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How can Bangladesh increase its resilience to disasters through data sharing?

Debashish Paul Shuvra's picture
 
How can Bangladesh increase its resilience to disasters?

Schools across Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to floods, cyclones, and earthquakes. How can the country mitigate and respond to the risks of these natural hazards?

By using the GeoDASH platform - a geospatial data sharing platform - the Directorate of Primary Education of Bangladesh has assessed 35,000 schools with respect to the type of infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, access to roads, and overall capacity during natural disasters.

The GeoDASH platform is a reliable and extensive geographic and information (geospatial) data network.

These data are Geographic Information System (GIS) and other geolocation services-based information to represent objects or locations on a globally referenceable platform to enable mapping.

For example, locations of road network data can be merged with the flood risk map to get a single map for identifying vulnerable road communication in flood-prone areas.

This type of data will allow the Government of Bangladesh, communities, and the private sector to create, share and use disaster risk and climate change information to inform risk-sensitive decision making.

Electrocracy in India: power of, by, and for the people

Amit Jain's picture
India Solar
To boost India’s solar rooftop program, the World Bank has partnered with the Government of India to provide $648 million to place solar panels on rooftops across the country.

Solar energy is not just for the elite and wealthy. Today, with growing numbers of people taking power generation into their own hands, solar energy has become the world’s most democratic source of power - of the people, by the people, and for the people. However, the pathway to this goal requires a fundamental paradigm shift in the power sector – one in which more and more people take “power” generation into their own hands.
 
In the words of environmentalist and author Ross Gelbspan, “A common global project to rewire the world with clean energy could be the first step on a path to global peace and global democracy -- even in today's deeply troubled world.”
 
In Germany, solar rooftops have already set off a transformation. Home to more than 1.7 million citizen-owned solar power systems, Germany now accounts for almost one-fourth of the world's PV capacity. Armed with solar rooftops and smart battery storage, German households have turned into energy producers, are paying lower utility bills, and are fast approaching energy independence.  
 
In California too, solar rooftops have taken center stage. The state is the first in the U.S. to require solar panels on almost all new homes. And as solar rooftop installations rise, domestic storage systems are simultaneously being developed to keep pace. Tesla's Powerwall, for example, enables users to store solar power generated during the day for use at night when the sun goes down.
 
As the world’s third-largest producer of conventional energy, India too is now rapidly expanding its capacity to generate solar power. The country has set itself an ambitious target of generating 100 GW of solar power by 2022. Today, solar power has emerged as the cheapest source of energy in India, at prices that are a fraction of grid power. In fact, India’s 100 GW solar target, of which 40 GW is to come from rooftop solar, will play a key role in providing 24 X 7 sustainable, affordable, and reliable electricity to 300 million people. Currently, however, only some 2 GW of this 40 GW target has been installed.
 
To boost India’s solar rooftop program, the World Bank has partnered with the Government of India to provide $648 million to place solar panels on rooftops across the country. The program has financed 600 MW in rooftop solar installations so far, of which 80 MW has already been installed.

#IndiaWeWant Photo Contest: Shortlisted Entries

Roli Mahajan's picture

The World Bank in India ran the #IndiaWeWant photo competition through our Facebook and Twitter channels, where we invited participants to share photographs capturing the key development priority for India. The #IndiaWeWant photo competition was open for a month and we have received many compelling entries. 

Now it is time for us to choose our winners.

We asked a jury of three members comprising professional and development photographers -- Michael Foley, Anirban Dutta, Anupam Joshi-- to come together and do the honours.

Here are the #IndiaWeWant entries that have made it to the longlist. They will be deliberating over these soon and selecting the WINNER as well as the 9 others, as stated in the rules.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below and if one of your entries has been selected then please do send us an email ([email protected]) with the actual photograph and your details (Name, Phone Number).
 

Banking on women’s empowerment for a sustainable and stronger India 
The global efforts for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals could be accelerated by synergising women's empowerment with environmental conservation. 
Since past 32 years, Barli Development Institute for Rural Women (BDIRW) has been empowering rural and tribal women through organising free 6-monthly residential training program covering literacy, organic-farming, solar-cooking, health and tailoring&cutting. More than 8200 women have been empowered, who are changing the sustainable development horizons of their families and tribal communities (www.barli.org#IndiaWeWant 
In Picture: The women-trainees from Alirajpur (Dhauli, Rita, Angita, Karmi) planting trees in BDIRW campus (Indore, India) 
Photo credit: Yogesh Jadhav
 
