Action on agriculture needed at upcoming UN climate talks — Reuters AlertNet

Support for a work program on agriculture is urgently needed at Doha to incorporate the growing sector into international efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change as well as address looming food security issues, said experts.

“Agriculture is still considered a sideshow in the climate arena and a decision has been lacking over several years of U.N. climate negotiations. Agriculture will be massively impacted by climate change, both the increase in extreme conditions and the rising temperatures. We need global action to ensure food security under climate change,” said Bruce Campbell, head of the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program.

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(Photo by Neil Palmer/CIAT)

Legal frameworks for REDD+: a Q&A with MP Barry Gardiner

British parliamentarian Barry Gardiner, a passionate advocate on environmental policy, talks to Forests News about REDD+ during the 18th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP18) in Doha, Qatar.

One of the key concerns about the U.N.-backed scheme is whether developing countries will be able to implement the legal and policy frameworks needed to make it a success. Legislators in developing and developed countries all have a significant role to play in creating these frameworks and need to use their oversight roles to ensure enough resources are directed towards the scheme, says Gardiner.

Read full post at CIFOR Forests News or Reuters Alertnet.

Government aid agencies join private donations push

Development Policy Centre blog post on government aid agency attempts to boost fundraising figures for the Horn of Africa famine.

The ongoing Horn of Africa crisis has spawned hundreds, if not thousands, of large and small fundraising campaigns around the world.

However, the response has been sluggish and funds are still significantly below what is needed. In short, the global financial crisis hasn’t helped the humanitarian effort.

To combat this, in addition to running their own programs and sending humanitarian support, government aid agencies such as AusAID and USAID have also been actively encouraging the public to donate funds to try to overcome this shortfall. This has led to innovative approaches that have seen these agencies take on some of the tactics more commonly associated with the advocacy and fundraising sides of NGOs rather than the bureaucracy.

Read the post here.


Mixed messages: communicating the challenges of development

A complex Catch 22 situation exists in communicating the work of aid agencies and NGOs. Organisations face the question of whether they should clearly acknowledge the challenges in delivering aid and programs in developing countries, or solely present a positive, optimistic view of the transformative powers of development.

It’s a difficult line to toe. While positive images of children attending school, eating healthy food and bathing in clean water can mobilise support for government programs and increase donations for NGOs, glossing over the challenges that must be surmounted to deliver these results leaves agencies more open for criticism when public expectations are not met.  In some way, the upbeat messages communicated by aid agencies and development NGOs to get support actively contribute to criticism about service delivery and the length of time required to rebuild communities after humanitarian disasters.

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Peter O’Neill: revitalizing the Australia-PNG relationship

A summary and photographs of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s speech at the Australian National University for the Development Policy Centre.

“The O’Neill-Namah government has a solid development agenda and is looking to improve governance, invest in infrastructure and deliver better education and health services to Papua New Guineans.

This was the crux of the message delivered by PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during his lecture at the ANU last week at a Development Policy Centre event.

In a speech that addressed the challenges facing Papua New Guinea with refreshing frankness, the Prime Minister outlined his government’s plans for reform ahead of elections slated for 2012.”

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This post was also syndicated by a number of PNG blogs, including PNG Attitude and Papua New Guinea blog.

Data dumping for development: Turning stats into stories

The World Bank’s open data policy recently celebrated its first anniversary. The New York Times  marked the occasion with a detailed story by Stephanie Strom, outlining the changing attitudes to transparency at the institution, and proclaiming that the Bank’s data could one day become more valuable than its lending and infrastructure projects.

The availability of World Bank data is no doubt highly valuable to donor and recipient governments, academics, NGOs, economists and other development practitioners. But there is one group who seems to have shown little enthusiasm in using the data so far, perhaps the group most crucial in filtering information on the Bank’s practices down to the grassroots — journalists.

Blog post by Ashlee Betteridge for the Development Policy Centre, 19 September 2011.

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