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Environment

Customary forest, coffee growing and dancing on Buton, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tony Whitten's picture

Four years ago, the Lambusango Forest project started on Buton in Southeast Sulawesi.  Conservation contracts have included introducing village cooperatives to niche markets (for more, see my previous blog post). This film records parts of the final supervision mission:

Departing thoughts on NT2: The simple importance of information

Nanda Gasparini's picture

It’s now that time for me when you have to sit down and write goodbye and thank you emails, throw away all those trees you’ve cut over the years (that would be paper), wrap up work, pack up your stuff and say goodbye.

China’s growth surprises on the downside

David Dollar's picture

Although exports have slowed down, they contributed to China's GDP growth in 2008. But in this gloomy global economy, some factories will close and workers will lose jobs as it slows down further.
China’s growth rate in the third quarter fell to 9.0%, the lowest rate since the SARS crisis in 2003. Everyone expected that the global slowdown and disruption from the Olympics would take some of the froth off China’s economy. But the median forecast among specialists who follow China was 9.7%, so it is fair to say that the drop was a big surprise.

The details of the third quarter report provided some good news. Exports are slowing gradually, but still contributed to the GDP growth in 2008. Retail sales growth hit its highest level in nine years and was at 18% in real terms in September. So far, Chinese consumption is holding up. And the easing of inflation to under 5% means that the government has scope to loosen monetary and fiscal policy. The government is planning to respond to the potential for further growth declines with accelerated spending on reconstruction of the earthquake-affected areas and with infrastructure projects more generally.

Economics of Sanitation

Jaehyang So's picture

Most of us in the development community are aware that proper water and sanitation services are crucial for life and health. Proper sanitation especially can decrease the instances and spread of disease. But in making the case to Ministers of Finance, it is often the economic and financial case that we have to make in order to garner the investments needed to make a difference.

A Water and Sanitation Program report we released last month, called Economic Impact of Sanitation in Indonesia (pdf), makes that case for that country. The report says that the economic costs of poor hygiene and sanitation in Indonesia reached an estimated US$6.3 billion, or 2.3 percent of GDP in 2006.

How cute do you have to be to be safe?

Tony Whitten's picture

A recent paper by Berta Martín-López and colleagues in Conservation Biology reports how the size of an animal’s eyes appears to be people’s main measure for determining whether they think an animal is important enough for them to open their pocket books and pay for its conservation.

Biodiversity restoration in Lake Dianchi, China - Part 3: Alien invaders both hold back and support recovery

Tony Whitten's picture

Red-eared Sliders, one of the invasive alien species in Lake Dianchi. See full photogallery.
Another notable achievement of the ‘Restoration of Freshwater Biodiversity in Lake Dianchi’ project (see previous entries--part 1 and part 2) was the discovery and action taken against a number of invasive alien species which had not been recorded from the lake before the surveys initiated by the project. These include the Golden Apple Snail, Louisiana Crayfish, Red-eared Slider (the turtle or terrapin commonly found in pet shops the world over), and Muskrat. Their introduction to the area, as with many alien invasives, “seemed a good idea at the time” but they all have – or likely will have – serious negative economic and ecological impacts. The Golden Apple Snail has a predilection for young rice plants, the Louisiana Crayfish burrows into bunds, and the Red-eared Slider predates on fish.

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