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  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development—a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Celis Parra, Krista Dinsmore, Nicole Fassina, Charlene Keizer
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Urban food insecurity is distinct from that experienced in rural areas and must be addressed through a different set of policies. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2 recommends that governments aim to improve food security and nutrition over the next 15 years in response to the global challenge of fostering sustainability.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marko Lovec
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: The recent food security crisis has shed light on the importance of agricultural development in the South Mediterranean countries. An ‘urban bias’ and ‘trade liberalisation’ policies have resulted in growing dependence on imports, narrow specialisations and unsustainable production practices. The Euro-Mediterranean integration process has put trade liberalisation in the centre of attention, while the progress in agriculture has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the challenges faced by agro-food systems in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries, with specific attention to the role of the Euro-Mediterranean integration and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. The paper also reviews relevant economic and environmental data in selected South and East Mediterranean countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stephen McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: While signs of democratization in a country may raise hopes of better natural resource governance, especially of forests, evidence from the Asia Pacific region in countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia demonstrates no significant relationship between a country's transition toward democracy and better forestry governance. Myanmar's transition to democracy is unlikely to counter this trend. Deeply vested interests operate within democratizing countries that outweigh the support inside governments or civil society for improving forestry conservation. Incumbents also stand to benefit directly from initiatives that promote free trade and further investment in the forestry sector at the expense of the environment and the most vulnerable in society. International organizations returning to Myanmar must fine-tune their policies to accommodate the local political economy of deforestation and should engage with elements on the periphery, dissenting voices inside the government, and a broad range of local civil society organizations. Failure to do so may exacerbate current trends and lead to future conflicts in the already volatile cease-fire areas.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: DAVID JAKINDA OTIENO
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Foreign land leases could help developing countries to acquire foreign direct investments (FDIs), including technical expertise and income necessary for economic transformation. A lack of local stakeholder consultation and involvement in the design of land leases leads to the rejection or disruption of such leases by local communities and wastes investors' resources due to disruptions. Local public stakeholders in Kenya are willing to accept and participate in leases, provided they include certain provisions: that leases do not exceed 15 years; are renewable subject to mutual negotiations; offer formal employment to landowners' household members; and provide adequate monetary compensation for the leased land. Effective and transparent management of land leases requires the formation of management committees comprising local stakeholders such as youth, women and land experts. To enhance lease transparency, regular consultative meetings should be held, negotiation records must be shared with local community members and landowners should receive direct payment, rather than being paid through intermediaries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Tim Gore
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: New evidence of how climate change could damage food security is presented in a major new scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Food
  • Author: Anna Ratcliff
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Hunger is not and need never be inevitable. However climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate it by decades – and our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Food
  • Author: Joel Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The most powerful storm ever to hit the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) has affected about 16 million people. Four million people have been displaced; the majority of them are fisherfolk, and small-scale farmers and farm workers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Fishing communities, many of whom live in poverty, have been hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda). The UN estimates that 30,000 boats have been damaged or destroyed and nearly three-quarters of fishing communities have been severely affected, losing crucial equipment such as boats, nets, and cages.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Food
  • Political Geography: Philippines
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Food security encompasses multiple, inter-connected dimensions, from production-related concerns, to market and price dynamics, environmental trends and policy approaches. Given this, 'robustness', the ability to withstand disruptions to the various dimensions, is critical to food security. Yet, countries in Southeast Asia continue to be largely focused on domestic production alone, which is unsustainable in the long run. This Policy Brief suggests that, in order to increase food security robustness, countries could turn to regional-level action. Towards this end, an analysis using the Rice Bowl Index is used to identify possible areas of cooperation and collaboration at the regional level.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Small-scale traditional agriculture provides the foundation of economic, political, and social life in Sudan's Darfur region. Traditionally, it included shifting crop cultivation and agro-pastoral livestock herding, with different ethnic groups specializing in each activity. Under this system, rights over land were not exclusive; various overlapping rights prevailed, and land use was not permanent. These arrangements allowed for the exchange of production inputs (manure for fertilizer, crop residues for animal feed), and permitted the different ethnic groups to coexist peacefully to their mutual advantage.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Greater investment in agriculture is needed to reduce rural poverty and improve food security. This means not simply increasing supply but ensuring that adequate, nutritious food is accessible to every person at all times. How investment is made, its context and conditions, is at least as important as how much is invested.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Jefferson M. Fox, Jean-Christophe Castella, Alan D. Ziegler, Sidney b. Westley.
