Tagged on: Reports and Books

Reports and Books
Global Nutrition Report 2016: From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report is an authoritative source of action-oriented nutrition knowledge that transcends politics and guides the SUN Movement in its quest to make nutrition a priority. This report continues to push the boundaries beyond previous editions—with an optimistic message that when we work together, our collective impact can achieve the changes needed to sustainably transform lives, communities, and the future. Eradicating malnutrition requires perseverance from all of us, and the report gives us our backbone and resolve. It also ensures that we hold each other accountable and learn from each other’s successes and failures. The Global Nutrition Report emphasizes the challenges posed by the multiple forms of malnutrition. It also signals the enormous importance of investing in the critical 1,000-day window so that every girl and boy can lead a happy, healthy, and productive life. Investing in nutrition is our collective legacy for a sustainable world in 2030. Few challenges facing the global community today match the scale of malnutrition, a condition that directly affects one in three people. Malnutrition manifests itself in many different ways: as poor child growth and development||as individuals who are skin and bone or prone to infection||as those who are carrying too much weight or whose blood contains too much sugar, salt, fat, or cholesterol||or those who are deficient in important vitamins or minerals. Malnutrition and diet are by far the biggest risk factors for the global burden of disease: every country is facing a serious public health challenge from malnutrition. The economic consequences represent losses of 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) every year in Africa and Asia, whereas preventing malnutrion delivers $16 in returns on investment for every $1 spent. The world’s countries have agreed on targets for nutrition, but despite some progress in recent years the world is off track to reach those targets. This third stocktaking of the state of the world’s nutrition points to ways to reverse this trend and end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. Over the past decade, momentum around nutrition has been steadily building: In 2012 the World Health Assembly adopted the 2025 Global Targets for Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition. The following year, it went on to adopt targets for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including those relevent to nutrition. Also in 2013, at the first Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit, donors committed US$23 billion to actions to improve nutrition. With the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in 2014 and with the recent naming of 2016–2025 as the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, more and more people have begun to recognize the importance of addressing malnutrition in all its forms. In 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals enshrined the objective of “ending all forms of malnutrition,” challenging the world to think and act differently on malnutrition—to focus on all its faces and work to end it, for all people, by 2030. Now, 2016 brings major opportunities to translate this commitment into action. These opportunities include countries’ adoption of their own targets related to the Sustainable Development Goals, the ongoing Nutrition for Growth process, and Japan’s growing leadership on nutrition in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The Global Nutrition Report is the only independent and comprehensive annual review of the state of the world’s nutrition. It is a multipartner initiative that holds a mirror up to our successes and failures at meeting intergovernmental nutrition targets.1 It documents progress on commitments made on the global stage, and it recommends actions to accelerate that progress. The Global Nutrition Report aims to be a beacon, providing examples of change and identifying opportunities for action. This year’s report focuses on the theme of making—and measuring— SMART commitments to nutrition and identifying what it will take to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.


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2016
Reports and Books
The United Kingdom: Global Hub, Local Dynamics - Mapping the transition to a sustainable financial system
United Nations Environment Programme

