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Articles on Capacity Building
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Global consumption an increasingly significant driver of tropical deforestation
International trade with agricultural and wood products is an increasingly important driver of tropical deforestation. More than a third of recent deforestation can be tied to production of beef, soy, palm oil and timber. 'The trend is clear: the drivers of deforestation have been globalized and commercialized,' says one expert.
Topic:Forests; Sustainability; Climate Change

'Shrinking goats' another indicator that climate change affects animal size
Alpine goats appear to be shrinking in size as they react to changes in climate, according to new research. In recent years, decreases in body size have been identified in a variety of animal species, and have frequently been linked to the changing climate. However, the researchers say the decline in size of Chamois observed in this study is striking in its speed and magnitude.
Topic:Climate Change; Biodiversity

10 ways development can support family farmers
This article pinpoints the most important issues that NGOs need to address while working in the global south.
Topic:sustainability; Food

Mediterranean, Semi-Arid Ecosystems Prove Resistant to Climate Change
Climate change predictions for the Middle East, like other arid regions of the world, are alarming. In an area known for its water scarcity, rainfall is expected to decrease even further in the near future, spelling disaster for the functioning of unique ecosystems — hotspots of biodiversity and rich genetic fodder for essential crops. The reseach done by professor Sternberg proves otherwise though.
Topic:Climate Change; Drought; ecology

Three practical steps to go from hunger to abundance in Africa
On current trends the African continent will only produce 13% of its food needs by 2050. Yet the same continent holds almost half of the world’s uncultivated arable land. And each year at least 10 million young people in Africa enter the workforce, whose skills and labour could be the key to making sure Africa’s food needs are met self-sufficiently
Topic:Agriculture; Food; Poverty Reduction

Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals
The deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has accelerated rapidly in the past two months, underscoring the shortcomings of the government’s environmental policies. Satellite data indicates a 190% surge in land clearance in August and September compared with the same period last year as loggers and farmers exploit loopholes in regulations that are designed to protect the world’s largest forest.
Topic:Forests; Biodiversity; Awareness Raising

10 drivers for sustainability in global food production and consumption
A recent roundtable hosted by the Guardian, experts from industry, research and academia discussed how to make the food system more sustainable.
Topic:Food; sustainability

A manifesto for solving the global food crisis
Poor food distribution has left more than 805 million people hungry world wide and some 1.4 billion people are over weight or obese. to solve this problem we need to help small-scale producers, for example those in rural Africa, access markets.n much of the world, the price paid for food does not reflect the environmental cost of producing it. Overcoming such issues require regulations, policies and engaing the public.
Topic:Food; Sustainability

World Food Day: 10 myths about hunger
Find out more about the following 10 myths:
1. There is a global food shortage, 2. Most of the world’s hungry live in Africa, 3. Men are the world’s primary food producers, 4.Malnourishment is caused solely by a lack of food, 5. Global hunger is worsening etc.

Topic:Food; Agriculture; Drought; Awareness Raising

Shrinking resource margins in Sahel region of Africa
The need for food, animal feed and fuel in the Sahel belt is growing year on year, but supply is not increasing at the same rate. New figures from 22 countries indicate falling availability of resources per capita and a continued risk of famine in areas with low ‘primary production’ from plants. Rising temperatures present an alarming prospect, according to a study.
Topic:Food; Agriculture; Sustainability

Fighting over groundwater: water companies vs. environmentalists
Yet the owners of Catfield Fen fear groundwater abstraction by a local farm could be imperilling the delicate ecosystem.Catfield Fen and its neighbour Sutton Fen, both near the east Norfolk coast, are home to more than 90% of the UK’s population of fen orchids.
One step for managing groundwater resources on the demand side, for instance, is the introduction of mandatory household meters to better monitor water use.
Topic:Biodiversity; ecology; Water

New discovery will enhance yield and quality of cereal and bioenergy crops
A team of scientists have developed a new way of identifying genes that are important for photosynthesis in maize, and in rice. Their research helps to prioritize candidate genes that can be used for crop improvement and revealed new pathways and information about how plants fix carbon.
Topic:Climate Change; Renewable Energy; Sustainability

Middle Eastern vegetation resistant to climate change: Ecosystems withstand more than seven lean years
Ecosystems in the Middle East are home to a wealth of unique species -- including the ancestors of many of our staple crops. Yet the climate scenario in this dry region is alarming. Already, the region has a relatively small amount of water available for every person living there -- and it is predicted that in the future, there will be even less rain. New research shows that Middle Eastern ecosystems might be more resilient than previously thought.
Topic:Drought; Climate Change; ecology