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: For centuries, farmers in the mountainous region of mainland Southeast Asia have practiced shifting cultivation, with plots of land cultivated temporarily and then allowed to revert to secondary forest for a fallow period. Today, more than one million hectares have been converted to rubber plantation. By 2050, the area under rubber trees in the montane regions of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China's Yunnan Province is predicted to increase fourfold. Preliminary research suggests this massive land-use change could lead to drier conditions at the local level plus surface erosion, loss of soil quality, sedimentation and disruption of streams, and risk of landslides. And it appears that when primary or secondary forests are converted to rubber, carbon emissions are likely to increase. Despite environmental concerns, both local farmers and outside entrepreneurs are likely to continue expanding rubber plantations because of high economic returns. Production systems that provide the best balance between economic return and environmental sustainability are needed to improve the long-term outlook for the region.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jonah Busch, Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A new Center for Global Development meta-analysis of 117 studies has identified the key factors that drive or deter deforestation. Some findings confirm conventional wisdom. Building roads and expanding agriculture in forested areas, for example, worsen deforestation, whereas protected areas deter deforestation. Encouragingly, payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs that compensate people who live in or near forests for maintaining them are consistently associated with lower rates of deforestation. But contrary to popular belief, poverty is not associated with greater deforestation, and the rising incomes brought about by economic growth do not, in themselves, lead to less deforestation. Community forest management and strengthening land tenure, often thought to reduce deforestation while promoting development, have no consistent impact on deforestation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Poverty
  • Author: Jodie Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Myanmar is undergoing intense and rapid changes. Policies formulated today will determine the future path of political and economic development. Modernization of the country's agricultural sector is, rightly, a priority. However, mechanization and large–scale agricultural investment is not the only option. Small farm development provides a commercially viable option with better outcomes in terms of poverty reduction and positive impacts on other sectors. Small farms absorb labour, allow communities to build assets and help local markets flourish. It is crucial that Myanmar promotes the right type of agricultural investment – that which supports the country's millions of small-scale farmers and farm labourers, as well as their families.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Author: Robin Willoughby
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: After decades of underinvestment in agriculture, African governments are rightly looking at how best to mobilize funding for the sector. Donors in turn are keen to reverse a trend of neglect and to support initiatives that are simultaneously likely to enhance productivity, improve livelihoods and increase private sector investment. Private investors, concurrently, are looking for new consumer markets and production opportunities in Africa.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Famine, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Hannah Stoddart, Lydia Prieg, Joseph Zacune
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The world produces enough food to feed everyone. But every day more than 800 million people go to bed hungry. This is a scandal and climate change is set to make things even worse.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Suhani Bhushan, Stephanie C. Fauquier
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By 2050, the world's population is expected to exceed nine billion people. Population growth is occurring most rapidly in Africa, which will see the population grow from one billion to 2.1 billion by 2050. Africa will see significant population growth; however, agricultural output is not growing at the same rate. Africa's abundant natural resources are being used ineffectively, and the country is unlikely to sustain current population growth. According to reGina Jane Jere (2014), "Barely a fraction of fertile agricultural land [in Africa] is being cultivated - just 10 percent of the 400 million hectares."
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alberto Vargas
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Muchas de las comunidades de El Salvador tienen una baja resiliencia (su capacidad de enfrentar y recuperarse de los efectos de los desastres es muy limitada). Existen comunidades que a causa del cambio climático están enfrentando diversos eventos cada uno o dos años.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Health, Human Welfare, Food
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Alexandre Catta, Aladdin Diakun, Clara Yoon
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Mainstream analysis on China tends to be overly optimistic, leaving a blind spot in strategic planning. While the country's socio-economic landscape has been transformed over several decades of uninterrupted growth, it faces significant domestic and international risks and constraints. Chief among these are labour insecurity and imbalances, environmental constraints and rising climatic risks, and food insecurity, all coupled with rising popular expectations for a higher overall standard of living. Major soy producers (Argentina, Brazil and the United States) should take steps to ensure the stability of China's supply. In particular, these countries should set aside reserves to help mitigate future supply shocks and price spikes resulting from climate change. Manufacturers operating in or with China should immediately begin mapping their supply chains to identify vulnerabilities associated with crisis scenarios in the country. Where specific risks are identified, they should explore supply-chain diversification to boost resilience among major trading partners. To deter China from externalizing internal stresses, international actors should raise the political costs of nationalistic unilateralism by opening more channels for dialogue, deepening institutional integration and buttressing cooperative security norms.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: This NTS Issues Brief is based on the proceedings of the Expert Group Meeting on the Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN Food Security held in June 2013. The Meeting called for higher priority to be given to research on climate shifts at national and local scales, as well as greater focus on agricultural R It also highlighted the need for resource and knowledge inputs from actors throughout food value chains in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics, Food
