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  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Investment in small-scale agriculture is needed in order to meet the ambitious objective set by the United Nations and signed by the world leaders in 2015: to eradicate hunger, ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030 (SDG 2). However, reaching this ambitious goal with the current level of resources committed will not be possible without concerted action on global challenges such as worsening climate change, fluctuating energy prices, diversification of diets in emerging economies and a growing pressure on natural resources such as land and water for purposes other than food. In the world today, 795 million people – one in nine people – still experience limited access to healthy and nutritious food; essential for children to develop properly and for fostering good health. Most of the people affected live in developing countries – 98 percent –and in Africa, one person in four suffers from hunger.1 Paradoxically, those who suffer from hunger are mainly farmers or people who depend on agriculture as their main source of income. To end the injustice of hunger in the world, there is therefore a need for a shared effort from public and private players, geared to allocate more and better investment for the promotion of sustainable agricultural development. In this paper, Oxfam investigates the flows of official development aid (ODA) committed by Italy in the last ten years to promoting food security, sustainable agriculture and rural development in its partner countries. The analysis aims to identify the main features of Italian ODA in this sector in order to evaluate its level of transparency and accountability. It also aims to verify the coherence, in financial terms, between the real allocation of resources and the political importance that Italy has historically assigned to food security issues. In parallel, this paper examines the involvement of Italian agri-food industries in rural development programmes financed through Italian ODA. In light of the wide- ranging debate which aims to promote a greater involvement of the private sector in development, Oxfam investigated the experience gained to date by Italy in one of the priority sectors of its development cooperation policy. The paper’s analysis focuses on three case studies featuring different modalities and objectives for private sector involvement, with the aim to assessing the impacts of their contribution in terms of the reduction of poverty and food insecurity in local communities. Oxfam’s purpose is to contribute to the ongoing national debate in Italy on the eligibility criteria that would promote private sector support for co- financed cooperation initiatives in partner countries; in line with the objectives and goals of the Italian International Development Cooperation policy.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Poverty, United Nations, Food, Hunger, Rural
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, Global Focus
  • Author: Anita Kattakuzhy, Chloe Parrish
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: International humanitarian agencies and donors have made a series of global commitments to local actors as part of the localization agenda, including to increase their access to greater direct funding by 2020. This briefing paper reviews 2015 national financial data for Bangladesh and Uganda to better understand how to target international investments in localization. It presents key findings from Oxfam-commissioned research on which factors affect local actors’ ability to access international humanitarian funding. It concludes that in order for global commitments to translate into practice, investments should look at changing the terms of the funding relationship, as well as be based on a context-specific, national analysis of the financial environment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment, Humanitarian Aid, Refugee Crisis, Displacement
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Bangladesh, Africa, Asia
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Reducing the impacts of disasters on poor people is absolutely vital. Climate/disaster risk financing could play a useful role if it is part of an approach that includes risk reduction, if it strengthens social protection, and if it has real participation from civil society. Insurance, as one component of risk financing, could play a supportive role if carefully designed – keeping in mind the limitations, including the risk of worsening income and gender inequality. The InsuResilience Global Partnership should build more evidence of what works for poor people, invest in pro-poor business models, and ensure the insurance schemes developed are part of a broader approach to reduce risks and the inequalities that make people vulnerable to disasters.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tracy Carty, Armelle Le Comte
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate finance efforts by developed countries are at a critical juncture. There are only two years before the deadline by which developed countries have committed to jointly mobilize $100bn per year to support climate action in developing countries. This $100bn commitment has a pivotal role to play in supporting developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This year will also see governments at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) in Katowice agree new rules to govern how climate finance is accounted under the Paris Agreement – rules that will shape the quality and transparency of climate finance provision for many years to come. This briefing paper offers an assessment of progress towards the $100bn goal. The second in a series, it looks at the latest donor figures for 2015-16, with a strong focus on public finance. It considers how close we are to the $100bn goal; where the money is coming from; where it is going; what it is being spent on; and how donors are counting the money they report.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, International Cooperation, Paris Agreement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kiri Hanks
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be a major new funder of infrastructure in developing Asia, where demand for power is growing faster than any other region in the world. Done right, its energy lending could promote an inclusive and sustainable Asian energy transition. This report sets out a vision for an AIIB partnership with the region’s most climate-vulnerable countries. This could forge a new path of economic development and confirm a new era of Southern climate leadership.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Sustainable Development Goals, Fossil Fuels, Paris Agreement
