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For the Caribbean, climate change is not tomorrow’s problem. The threats it poses are neither distant nor abstract – they are already apparent. In recent years, hurricanes have caused major damage in countries such as Jamaica, Grenada and Cuba; severe flooding has hit Belize and Guyana; and droughts affect much of the east of the region. The small island state of Saint Lucia alone has faced 27 natural disasters between 1980 and 2008, with total economic damage reaching an estimated US$2.5 billion. The need for investment to build climate resilience in the Caribbean has never been greater.
These impacts are putting considerable strain on the finances of national governments, businesses and citizens, and threaten regional prosperity and development. The Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance has said that climate change is already reversing some of the gains on poverty alleviation and economic growth that have been made in the Caribbean.
Over the past decade, research funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) has provided fresh insight into the nature of the climate threat to the Caribbean. Researchers have developed regionally downscaled climate change projections and climate visualisation tools providing information that can be used to make informed decisions at the subregional level. This information has been used in conjunction with a range of other tools, and has been applied to real-life situations in Caribbean nations including Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize and Cuba.
Focusing on the agriculture and tourism sectors, this document identifies some of the most pressing issues and climate vulnerabilities facing Caribbean states. It makes the case that climate resilience investment by governments, businesses and development partners is urgently needed to
Climate change is one of the most significant challenges to the Caribbean’s future prosperity. The impacts of climate change on economically important sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fishing threaten Caribbean nations’ ability to achieve their economic and social development goals. By 2050, the costs to the region are expected to reach US$22 bn each year; this represents 10% of regional gross domestic product, based on 2004 figures. Paying for recovery efforts after natural disasters causes significant budgetary pressures and diverts funds from other pressing development issues such as health and education. However, responding to climate challenges is highly complex. Climate change has cross-cutting impacts that span sectors and spatial scales, and involves multiple stakeholders. Delivering effective climate change adaptation is therefore a question of governance.
Bottom-up, community-level approaches are important in meeting the challenges that climate change poses, but in isolation they are insufficient. National governance frameworks must foster community action, but also provide the enabling environment for large investments and transformative change at scale. The challenge that national governments face is to coordinate adaptation interventions at both national and local levels by engaging multiple organisations and individuals.
Targeted primarily at Caribbean policy-makers, this Information Brief draws on the experience of three CDKN-funded projects that have taken place in the region over the last decade. It identifies ‘best practice’ lessons on governance, highlights examples from applied case studies in Caribbean countries, and recommends tools and methods that can be applied to make governance frameworks more effective at delivering climate compatible development. It is also a gateway to the reports and tools that have been produced under these CDKN-funded projects.
Global interest in and attention to forests have grown as concerns about global warming and climate change have taken a heightened position in international policy debates. Forests have been repositioned in international arenas as repositories of global value for their contribution to carbon sequestration and climate mitigation. In this context, Latin American forests are seen as globally important in fighting climate change.
The topic of elites has always been controversial in Latin American social sciences. Elites have been studied indirectly as landowners, capitalists, business-leaders or politicians, and have also been approached directly using concepts and theory from elite studies. Although there is a significant amount of literature on the role of elites in democratic transformations, elites have often been considered to be an obstacle to the formation of more democratic, prosperous and egalitarian societies. This is also the case in the literature on environmental governance, in which elite groups are often considered to be an obstacle to sustainable development and an obstacle to establishing more equitable influence over the use and benefits of natural resources. Therefore, although an elitist conservation movement has long existed in Latin America, struggles to protect the environment from overexploitation and contamination have commonly been related to struggles against local, national and transnational elites by subaltern groups.
The main objectives of the research financed by the DfID/ESRC grant have been: i) to better understand the processes through which human capital is accumulated in developing countries; and, ii) how this process can lead to the reduction of poverty both in the short and in the long run. More specifically, the author has been studying various aspects of the process through which poor households in developing countries make decisions that affect the accumulation of human capital.