Role of business in disappearance of 50% of world's wildlife
Based on the Living Planet Report 2014 of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of the Kingdom Animalia, has registered a 52% decline in wildlife between 1970 and 2010. Illegal trade and deforestation are among the main causes of this decline.
Topic:Biodiversity; Sustainability; Forests

A Gulf in Ocean Knowledge
Based on resent research it has become evident to scientists that the amount of heat absorbed by the oceans is up to 58% more than what they had believed. 
Topic:Climate Change; Awareness Raising

Food shortages are everyone’s responsibility
Based on UN data by 2050 food productions must increase by 70%. This pronouncement sparked much debate about the need to build a more sustainable food system. The meaning of sustainability and the risks for the supply chains  needs to be defined. Awareness concerning sustainable products need to be implemented in the costumers mentality.
Topic:Capacity Building Topics; Sustainability; Food

How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic
Deforestation has destroyed much of the region’s habitat for fruit bats and put these Ebola carriers into greater contact with people.Fruit bats carry the Ebola virus, but generally don’t die from it. The virus could easily have migrated from Central to West Africa inside them in much the same way that birds spread West Nile virus across North America: passing it among flocks during seasonal migrations.
Topic:Forests; ecology; Awareness Raising

Top Global Warming Causes – Natural or Human?
In this article the human and natural causes of CO2 missions are mentioned and compared.
Topic:Climate Change; sustainability; Forests

Food game: how well do you know the world? - interactive
Play this game to learn more about where food is produced and consumed!!!
Topic:Food; Awareness Raising

Livestock insurance could protect cattle-herders in Africa from drought
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in collaboration with Cornell University and technical partners, has pursued a research program aimed at designing, developing and implementing insurance products to protect livestock keepers from drought-related asset losses. Using satellite imagery to assess the amount of forage available, Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) provides insured pastoralists with a pay-out in times of drought based on predicted rather than actual livestock deaths.
Topic:Drought; Sustainability; Food; Poverty Reduction

Colombia rice growers saved from ruin after being told not to plant their crop
Colombia’s rice farmers were already struggling with climate change and unfair trade rules when they received an unlikely recommendation based on research from one of the winners of the UN Big Data Climate Challenge: “Don’t plant in this sowing season.” The advice came from Fedearroz, the main organisation for rice growers in the country, and helped 170 farmers in Córdoba avoid economic losses of an estimated $3.6m.
Topic:Agriculture; Awareness Raising; Drought; Climate Change

World Bank accuses itself of failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers
A leaked copy of a World Bank investigation seen by the Guardian has accused the bank of failing to protect the rights of one of Kenya’s last groups of forest people, who are being evicted from their ancestral lands in the name of climate change and conservation.
Topic:Forests; Diplomacy; Awareness Raising; Water

If Trees Could Talk: Forest Research Network Reveals Global Change Effects
Permafrost thaw drives forest loss in Canada, while drought has killed trees in Panama, southern India and Borneo. In the U.S., in Virginia, over-abundant deer eat trees before they reach maturity, while nitrogen pollution has changed soil chemistry in Canada and Panama. More than 100 collaborators have now published a major overview of what 59 forests in 24 countries teach us about forest responses to global change.
Topic:Forests; Climate Change

Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country
If global carbon emissions continue on current trends and sea levels are affected by climate change about as much as expected, about 2.6 percept of the global population (about 177 million people) will be living in a place at risk of regular flooding. in this page you can also see the effect in other scenarios.
Topic:Climate Change; Awareness Raising; Water

Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable' sections of the population
A report has looked at which sections of the population are left most exposed to food shortages after extreme weather events. Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term.
Topic:Climate Change; Food; Drought

Mystery of cereal grain defense explained
Crop scientists have explained how genes in the barley plant turn on defenses against aging and stressors like drought, heat and disease, showing that specific genes act as a switch that enables barley to live longer and become more tolerant of stress, including attack by common diseases like mildew and spot blotch.
Topic:Agriculture; Drought; Food

Information platform on 2015 International Year of Soils
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has launched the International Year of Soils (IYS) website. The IYS website will be the main platform to share information and relevant resources regarding the International Year of Soils (IYS) with different partners.

Topic:land management; environment; Sustainability

Global Food Trade May Not Meet All Future Demand, U.Va. Study Indicates
Global food security and the patterns of food trade that have been minimally studied, are the focus of new research. As the world population continues to grow, by about 1 billion people every 12 to 14 years since the 1960s, the global food supply may not meet escalating demand, particularly for agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, such as Africa's Sahel, that already depend on imports for much of their food supply, researchers say.
Topic:Food; Awareness Raising

Indigenous Peoples Prevent Deforestation. What About Other Local Communities?
Strengthening legal recognition of indigenous peoples’ or local communities’ rights to land leads to less deforestation, which is a simultaneous win for people and a win for forests, and a convenient alignment of social and environmental agendas. The indigenous rights agenda is important on its own terms.  And halting tropical deforestation is critical for maintaining a safe and stable climate.
Topic:Awareness Raising; Forests

When land is degraded, its people and their prospects are degraded too
An insight into the spill over effects of land degradation, including those who use the land and derive livelihoods from it.  A well balanced and multi-dimensional approach must be adopted to combat the far-reaching impacts of land degradation.

