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Resilience
Resilience relating to socio-economics, poverty, hunger, food security, nutrition, agriculture and similar areas
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Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security: IFPRI 2020 Conference | IFPRI

Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security: IFPRI 2020 Conference | IFPRI | Resilience | Scoop.it

Poor countries and vulnerable people are being hit by a barrage of economic, environmental, and political shocks, and these shocks are becoming more frequent and intense. There is a general understanding that building resilience means helping individuals, households, communities, and countries prepare for, cope with, and recover from such shocks. However, there is far less understanding about resilience within the context of food and nutrition security.

 

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and its 2020 Vision Initiative, along with partners, are organizing an international conference on “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security” to be held on May 15-17, 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The global conference is the centerpiece of a two-year global consultative process. 

 

The ultimate objective of this consultation process is to inform, influence, and catalyze action by key actors—policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, educators, and researchers—to incorporate resilience into the post-2015 agenda and improve policies, investments, and institutions to strengthen resilience so that food and nutrition security can be achieved for all.

 

During the conference, specialists from the resilience and vulnerability communities as well as leading experts and practitioners from food and nutrition security, agriculture, humanitarian, and related development sectors will come together to assess emerging shocks that threaten food and nutrition security, identify approaches and tools for building resilience, set priorities for action by different actors and in different regions, and identify knowledge and action gaps.

 

The conference will feature a range of exciting plenary, parallel, and side sessions, as well as an interactive Knowledge Fair that will showcase the latest research and on-the-ground initiatives on resilience for food and nutrition security.

 

Participation in this conference is by invitation. There is no registration fee. To submit an expression of interest in participating in the conference, please sign up here http://www.2020resilience.ifpri.info/2020-conference/conference-participation/

 

To sign up for web updates, please subscribe to the RSS feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/ifpri-2020resilience
or email alerts http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=ifpri-2020resilience

 

Please email any questions or comments to
IFPRI-2020Resilience@cgiar.org
 

http://www.2020resilience.ifpri.info

 

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FAO partners with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to improve food security and resilience | FAO

FAO partners with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to improve food security and resilience | FAO | Resilience | Scoop.it
Organizations agree on a three-year action plan to improve the food security and resilience of vulnerable communities facing threats and disasters. 

FAO has signed a new partnership agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),the world's largest humanitarian network, to help improve food security and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities... 


FAO will provide technical guidance to complement IFRC's extensive network of 13 million volunteers - who in turn reach some 150 million people - to assist poor households cope with threats and disasters that impact agriculture, food security and nutrition... 

The partnership with IFRC was an important step towards addressing world hunger with greater coordination, focusing both on its root causes and on building more resilient communities... 


IFRC Secretary-General Bekele Geleta said... "In addressing food insecurity, it is not sufficient to tackle the aspects of food production and access alone: we need to recognize collectively that we must change the way we work and the way we invest to address the underlying issues of vulnerability such as poverty and extreme weather events" ... 

 

FAO and IFRC have drawn up a three-year action plan that includes activities to address climate change and combat land degradation, including tree planting and sustainable water management, and to reduce food losses and waste.

Focus countries and regions such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa will be identified for the joint activities, with particular attention to marginalized groups such as smallholder food producers, women, young people and the elderly whose livelihoods depend on natural resources.

 

The action plan also includes initiatives that will help both organizations speak with one voice to advocate with decision-makers to ensure the eradication of hunger and malnutrition is top of the global agenda... 

 

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/202849/icode/

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Better Risk Management Can Unlock Opportunities, Prevent Crises, and Protect Poor amidst Disasters and Shocks | World Bank

In the face of social unrest, economic crises, and more frequent natural disasters, preparation and recovery efforts by governments, communities, and individuals have become increasingly essential. Effective risk management can provide both resilience to withstand adverse events and the ability to take advantage of development opportunities. It is, therefore, a critical ingredient in the fight to end poverty... 

 

Adverse shocks – above all health, weather shocks, and economic crises – play a major role in pushing households below the poverty line and keeping them there... managing risks responsibly and effectively can save lives, avert economic damages, prevent development setbacks, and unleash opportunities. Risk management can be a powerful instrument for development, bringing security and the means of progress to people in developing countries and beyond... 

 

Rather than rejecting change in order to avoid risk, people and institutions need to prepare for the opportunities and risks that accompany change... proactive, systematic, and integrated risk management efforts are needed more than ever. 

 

“We’re advocating a sea change in the way risk is managed,” says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Our new approach calls for individuals and institutions to shift from being ‘crisis fighters’ to proactive and systematic risk managers. Doing so will help build resilience, protect hard-won development gains, and move us closer to achieving the World Bank Group’s goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.” ... 

 

The benefits from preparing for risk can significantly outweigh the costs. For example, mineral supplements designed to reduce malnutrition may yield benefits 15 times greater than the costs... Preparation induces people to be less risk averse. For instance, having access to rainfall insurance can induce farmers to invest in fertilizer, seeds, and other inputs, instead of simply stashing money in a mattress as a cushion for when the next dry spell comes.

 

Some risks have fallen dramatically in recent years. Life expectancy, for example, has risen thanks to expanded immunization, better safety nets, and improved forecasting of cyclones, tsunamis, and quakes. Moreover, most developing countries undertook reforms over the last decade that helped them build greater resilience to swings in global capital flows. This improved resilience helped countries maintain growth and poverty reduction during the recent global financial crisis... 

 

Human decision-making falters most where risk is involved – for this reason, risk creates special challenges for development policy. As globalized nations contend with fluctuations between good and bad outcomes, there is at times a propensity to shy away from development and globalization, when in fact doing so is to opt for the bad outcome in perpetuity.” ... 

 

Because most individuals remain ill-equipped to confront many shocks, they must depend on shared action and responsibility at different levels of society. Households provide support, pool resources, protect members, and invest in their future. Communities provide informal networks of insurance and pool resources to confront common risks. Enterprises provide employment and income, and foster innovation and productivity. The financial system offers risk management tools such as savings, insurance and credit. The state manages large systemic risks, provides an enabling environment, and supports the vulnerable. And the international community offers expertise, facilitates policy coordination, and pools global resources.

 

As WDR Director Norman Loayza points out, “Although people’s own efforts, initiative, and responsibility are essential to manage risk, their success –in terms of resilience and prosperity – will be limited without a supportive environment.”

 

Effective risk management consists of combining the capacity to prepare for risk with the ability to cope afterwards, while pitting the upfront cost of preparation against the probable benefit, according to the report. A strong risk management strategy consists of four components: knowledge, protection, insurance, and coping... 

 

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/10/06/better-risk-management-unlock-opportunities-prevent-crises-protect-poor-amidst-disasters-shocks

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Vulnerability and Poverty: Can we actually measure resilience? | IDS

Resilience as a new paradigm: There is little doubt that resilience is now part of the post 2015 development discourse. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) but also the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC), the European Union, the World Food Programmes (WFP) or even the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are some of the many bi- and multi-lateral agencies which have recently embraced the resilience agenda. In parallel – or perhaps slightly pre-empting this general move –, a growing number of non-governmental organizations... have also adopted resilience as one of their new programmatic pillars. In these conditions no wonder that resilience will be one of the key topics put forward in both the 2014 World Development Report and the 2014 Human Development Report. 

