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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