In Africa and Latin America, the production of beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ) is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, which include higher temperatures and more frequent drought. Within the last 15 years, CGIAR researchers have registered key advances - particularly the development of drought-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties - that will help make production more resilient in the face of future threats.
Just within the last few years, however, climate modeling has suggested that, over the next several decades, higher temperatures will become the primary threat to bean production. According to recent projections, the area suited for this crop in eastern and central Africa could shrink up to 50% by 2050. Affecting mainly lowland areas, heat stress will pose a particularly serious problem for bean crops in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), followed by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. Across Latin America, the situation is also dire. Bean production in Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil, and Honduras, as well as Guatemala and Mexico, would be most impacted.
In response to this concern, CIAT researchers have recently identified elite lines that show strong tolerance to temperatures 4°C higher than the range that beans can normally tolerate. Many of these lines come from wide crosses between common and tepary beans ( Phaseolus acutifolius ), a species originating in the arid US Southwest and northwestern Mexico. This document reports findings from research conducted over the last year, which confirm heat tolerance in selected bean lines and show their potential for adapting bean production in Africa and Latin America to future climate change impacts.
In addition to their primary roles in treating illness and injuries, health care facilities provide a first line of defence in protecting individuals and communities from the impacts of climate change. However, recent events demonstrate that health facilities can be vulnerable to climate hazards through impacts on infrastructures (e.g., buildings, equipment), services and on the health of patients and staff.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) collaborated with Health Canada, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, the Institut National de SantÃ© Publique QuÃ©bec (INSPQ) and Synergie SantÃ© Environment to convene international experts for the Health Care Facility Climate Change Resiliency Workshop held in MontrÃ©al, QuÃ©bec, Canada on September 8, 2015. The workshop brought together 33 experts from 8 countries to:
This report presents the workshop results. It includes summaries of presentations made on climate change health care resiliency tools from different countries and examples of their application. It also captures key recommendations made by workshop participants regarding collaborative actions needed to enhance health care facility resiliency in the Americas. Proposed next steps for PAHO are included at the end of the report.
The report includes case studies of tool development and use in the Americas: Mexico, St. Vincent & the Grenadine, Canada, USA, Colombia, Brazil.
Marine and coastal ecosystems face a wide array of threats, mainly from humankind. Habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, destructive fishing methods, eutrophication and pollution all deteriorate the state of oceans and coasts. In addition, these unique ecosystems are heavily impacted by climate change. A lack of regulation and enforcement, insufficient management and governance and limited awareness has limited effective responses to these pressures.
As a result of the successful United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, the international community has committed to limit the level of global warming at or below 2° Celsius. The historic agreement made in Paris will be implemented through country-led greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which to date have been submitted by 189 countries covering 95 percent of global GHG emissions. For the private sector, NDCs1 offer a clearer signpost of the investment direction countries intend to follow as the global economy travels down a low-carbon, climate resilient highway.
There is both an urgent need and an enormous opportunity for the private sector to help turn NDCs and the climate policies and plans that underpin them into climate-smart infrastructure investments. This report offers IFC’s assessment of how the formulation and adoption of NDCs by Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments presents the private sector with huge investment prospects of untapped climate-smart opportunities in a part of the world that is endowed with a wealth of natural capital and already is regarded as one of the great frontiers for climate smart investment.
Although climate change is filled with uncertainties, a broad set of policies proposed to address this issue can be grouped in two categories: mitigation and adaptation. Developed countries that are better prepared to cope with climate change have stressed the importance of mitigation, which ideally requires a global agreement that is still lacking.