Climate variability, adaptation strategies and food security in Malawi
This paper assesses farmers’ incentives and conditioning factors that hinder or promote adaptation strategies, and thereby evaluate their impact on crop productivity. It distinguishes between exposure to climatic disruptions, bio-physical sensitivity to such disruptions, farmers’ ability to prepare and adjust to the resulting stress, and system-level adaptive capacity. The choice of risk-reducing agricultural practices, household financial adaptive capacity, and the role of external interventions impacting agriculture have been investigated extensively to map the capacity building activities in relevant fields.
Topic:Climate Change; Capacity Building Topics; Food

UNEP Report Details Transformation in Land Use
23 percent of global soil has been affected by widespread biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, attributed to increasing pressures on land by the growth of crops for protein-rich diets and for biofuels and biomaterials. Available data indicate that competition for land and food insecurity will only increase in the future, due especially to the displacement of small-holder farmers by international investors. Capacity building in developing and transition countries is a key prerequisite for improving food security, local livelihoods and environmental quality.
Topic:Drought; Biodiversity; Food

Kenyans Earn First Ever Carbon Credits From Sustainable Farming
Smallholder farmers in western Kenya are now benefiting from carbon credits generated by improving farming techniques.  These are the first credits worldwide issued under the sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) carbon accounting methodology.
Topic:Food; Drought

Interview: UN official says desertification deserves more attention
Desertification and land degradation would affect lives of ordinary people and cause many global problems including terrorism, thus deserved more attention from all stakeholders, said a top UN official in an interview with Xinhua.
Topic:Awareness Raising; Drought; Climate Change; Biodiversity; Poverty Reduction; Forests

It’s a family affair: the success of integrated landscape management in Mexico
Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMS), a non-governmental organization, is using an integrated approach to tackle the problems of the diverse landscape in Mexico. Read their story in this article.
Topic:Drought; Climate Change; Poverty Reduction

Let a billion trees bloom: Can a great green wall of trees stop China’s spreading desert?
Since the 1980s, the Chinese have planted billions of trees to bring back the land after decades of deforestation as the population grew and industrialization transformed the country. From 2000 to 2010, large swaths of land — equivalent to the size of Massachusetts — were reforested every year.

The International Year of Family Farming
The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

The goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development.  The 2014 IYFF will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.

At the 66th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 2014 was formally declared to be the “International Year of Family Farming” (IYFF).  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was invited to facilitate its implementation, in collaboration with Governments, International Development Agencies, farmers' organizations and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system as well as relevant non-governmental organizations.
Topic:Awareness Raising; Biodiversity; Climate Change; Drought; Education; Food; Forests; Gender; Migration; Poverty Reduction

Plans for PhD fellowships unveiled at TWAS meeting
South-South collaboration to increase PhD fellowships for scientists in developing countries gained momentum as this week's annual meeting of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) ended with the announcement of various programmes for the coming years.

Climate change research capacity gets funding boost
The Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme is aimed at strengthening African research skills to enable institutions and researchers to develop home-grown solutions to climate change related impacts at local and national levels.
Topic:Awareness Raising; Education; Climate Change

Combating desertification and drought; The youth’s involvement
In this article the author articulates the determination of the youth and their engagement in combating drought and desertification in arid and sami-arid regions of Namibia.
Topic:Awareness Raising; Climate Change; Biodiversity; Drought; Education; Food; Poverty Reduction

New World Map for Overcoming Climate Change
Using data from the world’s ecosystems and predictions of how climate change will impact them, scientists have produced a roadmap that ID's the world’s most and least vulnerable areas in the Age of Climate Change.
Topic:Climate Change; environment; Sustainability

How to use land sustainably
This article suggests some techniques for sustainable use of land based on experiences in some regions of the world.
Topic:Drought; Climate Change; Biodiversity; Awareness Raising; Forests; Poverty Reduction

Why women should own their land
When women own the land they till, families tend to be better fed, better educated and healthier, research suggests. Women account for nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers in developing countries, according to some estimates, and they increasingly make up the majority of farmers in places where men have moved to cities in search of work.
Topic:Education; Gender; Poverty Reduction; Drought; Biodiversity