For India, developing priority should be the education of girls in rural areas. They enrolled in school in beginning but they are not able to make it till the end, either they are forced to marry at the age of 10 or 13. In future, they are illiterate mothers who cannot read and write properly and also they become a victim of domestic violence as they are unaware about their rights. #IndiaWeWant
Photo Credit: Neha Rawat
To me, development is more than improvement in nation's GDP. It must be conceived as a multidimensional process, involving changes in the entire spectrum through which human capabilities are expanded, like education, healthcare, social participation or the freedom to make choices. The primary objective of development is to benefit people and improve the quality of life, which can only be achieved if all marginalised and excluded groups are equal stakeholders in the process alongwith active involvement in the planning, execution and monitoring of development programs.
The couple below selling lights which are battery operated but thankfully their smiles are not.#IndiaWeWant
Photo Credit: Maneka Naren Yadav‎

From Japan to Bhutan: Improving the resilience of cultural heritage sites

Barbara Minguez Garcia's picture
This page in: 日本語
 Barbara Minguez Garcia 2018
When it comes to their heritage buildings, both Bhutan and Japan have one common enemy: Fire. A view of Wangduephodrang Dzong in Bhutan which was destroyed by fire in 2012. Credit: Barbara Minguez Garcia 2018

About 2,749 miles, three countries, and a sea separate Kyoto, Japan, and Thimphu, Bhutan. The countries’ languages are different, and so are their histories.

But when it comes to their heritage buildings, both nations have one common enemy: Fire.

And to help prevent fire hazards, there’s a lot Bhutan can learn from Japan’s experience.

To that end, a Bhutanese delegation visited Tokyo and Kyoto last year to attend the Resilient Cultural Heritage and Tourism Technical Deep Dive to learn best practices on risk preparedness and mitigation, and apply them to Bhutan’s context.

Such knowledge is critical as Bhutan’s communities live in and around great heritage sites.

Promoting better nutrition in Bhutan

Izabela Leao's picture
 Izabela Leao / World Bank
School children singing and dancing in Samtse Dzongkhag. Photo Credit: Izabela Leao / World Bank

Bhutan is no ordinary place.

A landlocked Himalayan kingdom tucked in a mostly rugged mountainous terrain between India and China, it measures prosperity by assessing its citizens’ level of happiness by way of a Gross National Happiness index.

Equally striking, Bhutan’s constitution mandates that 60 percent of its national land be preserved under forest cover, making Bhutan the world’s only carbon-negative country.

Bhutan’s geography – with land rises ranging from 200 meters in the southern foothills to 7,000 meters in the high northern mountains – consists of three major agro-ecological zones that allow for a rich biodiversity and seasonal foods.

This natural wealth, however, comes with its caveats as Bhutanese living in isolated rural areas can’t access a reliable diverse diet throughout the year.

"Many families in rural Bhutan practice two meals rather than three meals a day," reports Ms. Kinley Bidha, Tarayana Foundation Field Officer in Samtse Dzongkhag. "Some for cultural reasons, others due to a shortage of food, others due to a shortage of land too farm," she adds.

Overall socio-economic development in the last three decades has led to a rapid improvement in health and nutrition outcomes in Bhutan – the country’s infant mortality rate declined to 30 per 1,000 live births in 2012 down from 90 per 1,000 in 1990; while the rate of stunting in children under 5 years declined 24 percent from 1986 levels.

Nonetheless, the lack of variety of foods in diet remains a key concern, especially for pregnant and nursing women as well as young children. And while most families feed their children complementary food, fewer than a quarter of parents provide them nutritious meals essential to their health.

In addition, 67 percent of Bhutanese adults consume less than the recommended five servings (or 400 grams) of fruits and/or vegetables per person a day [National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2015].

When consumed, vegetables consist for the most part of two national staples, potatoes and chilies, which hardly provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Keeping regional variations in mind, between 16 and 34 percent of children under 5 are stunted—or too short for their age—seven percent of children are underweight, 35 percent of children of age 6-59 months and 44 percent of women of reproductive age are either anemic or iron deficient. Exclusive breastfeeding rates for six-month-old children remain at a low 50 percent (NNS, 2015).  

Damages caused by malnutrition during pregnancy and the first years of a child’s life are irreversible and contribute to stunting and lower immunological and cognitive development, and predispose to adult-onset diseases (including metabolic syndrome).

Thankfully, the negative impact of malnutrition on Bhutan’s economy is now better understood and has become a priority to promote its national development.