  • Author: Kimberly Ann Elliott, Edward Collins
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measures how well donors score on the dimensions of aid quality that evidence and experience suggest lead to effective aid. Those dimensions are maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions (in recipient countries), reducing burden (for recipient governments), and transparency and learning (on the part of donors). The Quality of Agricultural Official Development Assistance (Ag QuODA), as much as possible, applies the original QuODA methodology to donors giving agricultural aid. In this update of Ag QuODA, we use new data from the Creditor Reporting System to extend our earlier analysis and update it to 2011. We also examine data on aid activities that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now reporting. We find that the quality of official development assistance (ODA) varies widely, with multilateral donors generally doing better on average than bilateral donors. Improvements in the data quality and availability are making sector-specific assessments like Ag QuODA more feasible, but further improvements are needed to allow a deeper understanding of aid effectiveness.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Costanza Caputi
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food security exists when 'all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life'. This is determined by the four key dimensions of availability, access, utilisation and stability of food supply.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Lucy Dubochet
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Women have long played a crucial role in India's agricultural production, and the trend that sees men shifting to non-farm activities further increases their responsibility. The situation of women cultivators is one of tremendous vulnerability: without land titles, they are not recognised as farmers, and thus are not able to access credits and government benefits. This policy brief outlines avenues to address the gap between the reality for many rural women and their entitlements.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Jodie Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Since 2000, nearly 800 large-scale land deals covering 33m hectares globally – an area four times the size of Portugal – have been recorded. This land has shifted from smallholder production, local community use, or the provision of important ecosystem services, to commercial use, driven in part by the rising demand for large-scale crops like sugar.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Portugal
  • Author: Eric Munoz
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in investing in agriculture. In 2003, heads of state from across Africa committed to allocate at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on an annual basis to agriculture and, through their commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), to reduce poverty through agriculture-led growth.1 More recently, at the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, world leaders responded to the global spike in food prices by pledging to provide $22bn over three years to promote food security in developing countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Demographics, Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Magrath, Tracy Carty
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This briefing paper explores how the failure to tackle climate change threatens all aspects of food security – availability, access, utilisation, and stability. The changing climate is already jeopardising gains in the fight against hunger, and it looks set to worsen. It threatens the production and distribution of food. It threatens people's ability to access food by undermining livelihoods and destabilising prices, and it damages diets by harming human health and putting at risk the quality of food produced. Finally, the paper sets out how these impacts can be averted, through urgent action to avoid dangerous climate change, address our broken food system, and strengthen its resilience.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Food
  • Author: Maya Rostowska
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The outcome of negotiations for a transatlantic trade deal depends largely on the stance of politicians and stakeholders in the EU and the U.S. An overview of the debate on either side of the Atlantic reveals both sides' respective interests and suggests which areas will prove particularly difficult to negotiate. These include public procurement provisions, data privacy, agricultural issues, and the financial services sector.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nadia Bergamini, Robert Blasiak, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Kaoru Ichikawa, Dunja Mijatovic, Fumiko Nakao, Suneetha M. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The following policy report constitutes an important supplement to a set of 20 indicators for resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) that was developed over the course of joint collaboration between Bioversity International and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). The indicators were disseminated widely in pamphlet form for the first time in March 2012. Subsequently, a need was identified for sharing a more in-depth overview of the considerations that went into creating this list of indicators as well as the outcomes of initial field-testing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Sociology
  • Author: Robert Maguire
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Women are Haiti's 'potomitan' (centerposts), playing pivotal roles in matters of family, education, health, commerce and the economy, and agriculture. Gender-based violence has been and continues to be a very real threat to the security and well-being of Haitian women and their families. Deficient access to education and healthcare, and misguided agricultural policies, have exacerbated women's burdens. Improved social, economic and political empowerment of women is vital to rebuilding Haiti.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Health
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Sally Trethewie