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global South
  • Author: Jan Mayrhofer, Hanna Saarinen
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: With the world on the brink of an unprecedented four famines, donor countries must urgently step up efforts to tackle the structural causes of hunger and poverty. Food security and sustainable agriculture are among the European Union’s key priorities for development cooperation. The EU is committed to long-term solutions, including empowering smallholders, in particular women, and supporting environmentally sustainable approaches in agriculture. In practice, however, its development aid to the agricultural sector does not live up to its commitments. An Oxfam analysis of more than 7,500 EU-funded projects reveals a significant lack of transparency in reporting, casting doubt on the accountability of the EU’s aid. Based on the reported data, only a small portion of the EU’s agricultural development aid complies with the aim of targeting small-scale producers and women. Funding is also biased towards industrial and export crops and countries of strategic interest, at the expense of smallholders and countries most in need.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Regional Cooperation, Food, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Aditi Sen
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Hidden in the food we buy every day, from chocolate to ice cream, are commodities like palm oil and soy that are driving deforestation across the world. From Indonesia to the Peruvian Amazon, vast areas of carbon-rich forest are being cleared to produce these agricultural commodities, contributing to climate change and social conflict. Several food and beverage companies have made commitments over the last few years to tackle deforestation in their supply chains. This paper analyses how the world’s ten biggest food and beverage companies – which were challenged to improve their environmental and social policies as part of Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign – are implementing their commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. It argues that while this is a significant step forward, these companies must now implement their promises. They must translate policies into practice and strengthen their efforts to protect the rights and livelihoods of the communities and indigenous peoples on the frontlines of defending the world’s forests to achieve real change.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Indigenous, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rebecca Pearl-Martinez
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Oxfam analysis finds that governments and donors are failing to provide women farmers with relevant and adequate support for farming and adapting to climate change. Oxfam conducted research on government and donor investments in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania. It found that funding in these countries is significantly lower than commitments that have been made, and there is little evidence of resources and technical assistance reaching women farmers. Resources are being diverted to priorities other than smallholder farmers, and for the most part governments lack the capacity to deliver funding to them. This paper presents the findings along with recommendations for governments.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Gender Issues, Women, Farming
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, Middle East, Philippines, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana
  • Author: Simon Bradshaw, Julie-Anne Richards
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is already forcing people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all magnify existing vulnerabilities and the likelihood of displacement – disproportionately affecting low-income countries, women, children and Indigenous peoples. This paper describes the effects on communities and how responding to these growing realities demands far stronger action towards ending global climate pollution, supporting resilient communities, ensuring rights for people on the move and developing long-term strategies to ensure that those who are forced to move in the future are able to do so safely and with dignity.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Migration, Displacement, Paris Agreement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Edmund Cairns
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The UK needs a safe world in which to trade and invest, and to be free from the security threats caused by conflicts or fragile states. Yet spiralling inequality and climate change, among many other factors, threaten to create a more dangerous, unequal world. As the continuing tragedy in Syria shows, the world's old and new powers have not yet found a way to unite to end conflicts. The age of interventions, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, is over. But a new rule-based world in which China, India, and others unite with Western powers to protect civilians and end conflicts has not yet come into being. Whoever wins the 2015 UK general election, the greatest test for UK foreign policy will be how much it can do to help build that world.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Poverty, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Europe, India, Syria
  • 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
  • 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: Steph Cousins
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate-related disasters and food crises are devastating thousands of lives and holding back development across Asia. A year on from the devastating super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Oxfam calls for governments across Asia, backed by regional and global institutions and fair contributions from wealthy countries, to ramp up efforts to address these challenges. Without greater investment in climate and disaster-resilient development and more effective assistance for those at risk, super-typhoon Haiyan-scale disasters could fast become the norm, not the exception.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Tim Gore, Simon Bradshaw, Annaka Carvalho, Kiri Hanks, Jan Kowalzig