Why we should care about women's right to land
Why do you care about women’s land rights? Isn’t it enough for the household to have land? This article gives some anwers to these very important questions.
Topic:Biodiversity; Drought; Food; Gender; Forests

Four traits the world's poorest share, and what that tells us about addressing hunger
Most of the world’s poorest citizens share four traits:
 •They live in rural areas.
 •They depend on the land to survive.
 •They don’t have legal control over the land.
 •They are women.
Topic:Food; Gender; Poverty Reduction

From rhetoric to action: Reaping gains through enhanced women's land and property rights
Capacity building at national, local and community levels to enable women to contribute to the land reform agenda, law reform and the configuration of institutions; participate in and access land administration and management institutions; and redress grievances through formal and traditional dispute resolution forums.
Topic:Food; Gender; Poverty Reduction; Drought

Nuevo observatorio agroclimático en Chile contribuirá a la alerta temprana ante eventos de sequía
Reducing vulnerability to drought and other climatic events with relevant and instant information for early warning. This is the main objective of the creation of the climatic Observatory implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in Chile, released in the framework of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, celebrated every June 17.

UN Secretary-General's remarks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder
The scientific community plays a key role in finding new ways to combat climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. He Also stressed that governments must use scientific data to mobilize resources and take action against this global threat.
Topic:Capacity Building Topics

New soil atlas for Africa: Scientists unveil data that could modernize agriculture and improve food security
Researchers from around the world have compiled an atlas on soil diversity on the African continent, which could help agricultural workers in one of the world’s most food-insecure regions make better, smarter use of the land beneath their feet.

The atlas’s main purpose is to make the results of soil diversity research -- which has traditionally been a rather academic issue -- available to those who need it most.
Topic:Drought; Food

Focus on Gender: Give women a say in dryland protection
Women are often unaware of their rights to resources and are excluded from decision-making. Results of a study presented this month revealed that the economic value of dryland ecosystems is higher in developing than developed countries, putting pressure on policymakers to prioritise dryland conservation in low-income nations. Successful policies will combine technical conservation with a people-centred focus  and central to this will be recognising that many poor women rely on drylands for income.
Topic:Gender; Drought

Summary of the eleventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
As CRIC 11 delegates gathered in Bonn at the halfway mark of the UNCCD’s 10-year strategic plan, expectations were high that the recommendations of the 2nd Scientific Conference the previous week would inject new life into parties’ efforts to implement the Convention. But it quickly became apparent that reaching agreement on the diagnosis, let alone a prescription to restore degraded lands, was proving elusive. Was the Convention “in need of major surgery,” as one delegate put it, to survive beyond its 20th birthday, or was this perhaps a classic case of hypochondria? This brief analysis highlights the challenges of diagnosing and treating the Convention’s ailments that CRIC delegates faced as they sought to identify the most cost-effective tools for monitoring progress on the ground.
Topic:Capacity Building Topics; Capacity Building Types

Summary of the third Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) of the UNCCD
On Tuesday morning, 9 April 2013, CST Chair Antônio Rocha Magalhães (Brazil) opened the third special session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) of the UNCCD, stressing that its work will be important to making the UNCCD a world scientific and technical authority on DLDD issues, especially impact indicators. UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said the Scientific Conference’s evaluation of the socio-economic value of land should help motivate policymakers to make informed decisions towards a zero net land degradation (ZNLD) world.
Topic:Capacity Building Topics; Capacity Building Types

Foreign students strengthen the EU
Approximately 200 000 foreign students and researchers come to the EU each year. They are often very talented people, who enrich their own education through this exchange, but also contribute positively to the EU through their knowledge and experiences. There is now an unfortunate trend in the decrease of the number of students and researchers arriving in the EU. The bureaucratic obstacles are a problem for the competitiveness of the EU, causing gifted researchers to look for opportunities elsewhere. As a consequence, we are missing people who could have contributed to development, growth and innovation after having finished their studies. In the EU today, despite the financial crisis and high levels of unemployment, there is already a shortage of people within e.g. engineering, health care, biotech and IT.
Topic:training in capacity building

ICARDA Newsletter Documents: Sustainable Agriculture Efforts in Drylands
The March Newsletter from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) describes ICARDA's efforts to encourage long-term salinity management investments in Iraq's agriculture sector, micronutrient research in lentils, conservation farming in Iraq, and training on characterizing goat and sheep diversity for conservation and sustainable use in Ethiopia.
Topic:Drought; Food

National Action Programme alignment workshop for Northeast, Southeast and South Asia
The workshop held from the 12 to the 14th of March, 2013 brought together representatives from 24 Asian countries to build their capacities to align their National Action Programmes to combat desertification with the 10-Year Strategy of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Topic:Forests; Water; Food

Desertification action programme alignment process now underway
The first of eight sub-regional workshops to be held globally on how to align National Action Programmes (NAP) to combat desertification with the 10-Year Strategy of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took place in Maseru, Lesotho, from 12 to 14 February 2013. Developed through a participatory approach involving various governmental offices, scientific institutions and local communities, NAPs are the key instruments to implement the Convention. They spell out practical steps and measures to be taken to combat desertification in specific ecosystems.