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Given that volatility in rice prices is expected to continue, governments in Southeast Asia should consider policy measures to address the factors that impact price formation and stability. The non- transparent nature of the way rice is traded in Southeast Asia is contrary to the free-trade rationale of ASEAN agricultural trade policy and food security frameworks. The underlying dynamic of opacity (of information) is the reason for policy decisions that contribute to instability in rice price formation. In particular, limited information on the availability of rice and composition of trade deals results in misinformed purchasing behaviour, particularly during price shocks. The lack of transparency perpetuates distrust in the regional rice market, leading countries to disengage from the market and instead pursue economically inefficient self- sufficiency strategies.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Amanda Mayoral
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Climate change can be a conflict multiplying mechanism as it fosters unforeseen conflicts and reinforces existing ones. While there are many causes of conflict, climate change can be a trigger in the sequence. Climate effects that constrain resources are unequally distributed to those countries already in the most desperate situations. Coupled with rising population growth, these events are likely to heighten poverty in the future if no action is taken. Adaptive development must be sustainable to bridge existing shortfalls, must plan for anticipated effects, and provide for the longer-term picture. More developed and higher carbon-emitting states should engage in mitigation efforts to reduce these effects. Given that one country will feel the consequences of environmental destruction sown by another, the costs and benefits of adaptation and mitigation should be weighed from a global perspective as the capacity of countries to respond varies. Failure to mitigate and adapt to climate effects can raise the likelihood of violent conflict.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Famine
  • Author: Carsten Daugbjerg
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Agricultural trade became fully integrated into negotiations on trade liberalisation in the Uruguay Round commencing under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986 and has been the cause of much discontent ever since – every major setback in the GATT and World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rounds has been caused by lack of progress in agricultural trade negotiations.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sally Trethewie
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: In 2010, it was proposed that Singapore consider hosting an international rice futures market, with cited benefits being enhanced price discovery and price stabilisation. The RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies hosted an Expert Working Group Meeting in Singapore in March 2012 to discuss the feasibility of this proposal. The market conditions of the Southeast Asian rice sector are seen as an impediment to the operation of an international futures contract, although opinion is divided as to the degree that these conditions would affect a contract. Whether feasible or not, the proposal for a rice futures market raises several issues related to the region's food security, in particular, the potential impact of futures trading on rice price volatility and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. This NTS Policy Brief provides a summary of these issues and presents considerations for Southeast Asian policymakers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Michael McConnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: ASEAN countries have long been an important international market for US agricultural exports. The United States, in 2011, exported almost $9.6 billion of agricultural products to ASEAN, making it the sixth-largest export destination for US farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses—behind Japan ($14 billion) and just behind the European Union ($9.6 billion), but well ahead of South Korea ($7 billion). Moreover, the value of agricultural trade between the United States and ASEAN almost doubled between 2007 and 2011, with the top four ASEAN markets in 2011 for the United States being Indonesia ($2.8 billion), the Philippines ($2.1 billion), Vietnam ($1.7 billion), and Thailand ($1.3 billion). With a population of 614 million and strong economic growth, it is expected that ASEAN will continue to be an important market for US agricultural products. However, the United States is likely to face increasing competition, particularly from China, Australia, and New Zealand, all of which have free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, East Asia, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand
  • Author: Jean Denis Crola
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Harvests in Africa's Sahel region from the 2011/12 season are down sharply compared with last year and have been later than usual, extending the previous 'hunger gap' period. A further aggravating factor for the people of the region is that local grain prices failed to drop as they generally do in the period after the harvest. In December 2011, prices reached levels that were 80% above their five-year averages and remained at high levels, compromising access to adequate food for vulnerable populations. Together with the main agencies involved in the crisis, Oxfam, ROPPA, RBM, APESS, POSCAO and WILDAF estimate that more than 18 million people are currently in a situation of food insecurity in the Sahel.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Poverty, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Formed in 2008, the Rural Development Initiative is a five-year, $10 million partnership between CARE, a prominent humanitarian organization, and Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services. CARE partners with Cargill employees in local communities and along the company's supply chains to improve crop yields, access to markets, and incomes for farmers; enhance the attendance and quality of education programs; and increase access to health care, nutritional programs, and safe drinking water in rural communities. With projects in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, India, Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil, the CARE-Cargill partnership seeks to help 100,000 people lift themselves out of poverty by 2013. Through the Rural Development Initiative, CARE and Cargill leverage their respective strengths to improve livelihoods, while at the same time improving Cargill's competitive advantage and fulfilling CARE's mandate.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Markets
