Tagged on: Resource Efficency

Reports and Books
MDG Report 2014: Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, African Development Bank and United Nations Development Programmeme

African Member States have made remarkable progress towards achieving the MDGs despite difficult initial conditions. Indeed, previous MDG Progress Reports for Africa have shown that when effort and initial conditions are factored in, African countries are among the top achievers of the MDGs. A study of countries accelerating the most rapidly towards the MDGs found that eight of the world’s top ten best performers are in Africa. Further, progress was more rapid in least-developed countries (LDCs) than in non-LDCs despite the significant investments in infrastructure and human capital that countries at very low levels of development require to achieve the MDGs.


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2014
Reports and Books
Assessment of Transboundary Freshwater Vulnerability in Africa to Climate Change
United Nations Environment Programme, Water Research Commission

Managing the freshwater impacts of climate change in Africa is as much a political and development challenge as a technical climate change challenge. Even without climate change, many of Africa’s water resources are facing overuse, pollution, and degradation. Poor land-use practices are contributed to this process. Large numbers of people living in poverty in rural and informal urban areas are already vulnerable to water-related risks, whether floods, droughts, poor water quality, or increasing water scarcity. The status of water resources in Africa has been changing for many decades, whether through decreasing water quality, lowered groundwater, more or less rainfall, and changed timing of rainfall. Change is not new. Climate change, however, will profoundly accelerate the rate of change, affecting the ability of people and societies to respond timeously. The rate of change is compounded by uncertainty of the impacts of climate change. While there are a number of models that attempt to predict the impacts of climate change, many of these are at a very coarse scale and do not predict localised impacts, which may differ from the generalised picture. At the same time, different models predict different climate change trends in the same areas, some, for example, predicting an increase in rainfall, while others predict a decrease in rainfall. Managing for high rates of change in a context of uncertainty is thus what is demanded of African governments.


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2014
Reports and Books
Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development: Insights from Practice
United Nations Environment Programme

Financing remains one of the greatest challenges in advancing sustainable development. Hundreds of trillions of dollars need to be invested over the coming decades to drive economic progress. The challenge will be ensuring that this investment is consistent with and supportive of sustainable development. UNEP is active alongside other parts of the UN and many other partners in creating the conditions to meet this challenge. It contributes to the development of national environmental policies and international agreements including, economic measures that steer sustainable production and consumption. Such measures range from engagement in macroeconomic planning, to fiscal action and public procurement, support to small and medium sized enterprises, research and development and technology deployment.


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2014
Yearbooks and Frontiers
UNEP Year Book 2014: emerging issues in our global environment
United Nations Environment Programme

Ten years after the first Year Book in this series appeared, a special e-book anniversary edition – UNEP Year Book 2014 – presents a fresh look at ten issues highlighted over the past decade. This UNEP Year Book 2014 takes advantage of the latest technology, providing a multi-media experience that helps illustrate the environmental challenges we face today and some of the innovative solutions that have been created to solve those challenges. Video, animations, data visualization and stunning images from around the world help tell the stories.


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2014
Reports and Books
Frozen heat: a global outlook on methane gas hydrates - Volume 1
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) commissioned the Global Outlook on Gas Hydrates as part of its mandate to examine the environmental aspect of key emerging issues and provide accurate and objective scientific assessments for the benefit of the science community and policy makers. This report, written by experts in the field, provides a review of the science and history of this emerging energy source, evaluates the current state of research and explores the potential impacts of gas hydrates on the future global energy mix. By commissioning this report, UNEP neither encourages nor promotes the development and use of gas hydrates as an energy source.


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2014
Reports and Books
Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012
Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network

This report is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish. The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts. Key findings of the report: There has been a dramatic decline in Caribbean corals of more than 50% since the 1970s. The decline is not uniform and correlates only weakly with local extreme heating events, instead being mainly attributed to the severity of local stressors, in particular tourism, overfishing and pollution. Whilst climate change has badly affected Caribbean corals and continues to be a major threat, well-managed reefs have bounced back suggesting that climate change is not the main determinant of current Caribbean coral health and that good management practices can save larger areas of reef if tough choices are made. Loss of the two main grazers, parrotfish and sea urchin, has been a key driver of coral decline in the region as it breaks the delicate balance of coral ecosystems and allows algae to smother reefs The massive outbreak of coral diseases and mass die-off of sea urchin close to the Panama Canal suggest that the order-of-magnitude increase in bulk shipping in the 1960s and 1970s has introduced pathogens and invasive species that have since spread in the Caribbean. Recommendations made in the report: 1.,, Adopt conservation and fisheries management strategies that lead to the restoration of parrotfish populations and so restore the balance between algae and coral that characterises healthy coral reefs||2.,, Maximise the effect of those management strategies by incorporating necessary resources for outreach, compliance, enforcement and the examination of alternative livelihoods for those that may be affected by restrictions on the take of parrotfish||3.,, Consider listing the parrotfish in the Annex II and III of the SPAW Protocol (The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife) in addition to highlighting the issue of reef herbivory in relevant Caribbean fisheries fora||4.,, Engage with indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders to communicate the benefits of such strategies for coral reef ecosystems, the replenishment of fisheries stocks and communities


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2014
Our Planet
Greening Business - Our Planet April 2014
United Nations Environment Programme

Greening business – and the business of greening – is essential to the global transformation to an inclusive, resource efficient and low-carbon economy. There has been significant progress in the last two decades. Many private sector companies, as this edition of Our Planet shows, are now partners for change. They are critical actors for meeting today’s environmental challenges and are seeing the benefit of creating decent jobs in a green economy


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2014
Reports and Books
Towards a global map of natural capital: key ecosystem assets
United Nations Environment Programme

Natural capital is fundamental to human wellbeing, underpinning the global economy. Natural capital comprises both ecosystem assets (such as fresh water) and natural resources (such as fossil fuel deposits). This report presents the first attempt to give an overview of the global distribution of ecosystem assets. Ecosystem assets have the capacity to generate a basket of ecosystem services, and this capacity can be understood as a function of the extent (quantity) and condition (quality) of the ecosystem. The report builds on a considerable body of work in the fields of natural capital accounting and the mapping of ecosystem services. In particular, it draws on the UN Statistics Division's System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and its Experimental Ecosystem Accounting approach, as well as the work by many other researchers.


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2014
Reports and Books
Green Growth Indicators
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

A first set of green growth indicators was proposed in Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress in 2011. This report updates and extends those indicators. It charts the progress that countries have made in four areas: the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy||maintaining the natural asset base||improving people’s environmental quality of life||and implementing policies for, and realising the economic opportunities associated with, green growth.


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2014
Reports and Books
Frozen heat: a global outlook on methane gas hydrates - Volume 2
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) commissioned the Global Outlook on Gas Hydrates as part of its mandate to examine the environmental aspect of key emerging issues and provide accurate and objective scientific assessments for the benefit of the science community and policy makers. This report, written by experts in the field, provides a review of the science and history of this emerging energy source, evaluates the current state of research and explores the potential impacts of gas hydrates on the future global energy mix. By commissioning this report, UNEP neither encourages nor promotes the development and use of gas hydrates as an energy source.


Download:
2014