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  • Author: Gilles Carbonnier
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Illicit financial flows significantly erode the tax base of resource-rich developing countries, which do not have the means to invest in public health, education, and sustainable development. In this column, the author presents the latest research findings and policy implications and discusses some of the most promising avenues to effectively curb illicit financial flows, strengthening the nexus between trade and tax governance.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Human Rights, Financial Crimes, Trade, Development Aid, Sustainability, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite a recent transparency law and participation in transparency initiatives, Cameroon’s investment environment remains plagued by poor transparency.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Law, Transparency, Land Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy memorandum analyses the extent to which climate change is integrated in the Uganda National Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year 2021/2022. This will inform policy and the final budgetary appropriations for climate change interventions in key National Development Plan III Programmes.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Budget
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea, Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: In this study, we investigate the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. We explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. We use the 2002 and 2012 census waves as well as historical information on the location of schools in the late 1940s, and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis. We find that exposure to an average of 1.7 years of free primary education has reduced the proportion of people who have never attended primary education by 6.8 percentage points. The benefits of fee removal have been significantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Education, Environment, Gender Issues, Colonialism, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the political economy of oil in Uganda since the announcement of its discovery in 2006. It focuses on the dynamics of oil revenue generation (pre-commercial production) and expenditure, investor-stakeholder contestation (i.e. between bureaucrats, investors/oil companies, and domestic stakeholders), and the role of public policy. Although the Government has created several institutional and regulatory frameworks to manage oil-related revenues and ensure that oil contributes to structural transformation, Uganda is already experiencing many of the stylized facts associated with natural resource exploitation, including macroeconomic instability, rent dissipation, and, more broadly, threats of adverse impact on the environment and on local livelihoods in the oil regions. Besides these, Uganda, and similarly endowed African countries, face the economic challenges related to the global shift in recent decades towards a low-carbon development paradigm and the threatening prospect of oil investments becoming ‘stranded assets’. The latter issues are not yet part of the policy conversation in Uganda.
  • Topic: Environment, Oil, Public Policy, Investment, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Pastoralism is the key to climate change adaptation in African drylands, but it is threatened by conflicts with farmers, regional insecurity and violent extremism. Stabilisation and development efforts should place pastoralism at the centre by strengthening pastoral livelihoods and should include herders as peacebuilding and development partners. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Strengthen pastoralist capacities to cope with risk and variability by boosting inclusive and equitable resource governance in new development programmes. ■ Include pastoralists as potential peace-builders in conflict resolution efforts. ■ Support dialogue between pastoralists and local and national governments in order to prevent the further marginalisation of vulnerable pastoralist groups.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Migration, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Investment, Peace, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lauren Honig, Amy Erica Smith, Jaimie Bleck
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Low-income countries of the Global South will be hardest hit as Earth’s climate changes, yet fear of climate change often fails to stimulate activism among their citizens. We foreground efficacy—a belief that one’s actions can create political change—as a critical link in transforming concern into action. However, that link is often missing for marginalized ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious groups. Prior case studies show the power of community institutions to mobilize and empower marginalized citizens, yet community institutions can also reinforce the perception that action is futile by conveying narratives of neglect and discrimination. Analyzing interviews, focus groups, and survey data from a case study of Kenya, we find that Muslims express much lower efficacy to address climate change than other religious groups; the gap cannot be explained by differences in science beliefs, issue concern, ethnicity, or demographics. Instead, we attribute it to socialized understandings of marginalization vis-à-vis the Kenyan state.