Preparing for drought cheaper than waiting for it
U.N. agencies are calling on governments at a high-level meeting this week to start reacting more quickly to warnings of drought and put in place national policies to prepare for longer and worse droughts. "In the next decade to come, drought will continue escalating in severity, in occurrence and in duration," Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), told AlertNet from the conference in Geneva. "Preparedness and risk management cost-wise are unbeatable compared to relief and crisis management."

IFLA Launches Webpages on Libraries and Development
IFLA is pleased to launch a new set of resources relating to the role libraries play in supporting development. Access to information is one of the core needs of society and libraries are stepping up and fulfilling this need through capacity building, partnerships, training, and access opportunities for everyone
Topic:training in capacity building

UN partners with African Bank to boost participation in clean development projects
The United Nations has signed an agreement with the East African Development Bank to increase participation in clean development projects in the region. “The two regional collaboration centres in Lomé and Kampala are designed to help Africa increase its attractiveness and potential for CDM. Our goal is to build capacity, reduce the risk for investors in such projects and help make the continent an increasingly attractive destination for CDM projects" said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.
Topic:Climate Change

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has made available the report of the workshop on capacity building for pilot countries on the implementation of synergies among the Rio Conventions
Workshop participants heard presentations from pilot countries, including Viet Nam, New Caledonia and Bermuda, as well as presentations on tools and activities. A representative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) focused on the UNEP Decision Support Framework for ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and a series of guidelines on ecosystem-based adaptation; a Birdlife International representative addressed the opportunities for synergies offered through the Aichi targets, especially with regards to ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and REDD+; and a UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) representative presented on the UNEP-Global Environment Facility (GEF) project "Integrating approaches to national reporting to the Rio Conventions," intended to reduce the reporting burden on countries through improving the harmonization of reports to CBD, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Topic:Biodiversity; Climate Change; Drought

First meeting of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-1)
fter celebratory opening speeches acknowledging the historic establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES), delegates to IPBES-1 settled into a week of intense work in snow-covered Bonn to get IPBES up and running. Many brought years of experience from other MEAs, enthusiasm and an “incredible sense of cooperation,” as one delegate put it. These proved to be helpful assets, as there were numerous items to be addressed in order to build the institutional foundation required for IPBES to become operational. The IPBES Chair, members of the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) were elected. Delegates also agreed to a strategy for developing a first work programme for 2014-2018, and moved forward on rules of procedure, financial procedures, and institutional arrangements for the Secretariat.

Gambia: NBR Youths Resolved to Tackle Desertification
he G ambia's North Bank Region is the most affected by desertification, and it is against this backdrop that the youth of that region committed themselves to plant 10, 000 trees. This was a resolution passed by the NBR conference delegates, led by Lamin Sonko, in the 2012 NaYCONF. In their resolution, he added, they also recommended that the government and private sector create tertiary institutions in their region to help reduce rate of rural-urban migration. The region's youths further called on the government to provide them with skill training centres for building the capacity of youth in NBR.

Global Science Journalism Report
SciDev.Net partnered with the London School of Economics (LSE) and Museo da Vida (Brazil) to examine science communication around the world: journalists background, workload, and opinions on science communication, work environment and capacity building needs.

Small-scale farmers and climate change. How can farmer organisations and Fairtrade build the capacity of smallholders?
As climate change impacts are increasingly felt by smallholder farmers, there is an urgent need to identify approaches that strengthen ongoing economic development efforts and enhance the adaptive capacity of farmers, their households and their communities. Through a review of the published literature and analysis of case studies of two Fairtrade-certified farmer organisations in Uganda and Malawi, this paper explores the links between farmer organisations, Fairtrade and adaptation to climate change, and the extent to which such institutions and market arrangements can enhance the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers.
Topic:Food; Climate Change

It’s not just the money: institutional strengthening of national climate funds
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) analyzed a selected number of examples of capacity development measures and technical assistance for climate- and environment- related funds. These results of this analysis is presented in a new factsheet available at the link below. We hope that our own lessons learned from our operations can inform the work of other practitioners. These examples are part of GIZ’s broader range of projects experience in building capacity of national climate-finance institutions.
Topic:institutional capacity building