The UK’s transition towards a sustainable financial system is shaped by a dynamic between domestic green economy priorities and its role as a global financial centre. With financial assets worth eight times annual GDP, the UK financial system is disproportionately large when compared to the underlying domestic economy. The City of London is not only home to some of the world’s largest financial markets, but also to a range of sustainable finance initiatives that are setting the agenda both domestically and internationally. Historically, it was the key location in the initial rise of carbon markets and a leader in the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into institutional investment. It is now a pioneer in confronting climate risk. The UK has also become a global centre for Islamic Finance, a striking example of how the public and private sectors have cooperated to develop a strategic competence in a growing area of values-based finance. The crisis that followed the 2008 credit crunch had enormous costs for the UK economy, and profoundly impacted the structure and governance of UK financial markets. The continued prevalence of market abuse and high-profile scandals in the aftermath of the crisis has inspired a renewed vigour by regulators and legislators, with recent efforts to restore trust and public confidence focusing on market integrity and professional conduct. Importantly, the focus on stability risk has also changed the ways in which sustainability is being considered by firms and regulators – notably by shifting attention from the institutional to the systemic level. Over the past 15 years, four “waves” of sustainable finance innovation have taken place in the UK, starting with ethical investment, moving to mainstreaming environmental factors into institutional investment, the surge of post-crisis reform and the current focus on climate and carbon risk. Across these, a UK model of innovation emerges – one starting with social entrepreneurs and civil society organizations raising expectations for financial institutions, practitioners competing to capitalize on new market expectations and finally regulation being introduced to universalize good practice. Currently, there are six priority areas for sustainable finance in the UK: 1. Social innovation: aligning finance with individual values and social purpose – for example, from leading work on ‘unburnable’ carbon and stranded assets to new thinking about the overall purpose of the financial system. 2. Institutional stewardship: placing sustainability factors at the heart of mainstream financial sectors, most notably investment management – for example, the Law Commission’s review of fiduciary duty. 3. Capital market mobilization: incorporating sustainability into equity and debt market disclosure, analysis and capital raising – for example, mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases on the London Stock Exchange. Green bonds are also critical growth area: the UK was the third largest green bond market in 2015. 4. Housing finance: improving the environmental and energy performance of the UK’s housing stock through new ways to mobilize financing – for example, finding a practical successor to the Green Deal mechanism. 5. Prudential governance: embedding sustainability into the safety and soundness of key sectors and the system as a whole – for example, the Bank of England’s review of insurance and climate change. 6. Public balance sheet: mobilizing fiscal and other resources to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon, green economy – for example, the launch of the world’s first Green Investment Bank. The UK’s leadership in many areas is clear. But sustainability could perhaps be classified as a ‘sleeping giant’ of the financial system. Initial innovation is sometimes developed in the UK, but then deepened by fast followers in other markets. Many of the promising initiatives are also relatively new and will need careful nurturing to flourish. Heading into 2016, the global momentum is likely to intensify, not least through China’s decision to make green finance a core theme of its G20 Presidency, launching a new study group co-chaired by China and the UK, for which UNEP will act as secretariat. Domestically, the dialogues that contributed to this country report revealed significant enthusiasm for the development of a clear roadmap for sustainable finance in the UK. This would seek to build on existing innovations, overcome key bottlenecks and identify shared priorities for future action. A number of countries are introducing national roadmaps – notably China and Indonesia – and based on the findings of this report, a UK Sustainable Finance Strategy could take forward the following priorities: - Deepen sustainability disclosure and analytics: Disclosure on UK capital markets is improving, but could be deepened on climate, food and water. - Confirm the sustainability dimensions of stewardship, fiduciary duty and investment structure: Improving sustainability performance in the investment chain is not just a question of rules, but also developing pension funds with the scale and capacity to deliver. - Establish a Green Bond Hub: A UK Green Bond Market Development Committee would help to consolidate existing market innovation and provide a platform for future growth. - Empower individual investors with the right information: Innovative use of communications technology could bring information on the sustainability of investment funds to the consumer, strengthening financial literacy. - Build on the track record of the Green Investment Bank: The Green Investment Bank has considerable potential to facilitate capital deployment as it moves into its next phase, addressing market failures that remain pressing issues. - Enhance financing for the greening of the UK’s homes: Breakthrough ideas are needed to develop ways of financing home retrofits that are attractive and compelling for the consumer. - Take a system-wide view on environmental risk: The Bank of England’s prudential review of insurance is world-leading, and the lessons could be applied to other sectors and parts of the system, such as banking and pension funds. - Explore the green potential of alternative finance: The UK is Europe’s leader in alternative finance – such as peer-to-peer – and this could be leveraged for the green economy. - Embed sustainability into financial culture: Following the crisis, considerable attention has been placed on improving financial culture. The sustainability dimension could now be incorporated as an additional motivational driver for improved conduct over the long-term.


