SEI is a solid source of environmental governance theory and solutions, including theories behind and application of adaptation. I’ve applied to various adaptation research positions at SEI over the years, but am consistently out-brained. Their staff are among the best researchers on the planet. Their annual report is different - beautiful and easy to read interactive. Well worth your time.
SEI is an independent international research institute. We have been engaged in environment and development issues at local, national, regional and global policy levels for more than a quarter of a century.
The institute was formally established in 1989 by the Swedish Government, and since then we have established a reputation for rigorous and objective scientific analysis in the field of environment and development.
Managing environmental systems: Growing populations, rapid urbanization and increased consumption put unprecedented pressure on land, water and air resources. Our research addresses how to manage these resources to enhance food security for our planet’s six billion people, to reduce the health impacts of air pollution and poor sanitation, and to protect ecosystem services through sound management of land and water resources.
Reducing climate risk: The goal of this theme is to contribute to a safer climate for all. We help design, develop and implement effective and fair strategies for adaptation and mitigation in developing and developed countries, taking into account the broader challenges and policy objectives of sustainable human development.
Transforming governance: Sustainable development is essentially about giving people the opportunity to build resilience by providing them with more options in their lives and livelihoods. We advance new insights into good governance for sustainable development in the face of social and ecological change.
Rethinking development: The global economy has brought prosperity to many in the world, but it has also depleted natural resources and vital ecosystem services. Our research shows the benefits of a low carbon future and describes how we can get there. We set out alternatives for sustainable futures, from the planetary scale down to local, on-the-ground solutions.
I cannot recall having Wisconsin or Minnesota branded maple syrup.
The mystifying weather accounts for the record year, he says. “The late spring, combined with all the snow we had, meant temperatures were moderated so that the trees didn’t warm up too quickly.”
Maple syrup is made from sap, and producers need about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Throughout Minnesota, trees produced high levels of sap during the three-week sap run this year, and the sap they produced was good quality, according to Jacobson. In neighboring Wisconsin, producers reported record-breaking levels as well.
“Wisconsin’s 2013 maple syrup production was 265,000 gallons, more than five times the production of 2012,” said Greg Bussler with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (PDF). “This is the highest production since NASS began keeping track in 1992.”
Four of the National Missions under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change focus on climate change adaptation in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forests and the Himalayan eco-system. Successful adaptation to climate change, however, requires recognition of poor women as critical partners in both driving and delivering solutions because women often constitute a majority of the work force in these sectors.
This pilot research documented some of the gender-differentiated climate change impacts and adaptation interventions. It also examined scientific evidence and women’s perceptions on how key climate parameters like rainfall, temperature and wind patterns are changing and how this is affecting their agriculture-related livelihoods. The research suggests specific gender-responsive policy and practice recommendations for the implementation of the four adaptation-focused National Missions.
Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) is a government agency that assists developing countries with disasters, food security, education, health, and sustainability. It is now a conduit for selling military equipment.
The Harper government is merging Canada’s foreign aid agency with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
It also plans to leverage billions in spending on military equipment into making Canada an arms exporter.
The two moves, revealed in Thursday’s federal budget, put to sleep any doubts about the government’s desire to use all means possible to advance Canadian business and commercial interests throughout the world.
The government says its decision to roll the Canadian International Development Agency into Foreign Affairs was a reflection of increased “linkages between our foreign policy, development and trade objectives.”
The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will continue to tackle poverty in developing countries, the government said, and there were no immediate signs it was planning to implement new cuts to Canada’s approximately $4.5-billion aid budget.
The government will also retain a minister for development and humanitarian assistance, and said it plans to strengthen the minister’s position by enshrining its roles and responsibilities in law for the first time.
evforija asked: I'll ask the same question I see many NYT commentors did: where the heck is China going to grow food!? Their country is already so polluted you can't breathe and the rivers are filled with dead pigs... and farmland is going to what? What will they eat? Are they counting on their emerging middle-and-upper-classes to want to import the best of everything from around the world, which I guess is already popular in Hong Kong and other affluent areas?
exlegelibertas asked: I read another article this morning about hive disruption syndrome and about bee-dieoffs in general. The article framed the issue in a wider context of a 'sixth extinction.' As a layman I'm generally sold on these theories, despite their grim outlook. Assuming (as I do) that they're probably the result of anthropogenic climate change, what do you think the proper adaptation methods will be, considering the necessity of honeybees in pollinating most crops around the world?
Great question and I did a little research for you (learned a lot, so thanks!).
The so-called “sixth extinction” theory has been around for a while. I’d avoid reading about it, since it’s all doom. Still, adaptation strategies for bees and other pollinators are only now being taken seriously.
Keep in mind that environmentalism is ‘stewardship’ - it requires long-term thinking, far beyond your life-time. Solutions take time and decades of research and testing. So, managing impacts are part of a long transition…
Most adaptation strategies and responses are part of bigger plans that deal with ecosystems and agriculture, so they’re more likely to be a chapter in larger documents. Here a few resources:
NASA (yes, NASA) has HoneyBeeNet, a project on climate change impacts on honeybees and ag. Excellent overview of the issue, but short on strategies. Well worth a skim (and fun to see the connection between NASA science, climate, and bees!).
This is a sweet moment between mom and son. I think a lot of parents have this same conversation, when their child connects their food to viable creatures. An old friend of mine has 5(!) kids, and I was there when one of them discovered that the chicken on her plate was from a “real chicken.” O’ the horror that ensued… This kid’s mom is quite level-headed, but other parents, unfortunately, have a more forceful “eat your food!” response. Well worth your time, especially if you’ve hung out with kids and witnessed their incredible perceptions.
How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”
Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.
With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.
Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced.
It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.
WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - Water levels in U.S.aquifers, the vast underground storage areas tapped foragriculture, energy and human consumption, between 2000 and 2008dropped at a rate that was almost three times as great as any time during the 20th century, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The accelerated decline in the subterranean reservoirs is due to a combination of factors, most of them linked to rising population in the United States, according to Leonard Konikow, a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
The big rise in water use started in 1950, at the time of an economic boom and the spread of U.S. suburbs. However, the steep increase in water use and the drop in groundwater levels that followed World War 2 were eclipsed by the changes during the first years of the 21st century, the study showed.
As consumers, farms and industry used more water starting in 2000, aquifers were also affected by climate changes, with less rain and snow filtering underground to replenish what was being pumped out, Konikow said in a telephone interview from Reston, Virginia.
Depletion of groundwater can cause land to subside, cut yields from existing wells, and diminish the flow of water from springs and streams.
A new book, Novel Ecosystems, edited by Richard Hobbs of the University of Western Australia and others, shows how many superficially natural ecosystems are heavily influenced by the introduction of alien species. Whether intentional or accidental, most introductions seem to have human origins.
This is disconcerting. “Over large parts of the globe, the ‘wilderness’ that people refer back to never existed,” says one of the book’s authors, Michael Perring, also of the University of Western Australia.
Nature has always had open borders for alien species on the move. Those itinerants may have been a driving force of evolution. But human activity has dramatically increased their travel options. We move many deliberately, as commercial crops or domesticated animals, for instance. Today, others can hitch a ride on ship hulls or in ballast tanks, aboard planes or on the wheels of trucks or the backs of domesticated animals. This phenomenon seems to have been going on for much longer than we sometimes imagine.