  • Topic: Environment, Religion, Institutions, Identity
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Timothy A. Wise
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was founded in 2006 with the goal of bringing high-yield agricultural practices to 30 million smallholder farming households. With the adoption of commercial seeds and inorganic fertilizer, AGRA set out to double crop productivity and incomes while halving food insecurity by 2020. As AGRA reaches its self-declared deadline for these ambitious goals, how well has AGRA done in increasing productivity, incomes, and food security? The organization has received roughly $1 billion in funding, two-thirds of it from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and disbursed more than $500 million in grants, mainly in 13 priority African countries. The Green Revolution technology campaign has been supported during this time by international programs far larger than AGRA and notably by national governments in Africa, which have spent roughly $1 billion per year on programs that subsidize the purchase of commercial seeds and fertilizers. There is little publicly available documentation of impacts, from AGRA, the Gates Foundation, or donor governments that have supported the initiative. This paper attempts to fill some of that accountability gap. Because AGRA declined to provide data from its own monitoring and evaluation, we use national-level data to assess progress in productivity, poverty reduction, and food security in AGRA’s 13 countries. We find little evidence of widespread progress on any of AGRA’s goals, which is striking given the high levels of government subsidies for technology adoption. There is no evidence AGRA is reaching a significant number of smallholder farmers. Productivity has increased just 29% over 12 years for maize, the most subsidized and supported crop. This falls well short of doubling yields, which would be a 100% increase. Overall staple crop yields have grown only 18% over 12 years. Meanwhile, undernourishment (as measured by the FAO) has increased 30% in AGRA countries. These poor indicators of performance suggest that AGRA and its funders should change course. We review more promising approaches African governments and donors should consider.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Neoliberalism, Green Technology, Private Sector, Charity
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Elaine (Lan Yin) Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: It has often been cited that major armed conflicts (>1,000 casualties) afflicted two-thirds (23) of the world’s recognized biodiversity hotspots between 1950 and 2000.1 In 2011, the International Law Commission (ILC) included in its long-term work program Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict.2 This led to the adoption of twenty-eight Draft Principles, including designation of protected zones where attacks against the environment are prohibited during armed conflict.3 Protected zone designations apply to places of major environmental and cultural importance, requiring that they “[...] shall be protected against any attack, as long as it does not contain a military objective.”4 Most research on armed conflict and protected areas has focused on impacts to wildlife and less on how to protect these natural habitats from the ravages of armed conflict.5 This article highlights some of the gaps in the ILC Draft Principles towards protecting protected zones in bello. It uses transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) formalized through multilateral agreements to illustrate challenges on the ground. TBPAs are internationally designated “[...] protected areas that are ecologically connected across one or more international boundaries [...]” and sometimes even established for their promotion of peace (i.e., Parks for Peace).6 There is little legal research on how to design TBPA agreements for conflict resilience, conflict sensitivity, and ultimately positive peace.7 The research draws from two case studies in Africa’s Great Rift Valley: the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, and the Kidepo Landscape, which forms part of the broader Landscapes for Peace initiative between South Sudan and Uganda. Both suffer from armed conflicts of various types and present two of the only TBPAs in the world that have incorporated environmental peacebuilding into their transboundary agreements.8 The case studies illustrate different approaches to TBPA design and the pros and cons of each modality in the context of conflict resilience and conflict sensitivity. This guides us on how to better protect protected areas in bello, ensuring that protected zones endure on the ground and not just in principle.
  • Topic: Environment, Culture, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Author: David Nielson
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Considering a Soil Initiative for Africa JANUARY 31, 2020 By: David Nielson In Sub-Saharan Africa, 65 percent of arable land suffers from soil degradation. The most extensive data on soils in Africa is grounded in soil mapping done in the 1950s and 1960s—60 to 70 years ago—which suggests that the problem could be even worse than currently known. This destruction is stifling agricultural productivity and income growth while prohibiting the soil from carrying out its climate control functions such as carbon sequestration and water filtration. This paper diagnoses the challenges faced by governments, international organizations and research institutions in mitigating and reversing the decline of soil quality in Africa. It highlights the dearth of human capital and resources that undermines these efforts and employs the lessons learned towards outlining a framework that is based on global partnership, stronger farmer engagement and robust investment. The paper argues for a new soil initiative that is organized around workstreams that prioritize establishing soil information systems, understanding the economic costs and consequences of soil degradation, and enhancing human and institutional capacity towards soil science. This multipronged approach will reinvigorate the fight against soil degradation and destruction both globally and on the African continent.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Government, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Diogo Andreola Serraglio
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Addressing human mobility in the context of land and forest degradation and desertification (LFDD) in global and national policy and legal frameworks remains essential for improved management of population movements related to slow onset processes.
