Science, Assessment & Monitoring

Event: Workshop on Policy Options for Improving Drought Resilience and Implications for Food Security: The Case of Ethiopia and Kenya [viewed]

This inception workshop is intended to kick start the project ‘Policy options for improving drought resilience and implications for food security: the case of Ethiopia and Kenya,' which will review progress and challenges and investigate how the international community can contribute. The workshop will introduce the research project and stimulate discussion on state of the art policy and priority issues in the context of drought resilience, combating land degradation and promoting food security in dry lands of the Horn of Africa. More specifically, the project will look at, inter alia: root causes of drought and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa; reasons for recurrent droughts in the region; the roles of state and non-state actors in containing drought-related food insecurity and associated negative impacts; and the roles of other factors, including ‘state fragility,' ‘land degradation' and ‘political setup' in mitigating or exacerbating drought impacts. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat and the German Development Institute (DIE) are collaborating on the project.  

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Event: IGAD-ICPAC Workshop on Flood and Drought Management in Greater Horn of Africa [viewed]

The aim of this workshop is to enhance participants' understanding of the different practices for flood and drought management and to familiarize with the new products of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), including a flood hazard map, live web-map and geoportal. The workshop aims to: create awareness about available tools, data and initiatives for flood and drought monitoring in the Greater Horn of Africa region developed through collaboration between IGAD and UN Institute for Training and Research's Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNITAR-UNOSAT); assess specific needs and challenges in flood and drought management in ICPAC member States; illustrate potential ways to further improve national capacities based on shared experiences among participants and organizers; identify potential interest in the integration of available country-level data into IGAD-ICPAC's flood and drought monitoring system; and collaborate with national entities to establish in-country projects.  

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UNEP OECPR-2 Addresses Implementation, Environmental Dimensions of Agenda 2030 [viewed]

oecpr19 February 2016: The second meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-2) to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) advanced preparations for the upcoming second UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), which will address the theme of 'Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of Agenda 2030.'

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Stakeholders Prepare for IPBES-4 [viewed]

ipbes22 February 2016: Representatives from academia, civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and the private sector spent two days receiving updates on the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and coordinating their contribution to the Platform's fourth plenary session (IPBES-4). The 'Stakeholder Days,' facilitated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Council for Science (ICSU)/Future Earth along with other volunteers, convened just before the commencement of IPBES-4.

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FAO Symposium Discusses Biotechnologies for Small-scale Farmers [viewed]

fao_headquarters17 February 2016: Participants to the International Symposium on the Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition, organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO), concluded that agricultural biotechnologies will be essential to addressing the needs of small farmers and vulnerable populations combating hunger and adapting to climate change.

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Joint Report: Need Tripled Financing, Strengthened Institutions to Achieve WASH Targets [viewed]

Cost_of Meeting_the_2030_SDG_water-santitation-hygiene12 February 2016: If resources are targeted to the underserved, current financing levels can cover the costs of achieving universal basic service for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) by 2030, according to a report by the World Bank. However, to achieve the "enhanced level of service" reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) targets on WASH, the report finds that current investment levels will need to triple, service will need to be more efficient, and institutions will need strengthening.

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CBD Secretariat Releases Report of Working Group on LMO Risk Assessment [viewed]

CBDFebruary 2016: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released the report of the Ad hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). The AHTEG: revised the Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs based on comments received; considered whether guidance on additional issues could be incorporated into the existing guidance; updated the list of background documents to the Guidance; and developed a plan for further work.

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Event: International Training Course on Combating Desertification [viewed]

Supported by the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency, this training course is part of the programme of action under the Ankara Initiative, launched to strengthen implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the period from 2016 to 2019. The course will address technical issues, including: the causes of desertification and land degradation; seed and seedling production; forestation; erosion control; and participatory approaches that increase regional collaboration. The course will focus on the exchange of knowledge and experiences in combating desertification, promote cooperation among related institutions and technology transfer, share lessons learned from Turkey with regard to combating desertification and land degradation, and support and strengthen implementation of the UNCCD.  

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Guest Article #54: IPBES to Release its First Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production [viewed]

A bit of history

The Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in Panama in 2012 by over 100 governments. The aim of IPBES, like its older sister the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is to critically review available knowledge and to provide this knowledge to policy makers, in response to their request, in order to inform decision making. The focus of IPBES is on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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December 2015-February 2016 NAMA Update [viewed]

nama_update14 February 2016: This update provides information about individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, and related support, publications and events for the period from December 2015 to mid-February 2016. During this period, NAMAs registered as seeking support included ones on rural electrification in the Gambia and efficient use of biomass in Georgia. NAMAs in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Vanuatu, Peru, Colombia, Kenya and China received support. Several reports, guides and other publications on NAMAs were also launched during this period.

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