This paper uses a theoretical framework to argue that in the absence of a binding international agreement on mitigation, Latin America should focus mainly on adaptation to cope with the consequences of climate change. This is not a recommendation that such economies indulge in free-riding. Instead, it is based on cost-benefit considerations, all else being equal. Only in the presence of a global binding agreement can the region hope to exploit its comparative advantage in the conservation and management of forests, which are a large carbon sink. The decision of which policies to implement should depend on the results of thorough cost-benefit analysis of competing projects, yet very little is known or has been carried out in this area to date. Research should be directed toward cost-benefit analysis of alternative climate change policies. Policymakers should compare other investments that are also pressing in the region, such as interventions to reduce water and air pollution, and determine which will render the greatest benefits.
Global Biodiversity Outlook-4, the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, provided a global assessment of progress towards the attainment of the Plan’s global biodiversity goals
and associated Aichi Biodiversity Targets, but contained limited regional information.
This report builds on and complements the global GBO-4 assessment. It is the second edition of the State of Biodiversity in
the Latin America and the Caribbean report and serves as a near mid-term review of progress towards the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 for the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
The report draws on a set of regional indicators, information from fifth national reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), other national and regional reports, case studies and published literature, to provide a target-by-target review of progress towards the twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets. As much as possible, global indicators for Aichi Biodiversity Targets have beenbroken down to regional level and some additional analyses of existing global information have been undertaken with key national institutions in the region. However, limitations in data have meant that some datasets, which do not extend past 2011, have been included to illustrate that relevant information exists, but further efforts to update this information are needed.
The key messages about the state of biodiversity in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the pressures upon it, which have emerged from this assessment are:
Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries face an urgent need to advance economic develo p- ment and social welfare by enabling progress in priority areas such as health , education and infrastructure. If we add to these needs vulnerabilities in the energy sector, it is difficult to see an obvious path to the enhanced social and economic ambitions of LAC societies. Energy efficiency measures implemented in a strategic manner offer the opportunity to advance societal objectives by transforming the productivity and resilience of country energy systems.
Despite some success stories, such as the mass campaigns to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the growing interest that governments have shown in promoting
energy efficiency in the last ten years, there remains a large untapped potential. Some LAC countries have introduced policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks, with a number of countries already having an Energy Efficiency Act or considering its adoption. However, the implementation of energy efficiency activities has generally been limited in the LAC region, often being prioritized as a response to crises or deficits in energy supply.
This report provides observations on energy efficiency efforts in several countries in the LAC region with the aim of informing and supporting the future development and acceleration of energy efficiency policies and programmes. The status of energy efficiency in 14 LAC countries was considered through highlighting barriers to increased uptake as well as examples of past, present and planned energy efficiency initiatives. This report highlights that there are many common barriers and opportunities
shared by LAC countries.
This report also establishes a set of criteria that could be used to identify the progress of countries on energy efficiency related to the following areas:
The surge in US natural gas production from the shale boom is transforming global gas markets. Less than a decade ago, with natural gas production on the decline, the United States was expected to become a major importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a “last resort” market for surplus cargos around the world. But today, thanks to an increase in shale gas output, the United States is poised to become a significant supplier of gas to international markets. Export pipelines are being rapidly built, and LNG facilities once designed to receive imports are now being converted to export terminals.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, countries that have faced chronic shortages of natural gas stand to benefit from this surplus. Despite holding significant natural gas reserves, the region remains a net importer.
Gas demand is rising in most countries, fueled by economic growth and subsidized electricity prices that encourage consumption. Many oil-fired power plants are being converted to burn cheaper and cleaner natural gas. Social and environmental opposition to new hydroelectric projects has also hastened the move toward gas. Natural gas is increasingly used to back up intermittent renewable energy sources, including wind and solar.
Increased US gas exports to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as lower prices tied to the flood of US exports, could contribute to lower electricity prices, reduced carbon emissions and more secure energy supplies in the region. Cheaper and more abundant natural gas could further encourage countries to switch to gas for power generation and advance the transition to natural gas vehicles.
