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Climate Change

High and Low, Climate Change Imperils Latin America and Caribbean

Tom Grubisich's picture

From mangrove forests to the Amazon Basin to the High Andes, Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by climate change.  And so are Indigenous Peoples who live in these sensitive environments.

So it's not that surprising, perhaps, that of the 100 finalists in DM2009, 39 come from Latin American and Caribbean countries -- 12 from Peru alone.

One of the Peru projects seeks to "blend Western science and indigenous knowledge systems [and] know-how" to help bring buen vivir (good living) to the indigenous community of Potato Park in the High Andes through the development of new tuber varieties resistant to extreme climate conditions.

"Extreme conditions are showing up more often with more force throughout the region," said Alejandro Argumedo, director of the Association ANDES project (in photo at left with researcher Katrina Quisumbing Katrina Quisumbing King and Alejandro ArgumedoKing).  "With global warming we are seeing the emergence of a new climate, and it's coming very fast."

In Belize, "the impact of climate change is exacerbated by a combination of deforestation and tourism that is shrinking the mangrove forests that act as a sponge against storm-caused flooding," said Gregory Ch'oc, executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (in photo at right with technical coordinator Lynette Gomez).  The indigenous communities of this ecoystem are heavily impacted by the natural and manmade forces of destruction. Ch'oc's group seeks to help one hard hit indigenous district with community-based solutions for forest management that would begin with an inventory of the flora at risk.

DM2009 on YouTube

Florian Sturm's picture

YouTube is a service quite similar to Flickr, but for videos. You can upload your videos to this platform, give them a title and description and that way share it with the whole world.

At Development Marketplace 2009 we figured that YouTube would be a great way to introduce the participants to the global audience and include the project teams into the creation of content. Everybody can browse the projects on Youtube and gets an introdcution to these projects by the project teams themselves!

Just try out yourself - the complete playlist is constantly upadted and available at the DevMarketplace2009 channel.

We are still shooting videos and lending participants Flip cams so everybody can film what they want.

We hope that this way our participants' projects are made visible to potential partners and donors.

If you want to contribute, follow the steps below:

DM2009 Emcee: 'The Script Only Takes Me and the Group So Far'

Tom Grubisich's picture

One of DM2009's most important cogs is emcee Michael Ciszewski, a consultant at the World Bank who is an organization development specialist who's focus is working with teams.  On Thursday afternoon I caught up with Ciszewsk for this mini-interview:

Q. The finalists looked pretty intense at the opening session on Monday [photo below].  Wer
e they?
 
A. Everybody was uncertain and nervous.  Me included.  We were all starting out on a brand new journey, although most of the participants have been on their own absolutely incredible journeys.
 
Q. So your objective was to get them relaxed?


A. I'm probably intially thinking, I've got to get myself relaxed.  If I can do that, then they'll settle into the relaxed space they need to be in.

Q. What's your M.O.?

A. There's a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work to make this happen, and the DM2009 team has just been unbelievable, on call for 24 hours a day.  Despite all that preparation, when the lights go up, and I'm on the podium, the script only takes me and the group so far.  A big part of what makes this work is letting them have the space they need and want.  That's hard to do with 200 people in the room.  But what we've done is a pretty good job of allowing people to say what they want to say when they think it's time to say it.  I'm amazed and impressed how interactive the sessions have been, how willing the participants have been to be present in the room.

SEED Initiative Chief Visits DM2009, Sees Similarities

Tom Grubisich's picture

Helen Marquard, Executive Director of the SEED Initiative, is visiting Development Marketplace for the first time and is getting inspired by the sense of innovation at the event.  She posts:

There are many similarities between the Development Marketplace and the SEED winners. The SEED winners, the 2009 winner in fact we just announced Wednesday (Nov. 11), show how far you can take a good idea, an idea that does not only make business sense but also contributes to the environment and the community. With more ideas like these we can surely face the challenge of climate change. 

* * *

The SEED Initiative through a competition every year selects the most promising start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs around the globe.  These entrepreneurs are then provided not with money but also with locally tailored support and know-how, to meet their most urgent needs. SEED also introduces them to organisations and companies that could have an interest and assist in scaling up the enterprises. The lessons learned are then collected, analysed, and shared with other entrepreneurs to promote sustainable development more widely.
 

DM2009 Juror: 'I Would Give Them All a Thumbs Up'

Tom Grubisich's picture

Looking at the 11 finalist projects he was assisgned to evaluate, juror Fred Onduri says: "I am so impressed.  I would give them all a thumbs up. I wish they could all be winners."

Onduri, who is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as head of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is one of the 40 jurors who took a searching look at the 100 projects that were winnowed from the 1,750 applications proposing early-stage adaptation to climate change.  Their goal was to choose up to 25 winners.

Onduri said the winners would have a better chance of long-term success if they were incorporated in the national priorities of the governments of the countries where the projects would be undertaken.  "Their funding will carry them for about two years," Onduri said.  "That's not enough.  Sustainability is very critical."

He also said that the winning projects' chance of ultimate success would be improved if jurors could offers ways to improve the proposals, especially in closing what he called "the sustainability gap."

Onduri and his colleagues used five criteria in their evaluations:

From Finalist Winner in 2003 to Juror in 2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

DM2009 team member Alexandra Humme shares this story:

During our live webcast on Wednesday (Nov. 11) I interviewed Dr. Tran Triet from Vietnam. He is a juror at this year's Development Marketplace. But six years ago, he was one of the finalists and eventually a winner of the 2003 Development Marketplace on Biodiversity. Dr. Tran comes from Phu My Village in Kien Giang Province, a small place located in the southwest corner of Vietnam, close to Cambodia.

