[Originally posted at the Development Marketplace Blog]
|Photo © Planinternationalty|
We hear that climate changes – ongoing and those to come – are hitting the poor the hardest and the soonest. So what can we do about that?
Well, adapting to climate change is such an abstract and wide-reaching concept I find it sometimes hard to nail down. How do you actually adapt, especially if you are poor and struggling to put food on the table and send your children to school? I find myself wondering what are the ideas that can help poor people cope with harsh weather?
Over the past year the world has experienced unstable prices in more ways than we could have imagined not that long ago. Just as turbulent as international stock exchanges and food prices? Crude oil.
Many people ask me how to get involved in international organizations like the UN, the World Bank and other large NGOs, and my answer is simple - networking!
Networking has become a buzzword in recent years and grown in popularity as an effective way of getting jobs in the West, but what countless people dont realize is that networking is an art; it's a process. Relationships must be cultivated and then sustained when one networks. The concept is simple, yet its practice is difficult.
For most of us, when a disaster happens in a far away place, we only get brief glimpses of the immediate aftermath and subsequent recovery efforts – often only through news media or occasionally close-by bloggers. During four years of reconstruction after the devastating tsunami that hit the Indonesian province of Aceh in 2004, few have seen the rebuilding process like those who are part of the recovery efforts.
The Multi-Donor Fund (MDF), which is managed by the World Bank with contributions and guidance from 15 other international donor partners, continues to work on the ground in Aceh and Nias. The reconstruction has been extremely successful, with more than 100,000 new houses constructed, more than 90,000 hectares of agricultural land restored and 2,500 kilometers of road built. In late 2008, the MDF held a photo competition for people involved with projects or agencies related to reconstruction. The resulting pictures are not professionally created, but they give a beautifully close and comprehensive view of the rebuilding of Aceh.
(Hover your mouse over "Notes" to see information about each photo)
Finding routes out of poverty remains a key issue for households and policy makers alike. A long term vision of development in Africa and elsewhere suggests that poverty reduction is associated with intergenerational mobility out of rural areas and agriculture, and into urban non-agricultural settings. To respond to new economic opportunities, people must be geographically mobile. Constraints to their movement may in fact impede economic growth.
Zimbabwe's government recently announced a partial dollarization, declaring the U.S dollar and other foreign currencies as legal tender alongside the Zimbabwean dollar in its efforts to fight a crippling hyper-inflation (after announcing the launch of a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note in January).
En Afrique, l’administration des douanes joue un rôle de tout premier plan dans le développement économique et social puisque les droits et taxes collectées par les douanes représentent bien souvent au moins 30% des recettes du budget national (hors pays pétroliers). Dans le même temps, c’est l’une des administrations les plus décriées étant bien souvent décrites comme le symbole même de la corruption et un terrible frein au commerce.
I'm in the north of Guangxi in southern China feeling privileged to be working in such a dramatic karst limestone landscape and part of another great project team. The conical and vertical towers of limestone jut out of the flat agricultural land, sometimes in single sentinels and sometimes in great families of jagged, pointed peaks, no two alike. At Mulun National Nature Reserve which abuts the Maolan World Heritage Site in Guizhou, there is nothing but these towers, and this is one of the sites getting detailed attention within our Integrated Forestry and Conservation Development Project. One sub-component of the project is directed at cave biodiversity. In that regard, we recently made some remarkable discoveries at Mulun.
As I have mentioned in an earlier blog post, cave biodiversity gets appallingly little attention relative to its significance. It is surely the most unknown of the terrestrial ecosystems, and it makes me drool to be close to places for which so little biological information is available.