  • Topic: Environment, Population, Mobility, Land, Forest
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Defne Günay
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: According to the International Panel on Climate Change, climate change will affect the rivers leading to the Mediterranean, desertification will increase, rise in sea level will affect coastal settlements, and crop productivity will decrease in the region. Therefore, climate change is an important issue for the Mediterranean region. The European Union (EU) is a frontrunner in climate change policy, committing itself to a decarbonized economy by 2050. The EU also promotes climate action in the world through its climate diplomacy. Such EU action in promoting the norm of climate action can be explained with reference to EU’s economic interests. In this paper, I analyse whether the EU serves its economic interests by promoting climate action in its neighbourhood policy towards Egypt. Based on documentary analysis, this paper argues that European companies benefitted from the market-based solutions adopted by the Kyoto Protocol in Egypt, exported renewable energy technologies to Egypt and face a level-playing field in terms of regulations promoted for them by the EU in Egypt.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, European Union, Regulation, Economy, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Author: Isma'il Kushkush, Mohamed Solman, Jérôme Tubiana
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: In 2018, the Sudanese Revolution gained prominence on social media and drew international attention to the movement taking place against Omar Al-Bashir’s 30 year dictatorship in the country. Widespread protests were sparked by drastic policies meant to prevent economic collapse such as the slashing of bread and fuel subsidies. Two years later, grievances remain as Sudan continues to face a multitude of issues including record breaking floods, poor governance, incoming Ethiopians and Eritreans fleeing conflict, and persistent militia violence. The Sudanese people have begun to lose patience with the Transitional Government’s inability to sufficiently reform the system and respond to crises. How has Sudan adapted to both environmental and political upheaval? What changes have occured since Omar Al-Bashir was ousted? How does Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok plan to move forward with the reconstruction of Sudan’s constitutional system, and how could the violence in Ethiopia and Eritrea affect that? In what ways, do we see Sudan’s relationship with foreign allies changing amidst this reconstruction? In this panel, the Middle East Institute (MEI) brings together experts to explore what the future of Sudan looks like, and what the revolution succeeded and failed to bring the people.
  • Topic: Environment, Politics, Social Media, Protests, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea
  • Author: Onesmus Mugyenyi, Anthony Mugeere, Anna Amumpiire Akandwanaho
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief argues for the conservation of the environment during and after the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time enhancing community resilience to climate change shocks. The brief proposes recommendations that need to be addressed by the Government of Uganda and all stakeholders in the Environment and Natural Resources sector in order to achieve sustainable development.
  • Topic: Environment, Conservation, Resilience, Community, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Alan Gelb, Anit Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions. Simply increasing energy prices will have adverse impact on poorer consumers, who may spend substantial budget shares on energy and energy-intensive products even though the rich typically appropriate more of the price subsidy. Equitable pricing reforms therefore need to be accompanied by programs to transfer compensation: depending on the situation, this can be targeted or universal. Successful reforms require measures to raise awareness-of the subsidies and the problems they cause, effective dissemination of the reform to the population, and rapid feedback loops to facilitate mid-course corrections. Digital technology, including for unique identification and payments, as well as general communications, can help build government capacity to undertake such reforms and respond to changes in fuel markets. The paper outlines the use of digital technology, drawing on four country cases. The technology is only a mechanism; it does not, in itself, create the political drive and constituency to push reform forward. However, it can be employed in a number of ways to increase the prospects for successful and sustainable reform.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Reform, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, India, Latin America
  • Author: Cameron S. G. Jefferies
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The high seas are a critical biodiversity reservoir and carbon sink. Unfortunately, the oceans, generally, and the high seas, in particular, do not feature prominently in international climate mitigation or climate adaptation efforts. There are, however, signals that ocean conservation is poised to occupy a more significant role in international climate law and policy going forward. This paper argues that improved conservation and sustainable use of high-seas living marine resources are essential developments at the convergence of climate action and ocean governance that should manifest, at least in part, as climate-informed high-seas marine protected areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Water, Maritime, Conservation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: I study the economic motivations behind a reduction in the discretionary power of environmental regulators, and the impact that such reduction has on perceived corruption in South Africa. I examine the transition from the Air Pollution Protection Act of 1965 to the Air Quality Act of 2005, a change from full to partial delegation of regulation. By constructing a principal-agent model, I argue that this transition might have occurred because of an increase in the dispersion of rent-seeking motivations of public agents. This happens because, from the principal’s perspective, the possible harm— loose pollution control and misappropriation of environmental fines— generated by corrupt agents is greater than the potential benefits brought by diligent agents. In my empirical analysis, I use diff-indiffs models for a two-period panel with 191 South African firms to show that the regulatory change decreased treated firms’ perceived corruption, but did not improve other institutional quality measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Regulation, Pollution