Indian agriculture at a crossroads: Smart solutions towards doubling farmers’ incomes

Martien van Nieuwkoop's picture
A few weeks ago, I felt a sense of déjà vu.  I was at a roundtable on agriculture in Delhi, in the same conference hall where, ten years ago, I participated in the consultations on the Bank’s World Development Report 2008 on Agriculture for Development
 
This time we were discussing how India can build a stronger agriculture sector without further harm to the environment or depletion of its natural resources.  The high-level dialogue was attended by senior representatives from India’s Niti Aayog, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, leaders of farmers’ associations from Punjab and Haryana, as well as by researchers, academics, and donors.

We focused on the ‘agriculture-water-energy’ nexus, achieving India’s second green revolution, making agriculture more climate resilient, as well as options to stop the burning of crop residue that is worsening air quality in much of northern India. It was heartening to see the torch bearers of India’s drive towards food security unhesitatingly debate a host of complex and sensitive issues.
 
Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Over the past six decades, India has come a long way from being a famine-prone country to comfortably producing food for 1.25 billion people from finite arable land. Food security firmly in hand, the government is now targeting to double farmers’ incomes by 2022.  Today, with rapidly growing urban food markets, India is emerging as a global agricultural powerhouse.

د افغانستان ښوونځي معياري او قوی ودانيو ته اړتيا لري

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: English | دری
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
د هرات ولایت په یوه لمړنی ښوونځي کې یو ښوونکي د لوبې وسایلو په واسطه د زده کونکو څخه د اعدادو پوښتنه کوي. عکس: د رومی مشورتي شرکت / د نړیوال بانک

په افغانستان کې تحصیلي او ښوونیزو آسانتیاوو ته لاسرسۍ په تېرو اوولسو کلونو کې د پراختیايي پروګرامونو یو مهم مُحرک بلل کېږي. په ۲۰۰۱ زېږدیز کال کې، تقریباَ په عمومي توګه نجونې د دغه هېواد په ښوونیز او تحصیلي نظام کې ګډون نه درلود او فقط یو مېلیون هلکانو د دې هېواد په ۳۴۰۰ ښوونځېو کې نوم لیکنه کړې وه. خو په ۲۰۱۵ زېږدیز کال کې په ۱۶۴۰۰ ښوونځیو کې د اته میلیونو ماشومانو څخه زیات ګډون د دې لامل شو، څو د نوم لیکنې په بهیرکې ۹ ځله زیاتوالی رامنځته شي.

 که څه هم د پوهنې په برخه کې لاسته راوړنې خورا مثبتې ارزول کېږي، خو د افغانستان په ښوونځیو کې د ښوونیز چاپېریال کېفیت او مصؤنیت اوس هم ډاډمن نه بلل کېږي: لږ تر لږه نیمايي درسي خونې  په خورا ګڼه ګونه حالت کې د خېمو لاندې او یا هم په یو خورا ناسم چاپېریال کې په زده کړو بوخت دي.

د طبیعي پېښو له امله د افغانستان د زیانمن کېدنې اټکل، د ښوونځیو لپاره د نویو او خوندي ودانیو جوړول او د شته ودانیو تحکیم او بیارغونې لپاره زیاتېدونکې اړتیا لا پیاوړې کوي، ترڅو په دې توګه د زده کوونکو اوښوونکو د ژوند او سلامتیا په هراړخیزه توګه تامین شي.

فرضاً که د زده کړې په یوه ښوونیزه ورځ کې زلزلې وشې، شونې ده، چې په ښوونځیو کې د معیاري ودانیو او زېربناوو د نه شتون له امله ۵ مېلیونه زده کوونکي ژوند له ګواښ سره مخامخ شي. پخوا طبېعي پېښو او له هغې څخه د اړوندو خطرونو په هکله ډاډمنو معلوماتو او ارقامو ته لاسرسۍ ډیر محدود و، او له همدې امله د پیښود مشخص وخت او راتلونکي په هکله دقیق او ډاډمن  معلومات او ارقاموته ته لاسرسۍ یوه ستره ستونزه بلل کېدله.

په افغانستان کې د څو لسیزو جګړې له امله د معلوماتو او شمېرو راټولول یو پېچلۍ حالت ځان ته غوره کړی، څرنګه چې دغه وضعیت نه یوازې له طبیعي پېښو او خطرونو سره د دغه هېواد د تګلارې په وړاندې یو ستر خنډ بلل کېږي، بلکه د طبېعي پېښو د زیانونو په وړاندې د ځواب ورکوونکو ظرفیتونو په شمېر کې هم خورا زیات کموالی رامنځته کړی.

