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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth's land but around 13 million hectares vanish each year, 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".
Fish is the main animal protein for more than 1 billion people. Average worldwide fish consumption is about 20 kilograms per person per year. Marine resources are essential to the food security of much of the world’s population and Sustainable Development Goal 14 looks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. Monitoring progress toward this goal is paramount but raises substantial challenges.
Capture fisheries have dominated the seafood market until recently. Since the 1980s there has been a rise in aquaculture (fish, shellfish and seaweed farming), which now accounts for more than half of all seafood production. Countries in East Asia dominate capture fisheries and aquaculture production and together account for over 90 percent of global output.