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Since the second half of the 20th century, with the contributions of Coase, Williamson and North, the economic literature has emphasised the role of institutions in explaining differences in economic performance. According to the most diffused view, countries with good institutions will invest more in physical and human capital, will use productive factors in a more efficient way, and will achieve greater income level. But what are good institutions? And how should governments implement them? Answers to these questions have proven to be difficult mainly because of two characteristics of institutions: (i) institutional functioning is complex: the way institutions affect economic agents’ incentives is dependent on these agents’ individual preferences and the way they interact, which are difficult to predict; and (ii) they are context specific – the same institution in different contexts might result in a different economic outcome.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Regulation, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Samson Itodo
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the demise of its military dictatorship in the late 1990s, Nigeria has made remarkable democratic progress. Still, widespread corruption bedevils the country—which in many respects presents its biggest policy challenge and its biggest threat to stability and development. Drawing on a workshop held in Abuja as well as on in-depth interviews with civil society leaders and others, this report analyzes the undercelebrated but unique contributions of an emerging movement for transparency and accountability, the scope of international funding and training, and how this support affects the effectiveness of civil society efforts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Environment, Governance, Social Movement, Democracy, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: William Dick, Andrea Stoppa
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Burkina Faso has made important progress in finding appropriate solutions for agricultural risk management. In recent years significant experience has been gathered, and the growing interest in agricultural insurance is encouraging the various actors to develop new initiatives. This report argues that key stakeholders should now agree on strategic decisions and pursue a coordinated and comprehensive approach.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa, Burkina Faso
  • 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: Robert Fuller, Alexia Pretari
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Resilience, Food Security and Nutrition Project (Projet de Resilience, Securite Alimentaire et Nutritionnelle, PRSAN) was carried out in the North and Centre-North regions of Burkina Faso between 2013 and 2017 by Oxfam and Christian Aid, together with two implementing partners, the Alliance Technique d’Assistance au Developpement (ATAD) and the Office de Developpement des Eglises Evangeliques (ODE). The project was aimed at enabling particularly vulnerable households to increase their resilience and improve their food security and nutritional situation. Project activities included supporting households in crop production, market gardening, processing and household businesses, providing awareness-raising on good nutritional practices, carrying out community-level disaster assessments and establishing early-warning committees, and distributing livestock and cash transfers. The Effectiveness Review was aimed at evaluating the success of this project in enabling participants to build their resilience to shocks, stresses and uncertainty. This report is part of Oxfam’s Effectiveness Review Series.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Gender Issues, Farming
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Robert Fuller, Jonathan Lain
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The ‘Citizen Participation in Adaptation to Climate Change’ (CPACC) project aimed to build the resilience of farming households to climate shocks, through promoting conservation farming techniques and livelihood diversification, and through supporting disaster-planning activities and early-warning systems at the community level. This Effectiveness Review used a quasi-experimental approach to assess the impact of the project among households whose members directly participated in the project activities, in one of the three districts where the project was carried out. The results provide evidence that the project had a positive effect on the resilience of participant households, particularly through the community-level disaster preparedness activities. There is also evidence that the project had a positive impact on the adoption of conservation farming techniques, on the area of land cultivated, and on yields. However, the project does not appear to have had the positive effects it sought on engagement in non-agricultural income-generating activities, nor on participation in savings groups. There is no indication that the project had had a positive impact on households’ overall material welfare by the time of the survey.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zambia
  • Author: Rob Mills, Ashni Shah
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions, communities face extended periods of drought and climate volatility. In this context, NGOs, donors and private sector actors are exploring how they can help vulnerable populations to prepare and build resilience. The use of solar-powered water pumps is one approach through which partners are building this resilience. This report is a concept-stage exploration of optimal funding mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of solar-powered water pumps in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya. It also looks at accompanying management systems to ensure financial viability, inclusion and accountability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Water, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Lucile Maertens, Malkit Shoshan
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, triggered by the UN mission there, killed more than 9,000 people and affected nearly 807,000. This disastrous case drew attention to the negative effect UN peace operations can have on the surrounding communities and environment—something peacekeepers had started paying attention to with the deployment of new large-scale operations in the 2000s. As operations have grown in size, so too has the size of their environmental footprint. This report looks at the environmental impact of peace operations and how the UN has responded, including through policies and guidelines, dedicated staff, and training material. In particular, it assesses the challenges the Department of Field Support faces in implementing its Environment Strategy. Based on this assessment, which includes a detailed examination of the UN mission in Mali, the report puts forward a series of short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations. It concludes that a UN presence should not be a source of stress but should improve local environmental sustainability and build resilience.