UN urged to create global fund for disaster prevention
The NGO Islamic Relief has urged the UN to establish a global contingency fund for disaster prevention as it is cheaper to help prepare for floods and drought than spend billions on emergencies.
Topic:Climate Change; Drought

EU unveils plan for global science partnerships
The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), has set out a strategy to increase the EU's international cooperation and capacity building in science and innovation, including boosting partnerships with emerging economies and developing countries.
Topic:Food; Climate Change

Technology transfer in a changing world
The UN conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) recently reaffirmed the importance of transferring environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) to developing countries, 20 years after the first Earth Summit had put it under the spotlight.
Topic:Climate Change

Capacity building is vital for Africa
​Speakers at the session Water Security: Opportunities for the 21st Century emphasized the need for increased capacity building if Africa is going to meet its water and sanitation goals.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Water

Royal Society and DFID launch fund for African research
​A £15.3 million (US$24 million) fund to build links between African research laboratories and strengthen their research.
Topic:Renewable Energy; Water; the use of know-now and traditional knowledge in capacity building

Building Bridges
Six African countries made great strides in planning how to seek financing for trans-boundary and multi-country projects that would contribute to the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and the Sahara Initiative (GGWSSI), which brings together some 20 countries of the Sahel and the Sahara under the political leadership of the African Union.

China in Nigerian agriculture
​Ten agricultural scientists from the Desert Control Research Institute of Gansu in Northwest China visited Nigeria and Niger to embark on a water conservation programme. Co-sponsored by the United Nations and Chinese government, this programme is an attempt to share best practices in agriculture, following the success of a similar anti-desertification project carried out by agricultural scientists in Gansu.
Topic:Drought; partnership for capacity building

New food security and nutrition project for Egypt-Italy finances $3 million project
The FAO announced a new $3 million project that aims to improve food security and nutrition of women and young people in Egypt. The project is being financed by the Italian government.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Poverty Reduction; Food

Libya and FAO renew commitment to develop the country’s agriculture and food security- Joint programme aims to increase food production, protect natural resources
Libya and FAO have commited themselves to work together to develop the country’s agricultural sector and improve the food security and they signed a cooperation agreement.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Food

Climate change, Desertification, and Migration: Connecting the dots
While climate change and desertification can often go hand in hand, each one able to exacerbate the other, the role these two factors play in migration is starting to gain increasing prominence in research circles. Understanding the role climate change is playing in migration, and the relationship this has with other factors is helping organisations such as the IOM give communities a choice about leaving their homes. This article explains how it is about making migration an option rather than a last resort.

Topic:Climate Change; Drought; Migration

Drought Risk Management: Practitioner's Perspectives from Africa and Asia
This publication is one of the main outputs from our activities of the Africa-Asia Drought Risk Management Peer Assistance Network. Drought is not a new phenomenon: a large part of Africa and Asia  have been facing increased climate variability and extreme events. The terms such as risk reduction, vulnerability reduction and resilience building are increasingly becoming the new hot topic being highlighted at various drought discussion fora.

Cooperatives central to hunger fight
Cooperatives and producer organizations will be increasingly important in efforts to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty around the world, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told participants at the 2012 Thematic Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, during an official meeting with the Economic and Social Development Council (CDES) of Brazil.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Poverty Reduction; Food

Pastoralists need capacity building more than technology
Researchers worked with pastoralists in Ethiopia and focused on non-technical options in human capacity building. One result of this work is that the pastoralists were more resilient in the following drought.
Topic:training in capacity building; the use of know-now and traditional knowledge in capacity building; Poverty Reduction

Australia to share farming lessons with Africa
The Australian government will establish an international food security centre to offer research and technical expertise to willing governments and institutions in Africa.
Topic:research on capacity building; training in capacity building; Food

Q&A: “Grabbing of Drylands is a Serious Concern”
Manipadma Jena interviews Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador of the UNCCD. Garrity has focused on the development of small-scale farming in the tropics.
Topic:training in capacity building; Food; Drought

China helps Africans fend off sprawling desert
In a village of Nigeria's Kano state, Chinese scientists have joined their African counterparts in setting up a research base for desertification control and sand-related industries.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; research on capacity building; Drought

Scientists unite to put drylands on Rio+20 agenda
Scientists and policymakers from Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and France have called for better scientific cooperation and capacity building in the drylands with an eye on putting the drylands agenda on the UN Rio+20 summit agenda.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Drought

Five pressing issues to be addressed by agricultural development
International agricultural development must broaden its scope to address food security issues, according to a new study. The research recommends removing boundaries between sectors to allow agricultural policy to account for impacts of macroeconomic trends, climate change and links between malnutrition and infectious disease.
Topic:research on capacity building; Food; Poverty Reduction

Combating land degradation in the High North
Eight specialists from countries facing severe land degradation in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia traveled to Iceland to meet local farmers, consultants, scholars and entrepreneurs in a week-long field trip. Organized by the United Nations University Land Restoration Training programme (UNU-LRT), the field trip gave participants the opportunity to study land degradation, restoration and land management.

