Not long after I joined the World Bank, I worked on a team assessing the extent and severity of land degradation in El Salvador. As part of this work, I went to visit the site of a soil conservation project that had been implemented a few years earlier and was considered extremely successful. Indeed, the project’s implementation report was full of numbers on linear kilometers of terraces built, and other indicators of success. Once we reached the project site, however, we looked in vain for any sign of a terrace. The terraces had once been there (there were photographs to prove it), but a few years later they no longer were.
That results may not last once a project ends is a constant concern. The extent to which it is actually a problem is hard to assess, however, as there rarely is any monitoring after a project closes.
Buyers agreed to destroy obsolete equipment to prevent its reuse in the power distribution network
What do electricity meters and mobile phones have in common? Answer: both are present in millions of Brazilian homes and both become electronic waste as soon as they are discarded. Though they do not contain heavy metals, their materials pose risks from the moment they are discarded in waste dumps or landfills.
The world’s third most affected country in terms of climatic events, Haiti seeks to better manage natural hazards to improve resilience
Haiti is highly vulnerable to natural hazards. Situated within the north Atlantic hurricane belt, andsat on top of the boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates, the risks are constant. However, this does not mean that disasters are inevitable.
Troisième pays au monde le plus touché en termes d’événements climatiques, Haïti cherche à mieuxgérer les risques naturels pour améliorer la résilience
Haïti est très vulnérable aux risques naturels. Situé dans la ceinture de l'ouragan de l'Atlantique Nord, etjuste au-dessus de la frontière entre les plaques des Caraïbes et de l'Amérique du Nord, les risques sont permanents. Toutefois, cela ne signifie pas que les catastrophes sont inévitables.
The Meyer family from Anitapolis, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil
A rude awakening by geese screaming at my door was not the way I envisioned starting my day. With temperatures near freezing, the 6.00 AM milking session seemed a daunting first task in my 12-hour internship as a family farmer in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
« Ne perdez pas votre temps avec des programmes locaux d’amélioration génétique si quelqu’un peut améliorer les semences pour vous. Nous sommes un petit pays, et n’avons pas les moyens de réinventer la roue ». C’était un conseil pragmatique d’un agronome bhoutanais en visite en Bolivie il y a quelques années. Sa déclaration pourrait s’avérer véridique principalement dans les pays aux réserves financières limitées. Cependant, je crois fermement que la mise en œuvre d’innovations agricoles exigent un rapprochement du global au local dans le cadre d’un partenariat mutuel, avec de fortes capacités mises en place sur le terrain. En voici un exemple.
“Don’t waste your time in local breeding programs if someone else can improve the seed for you. We are a small country and cannot afford to reinvent the wheel”. This was the pragmatic advice of a Bhutanese agro-scientist visiting Bolivia a few years ago. His statement might be true, especially in resource-limited countries. However, I strongly believe that implementing agricultural innovations requires bridging the global with the local in a two-way partnership, with strong capabilities in the field. Here's a good example.
As countries prepare to meet at the G20 summit in Turkey next week, global growth and infrastructure needs will be at the top of decision makers’ concerns. And rightly so: Infrastructure – roads, bridges, ports, power plants, water supply – drive economic growth in many countries by facilitating manufacturing, services and trade. But it’s not just a matter of building more. To achieve good development on a planet stressed by climate change and diminishing natural resources, infrastructure needs to be sustainable.
‘Oh you’re going to Lima? I’ve heard the food is supposed to be amazing’. So goes the typical comment I get from friends and family when I would mention my work related travel plans. And in this sense the city does indeed live up to what is now internationally recognized. In my short amount of time in Lima I discovered it has a gorgeous historic downtown area, a stunning coastline peppered with manicured parks in the upscale parts of town, and a largely flat topography coupled with a near complete lack of rain.