Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Women unite to discuss their role in tackling climate change

Women unite to discuss their role in tackling climate change

One hundred women, including scientists, activists, policymakers and cultural leaders from around the world met this weekend in a conference discussing the relationship between climate policy and women’s empowerment.

The International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative in New York, the first conference of its kind, discussed a variety of issues ranging from the use of fossil fuels and the development of renewable energy to food security.

UN: rural women have ‘great potential’ in climate change response


The United Nations has highlighted the important role women play in responding to climate change, during the International Day of Rural Women.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), spoke about the challenges rural women face in Daegu, the Republic of Korea.
She said, “Climate change adds to the challenges facing rural women, as social and economic inequalities mean the climate impacts often fall heavily upon women.
“At the same time, women play a critical role in the fight against climate change because they often have a more direct approach to sustainability and valuable sets of skills and knowledge in their local communities.”
She added that women worldwide are taking action on climate change but that more needs to be done to address the issue and improve communities.

Alex Salmond unveils £3m package for countries struggling with climate change

THE First Minister said the addition to the climate justice fund will help provide life-saving and life-changing help to communities in countries such as Scotland's sister nation Malawi.
THE Scottish Government is giving an additional £3 million to poor countries struggling with climate change, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.
Environmental groups have welcomed the grant as recognition that poorer countries that contributed least to climate change are suffering the most and that "wealthy industrialised nations such as Scotland are widely acknowledged as having caused the problem".
Mr Salmond announced the funding as politicians, charities and civic leaders gather for an international climate justice conference in Edinburgh today.
The grant matches the £3 million the Scottish Government awarded last year from its climate justice fund, which has supported water projects in Malawi and Zambia.
Mr Salmond said: "We are taking practical action on the ground to help those most vulnerable to climate change, those in the world's poorest communities in countries like Malawi, Scotland's historic sister nation.

Women’s rights still lagging around the world

WASHINGTON (IPS) - Gender equality around the world has increased dramatically over the past half-century even though the vast majority of countries continue to restrict women’s economic development in at least one way, the World Bank reported.
The Washington-based institution, the world’s largest development funder, released a major report Sept. 24 tracking gender equality developments in 143 countries, focusing particularly on the last two years but contextualizing those changes since the 1960s.
It finds that although many countries have moved toward greater gender parity, there are still major areas—particularly in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa—where substantial legal barriers to equality remain in place.
Civil society groups generally agree with the bank’s long-term analysis, but emphasize that the picture on the ground remains problematic. Even when policies have changed, they say, poor implementation remains an outstanding issue.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Exploring credibility gaps in Voluntary Partnership Agreements A review of independent monitoring initiatives and lessons to learn

Independent forest monitoring (IFM) has been a feature of international efforts to improve forest governance
and reduce illegal logging since the 1990s. This study considers the role of independent monitoring,
involving civil society, in the context of the voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) now taking shape
between the European Union (EU) and timber-producing developing countries under the Forest Law
Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.
The study was commissioned by many of the civil society groups undertaking these initiatives, and
summarises their progress to date and the challenges they face in the six VPA countries: Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Indonesia, and the Republic of Congo. It also briefly examines the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon (where the VPA is still under negotiation but forms of civil
society-led IFM are being funded and undertaken), and independent monitoring initiatives in other sectors. It
provides the following key insights for those designing, funding, supporting and implementing IFM by local
civil society groups and communities.

More at:

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Adolescent girls: the key to ending poverty?

Adolescent girls: the key to ending poverty?