  • Political Geography: India, Brazil, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Ghana
  • Author: Thembela Kepe, Danielle Tessaro
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Food security is broadly defined as households' access at all times to adequate, safe and nutritious food for a healthy and productive life. Whether or not individuals and households are entirely self-sufficient in food production (see Devereux and Maxwell, 2001), achieving food security requires secure access to, and control over, land resources.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, EU governments committed to sourcing 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020: they are set to meet this target almost exclusively using biofuels made from food crops. By putting a mandate in place, European governments are propping up powerful industry and farming lobbies without spending a penny from national budgets: as direct subsidies and tax exemptions are phased out, the cost is increasingly borne by the consumer. For example, by 2020 biofuel mandates are likely to cost UK consumers between £1bn and £2bn more each year—that's about £35 from every adult—and to cost German consumers between €1.37bn and €2.15bn more—up to €30 per adult. EU governments have replaced subsidies paid out of the public purse with a subsidy that consumers, often without their knowledge, pay directly to big business.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Energy Policy, Food
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Lara El-Jazairi, Fionna Smyth
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Jordan Valley, located in the eastern part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), makes up 30 per cent of the West Bank (see Map 1 on page 7). Requisitions and expropriations of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities continue to destroy the livelihoods of Palestinians living in the area and, unless action is taken, there are strong indications that the situation will only get worse. The Israeli government recently announced proposals and policies for the expansion of settlements, which, if implemented, will further threaten the living conditions and human rights of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, undermining efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the OPT and Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Agriculture, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Paul Teng, Sally Trethewie
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Food wastage is prevalent in Southeast Asia and has significant implications for the region's food, environmental and economic security. It is likely that the region wastes approximately 33 per cent of food, but accurate estimates are not available due to a dearth of quantitative information. Wastage occurs at all stages of food supply chains, from the point of production to post-harvest, retail and consumption. Effective interventions to prevent and minimise food wastage exist but are not widely implemented in Southeast Asia. In the context of these issues, the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies hosted an Expert Working Group Meeting in August 2012 to discuss food wastage in Southeast Asia. This policy brief draws on the findings of the meeting and provides several policy recommendations for Southeast Asian governments to address urban and rural food wastage.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Maria Dolores Bernabe
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The ASEAN Investment Report for 2011 considers 2010 as an important year for the region in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. FDIs in ASEAN for the said year reached a record high of US 75.8 million dollars, nearly double the inflows in 2009. Included in these FDIs were private sector investments in agriculture, as Southeast Asia has become one of the most favored destinations of large-scale agricultural land investments.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Gender Issues, Food, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Lucy Dubochet
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The proposed Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill sets out to reconcile two agendas that have so far clashed: it aims to secure the land requirements of the government's development agenda, while addressing the mounting resistance of people whose land is acquired. The bill is a major step forward because it links land acquisition with rehabilitation and resettlement (R). By doing so, it brings to the forefront questions that have long since been at the heart of conflicts around land acquisition.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Rights, Territorial Disputes, Law
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Tonny Joseph
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 exacerbated the country's grinding poverty and serious development problems, while at the same time worsening Haitian living conditions. The tremor killed over 250,000 people and injured 300, 000. It crippled the economy, causing losses estimated at almost 120 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Nevertheless, economic growth is expected to rise between 7 and 9 percent in 2012, largely owing to reconstruction efforts. The population in internally displaced persons camps has decreased from 1.5 million to around 390,000 (according to the June 2012 report of the International Organization for Migration), and the country's hurricane preparedness capacity has increased.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, Government, Food, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Kate Geary
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Today, stories of communities driven from their lands, often at the barrel of a gun, left destitute and unable to feed their families, have become all too familiar . As the scale and pace of large - scale land acquisitions increases globally, evidence is mounting that the land rush is out of control and that the price being paid by affected communities is unacceptably high. A huge amount of land has been sold off or leased out globally in the past decade: an area eight times the size of the UK. In poor countries , foreign investors bought up an area of land the size of London every six days between 2000 and 2010. Commercial interest in land could accelerate once again as recent food price spikes motivate rich countries to secure their own food supplies and make land a more secure and attractive option for investors and speculators. The 2008 boom in food prices is widely recognized as having triggered a surge in investor interest in land : from mid - 2008 – 2009 reported agricultural land deals by foreign investors in developing countries rocketed by around 200 per cent .