 

Yet we are still not sure what resilience is exactly: Some would probably see the fact that resilience is becoming the new development paradigm as a possible paradox, in the sense that no one (so far) has actually managed to propose a definition that enjoys a general consensus.  How can a concept become a paradigm while it is still not properly defined? ...

 

Poverty or even vulnerability are certainly two other examples for which many different and sometimes conflicting definitions exist in the literature. This did not prevent them from becoming central elements in the past and recent development discourse. There are however at least two major difference between the case of poverty as a driving paradigm for development, and that of resilience.


First: poverty is something we try to avoid, or to reduce... Second: poverty has (at least in the past) benefited from some degree of consensus around the way it can be measured/monitored. Even if the concept of income poverty and its Foster-Greer-Thorbecke metric have been continuously criticized for being too simplistic and mono-dimensional, some would certainly argue that this mono-dimensional nature is actually a strength when it comes to measure poverty... 

 

An urgent need to be able to monitor resilience: For resilience, however, such mono-dimensional indicator does not exist, or at least not yet. The question which one may then ask is: are we likely to see emerging in the near future an ‘universal’ indicator of resilience?  If we let our pragmatism lead the reasoning, this eventuality might not be such a bad idea. Since so many agencies and NGOs are now claiming that the objective of their development programmes and interventions is to ‘strengthen the resilience of the poor and vulnerable’, it will soon become urgent to make these agencies and NGOs accountable for the money they are spending and more importantly for the ‘experiments’ they are implementing on households and communities in the name of resilience... 

 

There is therefore a need to agree on some form of resilience measurement or indicators, and this is with no doubt one of the reasons the FAO and the WFP recently set up a ‘Resilience Measurement Technical Working Group’ under the Food Security Information Network (FSIN). : In their introductory declaration the Working Group note: “Given the relatively recent emergence of the concept of resilience within the wider development community, there is an understandable scarcity of robust, verifiable evidence of the impact of programmes seeking to build resilience”...  

 

This need to identify the ways of measuring resilience is also the motivation of a recent working paper “Towardsa quantifiable measure of resilience” published by IDS. The main objective of the paper is to propose a new framework that addresses some of the concerns and limitations of resilience measurement as identified in that literature. In doing so it also identifies a series of key-principles which, the paper argues, are critical to build an appropriate measure of resilience. These key-principles are:

- Multi-scale... 

- Multi-dimension...

- Objective and subjective... 

- Generic... 

- Independently built...

 

The objective of the paper is twofold. First it illustrates and discusses some of the challenges related to the measurement of resilience by reviewing some of the most recently published and grey literature on resilience in relation to food security. Second it proposes a new framework that addresses some of the concerns and limitations of resilience measurement identified in that literature. 

 

The main postulate of this framework is that the ‘costs of resilience’ (that is, the different ex-ante and ex-post investments, losses, sacrifices, and costs that people have to undertake at individual and collective levels to ‘go through’ a shock or an adverse event) provide an appropriate  and independent metric to measure resilience across scales and dimensions... 

 

http://vulnerabilityandpoverty.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/can-we-actually-measure-resilience.html

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Sudan: Strengthening the Resilience of Communities | IPI

Sudan: Strengthening the Resilience of Communities | IPI | Resilience | Scoop.it

On October 10th, IPI will host a discussion with H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Minister of Interior of the Republic of the Sudan, and Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan, that will explore ways to strengthen the resilience of communities in Sudan and deliver a more efficient and sustainable humanitarian response. 

 

http://www.ipinst.org/news/general-announcement/407-sudan-strengthening-the-resilience-of-communities.html

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Mali: A practical approach to resilience | OCHA

Mali: A practical approach to resilience | OCHA | Resilience | Scoop.it

In 2009, the town of Cinzana was perpetually on the brink of food insecurity. Communities were highly vulnerable to weather fluctuations, and farming was disorganized and disjointed, with people struggling to produce enough food to meet their day-to-day needs. But four years on, Cinzana has become a food aid provider, with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP). The project, part of WFP’s global ‘Purchase for Progress’ programme, seeks to tackle the root causes of vulnerability and help communities break cycles of poverty and disaster. 

 

Aid workers have provided farmers with information about changing weather patterns along with guidance on how they can adapt their farming methods to cope with these changes. The programme has established a market for food that is grown in the town, with WFP purchasing its global emergency food directly from local farmers and farming cooperatives.

 

Dr. Soaïbou Toure is the President of a local farmer’s cooperative. "We regularly follow the weather information. This allows us to know what to plant and when. We adapt our seed varieties based on forecasts. We are proud that our products are used to assist vulnerable people in other places.”

 

WFP has helped farmers in Cinzana to establish and manage their own cooperatives. Before the programme began, Cinzana residents often depended on food aid. But in 2009, the town’s seven cooperatives produced a grain surplus of 150 tons – enough for them to sell on the global market. By 2012, a total of 18 cooperatives had been formed, with the annual surplus ballooning to 400 tons.

 

"One of the achievements of the programme is the organization of producers," says Youssouf Coulibaly, head of an agricultural cooperative in Cinzana. "They plan sales without falling into food insecurity... the producers are now setting the sale price, not the merchants." 

 

Mariama Dembele, a 63 year-old widow from Sanogola village on the outskirts of Cinzana, agrees. "The purchase of our products by WFP through the cooperatives has changed many things in my life"... In the past, Mrs. Dembele, would sell her grain on a daily basis. "When I needed money, I sold some grain or borrowed money from richer people. But now I can plan my spending," she says. "We put aside the family stock and sell the surplus. This earns me cash and even allows me to save money." 

 

OCHA, in collaboration with humanitarian partners like WFP, is working to build the resilience of communities across the Sahel.

In Mali, more than 3.5 million people are currently affected by food insecurity with more than 1.4 million in need of immediate food assistance. The WFP programme in Cinzana is an shows how aid can help to strengthen the resilience of a community, and help people to break the cycle of vulnerability.

 

http://unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/mali-practical-approach-resilience

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With Another Crisis Looming, Can the UN Finally Deliver for the Sahel? | Refugees International

With Another Crisis Looming, Can the UN Finally Deliver for the Sahel? | Refugees International | Resilience | Scoop.it

Despite forecasts indicating a good harvest this fall, millions of vulnerable people across West Africa’s Sahel region will not have enough food to eat again this year. Many are still reeling from 2011-12, when poor rains and high food prices left 18 million people without sufficient food and a million children at risk of starvation...

 

While more money is needed from donor governments to mitigate disaster risk, this assistance must also be better integrated, coordinated, and targeted. With donors like the U.S. and EU now rolling out large aid programs aimed at increasing the “resilience” of Sahelian populations to recurrent droughts, floods, and other shocks, the GFDRR/ODI report should be required reading.