SOUTH KOREA: Drylands Meet Deserts Gender
Delegates to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD) meeting underway in this South Korean city are convinced that women, though affected most by desertification, hold the key to addressing hunger through land regeneration.
Topic:training in capacity building; Gender

Frankincense and Myrrh harvest may encourage sustainable livelihoods in Ethiopia
A new CIFOR study says that the sustainable production and marketing of oleo-gum resins such as frankincense and myrrh could provide both valuable income options for poverty stricken Ethiopian communities and opportunities for enhancing carbon sequestration.
Topic:training in capacity building; Poverty Reduction

Laying A Foundation For Global Food Security
A newly released Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development, states that pivotal changes within the U.S. organizations that administer agricultural development assistance, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, have put the United States in the position to lead global efforts on food security.
Topic:training in capacity building; Food

Tackling desertification and food security risks in Jordan
Jordan could face decreasing water supplies, viable farmland and food, if the arid and semi-arid lands of the country suffer from further degradation and become more desert-like. A project funded under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme is attempting to address these threats. Scientists are conducting research in the Yarmouk Basin, a 1400 square kilometre area in the Badia region. This project will  help to build capacity among Jordanian researchers.
Topic:research on capacity building; Drought

Ban urges poor nations' leaders to create conditions for economic development
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged leaders of the world's poorest countries meeting in Turkey to agree on a common position and send a strong political message to the rest of the world on the importance of investing in the least developed countries to eradicate global poverty.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Poverty Reduction

Where Middle East and North Africa Water Leaders Engage
The World Bank Institute (WBI)’s Urban Water Program works together with the Arab Water Academy (in the United Arab Emirates) to promote capacity building in the water sector in The Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Poverty Reduction; Water

Journalists schooled on the Rio Conventions
Selected journalists in Accra have been educated on the Rio Conventions, some key International Principles on environmental management, to enable them to track Ghana's progress since the country is a signatory to the conventions.
Topic:institutional capacity building; Education

Women’s Lingerie and Genetically Modified Organisms
In Burkina Faso, the lingerie company Victoria’s Secret and the agribusiness multinational Monsanto are working directly with farmers to increase their cotton production. After seeing both annual yields and prices for cotton decrease over the last few years, Burkina Faso producers began working with the Swiss NGO Helvetas to build capacity for organic production.
Topic:the use of know-now and traditional knowledge in capacity building; training in capacity building; Poverty Reduction; Education

UNDP Implements Project on Combating Desertification and Drought in Turkmenistan
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are implementing an environmental project in Turkmenistan aimed at sustainable management of land resources and combating desertification and drought. The project supported the initiative of the local population in the project area Nohur to adjust the number of livestock and, as an alternative, develop horticulture and fruit gardening with the view of preventing degradation of pastures.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; training in capacity building; Food; Poverty Reduction

Indigenous knowledge meets science
For generations, the Nganyi people of western Kenya have served as rainmakers, helping local communities decide when best to prepare their land and sow their seeds. By observing subtle changes in nature that would be unnoticeable to most people - in air currents, the flowering and shedding of leaves of certain trees, the behaviour of ants, bird songs, even the croaking of frogs and toads - they have been able to interpret weather patterns and provide valuable advice. But even the Nganyi have been flummoxed by climate change and the alternating cycles of droughts and floods it is inflicting. A British-Canadian project aims to combine indigenous knowledge with modern science to build up climate change intelligence and disseminate it more widely in a community whose existence depends almost exclusively on farming.
Topic:the use of know-now and traditional knowledge in capacity building; Poverty Reduction; Climate Change

Wageningen University Launches Project To Improve Food Production and Soil Fertility in Africa
The Wageningen University has launched a new initiative to improve food production and soil fertility in Africa through expanding the production of legume crops and thus increasing inputs from biological nitrogen fixation.
Topic:training in capacity building; research on capacity building; Food

Anti-desertification plan gets official launch in Rio
Organizations from Africa, Brazil and France have officially launched a scientific collaboration to fight desertification in Africa. The collaboration was discussed at the Fight against Desertification in Africa conference in Niger in October 2011. The 'Declaration of Niamey' adopted at the conference highlighted the need for interdisciplinary research in the fields of desertification, drought and land degradation, focusing on social, economic and environmental issues.