Latin America can hasten the transition to natural gas and exploit the benefits of US gas exports by further expanding energy integration, including pipeline infrastructure and electrical grids. Mexico’s increased imports of US gas will depend on the growth of cross-border pipeline infrastructure, while Central America and the Caribbean can benefit from US gas exports by improving electrical grid integration. As global gas trade grows in the coming decades, Latin American and Caribbean importers stand to benefit from the imminent increase in US natural gas exports.
The Latin American region holds important potential for mitigation and has a long‐standing tradition of crafting policies and drafting legislation on climate change. This article addresses the question of how Brazil, Costa Rica, and Colombia came to decide on their climate change mitigation strategies, which are based on market‐oriented policies. The analysis compares Brazilian bioethanol, Costa Rican renewable energy, and Colombia’s clean development mechanism. Using the “chicken game,” the best response is to “disable the steering wheel.” This means that an actor reduces his or her capacity for action in order to signal a commitment to continue acting in line with his or her past behaviour.
The study assesses this strategy at the level of relationships between national and international actors. The findings show that the national actors examined here are either continuing with criticised projects, in the Brazilian case, or slowing down their mitigating strategies, in the cases of Costa Rica and Colombia, and thereby restricting their capacity for action in order to reach a better negotiating position.
Health governance has become multi-layered as the combined result of decentralisation, regional integration and the emergence of new actors nationally and internationally. Whereas this has – in principle – enhanced the installed capacity for health response worldwide, this complexity also poses serious challenges for health governance and policy-making.
This paper focuses on one of these challenges, namely the organisation of statistical information flows at and between governance levels, and the emerging role that regional organisations play therein. The authors aim to understand the extent to which statistics are regionally coordinated and the role regional organisations are playing with respect to national health information systems. Specifically, they analysed regional to national-level data flows with the use of two case studies focusing on UNASUR (Bolivia and Paraguay) and SADC (Swaziland and Zambia). Special attention is given to pro-poor health policies, those health policies that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequities.
Results demonstrate that health data is shared at various levels, to a greater extent at the global-country and regional-country levels, and to a lesser extent at the regional-global levels. There is potential for greater interaction between the global and regional levels, considering the expertise and involvement of UNASUR and SADC in health. Information flows between regional and national bodies are limited and the quality and reliability of this data is constrained by individual Member States’ information systems. Having greater access to better data would greatly support Member States’ focus on addressing the social determinants of health and reducing poverty in their countries.
Water scarcity in the Caribbean region places many pressures on water and water resources management, and several productive sectors especially agriculture and tourism. Recent experiences of drought events illustrate the potential impacts of future events and can serve to raise the need for the urgent implementation of adaptation and response measures that could be applied in almost all the socio-economic sectors where water is a critical factor for development. Future increase of drought events in the Caribbean is one of the big challenges for life and development within the Caribbean region as it is indicated by several or almost all the model projections as a consequence of climate change. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors for the Caribbean region, both in terms of income generation and subsistence farming. Therefore, the CARiDRO tool will help the Caribbean develop and maintain robust sectors through policy formulation and implementation of adaptation strategies and measures. The application of the CARiDRO tool will impress on Governments the urgency to formulate and implement policies with regards to using more drought tolerant flora, engage in integrated water resources management, adjustment of cultural and sporting activities, implementing modern livestock management, and modifying and enhancing the tourism products.
For most people, the Caribbean is synonymous with tropical islands with exotic flora and fauna, surrounded by blue seawater and white sandy beaches where the tourism industry can be disaggregated into cruise, all-inclusive, special interest and ecotourism. Tourism is one of the most important areas of economic activity in the Caribbean. Every year, the Caribbean welcomes 20.1 million visitors, or about 2 per cent of world tourism. Yet, Caribbean tourism is closely associated with climate; climatic factors impact on the time available to engage in leisure activities, on operating costs for tourism establishments and environmental conditions. This policy brief focuses on Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
This study reveals that substantial negative impacts on food production should be expected from future climate scenarios such as those provided by PRECIS simulations made under different initial assumptions in Belize. This is an indicator of the fact that future plausible climates should be considered in the planning stage of any development strategy at all – local, regional and national – levels. The expected impact of climate change should be included as part of the previously included set of traditional considerations when it comes to a decision-making process related to sustainable development of Caribbean economies.