  • Topic: Environment, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Global Focus
  • Author: Meagan Torello, Rafael Leal-Arcas, Caitlin Werrell, Francesco Femia, Carmel Davis, Ziad Al Achkar, Ang Zhao, Buddhika Jayamaha, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, William Reno, Molly Jahn, Therese Adam, Peter J. Schraeder, Juan Macias-Amoretti, Karim Bejjit
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the first issue of our 20th volume, the cooperative and conflictual nature of climate change in international relations is explored. Rafael Leal-Arcas analyzes the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between bottom-up and top-down negotiations to implement clean energy consumption. Following, Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia begin this issue's dialogue on climate change and security. Carmel Davis discusses the effects of climate change on Sub-Saharan Africa's ability to develop and subsequently mitigate conflict. Similarly, Ziad Al Achkar outlines the economic, environmental, and security threats in the Arctic as its ice continues to melt. Zhao Ang then discusses China's ability and incentives to pursuing a greener economy. Following, Buddikha Jayamaha, Jahara Matisek, William Reno, and Molly Jahn discuss the security and development of climate change implications in the Sahel region. The main portion of this issue proudly concludes with the Journal's interview with former Swiss Ambassador Therese Adam on climate change negotiations and the great potential for civil society engagement. Following the climate change portion of this issue, we feature a special sup-topic: Africa Rising. Here, Peter Schraeder discusses the effects of President Donald Trump's foreign policy in Africa. Juan Macías-Amoretti analyzes the role of Islam in Moroccan politics, while Karim Bejjit concludes with a discussion on Morocco's growing relationship with the AU.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, Islam, Regional Cooperation, Conflict, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, North Africa, Switzerland, Morocco, Sahel, Global Focus
  • Author: Ralph Bresler
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: My wife Barbara and I, and our children, were fortunate to work closely with Dr. Jane Goodall during our 1987-1991 tour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 1989 Goodall called on Secretary of State James Baker in order to enlist him in her new cause of trying to save chimpanzees in the wild. After discussing her many years of groundbreaking chimpanzee research in Gombe, Tanzania, Goodall explained that, in addition to destruction of habitat, a major problem was the bushmeat trade. She noted that ten adult chimps were killed in the wild protecting every infant captured, and only one out of ten infant chimps survived the journey to the marketplace after being taken from their mothers. Secretary Baker offered the Department’s assistance to her effort. As the largest chimpanzee population was in the DRC, Kinshasa was her first stop in this new endeavor.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Environment, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Thomas F Daughton
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Just 27 years old, the Republic of Namibia is among Africa’s youngest countries, but one that stands out on the continent for its functioning multiparty democracy, open market economy and history of peaceful transitions of presidential power. The reasons for Namibia’s success lie in the international process that created it and in the pragmatism of its people. That international process and the United States’ involvement in it have also complicated the U.S.-Namibia relationship in the last three decades. But the United States has long recognized that an investment in the success of a country like Namibia is a strategic long-term investment in our own security. With that in mind, the United States has invested heavily since Namibian independence in 1990 to help ensure that the young country succeeds. In many respects, Namibia is a country of extremes. It is both the driest African country south of the Sahara and, with an area twice the size of California’s and a population of just 2.4 million, the world’s second-least densely populated nation. Namibia is home to the desolate Skeleton Coast, to one of the world’s driest deserts and to the world’s oldest sand dunes, but also to lush, flood-prone forestland lying along some of Africa’s great rivers. Namibia is a major source of diamonds and uranium, but has one of the highest income inequality rates in the world. And Namibia’s people are a multiethnic, multiracial mix that encompasses everything from descendants of German colonists to the San, the world’s most ancient human population. Namibia’s colonial experience featured similar extremes. After one of the First World War’s early military campaigns ended 30 years of German colonial rule in 1915, the League of Nations placed the former German South West Africa under the mandate of the Union of South Africa. The successor Republic of South Africa later refused to surrender that mandate, instead imposing the full oppression of apartheid and seeking to incorporate South West Africa into its territory. The South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO), a Marxist liberation movement formed in 1960, carried on an insurgency