What is it about oceans? Ocean events seem to be getting bigger and broader in their participation. No matter whether the people in the room are representing government, seafood companies, private foundations, or conservation groups, they are unified by one thing: the need for serious action and soon.
But nothing stays the same forever.
Clearly that was no flash in the pan. Last week, I chaired a high-level ministerial dialogue on the margins of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings where government ministers and senior representatives of more than 40 countries came together to compare notes on how natural capital accounting is working for them.
Country after country – represented by finance, development, or environment ministers – talked about how natural capital accounting fit their countries’ priorities and how it could be a tool to address some of their key policy challenges. With each statement from the floor, it was clear that natural capital accounting is no longer an academic concept. It is alive and well and being utilized across the world in developing, middle, and high-income countries.
April 15, 2013--The private sector could play a key role in ending extreme poverty by 2030 by gathering high quality data and evidence of entrepreneurial impact in developing countries, speakers said at a conference organized by IFC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ahead of the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IFC CEO Jin-Yong Cai of the Bank Group’s private sector arm called the private sector an invaluable ally in a plan to reduce global extreme poverty to 3% by 2030, and foster income growth of the bottom 40% of the population in every country. Those targets will be proposed to the World Bank’s Board of Governors this weekend.
“There is no way that we’ll get there without a robust private sector that is creating the jobs that are critical to lifting people out of poverty,” said Dr. Kim at The Private Sector and Ending Poverty conference.
“The extent to which we commit to working with the private sector to foster growth will determine how ambitious we can be for the poorest people in the world.”
The event, attended by a cross-section of private sector companies, academics, think tanks, and foundations, was watched in Pakistan, Ghana, Albania, Venezuela and Colombia, among other countries, and followed on Twitter with #Results4Impact and #wblive.
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The success of the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA) drew a crowd here in Hyderabad at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting. This effort by the government of Brazil – supported by the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, WWF, and the German Development Bank (KfW) – is protecting almost 60 million hectares of rainforest, an area roughly the size of France and Belgium combined.
Speakers from the governments of Brazil and Germany, as well as from the GEF and foundations, all agreed that ARPA’s results are impressive: Between 2004 and 2006, ARPA accounted for 37 percent of Brazil’s substantial decrease in deforestation, and the program’s first 13 new protected areas will save more than 430 million tons of CO2 emissions through 2050.
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China's Loess Plateau, before and after restoration through a landscape approach.
Photos: Till Niermann, Wikimedia Commons (CC), Erick Fernandes/World Bank.
Yesterday, I joked that I didn't want to come to another Agriculture and Rural Development Day. I wasn’t trying to be flip, and I was only half-joking, but not for the reasons you might think.
I said that we need to be coming to “Landscape Days” – where we have the foresters in the room with the farmer and with the fishers and with the producers and with everybody in the research community.
The bottom line is that we can't achieve food security, or nutrition security, without preserving the ecosystem services that forests provide. We can't sustain forests without thinking of how we will feed a growing population. And we can't grow food without water.
- The World Region
- South Asia
- Middle East and North Africa
- Latin America & Caribbean
- Europe and Central Asia
- East Asia and Pacific
- Communities and Human Settlements
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Sustainable Development
Experts on youth and employment from Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Colombia met on Saturday as the Spring Meetings got underway to discuss the growing problem of youth unemployment in Africa. The high-level panel, chaired by Obiageli Ezekwesili, World Bank vice president for the Africa Region, agreed that there are no easy solutions to the problem.
“Youth in urban areas are looking for jobs alongside thousands of others from the same schools, while rural youth are flooding into the cities looking for work,” said Sanoussi Toure, the Minister of Finance of Mali. “This is a tragedy. Our policies favor investment in education and training, but this investment has not led to job creation.”
Key points that came out of the meeting included:
- There are no easy solutions to the problem of youth unemployment.
- Youth employment has to be part of the growth strategy of every African country.
- Employment policies need to favor investment in education and training.
The panel also included Mauricio Cárdenas, former Colombian Minister of Transport and Economic Planning. Cárdenas talked about the outcomes of two youth programs Colombia put in place during his country's economic crisis in the late 1990s, when external shocks drove unemployment from 10 to 20 percent, and youth unemployment to 30 percent.
It is clear that youth unemployment in Africa needs to be addressed from many entry points, Ezekwesili said in her concluding remarks.
“The profile of unemployed youth has to enter the way we think, just as gender has. Youth need to be effectively targeted in everything we do, so that they will have a stake in the future,” Ezekwesili said.
How is the financial crisis impacting youth around the world? Youthink!, the Bank’s website dedicated to kids and young adults, asked its cadre of youth bloggers from around the world to answer that question.
"Even if the situation ahead of us is really bad, what good would it do to stress about it? It’s more productive to focus on the good things and keep on working towards our goals as a society…" said contributing blogger María Rodríguez of Colombia.
Bringing together seven young bloggers from across the world, the Youthink! blog features posts about topics as wide-reaching but impactful as climate change to health in the developing world. Since launching in January 2009, Youthink! bloggers have managed to spark lively debates and discussions among the site’s audience.
The first batch of Youthink! bloggers are:
- Stacy Alcantara, Philippines – Youth Coordinator; Active Citizenship Research
- Christine Cassar, Malta – Director, People for Change Foundation
- Nicholas Lembo, USA – MA Candidate; International Development
- Nate Miller, Benin – World traveler and public health professional
- Saptarshi Pal, India – World Bank International Essay Winner, 2008
- María Rodríguez, Colombia – Director; Red de Generación de Oportunidades Sociales (Social Opportunities Generating Network)
- Joao Felipe Scarpelini, Brazil – Youth Activist; Peace Child
- Saadia Iqbal, USA – Youthink! Editor
A 2006 Webby Award winner, Youthink! aims to inform youth on development issues and inspire them to get involved. The site contains a section for educators, and most of the content is now available in French, Spanish, and Chinese.