Over the last 25 years Brazil lost around half a million square kilometers of forest - around the same area that China gained. Since 1990, the growing demand for forest products and for agricultural land has contributed to an average annual loss of 50,000 square kilometers of forest globally - an area the size of Costa Rica. Read more in "Five forest figures for the International Day of Forests."
Nearly one-quarter of the world's mammal species are known to be globally threatened or extinct. Indonesia is currently home to the greatest number of threatened species of mammals in the world. These are species that are classified as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
While aquaculture, or fish farming, has grown in recent years, the global marine catch has stagnated since the early 1990s. Almost 90 percent of marine fisheries assessed by the FAO were considered fully-fished or over-fished in 2013. A new report (PDF 2.1MB) estimates that the sector could generate an additional $83 billion in net annual benefits if it moved to a more optimal level of fishing, while improving the size, quality and sustainability of fish harvest.
Read more in "The Sunken Billions Revisited : Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries"
Many rural households in low- and middle-income countries depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Sustainable livestock systems can contribute to reducing poverty, ending hunger, and improving health, and can also be key in addressing environmental degradation and climate change, and preserving biodiversity.
Measuring livestock systems—and the socioeconomic benefits they generate—remains a challenge due to a lack of high-quality, nationally representative data. Livestock is often neglected in many national statistical operations and, as a result, decision makers are unable to design evidence-based livestock sector policies and investments.
A new multi-partner publication provides guidance for effectively including livestock in multi-topic and agricultural household surveys. The livestock module template provided in this Guidebook can be used by survey practitioners and stakeholders to generate household-level statistics on livestock, its role in the household economy, and its contribution to livelihoods. It builds on a variety of multi-topic and agricultural/livestock household survey questionnaires implemented in low- and middle-income countries, and on lessons learned from the implementation of comprehensive livestock questionnaires, as part of multi-topic household surveys, in Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The Guidebook is the result of collaboration between the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
For practical advice on household survey design, visit the LSMS Guidebooks page: http://go.worldbank.org/0ZOAP159L0
In today’s world of mobile technology, social networks, pervasive satellite and sensor information and machine-to-machine transactions, data is becoming the lifeblood of many economies. Data-informed decision making is more important than ever before. However, the ability to use data in development and decision-making processes has not seen the same progress. Relying on data to inform decisions requires that the appropriate tools and analytical methodologies exist in order to use it effectively.
Through the Big Data Innovation Challenge, the World Bank is calling out to innovators globally for higher resolution, regional or sector-specific big data prototypes and solutions in support of watersheds, forests, food security and nutrition.
Here are five facts from our climate team about our water, forests and food security that remind us why your big data innovation is necessary.
Forests and trees are sources of energy, food, shelter, and medicine—and, as such, contribute in multiple ways to reducing food insecurity, supporting sustainable livelihoods, and alleviating poverty.
But measuring forests’ socioeconomic benefits has been difficult due to methodological limitations and the lack of reliable data. As a consequence, the contribution of forests to sustainable development is not only underestimated, but is in some cases invisible, preventing policy makers from considering forest production and consumption benefits when developing social-welfare policies.
A new multi-partner publication provides a landmark contribution to data collection on the socioeconomic benefits of forests. Countries can use the modules and guidance in the book to help close the information gap on the multiple relationships between household welfare and forests. This, in turn, will help capture the true value of forests and other environmental products in gross domestic product measurements and increase understanding of their roles in livelihoods, ultimately leading to evidence-based policy decisions that ensure appropriate recognition of the socioeconomic benefits of forests in post-2015 development programs.
The publication is the result of collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Network, and the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team and Program on Forests (PROFOR).
Link to the webcast publication launch: http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/4227/icode/
For practical guidance on household survey design, visit the LSMS Guidebooks page: http://go.worldbank.org/0ZOAP159L0
Water and sanitation linked to many development factors
Despite halving the number of people worldwide without access to an improved water source over the past 25 years, the poorest countries are struggling to provide safe water and adequate sanitation to all their citizens in a sustainable manner. Just over a quarter of people in low-income countries had access to an improved sanitation facility, compared with just over half in lower middle-income countries in 2015. Delivery of water supply and sanitation is no longer just a challenge of service provision, but it is intrinsically linked with climate change, water resources management, water scarcity and water quality.
This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators. Chris Sall and Esther Naikal co-authored this blog.
. Saving a quarter of this lost food would be enough to feed 870 million people. “Doing more and better with less” means meeting the basic needs of people and promoting a better quality of life while also cutting harmful waste and pollution. Using natural resources more efficiently is also a way to improve. Sustainable Development Goal 12 seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Managing natural resources efficiently
Adjusted net savings (ANS) is an indicator of efficient use of natural assets (target 12.2). It measures the difference between national production and consumption—the change in a country’s wealth. Adjusted net savings takes into account investment in human capital, depreciation of fixed capital, depletion of natural resources, and pollution damage. Positive savings form the basis for building wealth and future growth. Negative savings rates suggest declining wealth and unsustainable development. ANS is especially useful for gauging whether countries that depend heavily on natural resources are balancing the depletion of their natural resources by investing rents in other forms of productive capital, such as through education. Low- and lower middle-income countries with the highest level of resource dependence also tend to have the lowest savings rates.
Biodiversity is essential for well-functioning ecosystems. In each of these 20 countries, over 200 species of plants are threatened, according to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature available in World Development Indicators.
What's also interesting is that:
Finally, you can have a look at the numbers of threatened species of plants, birds, fish and mammals in the table below. Equador (with the Galapagos Islands) is a huge outlier so makes the bar scale a little awkward below - if you right click on Equador and "exclude" it you'll be able to see the bars on more useful scale.
, despite efforts to protect them. Between 1990 and 2015 the world lost more than 129 million hectares—over 3 percent of its forest area. Despite efforts to protect forests, natural habitats and biodiversity, the impact of of human activity on the environment continues to affect the world’s poorest communities and deforestation, desertification and the loss of biodiversity all pose major challenges. Sustainable Development Goal 15 looks to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".