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Negotiations are currently under way to develop a new international climate change agreement that will cover all countries and curb global warming to below the internationally agreed limit of 2 degrees. The new agreement will be adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference – Conference of the Parties 21, or COP21 – to be held in Paris in November/December 2015, and will be implemented from 2020.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment
  • 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: Tracy Carty
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is an immediate, grave, and growing threat to development, making the battle to overcome poverty ever harder and more expensive. International climate finance is vital in the global effort to combat climate change. The lives and livelihoods of poor women and men at increased risk of floods, hunger, droughts, and disease depend on it. But most rich countries are failing in their obligations and commitments to support developing countries to cope with a more hostile climate they did least to cause. They are also increasing the risk of climate change by failing to slash their emissions far or fast enough.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Diplomacy, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State
  • 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: Debbie Hillier, Katherine Nightingale
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: According to the United Nations, over the past twenty years disasters from natural hazards have affected 4.4 billion people, claimed 1.3 million lives and caused $2 trillion in economic losses. For the first time, disaster losses globally have topped $100bn for three consecutive years (2010-2012), far outstripping humanitarian aid. According to Ban Ki Moon, 'Economic losses from disasters are out of control.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Kate Raworth, Caroline Pearce, Richard Gower
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2010, the G20 committed themselves to promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth. They argued that 'for prosperity to be sustained it must be shared' and also endorsed 'green growth', which promises to decouple economic expansion from environmental degradation. But G20 countries have some way to go to match this commitment. This paper assesses their record, and points the way forward.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: After a year of extreme weather, developing countries face a climate 'fiscal cliff' at the end of 2012, as Fast Start Finance expires and the Green Climate Fund remains empty. New Oxfam analysis of Fast Start Finance reveals that much of it has been a false start. Governments have not delivered on commitments made in Copenhagen to ensure that the funding was new, additional, and balanced across adaptation and mitigation projects. Developed nations must scale up climate finance from 2013, consider innovative proposals to raise public climate finance, and make pledges to the Green Climate Fund which otherwise will remain an empty shell for the third year in a row.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Third World, Financial Crisis
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Women are on the front line of coping with and adapting to the effects of climate change. Both climate change impacts and mitigation and adaptation responses affect women and men differently. Yet current climate finance institutions almost entirely ignore gender issues. The Green Climate Fund cannot afford to make the same mistake. Many agree the new fund must be innovative, building on the lessons of climate finance and of other funds to date. To be an effective and legitimate tool in the fight against climate change, the Green Climate Fund must have the concerns of women at its heart.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Gender Issues
  • Author: Tim Gore, Mark Lutes
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: International shipping is a major – and rapidly growing – source of greenhouse gas emissions. Agreement to apply a carbon price to shipping can both reduce emissions and raise funds for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. This paper shows that doing so is possible while ensuring developing countries face no net costs. COP17 in Durban, South Africa at the end of 2011 provides an opportunity to agree the key principles of such a deal.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is the single greatest threat to development – making the battle to overcome poverty ever harder and more expensive. Finance is urgently needed to help vulnerable communities adapt to a changing climate. Last year the World Bank estimated the costs of adaptation in poor countries were $75–100bn per year if global warming was kept to 2°C. The non-binding pledges from rich countries to cut emissions offered since Copenhagen would steer a course towards a catastrophic 4°C.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Tracy Carty
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate-related shocks are negatively affecting the lives of millions of poor women and men with increasing frequency and severity. The non- binding pledges made in Copenhagen put the world on track for a catastrophic temperature rise of 3-4°C. If developed countries fail to set much more ambitious emissions targets, the cost of damages will increase dramatically. There is an urgent need to set up a proper system of finance for adaptation to help developing countries avoid the worst impacts.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Development
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Despite being a wealthy country, in the UK poverty is an ongoing problem. According to Oxfam GB today 1 in 5 people in the UK don't have enough to live on. There were 2.9 million children and 2.5 million pensioners living in poverty in the UK in 2006/2007. Children go to school hungry, or to bed without enough food. Poor communities are in poorer health and have shorter life expectancy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Stephen Spratt
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The global climate is changing, fast. And this is the direct result of human activity. It is broadly accepted that we need to restrict global temperature increases to as far below 2°C as possible if we are to avoid triggering runaway, irreversible and catastrophic climate change. This is very probably the greatest challenge and danger that mankind has ever faced, and evidence is mounting that time is rapidly running out if we wish to “preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.” (Hansen, et al, 2008).