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2016
Reports and Books
Compendium of good practices on human rights and the environment
United Nations Environment Programme

The purpose of this compendium is to present good practices relating to the use of human rights obligations and commitments to inform, support and strengthen environmental policymaking, especially in the area of environmental protection that were identified through a joint programme between UNEP, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment (formerly the Independent Expert), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


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2016
Reports and Books
Contributions of the United Nations Environment Programme towards achieving the strategic plan of biodiversity (2011 - 2020 and the Aichi biodiversity targets
United Nations Environment Programme

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is committed to supporting Parties to the Convention. on Biological Diversity (CBD) in their efforts to achieving the Strategic Plan of Biodiversity (2011-2020) and the Aichi biodiversity targets. With more than one hundred projects spread across more than one hundred and twenty countries, UNEP’s contribution to the CBD, specifically in achieving the twenty Aichi targets, is the key focus of this report for information and consideration by the Parties to the CBD as well as the Member States of UNEP. It is noteworthy to mention that the UNEP’s Medium Term Strategy and Programme of Work are in close alignment with the priorities of not just the CBD but also other biodiversity related conventions with regard to programmatic issues related to biodiversity.


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2016
Reports and Books
Integrated assessment of short-lived climate pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean: Summary for decision makers
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2011, two scientific global assessments coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified a number of win-win measures for near-term climate change and clean air benefits. Implementation of these cost-effective and readily available measures, which target reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) in key sectors, can bring rapid and multiple benefits for human well-being and support countries achieve their development objectives, while simultaneously increasing their ambition for climate mitigation in the near term. The reduction in SLCP emissions should, however, be done in parallel with the reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions.


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2016
Reports and Books
Sanitation, wastewater management and sustainability: From waste disposal to resource recovery
United Nations Environment Programme; Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

This book distils some of the latest thinking and experiences on how to make sanitation and wastewater management more sustainable and on how they can contribute to broader societal sustainability. In particular, it focuses on the idea of sanitation and wastewater management as resource management functions: as ways of keeping valuable resources available for productive uses that support human wellbeing and broader sustainability.


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2016
Reports and Books
Radiation: Effects and sources
United Nations Environment Programme

This publication is based on the major scientific reports of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) published in the last 25 years and aims to expand public knowledge on levels of exposure to ionizing radiation and possible associated effects. This publication does not set, or even recommend, radiation safety standards, rather, it provides information on basic science related to radiation (origin, quantities and units), on radiation effects (on humans and the environment) and on radiation sources (natural and artificial). Helping the public understand what radiation is and how it affects life on this planet lies within the core mandate of UNEP.


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2016
Reports and Books
WMO statement on the status of the global climate in 2015
World Meteorological Organization

As part of its mandate to provide authoritative information about weather, climate and water, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) conducts annual assessments of the state of the global climate. For over two decades, those assessments have been published in the six official languages of the United Nations in order to inform governments, international agencies and other WMO partners about global climate trends, and extreme and notable weather and climate events at the national and regional levels.


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2016
Reports and Books
The experience of governance innovations in South Africa
United Nations Environment Programme

The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System has been initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme to advance policy options to improve the financial system’s effectiveness in mobilizing capital towards a green and inclusive economy – in other words, sustainable development. Established in January 2014, it published its final report, The Financial System We Need, in October 2015 and is currently focused on actions to take forward its findings.


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2016
Reports and Books
Experience and lessons from South Africa: An initial review
United Nations Environment Programme

The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System has been initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme to advance policy options to improve the financial system’s effectiveness in mobilizing capital towards a green and inclusive economy – in other words, sustainable development. Established in January 2014, it published its final report, The Financial System We Need, in October 2015 and is currently focused on actions to take forward its findings.


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2016