against the apartheid regime for three decades as the United States and other Western nations sought a negotiated route to independence. In 1978 the United States co-sponsored United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 to establish a framework for Namibian independence, but an eight-year mediation begun by the Reagan administration in 1981 linked independence to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. That linkage is still viewed by many Namibians as having delayed their country’s independence for a decade. Thirty years later, the United States continues to confront perceptions that Namibia would have achieved independence years earlier if not for Cold War concerns in the West about Communist influence and support to SWAPO from the old Eastern Bloc. Namibian independence in 1990 was the culmination of a unique negotiation and self-determination process administered by the United Nations pursuant to UNSCR 435. Nearly 25 years later, I presented my credentials as the tenth U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia, just two days before general elections that would sweep the country’s third president, Dr. Hage Geingob, into office with 87 percent of the popular vote. No stranger to government, Dr. Geingob chaired the assembly that drafted the Namibian constitution in 1989 and served as the country’s first prime minister. Harkening back to the international effort that created what Namibia is today, President Geingob likes to say that his country is “a child of international solidarity, midwifed by the United Nations.” At independence, the SWAPO liberation movement became the popular political party that has ruled Namibia continuously since 1990. While the restyled Swapo Party put aside most of its Marxist principles when faced with the reality of governing, Namibia’s foreign policy has remained strongly shaped by gratitude to its erstwhile allies and adherence to its non-aligned, liberation-era ideals. At the same time, however, Namibia’s approach to its foreign development partners has generally been marked by pragmatism and a desire to be, as the country’s current president puts it, “friend to all and enemy to none.” The United States has sought since Namibia’s founding to support the new country in its building of a modern, democratic state. Even before the Namibian flag was raised for the first time, the United States offered major assistance in removing the explosive remnants of war—an intense effort that required more than a decade to complete. The Peace Corps answered a plea for help from Namibia’s new leaders in 1990 by sending a cadre of educa­tion volunteers. In the quarter-century since, Peace Corps has maintained and ex­panded its presence in Namibia. More than 1,600 volunteers have served in the country since 1991, offering their skills in education, health and community economic development. The Peace Corps was not the only U.S. government agency that lent a hand with education. A decision at independence by Namibia’s new leaders to make English the national language prompted a 15-year, USAID-administered assistance program to convert the national education system from Afrikaans, train the country’s teachers to instruct in English and improve school infrastructure. Namibians say theirs was the first country in the world to enshrine environmental pro­tection in its constitution. Support provided by the United States through USAID in the 1990s helped establish Namibia’s internationally renowned, community-based conserva­tion system. The country has a larger wildlife population now than at any time in the past century and is home to nearly half of the world’s remaining black rhinos and most of the world’s cheetahs. The Namibian conservation model built together with USAID created 82 registered communal conservancies that allow local communities to benefit from the sus­tainable use of wildlife through tourism and sport hunting. In 2013, the conservancies generated about $7 million in direct revenue and in-kind benefits. The success of the model has created a powerful incentive for those living within conservancies to protect wildlife and manage natural resources responsibly. Indeed, the conservancies are largely responsible for the rebound in Namibia’s elephant population from 7,500 in 1995 to more than 20,000 in 2016. In 2007, Namibia qualified for an assistance compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Negotiations on the details of the compact took more than 18 months, but ultimately produced a blueprint for spending $305 million on an array of infrastructure and other development projects focused on education, tourism and agricul­ture. The five-year compact, which ended in 2014 having met or exceeded all of its targets, was regarded by both the Namibians and the MCC as a signal success. As it was under­way, Namibia also achieved upper-middle income (UMI) status according to the World Bank—one of the indirect effects the MCC compact was intended to achieve. Ironically, that success meant the country was not eligible for another compact. The crown jewel of U.S. government assistance to Namibia remains our support in fighting HIV/AIDS. When the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, better known as PEPFAR, began working with the Namibian government in 2004, the country had one of the highest HIV burdens in the world. More than 23 percent of the population was infected, and