 

Tomorrow in New York, the UN will hold a high-level debate on the Sahel as part of the 68th Session of the General Assembly. It is anticipated that the discussion will center on the UN’s Integrated Strategy on the Sahel, adopted by the Security Council last July. In addition to improving governance and regional capacity to address security threats, the Strategy seeks to integrate development and humanitarian interventions to help build resilience.

 

It all sounds promising, but the devil will be in the details. How these various donor and UN resilience programs will be coordinated, whether they will have national government buy-in, and whether they will even be effective given the increasing counter-pressures of climate change and rapid population growth all remains to be seen. As Sahelians silently suffer, let’s hope that much ado over resilience will result in speedy, significant progress on the ground.


http://refugeesinternational.org/blog/another-crisis-looming-can-un-finally-deliver-sahel

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A Glimpse of CIF in Action in Rural Niger | Climate Investment Funds

A Glimpse of CIF in Action in Rural Niger | Climate Investment Funds | Resilience | Scoop.it

Niger’s Community Action Project for Climate Resilience, part of its $110 million investment plan under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), is up and running, and we toured some of the first community-led micro-projects to be implemented under the initiative. 

 

Farmers in the Loga commune say diminishing rainfall over the last few years has made life difficult. Their micro-project has introduced drought-resistant millet seeds to the area, and farmers in four villages have planted over 200 hectares (ha). The crop cycle has dropped from 120 to 90 days, and less time growing in the field means less time being exposed to possible drought conditions. Yields are expected to increase from 440 to 650 kg/ha (88 to 130 tons for all 200 ha). Hope is running high as expansion into neighboring communities is discussed. 

 

In the commune of Falwel (Tondikiwindi), 60 hectares of pastoral land are being rehabilitated through this micro-project. Approximately 18,000 ‘demi lunes’ micro-catchments have been dug into the earth and each planted with a tree. The turned soil is better able to absorb water, reducing run-off and flooding and allowing vegetation to get a foothold so livestock can graze... 

 

https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/blog/glimpse-cif-action-rural-niger

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WFP Assists Djibouti To Strengthen Resilience As Food Security Improves | WFP

As food security starts to improve in the Republic of Djibouti, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is intensifying its work to strengthen the country’s defenses against recurrent drought while still providing critical assistance to meet urgent food and nutritional needs.

 

An Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA), carried out by WFP and its partners, highlighted the need to better equip the arid, Horn of Africa country to cope with food shortages caused by poor rains, water scarcity and high food prices.

 

The EFSA report showed a decline in the number of severely food insecure households but said the situation remains fragile with the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate exceeding crisis levels among children under five. It recommended continuing food distributions for the most vulnerable households but also highlighted the need to build resilience.

 

“Given the relative improvement in food security, WFP will gradually shift its focus from targeted food distributions to programmes aimed at strengthening communities’ ability to withstand shocks like poor rains and drought,” said Jacques Higgins, WFP Country Director for Djibouti.

 

“We need to help Djiboutians replenish their assets, such as livestock herds, after years of drought. We also need to enhance the country’s overall resilience by improving infrastructure, and tackling the scarcity of water. In this way, WFP will leave a lasting impact by making sure that people will not slip into crisis the next time the rains fail,” he added.

 

WFP’s operations in Djibouti include food distributions for vulnerable groups, school feeding, and Food For Work projects, where participants receive food in return for working on projects to conserve water, build feeder roads and community gardens, for example. WFP also distributes fortified food to children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

 

Other activities are designed to combat desertification and environmental problems. WFP is also distributing vouchers to around 32,500 people in the areas outside the capital so that they can buy food from July to September, when prices are typically high.

 

In 2013, WFP will assist 150,900 people in Djibouti including 22,000 who will receive emergency food assistance and 60,000 who will take part in Food For Work or Food for Assets projects.

 

According to the EFSA report, the number of people classified as severely food insecure in rural areas fell to nearly 22,000 in 2013 from 42,700 the previous year. However, the report stressed the situation remains critical, with the number of moderately food insecure people rising to nearly 60,000 from 24,300 in 2012. Data was gathered in May.

 

Poor nutrition and malnutrition are also concerns, with around 60 percent of households in rural areas reporting poor food consumption. In these homes, families mainly eat cereals, sugar and oil, with very few vegetables and little meat. Many people cope with shortages by buying cheaper food, eating fewer meals, or selling precious livestock. The GAM rate among children aged between six months and five years is around 18 percent, well above the global emergency level of 15 per cent.

 

http://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/wfp-assists-djibouti-strengthen-resilience-food-security-improves

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Translating Resilience | Rockefeller Foundation

Translating Resilience | Rockefeller Foundation | Resilience | Scoop.it

“Strong, self-reliant, prepared, and prosperous.” These are the four words Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento, Calif., recently used in a call for civic leaders to contribute to community resilience. The nuanced differences between those words show just how rich and deep the concept of resilience goes in English-speaking cultures.

 

“Resilience” can refer to the recovery of a people from war, environmental disaster, or economic depression; the bravery of a child who has withstood personal or political turmoil; or the strength of a building, a neighborhood, or an entire city infrastructure. Is this true in other languages, other cultures? Apparently so. A blogger for the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience recently dug into the many meanings of resilience worldwide:

 

Resilience literally means to “bounce back.” It is used virtually everywhere, from sport to science, environmental, economic and global policy. As far as science is concerned, it seems to have been used in physics and ecology first (C.S. Holling), but it is also used frequently in the social sciences (see “Putting a Face on Resilience” in HRR magazine). Psychologists and psychiatrists talk about examples of personal resilience, especially in young people (see Norman Garmezy)...

 

We define resilience as the capacity of individuals, communities, and systems to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it. Building resilience is about making people, communities, and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events – both natural and manmade – and able to bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses... 

 

http://100resilientcities.rockefellerfoundation.org/blog/entry/translating-resilience

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Urban Resilience in Bangkok | Rockefeller

Urban Resilience in Bangkok | Rockefeller | Resilience | Scoop.it

Bangkok is one of many appropriate locations in the world to talk about urban resilience. It has gone through a series of environmental, economic, and political shocks: the mega-flood two years ago, the financial crises in the late 1990s, a series of coup d’états and political conflicts, to name but a few.

To some extent, the city has bounced back. If our cities are normally able to bounce back as history may suggest, then why do we need to talk about urban resilience and to have a global challenge that addresses this issue? The answer is because it is becoming more difficult to prepare for shocks and to recover from them quickly by just ourselves.

 

Individually, humans are inherently resilient. For every stumble and fall, we learn how to rise up and move forward. We adapt and improve ourselves so we are better prepared, ready to rebound more quickly, and even to grow stronger each time. Collective resilience, however, is perhaps not natural to us. We normally help ourselves first before helping others. Even though we might have social institutions that contribute to collective resilience, such as local customs and trust, it is more difficult to do so in the city.