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Third World
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is already affecting the lives of people in the developing world. Increased floods and droughts, rising sea levels, changing patterns of rainfall and falling crop yields are making it harder and harder for poor people to escape poverty. Oxfam is projecting that, on current trends, the average number of people affected by climate-related disasters each year may have risen by over 50 percent by 2015 – to 375 million people – potentially overwhelming the humanitarian system.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Author: Jonas Meckling
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The World Business Summit on Climate Change provides an example of the leadership role that the global business community has assumed in paving the road to a post-2012 climate regime. Among various proposals from the business lobby for the creation of a policy for concerted action on climate change, the concept of co-operative sectoral approaches has risen to the top of the agenda. The Bali Action Plan of December 2007 put sectoral approaches officially on the negotiating table, with its proposal for 'cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions' as a means to 'enhance implementation of' articles in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 2007: Art. 1 (b) (iv)).
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Author: Kirsty Hughes, Sarah Best
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The world, and most of all, its poor people, desperately needs a fair and safe climate deal to be agreed in Copenhagen in December. But currently, negotiations are proceeding at a snail's pace, hamstrung by a yawning deficit of trust between developing and industrialised countries, and crucially lacking a global leader – one that can bridge this divide by leading by example with commitments to cut its own emissions and to finance adaptation and mitigation in the South.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regional Cooperation
  • Author: Antonio Hill, Julie-Anne Richards, Richard King
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A fair and adequate global climate regime requires a massive effort across the board to reduce the risks to lives and livelihoods that poor people face first and most. Rich countries must reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions first and fastest, with ambitious targets at home. High levels of rich-country pollution over the last century mean that even ambitious emissions-reductions targets will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. Deep emissions reductions in rich countries are still critical, but climate security will now be won or lost as a result of co-operative efforts in which rich countries finance large-scale reductions in emissions in developing countries. Establishing a Global Mitigation and Finance Mechanism could achieve these reductions while respecting principles of equity, and delivering tangible development gains for poor people. This must be a centre piece of the Copenhagen deal in December 2009. But much greater political attention and support is needed for this vital part of the deal to be developed in time.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Author: John Magrath, Elvis Sukali
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A wind of climate change is blowing through the southern African nation of Malawi, bringing confusion to fisherfolk and farmers alike.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Alex Renton
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is a reality and its effects are apparent right now. The scientific predictions are shifting continually – they almost always look bleaker. But Oxfam's experience in nearly 100 countries is definitive: hundreds of millions of people are already suffering damage from a rapidly changing climate, which is frustrating their efforts to escape poverty. This paper is the story of the 'affected'.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Poverty, Natural Resources, Food, Famine
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change affects poor people first and worst. It is a major obstacle to development and poverty alleviation, as well as a serious threat to business supply chains and markets in developing countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit, the international community agreed a historic set of goals aimed at freeing a significant proportion of the world's population from poverty, disease, hunger, and illiteracy. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) marked a turning point for international development and brought rich and poor countries together in a shared endeavour to end poverty and suffering.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization, Poverty, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In February and March 2009, Oxfam conducted interviews in rural communities in three ecological zones (Terai, Hills and Mountains) and in the Mid and Far Western Development Regions to capture a snapshot of how climate change is already affecting people living in poverty. The results were remarkably consistent with regional climate change projections, and deeply worrying.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Poverty
  • Author: Anita Swarup
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: ''The situation was bad before the hurricanes in 2008 – there was a drought - but after them it got worse and more complicated people lost what little they had – houses, crops, livestock – which creates a catastrophe of hunger in this area. We feel ashamed, we have to beg from the state and other international agencies'' Lissage Geneus, a local government official (CASEC) in Baie d'Orange.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Zehar Abbass