more than 15,000 Namibians were getting infected with HIV each year. More than 30 percent of babies born to HIV-positive mothers were infected with the virus, and nearly 10,000 Namibians were dying from AIDS every year—out of a population of just 2 million. Our success in working with the Namibian government to fight HIV/AIDS has been nothing short of remarkable. Last year, fewer than 8,000 Namibians were newly infected with HIV, less than 5 percent of babies born to HIV-positive mothers became infected and fewer than 3,200 patients died from HIV/AIDS. Currently, more than 70 percent of Namibians have been tested for HIV and know their status. Free antiretroviral treatment is widely available across the country; 67 percent of infected adults and 90 percent of infected children are on it. Most striking, an estimated 100,000 Namibian lives—nearly 5 percent of the country’s total population—have been saved. The United States has played an integral role in these achievements, and it has required a major investment. Of the more than $1.1 billion in foreign assistance the U.S. gov­ernment has invested in Namibia since 2006, the majority has been dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. But our investment has been dwarfed by the Namibian govern­ment’s own contribution to the fight. Namibia’s government directly funds two-thirds of the national HIV response, demonstrating to the world its leadership and commit­ment to its citizens. Our shared success in fighting HIV/AIDS has not come easily. Widely scattered populations, distances between health facilities, shortages of skilled health care providers, limited infrastructure and difficult terrain contribute to the reality that not all Namibians have access to the same health services. To meet the challenge, our work through PEPFAR in Namibia has required innovation and flexibility. It has also necessitated a model of government-to-government cooperation in which U.S. resources have supplemented and expanded upon the Namibian government’s efforts rather than leading them. Our support has helped move Namibia within realistic reach of achieving the UNAIDS 90/90/90 targets* for HIV epidemic control by 2020. This means Namibia has the potential to be among the first high-burden countries in Africa to reach the targets and, if the epidemiolo­gists are right, to achieve an AIDS-free generation. As the size of Namibia’s younger population increases, so do their demands for education, social services and jobs. The country’s UMI status means that international development assistance once aimed at bolstering Namibia’s young democracy is now going to countries in greater need. And as Namibia’s liberation-heroes-turned-graying-politicians seek to respond to the demands of the younger population, they also face the inevitable reality of transition to a post-liberation-era generation of leaders. Navigating that transition is the most significant political challenge the country will face in the next decade. Cognizant of their legacy and committed to an enduring democracy, Namibia’s leaders are working to ensure that their country maintains its standing as a haven of peace and stability. It remains in the national interest of the United States to help them—and Namibia—succeed.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Environment, Post Colonialism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, North America, Namibia, Sahara
  • Author: Aristides Baloi, John Colvin, Mutizwa Mukute
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: ACCRA, which began implementing its programme in Mozambique, Uganda and Ethiopia in 2009, works with national and local governments and civil society groups in the countries where its programmes are implemented to tackle complex climate change issues and work towards increasing community adaptive capacities, transforming governance systems and achieving climate justice. This evaluation of phase 2 of the programme used a participatory, reflexive and theory-informed methodology to assess the extent to which the programme objectives were met. Also available are case studies on Mozambique and Uganda; see downloads on this page.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia
  • Author: Tess Dico-Young, Ankets Petros, Bethel Terefe
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Despite impressive economic growth recorded in Ethiopia over the past decade, chronic food insecurity affects many. The country’s subsistence crop and livestock agriculture is vulnerable to climate change and rainfall variability. The Ethiopian Somali region is one of the regions worst affected. A shortage of rainfall in the region over the past three consecutive years has resulted in huge losses of livestock and internal displacement of people. Although the drought affects everyone, men and women experience the impacts of the drought differently. The objective of this gender analysis is to understand the different impacts of the drought on men, women, girls, and boys, and their different coping mechanisms and potentials, in order to design and deliver humanitarian interventions responsive to their different needs. The study was conducted in Somali region, in six kebeles (wards/towns) of six woredas (districts) in the Jarrar, Doolo, and Afder zones.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Gender Issues, Displacement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Precious Chukwuemelie Akanonu