 

Increasing urbanization means that more strangers have to live with one another in locations where services and resources are never enough. Due to globalization, no single companies and governments can by themselves manage the rapid and large flows of goods and services, and of people and money. Climate change is real, and sooner than later, everyone will have to deal with the consequences...

 

The Rockefeller Foundation and others have a set of core features of a resilient system. For example, the capacity for robust feedback loops, the flexibility to change and evolve, the options for “safe” failure, and the ability for rapid rebound. All of these are important, though one feature that I want to add for an ideal resilient city is social equity and justice. It is essentially a question of “resilience for whom”? When building resilience for a city as a whole, we cannot ignore the reality of existing economic and social inequities. Such equities are usually translated into resilience inequity, and they often undermine the ability and efforts to build collective resilience.

 

By building resilience of cities without thinking about the implications for social equities, we could make it even worse for the poor and vulnerable to cope with shocks... During the times of shocks and recovery, the poor and vulnerable are susceptible to negligence and exploitation... it is therefore imperative that there is a set of safeguards and governance systems that allow the disadvantaged to protect themselves and enhance their ability to recover from shocks. 

 

We have to make sure that increasing resilience for someone does not lead to increasing vulnerability for others. I sincerely hope that social equity and justice will be a core and underlying principle of any initiative that aims to build urban resilience.

 

http://100resilientcities.rockefellerfoundation.org/blog/entry/urban-resilience-in-bangkok

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Making Ecosystem Services Count | CGIAR

Making Ecosystem Services Count | CGIAR | Resilience | Scoop.it

While agricultural development has progressed in leaps and bounds to feed the global population, it has not come without environmental and production costs. These environmental costs have limited the ecosystem services on which we depend, including agricultural production as well as access to clean water, protection from natural disasters and fertile soils. 

 

Ecosystem services and resilience is a cross-cutting theme of WLE.  The theme focuses on ecosystem service-based approaches which aim to move beyond agriculture that ‘does no harm’, to an integrated approach that boosts agricultural production concurrently with other benefits such as soil and water quality, biological conservation, and increased resilience of rural communities... 

 

http://wle.cgiar.org/blogs/2013/08/16/making-ecosystem-services-count/

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Road to Sendai: Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction | Community Resilience

Road to Sendai: Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction | Community Resilience | Resilience | Scoop.it
Its' official - the save the date announcement came out yesterday from the UNISDR for the Third World Conference on Disaster Reduction... Subject to an anticipated decision of the UN General Assembly later in 2013, the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) is to take place in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, from 14 to 18 March 2015... 


Hosted by the Government of Japan in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), as secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the WCDRR will review the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and is expected to adopt a successor framework for disaster risk reduction... Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/199, UNISDR will continue to ensure extensive and inclusive multi-stakeholder consultations for a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction... 

 

http://communityresilience.blogspot.com/2013/08/road-to-sendai-third-united-nations.html

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Least developed countries lead on low-carbon resilience | International Institute for Environment and Development

Least developed countries lead on low-carbon resilience | International Institute for Environment and Development | Resilience | Scoop.it

Some of the least developed countries are at the forefront of an approach that combines efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and achieve economic and social development.


As the world waited for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to release its latest report last month, the climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern emphasized that: "It cannot be a case of either achieving growth or tackling global warming. It must be both." In rejecting a trade-off between addressing climate change and securing growth and development, Stern supports a low-carbon resilient development approach, which brings together three traditionally separate goals: the reduction of climate change emissions (climate change mitigation), adaptation to the effects caused by climate change and economic and social development. 


This approach has been pioneered by nine of the least developed countries (LDCs) — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Laos, Mozambique, Nepal and Rwanda — over the past four years. These 'early adopters' offer important insights into how low-carbon resilient development works in practice, providing lessons for other countries that may develop such strategies in the future...

 

The assumption that drives low carbon resilient development is that addressing two or three policy areas together can produce successes across the three agendas and be more cost effective. However, efficiency is just part of the approach’s appeal. The LDCs value low-carbon resilient development for many other socio-economic and political reasons, including the way they can use it as a moral weight in encouraging developed nations to curb their own emissions. It bolsters the approach of the LDC group at the international level to move from following other countries to asking other countries to "follow us"... 

 

Countries have treated low-carbon strategies and resilience in different ways. For example, in Bangladesh they are separate policy areas; in Ethiopia and Rwanda they have been brought into one overarching policy framework. There are different options available for bringing policy areas together or finding synergies between them... It is not yet clear, however, how these different approaches affect the extent to which governments can meet goals to develop, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change. This is a crucial issue, but one which policymakers tend to overlook in their enthusiasm to bring the three agendas together... 

 

It is critical then that the least developed countries – and others that follow their lead – learn from the evidence that is beginning to emerge from their experiences of adopting new strategies and approaches to climate-resilient planning. Policymakers and analysts still know very little about the advantages and disadvantages of bringing together these agendas in practice. A learning-by-doing approach will generate robust evidence about where to find, and how to support, 'win-win' strategies and plans from which we can all learn.

 

http://www.iied.org/least-developed-countries-lead-low-carbon-resilience

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Investing in Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers | IFPRI

Investing in Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers | IFPRI | Resilience | Scoop.it
2020 Policy Consultation on Building Resilience Lead Event

 

 Date: October 21, 2013; Time: 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm EDT; Live webcast coming up at the scheduled time... Location: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, Fourth Floor Conference Facility.  

 

Smallholder farmers in developing countries are being hit by a barrage of economic, environmental, and political shocks, and these shocks are becoming more frequent and intense. Smallholder farmers in developing countries are increasingly challenged to anticipate, prepare for, cope with, and recover from shocks. The panelists, representing perspectives from government, NGOs, development institutions, and research organizations, will share their experiences of what works and what does not to help smallholder farmers be more resilient, which policies and investments need to be changed, where are the opportunities for innovation, and how different actors can work better with each other to be more successful.

 

Learn more about the IFPRI 2020 Policy Consultation and Conference: http://www.2020resilience.ifpri.info 

 

http://www.ifpri.org/event/investing-strengthening-resilience-smallholder-farmers

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Global Hunger Index Calls for Greater Resilience-Building Efforts to Boost Food and Nutrition Security | IFPRI

The developing world is becoming more vulnerable to a variety of shocks and stressors, from extreme weather events, climate change and environmental degradation to population pressures, macroeconomic crises, conflict, and poor governance. The traditional approach to dealing with shocks is temporary infusions of aid, with separate development efforts focused on mitigating stresses and making people less vulnerable in the longer run. Yet the persistent vulnerability of regions—such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa—suggests the traditional separation of relief and development efforts is not working.

 

In recognition of this situation, the 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released for the eighth year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, calls for greater resilience-building efforts to boost food and nutrition security... 

 

Resilience is defined as the capacity not only to absorb milder shocks, but also to learn from and adapt to larger ones, and to fundamentally transform economic, social, and ecological structures in response to the most severe ones. Resilience-building should therefore encompass prevention, mitigation and the promotion of development paths that reduce exposure to shocks in the longer term. 