On the contrary, results obtained in Jamaica using a different approach indicated a sizable increase in rainfed yields of the sweet potato crop. Given the different methodological approaches used in both studies (and the different crops) it is very difficult at the present stage to make an inter-comparison of modelling results because the differences and uncertainties are not basically related to the impact crop models results, but also to the future climate change scenarios themselves.
As the consideration of future climate conditions is not a simple straightforward process, national meteorological authorities, universities and research centres should raise their level of commitment for the planning stage of decision-making processes and at the same time increase their capabilities for providing the necessary climate information and expertise related to climate, climate change and expected impacts of climate change.
Concerns about the socio-economic impacts of observed and projected climate change have been high on the research agendas of scientists for the last several decades. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the recent observed warming is largely human induced, and the trend will continue well into the next century owing to ‘thermal inertia’, related to the concentration of greenhouse gases already emitted to the atmosphere. While there is a dearth of research on the effects of climate change on commercial and artisanal fisheries in the Caribbean, valuable insights can be gleaned from observations in other jurisdictions.
This paper concludes that the consequences of climate change on Caribbean fisheries are likely to be mostly negative. Adverse impacts are expected to manifest themselves through habitat alteration and loss, reduced abundance and diversity, and shifts in distribution induced by changes in ocean currents. Stakeholders in the regional fishing industry might therefore wish to give greater credence to the challenges posed by climate change and climate variability than currently appears to be the case. Appropriate response strategies may not require radical changes in current approaches to management, but rather more effective implementation of existing and proposed arrangements.
Caribbean economies, lifestyles, activities, practices and operational cycles are intricately linked to climate, making them vulnerable to its variations and/or changes. As examples, climate extremes impact agriculture, fisheries, health, tourism, water availability, recreation, and energy usage, among other things. There is however limited incorporation of climate information in the long term developmental plans and policies of the region. This is in part due to a knowledge deficit about climate change, it’s likely manifestation in the region and the possible impact on Caribbean societies. In this paper, a review of the growing bank of knowledge about Caribbean climate science; variability and change is undertaken. Insight is offered into the basic science of climate change, past trends and future projections for Caribbean climate, and the possible implications for the region. In the end a case is made for a greater response to the threats posed by climate change on the basis of the sufficiency of our current knowledge of Caribbean climate science. A general profile of what the response may look like is also offered.
Global climate change and local anthropogenic pressures are among the primary factors leading to the decline of functional biodiversity and critical habitats in coral reefs. Coral bleaching, the potential decreases in dissolved oxygen concentration (deoxygenation) and pH (acidiﬁcation) in the ocean scan induce severe changes in coral reef ecosystem biodiversity and functionality. The main objective of this study was to apply four Ecopath with Ecosim models of a Caribbean coral reef system to individually and collectively model the effects of coral bleaching on the trophic web, deoxygenation on ﬁsh, and acidiﬁcation on calcifying organisms.
It is anticipated that the adverse effects of future climate variability and climate change will likely lead to increases in health related risks and vulnerability especially vector and water borne diseases. There is great concern for developing countries particularly small island developing states (SIDS) such as those in the Caribbean region, since the region is considered especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and faces adverse effects of climate variability daily, monthly and seasonally. Risks such as a rise in the incidence of existing and emerging climate sensitive diseases, health impacts from lack of potable water supplies and lack of proper nutrition leading to an unhealthy population threatens the region’s health and development. Dengue fever (DF) has garnered much attention in the region since the burden of the disease in the present climate conditions is already substantial and is expected to increase in an altered future climate.