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: Suresh P. Prabhu
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Threats of international water conflicts have garnered headlines in many parts of the world including South Asia. Yet, there are almost no examples of outright water war in history. Instead, national water tensions and issues in water management continue to bedevil South Asia and the largest country in the region. India's population currently stands at 1.2 billion people and is expected to reach 1.6 to 1.8 billion by 2050. For a country that already ranks among the lower rungs of the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index, faced by the stresses of such population growth, India will have to design a plan to satisfy basic human needs for survival, and identify—and maximize—the use of key inputs that drive India's economic growth. One common source that cuts across all criteria for basic survival and economic development is water. It is predicted that by 2050, the per capita availability of water at the national level will drop by 40 to 50 percent due to rapid population growth and commercial use. The main sectors that are heavily dependent on water, such as India's agriculture and power generation, will also affect the quality of water available, both for other productive sectors and for public use. The demand for, availability, and varying use of water all have an impact on India's water resource management and its relations with neighboring countries.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Industrial Policy, Water
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Calestous Juma
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: African agriculture is at a crossroads. Persistent food shortages are now being compounded by new threats arising from climate change. But Africa also has three major opportunities that can help transform its agriculture to be a force for economic growth. First, advances in science, technology, and engineering worldwide offer Africa new tools needed to promote sustainable agriculture. Second, efforts to create regional markets will provide new incentives for agricultural production and trade. Third, a new generation of African leaders is helping the continent focus on long-term economic transformation.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Science and Technology, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Populations are growing and becoming more urban throughout much of the developing world, with the Southeast Asian region proving no exception. One result of this seemingly inescapable trend is that more food will have to be produced by rural communities that continue to decline in size relative to their city-dwelling neighbours. This is true both in domestic contexts, where rural hinterlands will feed urban centres of business, technological advancement and trade, and in international food markets, where countries with high rural agricultural production capabilities will be sought after by countries that have significant food importing needs. While the processes by which these trends play out are complex, varying and at times unpredictable, it is clear that food production must increase.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the 2010–11 floods, the path to recovery and reconstruction in Pakistan will be long and full of challenges. However, there is also an opportunity to tackle crucial structural issues such as crippling inequalities in people's rights and access to land. A failure to do so would not only condemn millions of Pakistanis to continued and deepening poverty, it would also undermine the scope and sustainability of the country's recovery from this disaster and its ability to cope with the next.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Political Economy, Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Why, in a world that produces more than enough food to feed everybody, do so many – one in seven – go hungry? Oxfam's new global campaign, GROW, seeks answers to this question. GROW aims to transform the way we grow, share, and live together. GROW will expose the failing governments and powerful business interests that are propping up a broken food system and sleepwalking the world into an unprecedented and avoidable reversal in human development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolás Marcelo Perrone
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The world food situation is back in the headlines as price levels surpass 2008 peaks, confirming the rising trend in food markets. Higher prices pose challenges to both food importing and exporting countries. One serious barrier to increasing food output remains the lack of necessary capital and technology in countries that have the potential to increase production rapidly. To avoid a food crisis, international organizations and several governments have increasingly turned to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational enterprises (MNEs) in agriculture. This may be an effective solution, but some obstacles stand in the way of the establishment of such projects and, more importantly, their long-term sustainability.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Markets, Food, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Elise Ford
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, and basic sanitation. Loss of life on a massive scale is a very real risk, and the crisis is set to worsen over the coming months, particularly for pastoralist communities.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Food
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Author: Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the past four years, rising world food prices and the global economic downturn increased the ranks of the world's food insecure1 from 848 million to 925 million by September 2010, reversing decades of slow yet steady progress in reducing hunger (WFP and FAO 2010). While the human costs have been considerable, the political consequences have been significant as well. Food prices sparked demonstrations and riots in 48 countries 2007–08. While prices receded in 2009, they reached historic highs in February 2011—and were once again implicated in political turmoil. High food and fuel prices were among the grievances motivating the demonstrations that led to the ouster of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia, Egypt
  • Author: Marc-Olivier Herman, Ruth Kelly, Robert Nash
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Food prices are a matter of life and death to many in the developing world. Financial markets that should be helping food growers and processors to manage their risk and set prices have become a potential threat to global food security. Deregulated and secretive agricultural commodity derivatives markets have attracted huge sums of speculative money, and there is growing evidence that they deliver distorted and unpredictable food prices. Financial speculation can play an important role to help food producers and end users manage risks, but in light of the harm that excessive speculation may cause to millions, action is required now to address the problem. This briefing explains what has gone wrong with financial markets and what could be done to fix them.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, over 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, basic sanitation and shelter. Suffering and death are already happening on a massive scale, and the situation will worsen over the coming months.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Author: Bertram Zagema