Making schools more resilient in Afghanistan

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
A primary school teacher in western Herat Province is teaching her students numbers with toys. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/World Bank

In Afghanistan, access to education has been a successful driver of development over the last seventeen years.

In 2001, one million children--almost none of them girls-- were enrolled in 3,400 schools. In 2015, there was a nine-fold increase in enrolment with more than eight million students in 16,400 schools, of whom almost 40 percent were girls.

While it's encouraging to see progress in access to education, the quality and safety of the school facilities are not as reassuring : One of every two students in Afghanistan learns in overcrowded temporary shelters or in fragile outdoor conditions.
 
Given Afghanistan's vulnerability to natural disasters, it's urgent to build safer schools and rehabilitate older facilities in order to protect lives.

If an earthquake were to hit Afghanistan on a school day, 5 million students would be affected. 

In the past, addressing infrastructure resilience has been a challenge since information regarding current and future disaster and climate risk has been extremely limited and fragmented.

Compounded by decades of conflict, this has undermined Afghanistan's ability to cope and effectively respond to natural disasters.

مکاتب افغانستان نیازمند ساختمان های معیاری و مستحکم

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
یک استاد در یکی از مکاتب ابتداییه در ولایت هرات در حال پرسیدن اعداد از شاگردان اش با استفاده از سامان بازی (بازیچه های اطفال) است.  عکس: شرکت مشورتی رومی/بانک جهانی

طی هفده سال گذشته دسترسی به تسهیلات تعلیمی و تحصیلی به مثابۀ یکی از مُحرک های کلیدی انکشافی در افغانستان محسوب میگردد. در سال ۲۰۰۱ میلادی، تقریباَ  در کل دختران شامل ساختار تعلیمی و تحصیلی دراین کشور نبوده و فقط یک میلیون طفل پسر در ۳۴۰۰ مکاتب این کشور ثبت نام نموده بودند. اما این رقم در سال ۲۰۱۵ میلادی با حضور یافتن بیشتر از هشت میلیون متعلم در ۱۶۴۰۰  مکتب ۹ برابر  افزایش را نشان میدهد.

با آنکه پیشرفت ها در عرصه معارف اُمیدوار کننده است، اما کیفیت و مصؤنیت محیط آموزشی در مکاتب هنوز هم قابل اطمینان پنداشته نمیشود: حد اقل نیمی از  شاگردان در  محیط فوق العاده مزدحم در زیر خیمه ها و یا هم در شرایط محیطی بسیار نامطلوب  مصروف فراگیری تعلیم میباشند
              
با در نظرداشت شرایط آسیب پذیري افغانستان در مقابل حوادث طبیعی، اعمار ساختمان های مصؤن برای مکاتب  و احیای مجدد مکاتب و تسهیلات موجود به منظور حفظ جان  و زندگی شاگردان و معلمین یک ضرورت مبرم بشمار میرود.
اگر فرض کنیم زلزله در جریان یک روز درسی صورت گیرد، ممکن زندگی ۵ میلیون شاگرد بنابر عدم معیاری بودن سا ختمان ها، تعمیرات و زیربنا ها در مکاتب  با خطر مواجه گردد.  

در گذشته رسیدگی به این معضل امکان پذیر نبود زیرا عدم موجودیت معلومات و آمار های دقیق در مورد وقوع حوادث در زمان مشخص و یا آینده منحیث یک چالش عمده محسوب میشد.

Regional cooperation in conservation: South Asia shows the way

Andrew Zakharenka's picture
Illegal trade in wildlife and conservation often were not considered high priority for countries of the South Asia Region. In the first ever attempt, the governments of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan joined forces to strengthen regional cooperation for wildlife conservation. And it was a successful one.

The regional project assisted the governments in building and enhancing shared capacity and institutions to tackle illegal wildlife trade across their borders and invest in habitat and wildlife conservation of critically endangered species. It was clear from the onset that these issues would require both national leadership and regional coordination.
 
Launched in 2011, the project initially had a delayed start. Yet, by December 2016, when the project ended, it became clear that governments coordinated efforts successfully. The three countries participated in regular joint action planning and practice-sharing meetings, signed protocols for and cooperated in transboundary actions, as well as held consultations and public events at the local, national, and international levels.
 
The project supported conservation programs of dozens of endangered species, including crocodiles being released here into the wild. Sundarban area, 2014

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