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This study was commissioned by Oxfam GB to review the impact of climate change on Pakistan's rural communities. The findings of the study are remarkably consistent with global, regional national climate change projections, and alarming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Bolivia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for six basic reasons: It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and suffers from one of the worst patterns of inequality. Low-income groups in developing countries are the most exposed to climate change impacts. It is the country in South America with the highest percentage of indigenous people, where much of the poverty and inequality is concentrated. It is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, with a wide variety of ecosystems that are vulnerable to different impacts from climate change. More than half of the country is Amazonian, with high levels of deforestation which adds to the vulnerability to flooding. Located in a climatically volatile region, it is one of the countries in the world most affected by 'natural' disasters in recent years. It is home to about twenty per cent of the world's tropical glaciers, which are retreating more quickly than predicted by many experts.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Bolivia, Amazon Basin
  • Author: Kate Raworth
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Copenhagen was a unique opportunity to turn the world's course away from climate disaster, towards a safe future for all of us on this small planet. Massive global public mobilization demanded it. But leaders of the major powers negotiated for their national interests, instead of safeguarding our shared destiny.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In failing to tackle climate change with urgency, rich countries are effectively violating the human rights of millions of the world's poorest people. Continued excessive greenhouse-gas emissions primarily from industrialised nations are – with scientific certainty – creating floods, droughts, hurricanes, sea-level rise, and seasonal unpredictability. The result is failed harvests, disappearing islands, destroyed homes, water scarcity, and deepening health crises, which are undermining millions of peoples' rights to life, security, food, water, health, shelter, and culture. Such rights violations could never truly be remedied in courts of law. Human-rights principles must be put at the heart of international climate-change policy making now, in order to stop this irreversible damage to humanity's future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A destructive combination of earthquakes, floods, droughts and other hazards make South Asia is the world's most disaster-prone region. The effects are aggravated by climate change, unsuitable social and development policies, and environmental degradation. The effect is to slow or block development and keep millions trapped in poverty.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The year 2008 is halfway to the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Despite some progress, they will not be achieved if current trends continue. Aid promises are predicted to be missed by $30bn, at a potential cost of 5 million lives. Starting with the G8 meeting in Japan, rich countries must use a series of high-profile summits in 2008 to make sure the Goals are met, and to tackle both climate change and the current food crisis. Economic woes must not be used as excuses: rich countries' credibility is on the line.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current biofuel policies of rich countries are neither a solution to the climate crisis nor the oil crisis, and instead are contributing to a third: the food crisis. In poor countries, biofuels may offer some genuine development opportunities, but the potential economic, social, and environmental costs are severe, and decision makers should proceed with caution.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Author: Kate Raworth
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In every society, women and men have different roles inside and outside the household, and different resources to deliver them. In the rural communities of developing countries where Oxfam works, men's roles typically focus on earning cash, by growing food, trading, or selling their labour. But it is largely the role of women to provide the food, fuel, water, and care that the family needs (all for no pay), in addition to earning some cash. In such communities, women are likely to have: greater reliance on natural resources – like rivers, wells, reliable rainfall, and forests fewer physical resources – such as land, fertilizer or irrigation, and fewer assets (like machinery, or a bicycle) to use to make money, or to sell as a last resort fewer financial resources – little cash, savings or access to credit, and less access to markets that give a good price for their goods less powerful social resources – due to social and cultural norms that limit their mobility and their voice in decision-making, reinforce traditional roles, and put them at risk of violence fewer human resources – due to having less education, fewer opportunities for training, and less access to official information.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: People in Uganda, whose contribution to global warming has been minuscule, are feeling the impacts of climate change first and worst. On the one hand there is more erratic rainfall in the March to June rainy season, bringing drought and reductions in crop yields and plant varieties; on the other hand, the rainfall, especially in the later rains towards the end of the year, is reported as coming in downpours that are more intense and destructive, bringing floods, landslides, and soil erosion. Climate scientists say that, in the future, one of the most likely effects of climate change will be more rain, especially during the second rains from October to December.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is having a destructive impact on many groups around the world. Pastoralists in East Africa have been adapting to climate variability for millennia and their adaptability ought to enable them to cope with this growing challenge. This paper explains the policies required to enable sustainable and productive pastoralist communities to cope with the impact of climate change and generate sustainable livelihoods.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, East Africa