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: International investment plays a vital role in development and poverty reduction. Investment can improve livelihoods and bring jobs, services, and infrastructure, when it is managed responsibly within the context of an effective regulatory framework. Oxfam sees this every day in its work and, in some cases, is working collaboratively with businesses to promote investments that directly benefit poor communities. The recent record of investment in land is very different. It tells a story of rapidly increasing pressure on land – a natural resource upon which the food security of millions of people living in poverty depends. Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights, and destruction of livelihoods. Without national and international measures to defend the rights of people living in poverty, this modern-day land-rush looks set to leave too many poor families worse off, often evicted from their land with little or no recourse to justice.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Western Europe
  • Author: Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Successful implementation of t anzania's land reform is being held back by a scarcity of resources and a lack of coherence within the land administration system. ordinary men and women in the villages are losing out, not experiencing any improvement in tenure security. Urgent support is needed to enable village authorities to carry out their task.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Nandita Dasgupta
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: India's food price inflation is a major driving factor behind the country's overall accelerating inflation over the past few years. Agricultural food prices in particular have risen recently: over the past year vegetables have become costlier by 18%, pulses by 14%, milk by 10%, and eggs, meat and fish by 12%. The rise in fruit prices was, however, relatively smaller (5%), and the same happened for cereals (3%). This price escalation is largely due to an inefficient supply chain in agriculture. Some of the supply side constraints have been identified: poor agricultural productivity, lack of corporate involvement in agriculture, ceilings on landholding size, existence of middlemen, hoarding, and, more importantly, insufficient cold storage facilities and transportation infrastructure. Around 50% of fresh produce in India rots and goes to waste between the farm gate and the market because of inadequate cold storage facilities and a poor distribution network. These factors unfavorably affect agricultural supply, create a supplydemand gap and help raise food prices.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, Food, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Paul Teng, Margarita Escaler
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last four decades, Brazil has transformed its agricultural sector to become the first tropical agricultural giant and the first to challenge the dominance of the world's major food exporters. This paper examines the secrets of Brazil's success and ponders whether Asia should try to emulate the Brazilian model to help achieve food security for its people and contribute to an increased level of selfsufficiency in the region.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia, Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2010, more than 10 million people, mainly women and children, were victims of the food crisis in the Sahel. Nearly 500,000 severely malnourished children were taken into care between January and November 2010 in Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso. Most livestock in the Sahel was decimated. The images and the stories of hunger harked back to the food crisis of 2005 and the famines in 1973-1974 and 1984-1985.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Kugelman
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan faces a multidimensional water crisis that claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The root causes of the crisis are twofold: circumstantial, which are linked to poor water-resource management policies (including water-wasting flood irrigation) structural, tied to factors deeply ingrained in politics and society such as the obsession with India, inequitable rural land-ownership and endemic water misgovernance (for example, exploitation of the rotational irrigation system to the detriment of the poor). To resolve the crisis, both types of cause will need to be tackled, and the international community can play an invaluable role.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India
  • Author: Rikke Broegaard
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The stated goal of land titling and administration projects supported worldwide by development agencies like the World Bank is to strengthen property rights for the poor. Formal property rights, it is argued, lead to increased tenure security, which in turn encourages property rights holders to invest. Hence, strengthening property rights for the poor contributes to facilitate pro-poor economic growth and a more equitable development. However, the link between formal land titles and tenure security is assumed rather than based on empirical evidence. This DIIS-brief reviews this and other key assumptions underlying land titling and administration interventions. Findings from research that explores rural landowners' own perceptions of the factors that constitute tenure security highlight the importance of formal titles for perceived tenure security, but only in combination with other resources. Therefore, to single out formal titles as being equal to or the most important element in tenure security does not correspond with people's perceptions. Thus, promoting land titling as the policy intervention to strengthen tenure security does not appear to be a feasible strategy for addressing the highly complex problem of insecure land tenure for the rural poor. On the contrary, emerging evidence suggests that land titling tends to make land more readily available to a larger and more resourceful circle of potential buyers. Thus, rather than facilitating pro-poor and equitable development, land titling projects may clear the road for large-scale concentrations of land that gradually exclude the rural poor.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Emily Alpert, Melinda Smale
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2008, world food prices reached their highest peak since the early 1970s. Food stocked on grocery store shelves was out of reach. Riots ensued. Millions were afflicted. Another 100 million people were pushed into the ranks of the hungry, raising the total to nearly one billion worldwide. And these numbers could climb again as food prices remain high, and continue to rise in many local markets.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Joel Negin, Jolyon Ford
