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Cotton subsidies have received considerable attention during the past four years, primarily triggered by the excessive government support received by the cotton sectors in the United States and the European Union. In response to that support, four cotton-producing countries in West and Central Africa -- Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad -- have requested that the Doha round of negotiations on trade liberalization contain financial compensation for WCAcountries for as long as those Western subsidies remain in place. Brazil also brought a case to the World Trade Organization, claiming that the U.S. subsidies cause a reduction in the world prices of cotton, thus reducing the income of Brazilian cotton growers.
Western cotton subsidies should be abolished, but not much attention has been paid to another, perhaps more important, issue. Many African cotton-producing countries, especially in WCA, must reform their cotton sector in order to allow a greater share of the world price to reach the growers and must foster a policy environment that is conducive to the promotion of new technologies. For the most part, the cotton sectors of the WCA countries are managed by government-owned parastatals. Competition by private entities is limited -- with deleterious consequences for the efficiency of the cotton sectors.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Population Action International, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute co-hosted a Congressional briefing, entitled "Bushmeat and the Origin of HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Biodiversity, Population Pressures and Human Health." The AIDS epidemic is a global problem with challenging social implications and no easy solutions. In the United States and around the world, citizen groups and governments are rallying to help scientists find a cure for HIV/AIDS and encouraging widespread education about the disease. To date, over 60 million people have been infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), approximately five million more become infected each year, and over 20 million have died from the disease. In their quest to understand more about this deadly disease, researchers have sought to understand where it came from, and how humans contracted it. What they have discovered is that many answers about HIV and even the potential cure will most likely come from the same place as the original source of the disease -- from chimpanzees and a monkey called the sooty mangabey in the West Central African forests. Unfortunately, it is also becoming frighteningly clear that human actions and population pressures are destroying these forests and the species that inhabit them at alarming rates, which may have significant implications for human health.
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED);
This working paper examines how civil society organisations (CSOs) -- particularly those representing poor and marginalised rural people -- can inform and influence the processes of agricultural policy formulation and implementation. We summarise the role of different interest groups in shaping 'pro-poor' agricultural development and explain how poor people can gain 'voice' to express their views and shape policy processes in a meaningful way.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF);
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a human rights issue that affects girls and women worldwide. As such, its elimination is a global concern. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a milestone resolution calling on the international community to intensify efforts to end the practice. More recently, in September 2015, the global community agreed to a new set of development goals -- the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- which includes a target under Goal 5 to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM/C, by the year 2030. Both the resolution and the SDG framework signify the political will of the international community and national partners to work together to accelerate action towards a total, and final, end to the practice in all continents of the world. More and better data are needed to measure progress towards this common goal.
Center for Global Safe Water, Emory University;
The Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University and UNICEF collaborated to create a capacity-building programme: the WASH in Schools Distance-Learning Course. Case studies by the graduates from 13 countries and one regional office are included in this report.
International Development Research Centre (IDRC);
"The 2009-2010 Annual Report of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa Program (CCAA). Coastal Africa (Western); from Mauritania to Guinea, benefits from a marine upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water which makes it one of the world's most productive fishing zones. The fisheries sector is therefore extremely important to both national and local economies and to the food security of local people. But fish stocks are threatened by destructive fishing practices, ecosystem decline and competition within the sector. This crucial resource faces further uncertainties because of climate change. Led by the Dakar-based organization Environment and Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), the project "Adapting Fishing Policy to Climate Change in West Africa" (which goes by the French acronym APPECCAO) aims to integrate an improved understanding of climate change's potential impacts and options for adaptation into plans and policies governing fisheries. Through action research, it seeks to widen dialogue so that those whose livelihoods depend on the fisheries (fishers, boat owners,outfitters and those in the packing and processing industry) can contribute to sustainable management."