The United Nations launched a new online database to strengthen partnerships between sustainable development projects in developing countries and enable communities to better manage their natural resources and local environment.
Topic:partnership for capacity building; Poverty Reduction

Translating local action into policy reforms in dryland Africa
Dry forests cover over 40 per cent of the African land mass and yield a range of products – timber, wood fuel, animal fodder, wild game, thatching grass, resins and much else – which are vitally important to the welfare of tens of millions of people. In many countries, forest-based enterprises provide over a third of all non-farm income in rural areas, but they could do much more to reduce rural poverty. A three-year project managed by CIFOR and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) seeks to improve local livelihoods by encouraging forestbased enterprises in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Zambia.
Topic:training in capacity building; Poverty Reduction

ECOLEX is an information service on environmental law, operated jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Jations Environment Programme UNEP. Its purpose is to build capacity worldwide by providing the most comprehensive possible global source of information on environmental law.
Topic:the use of know-now and traditional knowledge in capacity building; Education

Good Practice Guides
The Good Practice Guide series presents policy considerations, management tools, market-based instruments, and capacity-building methods that support biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction in a number of different development sectors. Each guide in the series is composed of a booklet and accompanying power point presentation.
Topic:training in capacity building; Biodiversity; Forests; Water

Community Forest Handbook
With an estimated 558 million people managing 1 billion hectares of agroforests worldwide, TFT’s new guide to working with smallholder agroforest managers is aimed at empowering communities to successfully launch sustainable forest businesses.
Topic:Forests; Biodiversity

Cap-Net is an international network for capacity building in sustainable water management
It is made up of a partnership of autonomous international, regional and national institutions and networks committed to capacity building in the water sector.

Global Land Forum and Assembly of Members 2013: Inclusive and Sustainable Territorial Governance for Food Security
Every two years, ILC organises an international Forum to convene its members and other stakeholders on land to advance understanding of the complex and dynamic political, economic, environmental and societal linkages between land governance, food security, poverty and democracy. ILC’s ultimate objective is to mobilise its members and partners to influence land-related policy practice. In pursuit of this objective, the Coalition facilitates multi-stakeholder processes in the search for people-centred responses to land governance challenges. Date: 23/04/2013 - 26/04/2013
Topic:Food; Poverty Reduction

Capacity Building Workshop on Economic Valuation of Land and Ecosystem Services
Until recently, the value of land has been determined exclusively by its agricultural and economic productivity,” said Simone Quatrini, Coordinator for Policy & Investment Analysis of the Global Mechanism (GM). But now, with GM support, countries are building their capacities to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the total value of all the ecosystem services that land provides.

Read the full interview with Mr Quatrini on how the GM is working to embed the innovative approach of economic valuation of land (EVL) developed by the Offering Sustainable Land-Use Options (OSLO) consortium into financial and investment decisions by bridging the gaps between science, policy and practice.

Policy guidelines for the development and promotion of open access
UNESCO issued this publication to demystify the concept of Open Access (OA) and to provide concrete steps on putting relevant policies in place. Building capacities in Member States for Open Access is a necessary but not sufficient condition for promotion of the concept. Creating an enabling policy environment for OA is therefore a priority. This publication will serve the needs of OA policy development at the government, institutional and funding agency level. The overall objective of the Policy Guidelines is to promote Open Access in Member States by facilitating understanding of all relevant issues related to Open Access.
Topic:institutional capacity building

Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development - Training Materials
Education, communication, and public awareness are essential elements in ensuring improvements in the quality of life of all people and their environment, eradication of poverty, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable development.
Environmental education is key for respecting nature and for achieving international agendas, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); and the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD, 2005-2014).
Topic:training in capacity building; Drought; Biodiversity; Water

FAO and Messe Düsseldorf lead the SAVE FOOD - Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
FAO and Messe Düsseldorf are collaborating with donors, bi- and multi-lateral agencies and financial institutions and private sector partners (the food packaging industry and others) to develop and implement the programme on food loss and waste reduction.
The start-up plan for this global initiative rests on four main pillars: Awareness raising; collaboration; policy, strategy and programme development; and, support to investment programmes and projects, including technical and managerial support, as well as capacity building


Joint launch of Capacity Building Project on Drought Preparedness by UN agencies
The UNCCD, The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), on 12 March have jointly launched a project on capacity-building to support national drought management policies. The initiative kicked off on the sidelines of the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policies in Geneva.
Topic:Drought; Capacity Building Types

How Desertification Works
Can Desertification be Stopped? Is it possible to slow the progress of desertification or even stop it completely? Environmental experts say yes, but it will require a worldwide campaign to improve agricultural methods, regenerate plant life and conserve precious soil fertility...

Africa's agricultural potential
Farming first has created an interactive poster that gives information on current and potential agricultural status of Africa.

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