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Zimbabwe's long night is by no means over. Nearly a year after the violent and disputed March 2008 elections, and months after the September signing of a 'Global Political Agreement' with the ruling ZANU-PF party, the main faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) agreed in February to take part in a coalition government in which its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, became Prime Minister. The state apparatus in Zimbabwe is currently shared uneasily by reformers and reactionaries with each of the MDC and ZANU-PF having half of the cabinet seats. Hardline ZANU-PF elements remain in government and control the security services, and a quiet but intense power struggle continues.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Steve Jennings, John Magrath
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The timing of rain, and intra-seasonal rainfall patterns are critical to smallholder farmers in developing countries. Seasonality influences farmers' decisions about when to cultivate and sow and harvest. It ultimately contributes to the success or failure of their crops. Worryingly, therefore, farmers are reporting that both the timing of rainy seasons and the pattern of rains within seasons are changing. These perceptions of change are striking in that they are geographically widespread and because the changes are described in remarkably consistent terms. In this paper, we relate the perceptions of farmers from several regions(East Asia, South Asia, Southern and East Africa, and Latin America) of how seasons are changing, and in some cases, how once distinct seasons appear to be disappearing altogether, and the impacts that these changes are having. We then go on to ask two critical questions. Firstly, do meteorological observations support farmers' perceptions of changing seasonality? Secondly, to what extent are these changes consistent with predictions from climate models? We conclude that changing seasonality may be one of the major impacts of climate change faced by smallholder farmers in developing countries over the next few decades. Indeed, this may already be the case. Yet it is relatively unexplored in the literature. We also suggest some of the key adaptation responses that might help farmers cope with these changes.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Arabella Fraser
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Harnessing Agriculture for Development is the result of a process of research and consultation conducted within Oxfam International from the end of 2007 to mid 2008, before the full impact of the current financial crisis was felt across the developing world. It is being published at a time when we face a particularly uncertain and unstable future, with heightened perceptions of risk, but when we also have a unique opportunity to generate the kinds of policy change required to achieve a new global balance.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Food
  • Author: Chris Leather
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Another World Food Summit is being held in Rome to discuss world food security, in the midst of a chronic global food crisis in which one billion (one in six) people go to bed hungry every day of their shortened lives. During the two-and-a-half days of the Summit, more than 60,000 people, 70 per cent of them children, will die of hunger-related causes.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Food, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Rome
  • Author: Jules Siedenburg, Kimberly Pfeifer, Kelly Hauser
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Worldwide, 1.7 billion small-scale farmers and pastoralists are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. They live on marginal rural lands characterised by conditions such as low rainfall, sloping terrain, fragile soils, and poor market access, primarily in Africa and Asia. Such farmers are vulnerable because their farms depend directly on rainfall and temperature, yet they often have little savings and few alternative options if their crops fail or livestock die.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Lorenzo Cotula
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Over the past 12 months, large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia have made headlines in a flurry of media reports across the world. Lands that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest are now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Jefferson Fox
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Over the last half-century, public policy has affected land-use practices across the borders linking China, Thailand, and Laos. Political and economic reforms have facilitated labor mobility and a shift in agricultural practices away from staple grains and toward a diverse array of cash crops, rubber being one of the foremost. China has promoted the conversion of forests to rubber agroforestry in southern Yunnan--profitable for farmers, but a concern in terms of biodiversity and long-term viability. In Thailand, the response is at the other end of the spectrum as the government's concerns about land-use practices and watershed management have led to policies that dramatically constrain land-use practices and limit tenure rights. In Laos the future is not yet clear. Government policies provide weak support for both private land ownership and protected areas. In a global environment where national policy has such a dramatic effect on land use and land cover, the factors behind land-use change merit close examination.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Migration, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mark Poffenberger, Kathryn Smith-Hanssen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Loss of the world's forests contributes an estimated 17 percent to all global greenhouse gas emissions, creating both a major challenge and an opportunity for international climate change agreements. In response, global policymakers have proposed that new carbon agreements include rewards for reducing forest-based emissions, an initiative known as REDD–Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. By creating financial incentives to reduce forest-sourced greenhouse gases, REDD projects could generate funding from developed countries to reduce deforestation in developing countries. In addition, some climate change specialists believe that REDD projects could benefit forest-dependent communities, whose participation is key to controlling the local forces that drive deforestation. Some communities are already learning about the new REDD carbon projects. As one villager from Cambodia explains, "We are going to sell our air to the people who are polluting in the city."
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: A. Terry Rambo
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia faces enormous challenges in managing its agricultural and environmental resources, from global warming to biodiversity loss. But chances for effectively addressing these issues may be hampered by the wide acceptance of four basic assumptions that guide the way we think about problems of managing agriculture and the environment. These assumptions form an interlinked system of thought that privileges the traditional and local over the modern and cosmopolitan. When taken to an extreme they lead to the view that traditional farmers are always right and that modern science is the cause, rather than a possible cure, of the serious environmental problems associated with agricultural development in Southeast Asia. Although when first proposed these assumptions were a radical alternative to the conventional thinking, in recent years they have themselves become the new conventional wisdom.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia