Seven Rio+20 briefing papers from IIED

News, 25 May 2012
The International Institute for Environment and Development has published seven briefing papers on topics that will feature in the Rio+20 summit and IIED’s Fair ideas conference, also in Rio, on 16-17 June.

(see Full programme/registration and press release for details of high-level speakers).

A three-point action plan for a fair, sustainable world

In this special edition briefing, IIED director Camilla Toulmin considers how action at Rio+20 and beyond can help deliver a fair, sustainable planet for the future. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Camilla Toulmin (camilla.toulmin@iied.org)

Payments for coastal and marine ecosystem services: prospects and principles

Coastal and marine resources provide millions of impoverished people across the global South with livelihoods, and provide the world with a range of critical ‘ecosystem services’, from biodiversity and culture to carbon storage and flood protection. Yet across the world, these resources are fast-diminishing under the weight of pollution, land clearance, coastal development, overfishing, natural disasters and climate change. Traditional approaches to halt the decline focus on regulating against destructive practices, but to little effect. A more successful strategy could be to establish payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, or incorporate an element of PES in existing regulatory mechanisms. Examples from across the world suggest that PES can work to protect both livelihoods and environments. But to succeed, these schemes must be underpinned by robust research, clear property rights, equitable benefit sharing and sustainable finance.Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Essam Mohammed (essam.mohammed@iied.org)

 

Energy equity: will the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative make a difference?

Establishing inclusive governance of food systems — where farmers and other citizens play an active role in designing and implementing food and agricultural policies — is not just a matter of equity or social justice. Evidence shows that it can also lead to more sustainable livelihoods and environments. And yet, across the world, food system governance is marked by exclusionary processes that favour the values and interests of more powerful corporations, investors, big farmers and large research institutes. How can we tip the balance and amplify the voice and influence of marginalised citizens in setting the food and agricultural policies that affect them? Research points to six tried and tested ways that, when combined, can empower citizens in the governance of food systems. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Emma Wilson (emma.wilson@iied.org)

 

Planning adaptation for food and farming: lessons from 40 years’ research

Local farmers and pastoralists in poor countries have long coped with droughts, floods and variable rainfall patterns. This first-hand experience is invaluable for those working on climate change adaptation policies, but how do we access it? IIED has 40 years’ experience working alongside vulnerable communities to help inform regional, national and global policies. Our research has shown that measures to increase climate change resilience must view food, energy, water and waste management systems as interconnected and mutually dependent. This holistic approach must also be applied to economic analysis on adaptation planning. Similarly, it is vital to use traditional knowledge and management skills, which can further support adaptation planning. Taking these lessons into account, we can then address the emerging policy challenges that we face. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Hannah Reid (hannah.reid@iied.org)

 

Paying for watershed services: an effective tool in the developing world?

Payments for watershed services (PWS) are an increasingly popular conservation and water management tool in developing countries. Some schemes are thriving, and are pro-poor. Others are stalling or have only mixed success. Most rely on public or donor finance; and other sources of funding are unlikely to play a significant role any time soon. In part, financing PWS schemes remains a challenge because the actual evidence for their effectiveness is still scanty — it is hard to prove that they actually work to benefit both livelihoods and environments. Getting more direct and concrete data on costs and benefits will be crucial to securing the long-term future of PWS schemes. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Maryanne Grieg-Gran (maryanne.grieg-gran@iied.org)

 

Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica: from Rio to Rio and beyond

Costa Rica has shown how a small developing country can grab the bull of environmental degradation by the horns, and reverse one of the highest deforestation rates in Latin America to become the poster child of environment success. Key to its achievement has been the country’s payments for environmental services (PES) programme, which began in 1997 and which many countries are now looking to learn from, especially as water markets and schemes to reward forest conservation and reduced deforestation (REDD+) grow. Within Costa Rica too, there is a need to first reflect on how the contexts for, and challenges facing, PES have changed; and continue building a robust programme that can ensure the coming decade is as successful as the past one. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Ina Porras (ina.porras@iied.org)

 

Putting citizens at the heart of food system governance

Establishing inclusive governance of food systems — where farmers and other citizens play an active role in designing and implementing food and agricultural policies — is not just a matter of equity or social justice. Evidence shows that it can also lead to more sustainable livelihoods and environments. And yet, across the world, food system governance is marked by exclusionary processes that favour the values and interests of more powerful corporations, investors, big farmers and large research institutes. How can we tip the balance and amplify the voice and influence of marginalised citizens in setting the food and agricultural policies that affect them? Research points to six tried and tested ways that, when combined, can empower citizens in the governance of food systems. Download the paper and, for interviews, contact Dr Michel Pimbert (michel.pimbert@iied.org)

Contact

Mike Shanahan
Press officer

International Institute for Environment and Development
80-86 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8NH, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Fax: +44 (0)20 3514 9055

Email: mike.shanahan@iied.org
www.iied.org

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see: www.iied.org).

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