Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, And Policy [Pdf]. MIT Open CourseWare

Climate Change Economic conditions and policy Trackbacks (0)
How will various institutions respond to global warming? It's a multifaceted question, and one that forms the basis of this thoughtful course offered by MIT's Sloan School of Management. Materials for the course are offered as part of MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative, and they include a syllabus, reading suggestions, lecture notes, and several assignments. The course was originally taught in the spring of 2007 by Professors Henry Jacoby and Ronald Prinn, and it also draws on research from the university's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Visitors can get a sense of the course's basic objectives by looking over the readings and the lecture notes, and interested parties may even want to take on some of the homework assignments offered here. [KMG] Scout Report

Rising Food Prices Raise Questions About Both Food Security And Political Unrest. Scout Report

Food, food supply and food security Trackbacks (0)

Food price rises threaten global security

Price of rice continues record surge

US government ready to export rice to Philippines

Poor Thai farmers guard their fields as rice prices soar

Amber Waves: February 2008: Rising Food Prices Intensify Food Insecurity in Developing Countries [iTunes]

Development Gateway: Food Security [pdf]

While the rising cost of consumer goods such as various foodstuffs can be troublesome in the United States, in other parts of the world it has the possibility to lead towards much broader social and political unrest. This was the message delivered this week by Sir John Holmes, who serves as the United Nation's top humanitarian official. At a meeting in Dubai this week, Holmes commented that escalating prices would most likely trigger protests in vulnerable nations. Holmes also remarked that "Current food price trends are likely to increase sharply both the incidence and depth of food insecurity." His comments seem to be corroborated by recent events around the world, including demonstrations about the rising price of food in Egypt, related riots in Haiti that left four people dead, and some very violent protests in Ivory Coast. Rice is one crop that officials and others are particularly concerned about, and a number of Asian countries have slowed or stopped their rice exports in order to maintain their stores for their own residents. Some countries have already agreed to send rice to places like the Philippines, and the hope is that other nations will follow suit. [KMG]

The first link will lead visitors to an excellent piece from the Guardian's David Adam which talks a bit about the recent and sustained increase in food prices. The second link will take visitors to an article from this Wednesday's Ottawa Citizen about the recent problem with rice hoarding in the Philippines. The third link will whisk visitors away to a piece from the Manila Times which talks about the United States government's decision to export rice to the Philippines to ease some of the rice shortage there. Moving on, the fourth link leads to an article which discusses the increasing problems with rice theft that farmers in Thailand are encountering. The fifth link will take users to a compelling interview with Stacey Rosen and Shahla Shapouri about the situation regarding rising food prices. The sixth and final link leads to the Development Gateway's specialized information page on food security and related issues. [KMG]

UNHCR And Google Earth: "Google Earth Outreach"

IRAQ United Nations UN High Commissioner for Refugees Google Chad Darfur Columbia Trackbacks (0)

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has annnounced a new UNHCR and Google Earth initiative "Google Earth Outreach" that was launched in Geneva on 8 April 2008. The programme gives the humanitarian agencies an opportunity to virtually zoom in on specific refugee situations and provides a tool for a close-up view of some of the major displacement crises and humanitarian efforts. Currently the programme is focused on Chad/Darfur, Colombia and Iraq with plans to expand further.

According to UNHCR technical experts, the Google Earth programme, as it grows "will allow UNHCR and its humanitarian partners to build and share with each other a visual, geographic record of their joint efforts on the ground to help refugees".
Read the UNHCR press-release or see the Google Earth Outreach from the UNHCR website (the Google Earth has to be installed first). UN Pulse  Permanent Link: UNHCR and Google Earth

LDC Priorities For UNCTAD XII: Export Competitiveness And Development In LDCs

Development Policy UNCTAD Least Developed Countries Exports Trackbacks (0)
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has issued a new publication to assist least developed countries (LDCs) during the preparatory process for UNCTAD XII, Export competitiveness and development in LDCs: policies, issues and priorities for least developed countries for action during and beyond UNCTAD XII (full text, pdf, 704 KB). According to the highlights, the report agues that there is considerable scope for many LDCs to join the group of successful exporters, particularly in the field of traditional exports such as oil, copper, coffee, cocoa and groundnuts.

UNCTAD XII will be held in Accra, Ghana, 20-25 April 2008. Documents for participants, as well as reference documents (major declarations) and UNCTAD's flagship publications are available on the website. UN Pulse   Permanent Link: LDC priorities for UNCTAD XII

MDG Goals: Global Monitoring Report 2008

World Bank IMF Millenium Development Goals Trackbacks (0)
The fifth annual Global Monitoring Report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been released. With the sub- title, Environment—Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, the report stresses the link between environment and development and calls for urgent action on climate change. Released by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the report warns that developing countries stand to suffer the most from climate change and the degradation of natural resources. It further warns that most countries will fall short on achieving the eight goals of the MDGs by the due date of 2015.

Download the full report (pdf) and read the report's spotlights on the environment by regions from the website. UN Pulse
Permanent Link: Global Monitoring Report 2008