Placing adolescent girls at the heart of development programmes can benefit entire communities. Eliza Anyangwe reports as experts discuss how best to implement the 'girl effect'
Adolescent girl reading
70% of a woman’s salary goes back into her family. Educated, employable females are key to lifting communities out of poverty. Photograph: Getty Images/Flickr RM
The name Malala Yousafzai became known the world over after the Pakistani teenager was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban — a high price to pay for demanding the right to an education. Her courage has won the 16-year-old international recognition, but her story has also brought into sharp relief the lives of adolescent girls living in the developing world.
There are 250 million girls living in poverty today. Most, after their last immunisations, will disappear from national policy agendas and slip through the cracks of development programmes until the birth of their first child, but the Girl Declaration — a set of ambitious but achievable goals in education, health, safety, economic security and citizenship — gives these invisible girls a voice. The challenges they face were discussed by 15 decision-makers from international agencies, business, NGOs and academia at a roundtable event hosted by the Guardian, in association with The Girl Effect.
Painful transition
Once ignored, it is now recognised that adolescence is a crucial phase in the transition from childhood to adulthood. For a young girl growing up in poverty, puberty not only brings physical and psychological changes, it marks the point at which she is exposed to multiple vulnerabilities: she is often forced into early marriage, faces an increased risk of sexual violence and is denied the opportunity to continue her education. The World Health Organisation reportsthat the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 is complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
"The bottom line is that women are not valued — and this translates to girls," Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli told other participants at the roundtable. The tragedy of this patriarchal view, as all at the event were keen to point out, is that it ignores two important truths: first, that every girl has a right to reach her full potential — and it is the duty of society to ensure that she does — and, second, that investing in girls makes economic sense.
Caroline Harper, head of the social development programme at the Overseas Development Institute, explained: "An extra year of primary school increases a girl's future wages by 10-20% and an extra year of secondary by 15-25%." Reiterating the point, Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, added: "Seventy per cent of a woman's salary goes back into her family. If you want to tackle poverty, you help girls become women, get educated and employed."
For those who advocate on behalf of girls' rights, the combination of moral and economic imperatives makes for an irresistible call to action from the development community – and this dual-advocacy approach to those in power is starting to bear fruit. Speaking earlier this year about what is being referred to as 'the girl effect', the UK development minister, Justine Greening, said: "Investing in girls and women is the smart thing to do. By unleashing their potential, we see incredible returns for girls and women themselves, for their families and communities, and for their economies and countries."
With the 2015 deadline for the millennium development goals looming, 'the girl community' has a unique opportunity to get adolescent girls added to the next set of targets. "There is a significant prize out there," said Howard Taylor, managing director of the Nike Foundation. "The girl effect is all about transforming the prospects of every adolescent girl in the world, and ending intergenerational poverty." But, as with every area of development practice, how exactly to intervene is often the cause of heated debate.
Workable programmes
All participants agreed on the importance and urgency of transforming the lives of adolescent girls, but there was much debate about what the greatest barriers to change were and how best to address them. The first challenge identified was the lack of data. "Adolescent girls are vulnerable because they are not counted or accounted for," said Michelle Milford Morse, an adviser at the United Nations Foundation. "So many countries are not collecting information about girls — and as the adage goes: what gets counted gets done."
The silos that exist between organisations were also identified as barriers to change. Unleashing the girl effect depends on the ability of all stakeholders to see the bigger picture. Lakshmi Sundaram, global co-ordinator of Girls Not Brides, illustrated how interventions that were too narrowly designed were failing girls: "Programmes exist to address maternal mortality, yet they do not focus on child brides. If you don't recognise the different sets of needs, you can't tackle those needs."
Payal Dalal, who heads up the girls' programme at Standard Chartered Bank, suggested it was time that organisations working with adolescent girls prioritise relationship building, a prerequisite if they are to develop a common plan and share stories of failure.
The issues around access — getting aid to the communities that need it most — were also undeniable, but for Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, general secretary of the World YWCA, the dilemma wasn't how to get aid to girls, but how much aid was getting to girls." We know we can reach girls if there is daring leadership to do so," she said. "How much of the overseas development assistance [aid] committed will reach the girls in a significant way? I don't like [this term] 'trickling down'. We need showers of resources in our villages. We need to put communities first."
However, changing cultural norms emerged as the greatest obstacle. "Until we design programme interventions that take cultural norms into account, nothing will change," said One's director of multilateral programmes, Edith Jibunoh. "We need more role models that look like the girls, who are educated and successful, but are still part of their culture. What [communities] need is exposure, not development interventions."
Of course, to have role models, women need to be found in positions of influence — and making the decision to open up government and other institutions to them requires strong leadership. Rwanda was twice quoted as an example of such leadership, as its post-genocide constitution ensures a 30% quota for female MPs. At 56%, Rwanda has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians in the world.
It is this good example from within developing countries — and the role of men and boys — that participants were keen should not be left out as their representative organisations take advantage of the renewed global interest in adolescent girls. Despite making international headlines after its senate failed to remove a clause in the constitution that legitimises child marriage, Nigeria is one of the few countries to have scaled up sexual health education, Chandra-Mouli pointed out. And it was Malala Yousafzai's father who encouraged her to go to school, Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan UK, added.
Creating and enforcing the conditions that empower girls and allow them to reach their full potential depends on stakeholders working together. It is vital to listen to adolescent girls, interpret their voices and then provide sufficient resources — draw up plans that start girls and their communities on a journey towards equality.
Almost 20 years after the Beijing declaration, where governments committed to ensuring "the full implementation of the human rights of women and of the girl child as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms", there is another opportunity to turn the attention of policymakers to the plight of adolescent girls.
Campaigners are bristling with cautious optimism. So much is at stake. So much detail is still to be decided. But the Girl Declaration is an important stride forward. "It allows us all to rally around a set of goals for girls that they themselves have helped develop," said Taylor. "So it's an authentic, short-term play to embed girls in a 15-year agenda that will be negotiated and agreed in the next two years, not a long-term agenda to address everything that a girl needs."