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)
  • Abstract: Carbon pricing has been recognized not only as the most efficient economic policy instruments to internalize the social cost of emissions, but also as a major tool to generate public revenues that can be used to offset the potential adverse distributional effects of climate policy. However, in many developing countries, there is a widespread reluctance to commit to climate policy, largely due to financial constraints, a lack of public support, and concern over its regressive effects.This paper makes recommendations towards the design of an effective carbon pricing system that not only discourages air pollution but also encourages the gradual uptake of climate-friendly technologies by the private sector in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, while supporting public investment in sustainable infrastructures and projects that offset the distributional effect of the climate policy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Finance, Climate Finance, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Melissa Rary
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: With effects of climate change becoming more prominent, it is important to examine what climate change will mean in terms of human rights and the impact on the most vulnerable populations. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasizes “increasing frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea-levels, floods, heat waves, droughts, desertification, water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases” as a few of the many adverse effects resulting from climate change. Moreover, these issues threaten the enjoyment of the most basic rights including right to life, water, food, sanitation, among many others. Ethiopia, a country with over 80% of its population living in multidimensional poverty, is no beginner when it comes to dealing with famines. The Ethiopian Civil war began with a coup d’etat in 1973, which was largely a result of unrest after Emperor Haile Selassie refused to respond to the 1972 famine. In 1984, Ethiopia suffered a worse, more publicized famine, which is said to have killed over a million people. International initiatives were able to secure international aid, but political instability into 1991 led to lower rates of development as compared to its other Sub-Saharan neighbors. In the midst violence, a large sector of the Ethiopian population was lost, and the Ethiopian economy collapsed as a result of the government’s resistance to welcome international aid in rebel-controlled areas. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was established in 1991 and was followed by a shift in Ethiopia’s resistance to international aid, ultimately jumpstarting the upwards trend of development.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Bart Hilhorst
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: Ongoing expansions of hydro-infrastructure in the Nile basin, combined with infrastructure completed in the past decade, are increasing the capacity to regulate the Nile as well as the benefits accrued to the Nile waters. No longer reliant on funding from the World Bank and Western donors alone, Nile water development is accelerating in a number of upstream riparian states. Hence, the river Nile upstream of the Aswan High Dam is gradually being transformed from a natural to a regulated river. Hydro-infrastructure projects represent a strong driver for issue-based cooperation among the most affected riparians, but it is noted that the basin- wide perspective is not considered in these ad hoc arrangements. This paper describes the emerging cooperative regime in the Nile basin and analyzes its effectiveness. It presents an inventory of where cooperation among Nile riparians is needed, and discusses the required level of cooperation. It looks at the benefits of cooperation that are not related to a specific geographic area. The paper then identifies four distinct sub-basins that have substantial autonomy in managing their water resources. It concludes that the emerging cooperative setup is logical and for now quite effective, and does not lock in arrangements that may prove inconsistent—at a later point in time—with the overall objective of reasonable and equitable use of the Nile waters by each riparian state. Hence, the emerging cooperative regime arguably represents a positive step in the evolution from a basin without cooperation to a basin managed to optimize the use of the Nile waters for the benefit of its people.
  • Topic: Environment, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: David Hunter
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the current state of global environmental governance with an eye toward highlighting the challenges that are presented by the scale and speed of environmental change that we are now witnessing. The scale of anthropogenic environmental change has led to what many now dub the Anthropocene - reflecting that humanity is changing our natural planetary systems in ways that have fundamental implications on a geologic scale. It also harkens in an era when humanity will be called on to consciously manage on a planetary level massive environmental change and the economic and social impacts that arise from this change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America