 

“2.6 billion people have to live on less than two dollars a day. For them a sick family member, a single drought or the job loss of someone working abroad is a major crisis. As a consequence a child can no longer afford to go to school, the family diet is reduced to often one meal a day or livestock needs to be sold. These people have simply no coping mechanisms left to react to a crisis,” said Welthungerhilfe’s Chairlady Bärbel Dieckmann.

 

The 2013 Global Hunger Index calls for the silos between the relief and development communities to be broken down, and for a focus on approaches and outcomes that reflect an increased ability to resist, absorb, and transform in response to shocks.

 

“Adopting a resilience lens is challenging. We need to build consensus on what it means and on that basis adopt programs and policies that bridge the relief and development sectors,” said IFPRI research fellow Derek Headey.

 

Collaboration requires new and better efforts to monitor and evaluate people’s existing vulnerabilities and the impacts of resilience-building activities. Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley explained, “We must focus on those living in extreme poverty, learn the lessons of the past and be clear what measures are needed to enable the very poorest to become more resilient in the longer term.” He continued, “Concern’s work in Kenya, Ethiopia, Niger and Chad is demonstrating how a resilience approach can deliver significant and sustainable change at community level. Turning this evidence into policy change is the next important step.”

 

Looking to the future, the report suggests developing high-frequency surveillance systems for the most vulnerable regions, focusing on community as well as individual and household resilience. In addition, resilience-building objectives should be incorporated into national and regional development strategies as something distinct from conventional growth, poverty, or development objectives. Pursuing this will improve food and nutrition security for the world’s most vulnerable.

 

http://www.ifpri.org/pressrelease/global-hunger-index-calls-greater-resilience-building-efforts-boost-food-and-nutrition-

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Creating a Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience | US State Department

Creating a Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience | US State Department | Resilience | Scoop.it

At the 4th Ministerial meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in New York on 27 September 2013, GCTF Co-Chairs will announce that a core group of government and non-government partners from different regions are planning to establish the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations.


It is anticipated that the fund will raise more than $200 million over the next ten years to support local, anti-violent extremist causes. Following this announcement, these partners will work over the next six-to-nine months to reach agreement on the scope, legal foundation, and organizational architecture of the fund and mobilize the necessary resources... 


The Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience will be a public-private global engagement fund designed to counter violent extremism by offering a unique and practical model to enable the international community to bolster grass-roots efforts where radicalization and recruitment are taking place.


The Fund will be an independent institution governed by a mix of government and non-government stakeholders that will initially seek to fund local CVE [countering violent extremism] projects. It will help close the significant gap between the needs of local anti-extremism organizations (whether civil society, NGO or local government) and the resources available to support their vital work.


The Fund will include a robust vetting process and monitoring and evaluation mechanism – both will provide donors with confidence that the projects supported advance the objectives that led them to contribute to the Fund... 

 

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/09/214853.htm

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Climate Resilient Rice: More Crops per Drop | Asian Development Bank

Climate Resilient Rice: More Crops per Drop | Asian Development Bank | Resilience | Scoop.it
New rice varieties are being developed and water-saving cultivation technologies promoted to help feed Asia's growing populations.

 

Developing rice varieties that can survive in dry conditions and yet produce adequate yield is vital in helping farmers cope with the effects of climate change. According to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), about 38% of the world’s land area, where 70% of the population lives and 70% of global food supply is produced, suffers from drought.


Recent climate change estimates predict the intensity and frequency of water shortage to deteriorate further. This problem has a huge impact on the production of rice, a water-adapted plant grown in flooded fields. Rice is the staple food for more than half of the human population and as such it plays a key role in ensuring food security in the Asia and Pacific region. 

 

Water-saving technology

 

ADB is working with IRRI to develop climate-resilient rice to boost productivity in South and Southeast Asia, particularly in areas where there is a shortage of fresh water. The first ADB regional technical assistance project showed very promising results for these technologies, achieving a 10% to 30% increase in yield despite using less water. 

 

A second regional technical assistance project covering five countries - Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in South Asia, and Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Southeast Asia - supports large-scale seed multiplication, and development of climate-resilient water-saving rice varieties... 

 

“We are helping disseminate the two principial water-saving technologies developed by IRRI, aerobic rice technology and alternate wetting and drying,” ADB Principal Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist Jiangfeng Zhang said... 

 

Working hand-in-hand

 

Aerobic rice technology involves growing rice using less water than usual. The new aerobic rice varieties developed under the ADB technical assistance produce higher yield than current varieties in water-short irrigated or drought-prone, rain-fed areas. Aerobic rice trials using direct seeding have demonstrated 30%-35% water saving. In addition, aerobic rice is a labor-saving technology, and can also be carried more efficiently with tractor-driven seeding implements.

 

Alternate wetting and drying is a water-saving technology that lowland farmers can apply to reduce their water use in irrigated fields. In this case, irrigation water is applied to flood the field for a certain number of days after the disappearance of ponded water. With this technology, no losses in crop harvest occur when compared with a continuously flooding field. In general, it can reduce water use by 15–30%. 

 

Feed the world

 

Zhang explained that proper dissemination and distribution of the seeds is vital for this project to succeed. This will be possible when IRRI, national research institutes, private and public agencies, seed companies, and non-government organizations work hand in hand to help farmers understand these new rice varieties and adapt to new farming practices and technologies... 

 

http://www.adb.org/features/climate-resilient-rice-more-crops-drop

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Human resilience to climate change and climate related disasters | Royal Society

How do we prepare ourselves for the impacts of climate change? What are our options and how do we decide which is the best approach to take? This project will investigate these questions, among others, to help inform the important decisions regarding adaptation and risk reduction that are being made at global, national and local levels. 

 

The project will examine how evidence-based decisions can be made to increase human resilience to climate change and weather-related disasters. The project will focus on ecosystem-based approaches but will consider them alongside other adaptation and risk reduction methods... 

 

Background: The global climate is changing with possible implications for the intensity and frequency of weather-related hazards. Furthermore, demographic changes mean that people’s exposure and vulnerability to these hazards is growing. Measures to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risks are essential for ensuring human wellbeing, both now and in the future; and such measures are being discussed and implemented at international level. 

 

Given the range of adaptation and risk reduction options available, guidance is needed on how to carry out effective evidence-based adaptation decision-making.  As an example of this, this project will examine the degree to which ecosystems can protect people and increase our resilience to climate change.  Such ecosystem-based approaches are claimed to be cost-effective, low regret options and, as such, are gaining increasing attention internationally. This project will be a critical evaluation of these approaches, in comparison to other adaptation and risk reduction measures. 

 

http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/resilience-climate-change/

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Helen Clark in Chad - new program of resilience | UNDP

Visiting Chad... the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark called on the country and its partners to redouble efforts to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals and witness the implementation of a new program of resilience... 