In focus

• Girls are out of sight and out of mind: Of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls, and nearly half of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls 15 and younger.
• Investing in adolescent girls is both the smart thing to do and the right thing to do: Adolescence is a critical time. If supported during this stage, a young girl is likely to marry later, have less children and invest more money into her family and community.
• Developing countries are starting to lead the way: For the rights of adolescent girls to be recognised and respected, it is essential that change comes from within governments — and must include whole communities. Change is happening all over the world.
• It's now or never: There is an opportunity to see that adolescent girls feature in the next set of development targets. But a shared plan, led by girls themselves, is essential.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

2013-10-06 NRMI: This Issue: Wildlife, Buffer-Strips and Road-Kill (Part 1 of 2) and Some Other Good Things

This Issue: Wildlife, Buffer-Strips and Road-Kill (Part 1 of 2) and Some Other Good Things
WILDLIFE, BUFFER-STRIPS AND ROAD-KILL (Part 1 of 2) – Some recent correspondence from the Appeal List piqued my interest in the subject. Here are some sites that may be of interest.
Ament, Robert J. et al. 2007. An Assessment of Road Impacts on Wildlife Populations in U.S. National Parks. WTI-MSU Technical Report REP-07-01 37 p.
Braunstein, Mark Matthew. n.d. U.S. Roads Kill A Million A Day - Driving Animals To Their Graves. Culture Change.
Burnett, Jim. 2011. Winter Brings Increased Hazards for Wildlife and Humans on Park Roads. National Parks Traveler.
Clevenger, Anthony P. et al. 2006. II. Methods and applications - Hotspot identification of wildlife-vehicle collisions for transportation planning. Analyses of wildlife-vehicle collision data: applications for guiding decision-making for wildlife crossing mitigation and motorist safety                                                                                
Clevenger, Anthony P. et al. 2007? I. Limiting effects of road-kill reporting data due to spatial inaccuracy. Analyses of Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Data: Applications for Guiding Decision-Making for Wildlife Crossing Mitigation and Motorist Safety. 26 p.
Curtis, H.R. 2010. Deadly Stupidity: Government Roads in Deer
Da Silva et al. 2007. Road kills impact over the herpetofauna of Atlantic Forest (PR-340, Antonina, Paraná). Acta Biol. Par., Curitiba, 36 (1-2): 103-112.
DeWoody, J Andrew, et al. 2010. Monitoring and Predicting Traffic Induced Vertebrate Mortality Near Wetlands. JTRP Technical Reports. 121 p.
Erwin, Teressa. 2011. Road Ecology: How Roads Impact Wildlife. YAHOO voices
Hartmann, Paulo A. et a. 2011. Snake Road Mortality in a Protected Area in the Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil. South American Journal of Herpetology 6(1):35-42. Abstract.
Jacobson, Sandra L. 2012. Roads and Wildlife: Impacts and Solutions. 56 slides.
Jaffe, Rose et al. 2002? Wildlife Road Survey and Human Interactions On and Off Road. Final Report. 9 p.