UK Department for International Development (DFID);
This is the Final Technical Report to the DFID regarding The Management of Conflict in Tropical Fisheries project R7334. Ghana's small-scale marine fisheries face considerably less problems and challenges than its neighbours. There is no foreign industrial fleet competing with canoes for resources and the economy, although weakened, is comparatively stronger than other West African fishing nations. However, like many other coastal fishing nations, Ghana is still trying to find a successful means of marrying two different systems. The traditional management system, which, for generations has sustained small-scale fishing communities along the coast, is under threat from the modern management system that sees fish as a commodity for trading by entrepreneurs, rather than the basis for an entire way of life. Economic difficulties that stem from Ghana's commitment to neo-liberal economic reforms have further complicated the situation. State priorities and policies with regard to poverty alleviation in coastal communities are dictated largely by outside interests rather than internal needs. As the economy and economic policy has focused on the individual and the market, so the role of community, and indeed traditional systems has come under threat. This battle between the two systems is being played out in the arena of small-scale fisheries management. Increased competition, decreased enforcement and a failure to support traditional systems is putting increasing pressure of small-scale fishing communities. Although recent initiatives by the World Bank to reverse this trend are having some impact, the future for traditional fisheries management of small-scale fisheries in Ghana looks bleak.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
This preface page of the volume Lessons Learned: Case Studies in Sustainable Use, provides a summary of the book's purpose and structure. Enhancing sustainability requires a multidisciplinary approach. Because there is such diversity in resources, uses, and users, there is no universal formula, yet to promote, or assess, practices in context is essential. Without this capacity approaches to sustainable use will remain superficial and ineffective.The present volume presents six detailed cases of uses of different facets of biological diversity in Africa (East, West and Southern), Central Asia and South America-Latin America;. The objective of the project was to identify 'Lessons Learned' from examples of sustainable use. To address this objective, six cases were selected because they had been implemented for several years and they were being implemented in different regions, thus enhancing the potential for identifying key lessons. Each of the case studies was examined using an 'Analytic Framework for Assessing the Factors that Influence Sustainability of Uses of Wild Living Natural Resources' The Analytic Framework (Annex 1) provided a consistent, systematic approach to the analysis of the cases according to 'domains of issues' considered important in assessing sustainability, including inter alia, ecological processes and functions, economic factors, societal and institutional factors.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
The conclusion of Lessons Learned: Case Studies in Sustainable Use summarizes the overarching lessons learned from the case studies provided in the volume. 1. Sustainability of uses of renewable natural resources is dependent on the existence of a 'sustainable society'at the local, national and global levels. 2. Successful biological conservation is a function of equity and democracy. 3. To achieve greater sustainability of uses of natural resources will likely require modification of the roles of organizations and government agencies in authority. 4. The current conservation paradigm of Protected Areas (including as applied to the 'biodiversity hotspots'concept) may not be economically viable in many developing countries, simply because the opportunitycosts often exceed the value local people receive from their existence. National and international agencies and organizations realize most of the value from designation of protected areas and 'hotspots'. 5. It is not possible to transpose directly the combination of factors that influence one case to another site, and expect the same impact or result.6. Donor agencies and/or central government policies need to consider management requirements beyond project cycles in order to promote long-term sustainability of resource uses.7. External factors such as war and natural disasters can have an over-riding influence on the sustainability of resource use. 8. Interventions on key resources by external institutions often pressure transformation of local governance systems. The impact of these changes is often overlooked. More specific observations of common features. Furthermore, the conclusion provides lessons related to policy, social processes, institutions, and information.
West Africa Water Initiative;
Assesses outcomes for the first five years of the West Africa Water Initiative's efforts to improve access to safe water, reduce water-related diseases, and support sustainable water management in Ghana, Mali, and Niger through an effective partnership.
Awqaf is an important economic sector. Its importance is gleaned from the massive assets it controls, its substantial social expenditure, the large number of people it employs, and its significant contribution to the economy which adds between 10 to 14 per cent to the GDP of some countries.1 With such a significant economic output, and growth in the number, size and diversity of organisations entrusted with awqaf properties, awqaf as a faith-based charitable institution has generated interest beyond philanthropists and Shariah scholars, and the sector is no longer seen as exclusively religious. With a broader business focus, it became clear that the sector is in fact an industry and is being subjected to increased scrutiny by governments and regulatory authorities.
The size of the sector and its growing economic importance qualify it for serious attention by legislators and standards setters of the Islamic financial industry. In order to rejuvenate the institution of waqf and reverse the trend of neglect and to enhance its role in social and economic development, a number of issues must be addressed: How should the regulatory framework operate? Would the regulations help or hinder the development of awqaf and the creation of new waqfs? Is uniformity needed? And how will this help? What is an ideal model for corporate governance? Is that model workable within the parameters imposed by other features of the business and political environment? What about sustainability and profitability and shouldn't awqaf be profitable in order to be sustainable? Do we see a conflict between awqaf as a not-for profit sector and the pursuit of growth and profitability? Is it acceptable to combine awqaf and business? Is this ethical, and how would it affect stakeholders?
The awqaf sector and its management often remain not well understood. While a full answer to these questions is beyond the scope of this paper, there are a number of issues that appear important for our concern. The paper will focus on issues that are relevant for the integration of awqaf into the mainstream of the Islamic financial industry. It will also address matters that are of concern to regulatory authorities, awqaf foundations and to all awqaf stakeholders. For other publications in English and German, see www.maecenata.eu.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
Both the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States have created a legal framework for the free movement of persons and goods within their respective regions. Both of these free movement regimes were born out of a wish on the part of the states concerned to create stability and the conditions for prospect and peace within the external borders of the region.
This research analyses the legal framework in the two regions relating to the free movement of persons, and on that basis examines how mobility is facilitated or hindered, together with the major problems in realising effective mobility within regions.