 

Helen Clark travelled to the Sahel region of Dar Sila in eastern Chad to witness the launch of a resilience programme, where UNDP, the Government of Chad, partner agencies and civil society have teamed up to pilot an integrated approach to building resilience at the community level... 


http://storify.com/undp/helen-clark-in-chad/

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(Appropriate) Big Data for Climate Resilience? | Stanford Social Innovation Review

(Appropriate) Big Data for Climate Resilience? | Stanford Social Innovation Review | Resilience | Scoop.it

Big data—the massive data sets that we collect and analyze to help understand complex systems, and that we mine to reveal trends in new ways and at a scale and speed often impossible even a decade ago—is all the rage. It has transformed how we conduct science, business, public health, and humanitarian efforts.

 

So can big data help local communities, cities, and nations cope with the disruptions and inevitable surprises from climate change? ... Big data has transformed scientists’ ability to understand the climate system and develop plausible scenarios of the future. However, while those roles are important, ultimately society’s ability to cope with climate change will depend less on the accuracy of these projections and more on the level of “resilience derived from bottom-up community efforts.” 

 

The answer to whether big data can help communities build resilience to climate change is yes—there are huge opportunities, but there are also risks.

 

Opportunities: 

 

Feedback: Strong negative feedback is core to resilience... For example, communication by affected communities after a hurricane provides feedback for how and where organizations and individuals can provide help... now crowdsourcing and data mining projects, such as Ushahidi andTwitter Earthquake detector, enable faster and more-targeted relief.

 

Diversity: Big data is enhancing diversity in a number of ways... Health officials are increasingly relying on digital detection methods, such as Google Flu Trendsor Flu Near You, to augment and diversify traditional disease surveillance.

 

Self-Organization: A central characteristic of resilient communities is the ability to self-organize... social media and related data-mining tools (InfoAmazonia, Healthmap) can enhance situational awareness and facilitate collective action by helping people identify others with common interests, communicate with them, and coordinate efforts.

 

Risks: 

 

Eroding trust: Trust is well established as a core feature of community resilience. Yet the NSA PRISM escapade made it clear that big data projects are raising privacy concerns and possibly eroding trust...

 

Mistaking correlation for causation: Data mining seeks meaning in patterns that are completely independent of theory... This approach can lead to erroneous conclusions when correlation is mistakenly taken for causation...

 

Failing to see the big picture: One of the biggest challenges with big data mining for building climate resilience is its overemphasis on the hyper-local and hyper-now... without a broader understanding of the longer-term and more-systemic dynamism of social and biophysical systems, big data provides no ability to understand future trends or anticipate vulnerabilities... slower-changing variables such as declining groundwater, loss of biodiversity, and melting ice caps—all of which may silently define our future. A related challenge is the fact that big data mining tends to overlook the most vulnerable populations... blind to the less well of populations within cities and communities that have more limited access to smart phones and the Internet. 

...

 

http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/appropriate_big_data_for_climate_resilience

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A Foodshed View of Resilience | Landscapes Blog

A Foodshed View of Resilience | Landscapes Blog | Resilience | Scoop.it

“Resilience” may be a somewhat new term in the lexicon of forward-thinkers, but the concept is by no means entirely new, and it has a direct tie to another useful word: “foodshed.” The photograph above depicts New Yorkers lining up in front of a rail station in 1916 in order to accumulate as much food as possible prior to one of many threatened rail strikes during the early 1900s. It was the threat of those rail strikes and their potential impact on New Yorkers’ food security that caused Walter Hedden to come up with the term “foodshed.” As chief of the Bureau of Commerce for the Port of New York Authority, Hedden equated the notion of a foodshed to the concept of a watershed... “…the barriers which deflect raindrops into one river basin rather than into another are natural land elevations, while the barriers which guide and control movements of foodstuffs are more often economic than physical.” 

 

“Foodshed,” then, can be an analytical tool that helps us unveil not only the systems that underpin food security and access within a given geographical area, but it can also provide a means by which to explore the holes, fractures, and potential instability within our region of focus. Building resilience into a foodshed requires us to look not just at agricultural production, but also processing infrastructure, distribution mechanisms and ownership, food waste, etc.—in other words, all of the components and interactions that comprise the food system... 

 

I attempt to help the reader take a hard look at local food systems through the lenses... of energy, the environment, food security, food justice, biodiversity, market value, and marketplace values. Assessing the potential fragilities of a food system requires us to use these multiple lenses in order envision and build more resilient foodsheds... the most successful models are actually better defined as “community-based food systems.” Note the infusion of some democratic principles inherent in that term: the solutions are not just new economic models but also new just economic models... 

 

Two questions constantly arise, seemingly in contradiction. However, I think that they are linked and are, in many ways, integral to any resilience-oriented effort, whether the focus is local food, local economy, or local energy.

 

Why local?  We have spent the last two to three generations unraveling the delicately woven fabric of local food systems in the US, and locally-based production, processing, distribution, marketing, and nutrient reclamation (composting, manure management, etc.) collectively serve as a broad, stable foundation for resilient regional, national, and international food systems.Why not just local?  With the historic unraveling of local food systems came the gradual weakening of healthy regional food systems. While a certain amount of agricultural self-reliance is an important goal in community-based food systems, isolation only increases vulnerabilities, and urban communities are inherently dependent upon their connection to other food-producing areas. Therefore, as we rebuild our local foodsheds, we must also embrace the even more complex task that follows: rebuilding regional food systems that can further resilience through increased scale, efficiencies, and impact.  It is in our connections that we find strength and elasticity.

 

Agriculture is arguably humanity’s longest-running (and still imperfect) experiment in resilience. The long-term trends are often difficult to discern, but the feedback loops can be cataclysmic. Creating and connecting resilient, community-based foodsheds is perhaps our greatest accomplice in softening the blows, particularly for those who are most vulnerable.

 

http://blog.ecoagriculture.org/2013/08/12/ackerman-leist_resilient_foodshed/

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Burkina Faso Farmers Lead the Way on Food Security and Climate Change Resilience | WRI

Burkina Faso Farmers Lead the Way on Food Security and Climate Change Resilience | WRI | Resilience | Scoop.it

If you want to know how to grow crops in the face of climate change, drought, and land degradation, ask Ousséni Kindo, Ousséni Zoromé, or Yacouba Sawadogo—three farmers in Burkina Faso’s Yatenga region. Policy makers, researchers, and NGO representatives gathered earlier this year at a workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to discuss strategies on combating food insecurity and adapting to climate change. Attendees at the event—organized by the group Network for Participatory Approaches to Research and Planning (Réseau MARP Burkina)—heard from several of Burkina Faso’s farmers on how they produce food on degraded lands. The farmers and participants provided interesting insights into climate-smart agriculture methods—including how to scale up these practices throughout the nation... 

 

Despite the positive changes in the productivity of their land and in the lives of their families, much work needs to be done to ensure that climate-smart agriculture—like water harvesting and agroforestry—spreads throughout Burkina Faso. The country’s weak legal framework doesn’t protect farmers from the appropriation or destruction of their efforts, threatening the agricultural gains they’ve made thus far. For example, farmers in Burkina Faso don’t have legal rights to the trees that grow on their property. Policy changes could provide for this ownership, allowing climate-smart agriculture to expand.