Phu My Village is home to 5,000-acre wetland which supports a vast grassland ecosystem of the Mekong River Delta. The Phu My wetland is not only important for bioddiversity

conservation but also provides an economic base to the Khmer ethnic minority who harvest Lepironia (photo at right) for production of woven goods.

In 2003, Dr. Tran, who is working for the Crane Foundation in Vietnam and also is with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the "Ha Tien - Habitats - Handbags" project which protects this important wetland by implementing an innovative model that combines nature conservation with improving daily income of local people whose livelihood depends on harvesting natural resources from the wetland.

The project provided skill training to enable local people to make fine handicraft products like hats and handbags from the Lepironia sedge they harvested. The project also assists local community in marketing and selling their products to higher-value tourist and export markets.

With the Development Marketplace award of about US$ 200,000, the project was able to expand its work and eventually 

Climate Change Bloggers Start to Lift the Market

Edith Wilson's picture

For so long, it's been hard to get conventional media to cover Development Marketplace.  Don't get me wrong, there has been some wonderful coverage over the 10 years we have been doing this.  But let's face it, these projects from developing countries are small. That's the whole point of DevMarketplace -- we want to find really creative, important ideas when they are small so we can help them grow.  So it's been really hard to get the BBC or the New York Times to do big stories. 

Flash forward 10 years, and the social media troops are coming to the rescue -- or should I say swarming?  Thank you all!  The bloggers, tweeters, and social networks are discovering us and lifting us like a wave.  Just today, one of the big bloggers on climate change, Bill Hewitt, at the Climate Change blog of the Foreign Policy Association found us and we were so excited to hear what Bill had posted about the competition (reproduced above).  He loved it -- because as he points out, living with climate change is going to take lots more solutions from the local level and we need this kind of program to find them.   And since you know we love our YouTube channel and our Flips, here's the moment when we found what Bill had posted about us

Ideas welcome on how we can do more to help all these 100 ideas get the audience they deserve -- and how we get them to the people who need them in China, India, Brazil, and many other countries dealing with the same difficult challenges of a changing climate.

DM2009 in the Blogsphere and Social Media -- So Far

Florian Sturm's picture

This is just a short resumé of what has happened today (Thursday, Nov. 11) and yesterday in the blogsphere and on social media in relation to Development Marketplace 2009.

Our aim was to reach a broad audience with the web 2.0 tools we are using, such as Twitter or Facebook. Also, we wanted to encourage our participants to share their projects with the world, using platforms such as Youtube or FlickR.

So far we are quite content -- here are some blog posts about this event:

 

Furthermore we gathered a lot of video footage from the event, live webcast and even self-made by the participants and organizers on the Development Marketplace 2009 Youtube channel.

Here is a video of Tuesday's opening of the event:

IFAD: 'DM Is Excellent Platform for New Ideas'

Tom Grubisich's picture

The following post was submitted by Tom Pesek, Liaison Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development:

Speaking to participants at the 2009 Development Marketplace, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future.  There are 100 finalists from nearly 50 countries here at the World Bank in Washington.  They are all participating in this year’s global grant competition, which is focused on climate adaptation.

These social entrepreneurs were selected from over 1,700 applicants.  Taken together, their projects represent “100 ideas to save the planet and its people from the effects of a changing climate.”  This may seem like quite a tall order, but among these innovators, no challenge seems too great.  In fact, one wonders how the DM jurors will manage to select which up to 25 project proposals most deserve to be funded.
  
Agriculture is where climate change, food security, and poverty reduction intersect.  In addressing the challenge of food security and climate change, we face the inter-related challenges of doubling food production by 2050, adapting agricultural productivity to shifting weather patterns, and minimizing agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing its potential to mitigate climate change.  We will need substantial new resources, new ideas, and new ways of doing business to address these challenges.  

The International Fund for Agricultural Development believes that the Development Marketplace is an excellent platform for scouting and collecting new ideas from diverse sources, fostering innovative solutions, and developing partnerships in support of climate change adaptation.  (Photo of IFAD exhibit above.)  That’s why we were so pleased to be one of this year’s sponsor.  In addition to contributing to the grants, we will be offering our experience and technical advice to the winners over the next two years.

Check Out These Live Webcasts Today and Thursday

Tom Grubisich's picture

Here's what's happening on the DM live webcasts today (Wednesday, Nov. 11) and Thursday (Nov. 12):


Wednesday

  • 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Daniel Mira, Environment Department, Latin America region, World Bank.
  • 11:15 am -11:30 am:  Edward Cameron, Social Development Department, World Bank.
  • 11:30 am - 11:45: John Garrison, EXT, World Bank, focus on civil society, and Helen Marquard, SEED Inititaive.
  • 11:45 am - 12:00 pm: Interview with finalist on Index-based rainfall insurance in Indonesia.
  • 12:00 pm - 12:15 pm: Jim Koch, Santa Clara - Global Social Benefit Incubator.
  • 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm: Ian Noble, World Bank expert on climate adaptation.
  • 12:30 pm - 12:45 pm: Fred Ondun, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • 12:45 pm - 01:00 pm: Mara Bun, Green Cross.
  • 1:00 pm - 1:15 pm:  Warren Evans, Director, Environment Department, World Bank .
  • 01:15 pm - 1:30 pm: Marianne Fay, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Network, World Bank (photo at right).

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