Kissling, Michelle L.; Garton, Edward O. 2008. Forested Buffer Strips and Breeding Bird Communities in Southeast Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 72(3):674–681.
Addison, P.F.E., et al. 2013. Practical solutions for making models indispensable in conservation decision-making. Divers. Distrib. 19(5-6):490-502. Abstract.
Alexiades, M.N., et al. 2013. The missing skill set in community management of tropical forests. Conserv. Biol. 27(3):635-637
Avon, C., et al. 2013. Management practices increase the impact of roads on plant communities in forests. Biol. Conserv. 159:24-31. Abstract.
Beaune, D., et al.2013. Doom of the elephant-dependent trees in a Congo tropical forest. Forest Ecol. Manag. 295:109-117. Abstract.
Bianchi, C.A.; Haig, S.M. 2013. Deforestation trends of tropical dry forests in central Brazil. Biotropica 45(3):395-400. Abstract.
Blaser, J., et al. 2011. Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011. ITTO Technical Series No 38. International Tropical Timber Organization, Yokohama, Japan. 420 p.
Breckenridge, Mary Beth. 2013. Farming in the forests. The Star Online
Brown, G.P., et al. 2013. Road transect surveys do not reveal any consistent effects of a toxic invasive species on tropical reptiles. Biol. Invasions 15(5):1005-1015. First page.
Bryce, Emma..2013. Birds May Help Forests Stay Cool. Audubon Magazine.
Burns, E.S., et al. 2013. A modeling framework for life history-based conservation planning. Biol. Conserv. 158:14-25
KEEPING UP-TO-DATE – PRODUCTS, NEWSLETTERS, EMAIL LISTS, JOURNALS. See also,, and Directory of Open Access Journals.
BCN - Biological Conservation Newsletter for October 2013 - Issue No. 346 now at
Infosylva – Forestry News Clippings No. 18/2013 now available at
SDI News - The SDI Regional Newsletters for October 2013 are now posted on the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) home page at You may also download them directly as follows:
SDI-Latin America and Caribbean Newsletter - (Spanish); (English); Portuguese translations of the newsletter are posted as they arrive and may be downloaded at
SDI-Africa Newsletter - (English)
SDI-Asia Pacific Newsletter - (English). Chinese translations of the newsletter are posted as they arrive and may be downloaded at
2-4 December 2013. Seminar: Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge, Aguascalientes, Mexico. See
MOVING AHEAD – OPPORTUNITIES – See also: Scholarships-Positions, Forestry, Arboriculture, Agriculture, Agronomy & Natural Resource Management Jobs at, Riley Guide to Agriculture, Forestry, & Farming Jobs, Finding Your Dream Job in Natural Resources, The Job Seekers Guide for International and Environmental Careers and Scholarship Listing
PhD Fellowship: Citizen science for water resources management in the tropical Andes. University of Glasgow. From Artur Gil, Applied GIS RS List
Postdoctoral Fellowship - in LIDAR remote sensing at the University of Lethbridge (Canada). From Artur Gil, Applied GIS RS List
NEXT ISSUE: Wildlife, Buffer-Strips and Road-Kill (Part 2 of 2)
Pay It Forward – Cheers, Gyde

--   H. Gyde Lund    Forest Information Services  6238 Settlers Trail Place  Gainesville, VA 20155-1374 USA  Tel: +1-703-743-1755  Email: gyde<at>    URL:  CV:   Publications:   Skype: forestgyde   


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