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.

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Plan Timor-Leste: Photography in campaigns

My photography in Timor-Leste has been used in multiple campaigns by Plan International.

Because I am a Girl campaign – featured photo on international website (see featured image above).

Plan 75th anniversary/Count Every Child – featured photo gallery

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Photography — Plan Timor-Leste

At Plan Timor-Leste part of my responsibilities include taking professional quality photographs in the field, as well as providing basic photography training to staff. The photographs are used to promote Plan’s work internationally.

View a slideshow of images taken for Plan Timor-Leste.

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Sweet business success for women in Lautem — AlertNet/Plan

Maria (28) prepares cake batter in her kitchen in Louro, Lautem, Timor Leste while her son looks on. After receiving vocational training from Plan, she has started a small baking business with four other women. Plan/Ashlee Betteridge

A story on a successful bakery project started by women participating in one of Plan Timor-Leste’s youth livelihoods programs. Text produced in partnership with Timorese counterpart Maria Nunes. Published on AlertNet and Plan’s website.

Read the story

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.

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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.”

View full blog post

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