 

The good news is that farmer innovators, government officials, research institutions, and NGOs in Burkina Faso are ready to make the next move. At the workshop earlier this year, participants had a chance to share experiences and reflect on the actions needed to scale up their successes. They agreed to take on the challenge by developing and implementing a national agroforestry strategy. We’ll be watching closely to see how this plan shapes up over the coming months. Farmers in Burkina have proven what works. Now it is time for national-level action to scale up local success stories.

 

http://insights.wri.org/news/2013/08/burkina-faso-farmers-lead-way-food-security-and-climate-change-resilience

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Africa's Catalytic Agricultural Innovations | Forbes

Africa's Catalytic Agricultural Innovations | Forbes | Resilience | Scoop.it

As the continent awaits its agricultural revolution, "This is Africa" looks at the cutting edge ideas which could make the difference... 

 

Confronting catastrophes... innovations also have to take into account longer-term challenges to the sector. Any discussion of agriculture and productivity across Africa has to incorporate a conversation about the impacts of climate change. The continent is no stranger to environmental catastrophe, but as climate impacts begin to accelerate, the hottest, driest regions of the world will experience acute dangers, while the weather patterns farmers depend on will become increasingly unpredictable. A number of innovations offer possibilities for mitigating these changing conditions. 


Notably, the West Africa Seed Programme (Wasp) run by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) provides farmers with access to improved seeds with a particular focus on developing varieties that will be able to better tolerate the shifts in weather patterns created by climate change. Wasp also seeks to streamline west African countries’ seed laws, as well as partnering with the private sector to develop seeds and pilot them on demonstration plots.

 

Risk mitigation and insurance tools are another piece of the puzzle. Oxfam and the World Food Programme’s R4 Rural Resilience Initiative in Senegal and Ethiopia helps poor rural communities to improve their management of risk as climate shifts threaten their crops and livestock. The programme offers a package of tools geared to provide insurance, credit, savings services, and disaster risk reduction measures to those living on less than $1 a day, while building stronger commercial markets for these services. “We would not be in a position to create a microfinance or an insurance market, but we do have the capacity to strengthen it and make it more effective, more able to reach the most vulnerable farmers in the country,” says Katie Naeve, a policy advisor for the initiative at Oxfam America.

 

R4 ensures everyone in the community has access to insurance – including those who cannot pay for it. Cash-strapped farmers who cannot afford a premium are offered a means to ‘pay’ by contributing to their communities through disaster risk reduction activities, such as composting, irrigation channel digging, and planting vegetable gardens. The idea is that, over time, by reducing their financial vulnerability, farmers will be able to pay for insurance premiums with cash instead of labour. In Ethiopia, where the programme first started, about one third of farmers now pay their premiums entirely in cash, while the rest pay in a mix of cash and labour. 

 

Solutions to food security and plant cover in the face of the changing environment need not be solely dependent on rural production, either. Cities like Kampala, the capital of Uganda, are actively encouraging the development of urban agriculture through a new series of ordinances aimed at regulating urban gardens, livestock and fish production. Similarly, according to data from Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2013 report, Freetown, Sierra Leone, got the number one spot on the urban agriculture indicator, with 90 percent of vegetables consumed in the city grown there as well... 


http://www.forbes.com/sites/skollworldforum/2013/08/26/africas-catalytic-agricultural-innovations/

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Helen Clark: Speech on “Bending Without Breaking: Building Resilience for Sustainable Development’ | UNDP

Helen Clark: Speech on “Bending Without Breaking: Building Resilience for Sustainable Development’ | UNDP | Resilience | Scoop.it

At the United Nations Development Programme, we work across the economic, social, and environmental strands of sustainable development. We are very focused on how to help countries build resilience to the shocks which can throw development into reverse. A natural disaster not anticipated and mitigated, for example, can wipe out years of progress for families, communities, and nations. One needs to think no further than the devastating impact of a series of hurricanes and of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, or of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami around the Indian Ocean rim. Even where resilience is high, as in New Zealand, natural disasters can still exact a devastating toll on human life and local economies and societies. 

But shocks and setbacks don’t only result from natural disasters: they may also come from economic, social, or political crises and civil strife, or from conflict across state boundaries, Building resilience to shocks in general is critical for sustained and sustainable development. In my address this evening, I will: (i) outline the principles guiding UNDP’s approach and how they translate into practice; (ii) advocate for priority to be given to addressing resilience-building and tackling vulnerabilities in the post-2015 global development agenda which is currently under consideration. 

But first, some working definitions of sustainable development and resilience... The concept of resilience originates from the scientific community, particularly from the study of ecology, with the definition provided by ecologist Crawford Stanley Holling in 1973 often cited. Holling defined resilience as “a measure of the persistence of systems and of their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables”. 

Resilience also has a foundation in the discipline of psychology and in understanding how individuals cope with stress and adversity. Coping could take the form of people “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or the experience of exposure to adversity could produce a “steeling effect” leading to better functioning than might otherwise be expected.

As economic, social and environmental systems are constantly interacting, it makes sense to consider resilience for sustainable development in an integrated way. The hybrid concept of “social-ecological resilience”, popularized particularly by Brian Walker and David Salt, considers the interactions of humans and ecosystems in “socio-ecological systems”. This field of study focuses on the resilience, adaptability, and transformability of such systems...

At UNDP we have viewed building resilience as a transformative process with the potential to strengthen the capacity of people and their communities, countries, and  institutions to anticipate, prevent, recover from, and transform in the aftermath of shocks, stresses, and change. In the broader sense, building greater resilience contributes to sustainable development by emphasizing the conservation and regeneration of ecosystems, not their depletion; by fostering risk-sensitive rather than growth-at-any-price development; and by promoting cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary approaches, rather than working in silos... 

Before commenting further on the importance of resilience for advancing sustainable development, let me reflect on the scale of the challenges to sustainable development across its environmental, economic, and social dimensions. This century, our world has experienced multiple crises which have tested capacities for resilience across the board. Advanced countries are not immune – New Zealand and Japan have suffered greatly from major earthquakes, and unemployment in Southern Europe is at horror levels, particularly among young people... 


As a rule of thumb, the poorest people suffer the most when shocks occur, and that suffering can only increase with climate change. UNDP’s 2008 Global Human Development Report estimated that failure to deal with climate change would consign the poorest forty per cent of the world’s population to a future of even less opportunity.

The International Panel on Climate Change’s projections indicate that an increasingly dry and hot climate in Sub-Saharan Africa will make its land less viable for agriculture, by reducing the length of growing seasons, lowering yields, and thereby shrinking incomes. West-Africa’s Sahel region and the Horn of Africa have experienced exceptionally severe droughts in recent years, weakening the traditional resilience of their people...

