experiences. We have also included a section pointing the reader to other useful manuals and tools already in existence. At the end of this toolkit is a reference list and a glossary of terms. [This toolkit will soon be available in French and Spanish.]
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