36 research outputs found

    Restoring Degraded Lands

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    Land degradation continues to be an enormous challenge to human societies, reducing food security, emitting greenhouse gases and aerosols, driving the loss of biodiversity, polluting water, and undermining a wide range of ecosystem services beyond food supply and water and climate regulation. Climate change will exacerbate several degradation processes. Investment in diverse restoration efforts, including sustainable agricultural and forest land management, as well as land set aside for conservation wherever possible, will generate co-benefits for climate change mitigation and adaptation and morebroadly for human and societal well-being and the economy. This review highlights the magnitude of the degradation problem and some of the key challenges for ecological restoration. There are biophysical as well as societal limits to restoration. Better integrating policies to jointly address poverty, land degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions and removals is fundamental to reducing many existing barriers and contributing to climate-resilient sustainable development

    Severe climate change risks to food security and nutrition

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    This paper discusses severe risks to food security and nutrition that are linked to ongoing and projected climate change, particularly climate and weather extremes in global warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation. We specifically consider the impacts on populations vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition due to lower income, lower access to nutritious food, or social discrimination. The paper defines climate-related “severe risk” in the context of food security and nutrition, using a combination of criteria, including the magnitude and likelihood of adverse consequences, the timing of the risk and the ability to reduce the risk. Severe climate change risks to food security and nutrition are those which result, with high likelihood, in pervasive and persistent food insecurity and malnutrition for millions of people, have the potential for cascading effects beyond the food systems, and against which we have limited ability to prevent or fully respond. The paper uses internationally agreed definitions of risks to food security and nutrition to describe the magnitude of adverse consequences. Moreover, the paper assesses the conditions under which climate change-induced risks to food security and nutrition could become severe based on findings in the literature using different climate change scenarios and shared socioeconomic pathways. Finally, the paper proposes adaptation options, including institutional management and governance actions, that could be taken now to prevent or reduce the severe climate risks to future human food security and nutrition

    Harvesting Solar Power in India

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    Impacts of Weather Variability and Climate Change on Agricultural Revenues in Central Asia

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    The study evaluates the impact of weather variability on agricultural revenues in the four Central Asian countries using a panel data at the province level for the period of 1990-2010. The net average effects of weather variability are estimated to be less than 1% of total crop production revenues, with variations among the provinces in the region. This result is robust to numerous specification checks. It is believed that the main reason for such relatively low levels of impacts, in addition to good weather years, is evolving adaptive capacities and coping actions by farmers in the region. In most of Central Asia, important year-to-year weather variations are the norm rather than an exception. As a key conclusion, agricultural producers operating in such inherently stressed environments may have more experience to dynamically adapt to erratic and changing environment

    Evaluating the Impacts of Traditional Biomass Energy Use on Agricultural Production in Sichuan, China

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    As crop straw and firewood are generated as by-products of food production systems, they are perceived to be sustainable energy sources that do not threaten food security by Chinese government for a long time. However, the time spent on collecting straw and firewood may create a burden on rural household, as it could reduce the available labor inputs for agricultural production, which in turn, possibly brings negative impact on food security. Building on an integrated agriculture-energy production system, a Symmetric Normalized Quadratic (SNQ) multi-output profit function (which includes labor allocations as quasi-fixed factors) is estimated to investigate the impacts of traditional biomass energy use on agricultural production in this paper. The negative signs of the calculated cross-price elasticities of supply (agricultural products and biomass energy) confirm that the relationship between biomass collection and agricultural production is competition. Moreover, the cross-price elasticities of biomass collection with respect to inputs are positive, implying that indirect link between biomass collection and agricultural production perhaps lies in household consumption decisions. The important implication of this study is that potential policy interventions for developing biomass energy in rural China could aim at enhancing food security by improving household motivation of engaging in agricultural production and slowing down the competition between biomass collection and agricultural production. It is suggested that government should attach more importance to simultaneously promote the prices of agricultural products and control the prices of intermediate inputs