Responses to extreme weather events in the Sahel have been complicated by poor governance and weak institutions; outright conflict – as seen in Mali over the past year and a half; a growth in national and transnational crime and terrorism; weak rule of law; and fast growing populations. The result is a web of complex national and regional crises which have exacted a devastating toll on populations, particularly on women, children, and the elderly. As we speak, more than half a million people from the north of Mali are still displaced inside or outside the country, having fled their homes when conflict erupted last year. Across the Sahel, it is estimated that eighteen million people suffered from food insecurity in 2012. Building resilience to shock and crisis in the region will be about far more than adapting to extreme climate events – establishing peace, effective governance, and the rule of law are very much part of the solutions... 


Another good example of where resilience-building has been incorporated into development efforts comes from Mozambique. In 2000 the country was battered by cyclone-related flooding. It left 800 people dead and 650,000 people displaced. In total more than 4.5 million Mozambicans were affected. Seven years later floods of similar magnitudes hit Mozambique again. This time, however, the death toll was 29 people, and the numbers of people displaced were significantly lower at around 70,000.

So what had changed? The answer is simple: Mozambique’s resilience had been strengthened through a comprehensive disaster risk reduction strategy. The government had provided leadership and articulated a clear strategic vision. UNDP and other partners had provided variously support for institutional, policy, and capacity development, and for strengthened infrastructure. Emergency response systems were also improved. Civil society organizations and the Red Cross movement worked in communities and with local governments and the UN on local preparedness...

In essence, building resilience is about risk-sensitive development. It is about a process of positive adaptation for the periods before, during, and after shocks. It is about building capacities to “bounce back”, or even to “bounce forward”, rather than lapsing into greater vulnerability. Effective governance and social cohesion are important elements of that... 

So What Principles underlie Building Greater Resilience for Sustainable Development? At UNDP, we base our work on building resilience for sustainable development on six principles:

1. Respect for context – There is no one-size-fits-all template. Development needs to be based on analysis of the specific context...
  
2. Respect for National Ownership – This puts developing countries themselves in the driver’s seat. The role of development partners is to provide the catalytic support which will help national strategies succeed. 

3. Need for Integrated Approaches – Narrow sectoral approaches come nowhere near building resilience to shock and adversity. Risk of any kind has many dimensions and calls for comprehensive responses. Focusing on only a part of a system and preparing only for a single outcome won’t work...


4. Promoting knowledge-sharing and awareness-raising. As we know from our New Zealand experience, empowering people with knowledge and the capacity to act can overcome or significantly mitigate adversity from natural hazards - notwithstanding great scale and magnitude...


5. Need for long term engagement and planning – strengthening resilience does not happen overnight, and recovery from severe crisis of any kind can take time. Through UNDP’s continued universal presence in developing countries, we demonstrate our own commitment to stay the course – and in the aftermath of crisis to help countries to build back better.
 
6. Partnerships – strengthening resilience requires partnerships between government institutions, communities, and neighboring states, – and, for many developing countries, with development partners. It requires co-ordinated action across the spectrum from emergency relief to recovery and ongoing sustainable development. The current interest in building resilience can also build a bridge between humanitarian and development actors. Some of the major international donors... are now earmarking a portion of their humanitarian budget for building resilience... 

At what levels does resilience need to be built?

Among individuals: by supporting overall well-being, and building social and work skills, and leadership capacities. Strong social protection systems help a lot.

In communities: by building sustainable, high-functioning social networks and safety nets, organizations and associations; and having diversified livelihoods and local economies with broad participation.

In economies and institutions of government: by reducing macro-economic vulnerability, and by building inclusive and accountable governance and institutions which make full use of available knowledge and technology and can organize in an effective way.

In strengthening ecosystems resilience: by conserving, maintaining, and restoring natural ecosystems.

Some priority areas for resilience-building for sustainable development:

1. Resilience through climate change adaptation... 


2. Resilience through reduction of risks from natural hazards... 

3. Resilience through social protection... 

4. Resilience through social cohesion... 

5. Gender-Responsive Resilience... 

A Way Forward: Promoting Resilience as a Cross-cutting Theme for Global Sustainable Development Agendas. The scale of global challenges to sustainable development which I commented on at the beginning of this address is daunting, but my overall message is a positive one: that humankind is capable of overcoming those challenges if we put our collective minds to it...

But we live in a world where volatility is the new normal. Shocks and crises stemming from economic, political, climate, food, and energy risks are ever more frequent. We have to build greater resilience to all of that to advance sustainable development. This will require renewed commitment and co-ordinated and coherent action by all countries.

This was well recognized by the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability in its 2012 report “Resilient People, and Resilient Planet: A Future worth Choosing”. The Panel called on countries to build up and enhance resilience by strengthening social protection systems, disaster risk reduction, and adaptation to climate change... 

Now, as the international community engages in a process to define the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals, it is important to ensure that building resilience and addressing vulnerabilities and inequalities is put at the heart of that agenda. Building resilience at every level - by empowering individuals, supporting communities, improving governance, developing institutional capacities, and protecting ecosystems - can bring about better and more sustainable development results. 

To achieve this: (i) We will need commitment to partnerships and long term engagement – resilience and sustainable development are not achieved quickly, and better results come from working collaboratively than in isolated silos. (ii) Funding for development needs to be renewed and rebuilt. It needs to be less compartmentalized, ad hoc, and project-focused. A financial system for sustainable development which is fit-for-purpose must leverage and blend public and private funding sources, both domestic and international, so that they complement each other. (iii) Strong national leadership complementing national ownership of development strategies is needed. Drive and determination at the national level gets results – witness the way in which Rwanda, a least developed country, has made good progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals... 

The global consultation on food security and nutrition highlighted the need to increase the resilience of agricultural and food systems and livelihoods, especially to the effects of climate change and possible political and economic shocks. In the global consultation on conflict, violence and disasters, resilience-building was identified as a way of strengthening informal institutions and networks and empowering marginalized and vulnerable groups...

Throughout this lecture I have argued that applying a resilience lens to all aspects of development is critical for advancing sustainable development.

- Resilience-focused approaches offer opportunities to build development from the bottom up, from both a concern and a deep respect for the people who are the most resilient in the face of crisis – those who are facing and confronting it. 

- Building resilience also offers an opportunity to find synergies among the wide range of humanitarian and development actors. The challenge is for each of us to draw on our comparative advantage and commit to collaborative responses in this time of limited resources...

- There is notable progress in the application of a resilience-building approach to development – not least in the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation – but as I have suggested in this lecture, we need to go much further in building resilience to a wider range of shocks – economic, social, and political. 

- The world has already made significant progress on reducing poverty. Without coherent strategies and action now for sustainable development which puts resilience at its centre, we could lose the battle to eradicate poverty as hard-won sustainable development gains are wiped away by a series of shocks.

- As I have emphasised, it is important that resilience-building is recognised in the post-2015 development agenda... 

 

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2013/08/21/helen-clark-speech-at-cawthron-institute-on-bending-without-breaking-building-resilience-for-sustainable-development-/

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