Policy implications for the use of the tool in decision-making:
Existing climate variability and global climate change are major threats to sustainable development in the Caribbean, particularly for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Hurricanes, storm surges and extreme rainfall events cause major damages to the assets of coastal populations, infrastructure and ecosystems.
Climate projections suggest that sea level rise (SLR) and the increase of sea water temperature will continue, as well as the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are likely to increase. Ecosystem ‐ based Adaptation (EbA) approaches, combining both engineered and community ‐ based benefits, are promising to prepare SIDS for future climate change scenarios.
i) identifies Caribbean SIDS which highly depend on their marine ecosystems and are particularly vulnerable to climate change related risks, and
ii) provides a recommendation on SIDS which are most suitable for EbA approaches including restoration and climate change adaptation efforts. The selection was based on an assessment of the most important coastal ecosystems, namely mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs, which can mitigate the consequences of climate change. In particular, the ecosystems’ extent, status, and potential to climate change adaptation (CCA) were assessed.
The existence of protected areas and the management of those areas were considered additional assets as they constitute absolute pre-requisites for any EbA approach addressing restoration efforts, to become successful in the long run.
During the last recent years several potential climate change impacts on the main human economical activities such as tourism has been described, and there are relevant reports, scientific studies and newspaper information explaining the most important effects and consequences derived from such impacts.
This paper focus on the observed climate change impacts registered in Cuba, as a country representative of the general behavior in the Caribbean basin. This region is one of the major tourist destination all over the world, due to the general quality of the environment and the existence of significant natural resources, very appropriate for the general tourism and ecotourism activities.
The paper includes some remarks and recommendations oriented to the prevention and mitigation of the most negative climate change impacts on the tourist activities, based upon the Cuban experiences during the consecutive impacts of hurricanes in August and September 2008.
This report looks at the progress that has been made toward realising 'greener cities' in which urban and peri-urban agriculture is recognised by public policy and included in urban development strategies and land-use planning. It is based on the results of a survey in 23 countries and data on 110 cities and municipalities. In October 2009, representatives of city governments, ministries of agriculture, research institutes, NGOs and international organizations from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean met in Medellín, Colombia, to develop strategies for reducing high rates of urban poverty and food insecurity across the region. They met as many countries were emerging slowly from the effects of global fuel and food price inflation, which had pushed the cost of living beyond the resources of many of the region’s 160 million urban poor. The Medellín meeting proposed a new agenda for an urban transition toward social inclusion, improved quality of life, equity and sustainability. Its Medellín Declaration urged national, state and local governments to incorporate urban and peri-urban agriculture, or UPA, into their programmes for eradicating hunger and poverty, ensuring food and nutrition security, promoting local development and improving the urban environment.
Greater investment in agriculture is needed to reduce rural poverty and improve food security; but how investment is made, its context and conditions, is at least as important as how much is invested.
Case studies of large-scale agricultural investment in Paraguay, Guatemala and Colombia show how monoculture expansion is displacing communities, undermining smallholder livelihoods and worsening local food security. Even when companies say they operate responsibly, their business model determines who bears the risks, who has access to capital and where market power lies. Responsibility should mean benefits and costs are fairly distributed and all rights upheld, including land rights. Private agricultural investment is needed, but it should complement rather than undermine smallholders, who are the main investors in agriculture.
The Amazon comprises the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the world. Numerous indigenous peoples have traditionally inhabited this region, and 25 percent of its total land area is formally recognised as indigenous territories. Such territories are an effective means of protecting the forest. Deforestation and problems related to illegal logging have a lower incidence in indigenous territories than other areas, including protected areas.
This report investigates an alarming increase in human rights violations in the Amazon region. Human rights defenders, environmental activists and indigenous peoples are facing attacks and are being put under systematic pressure; and rights to land and to consultation are regularly encroached.
Norway is an important actor in the Amazon region, and has for several decades been a key supporter of indigenous organisations. Through its international climate and forest initiative, Norway has pledged to allocate hundreds of millions of US dollars to support measures adopted by Amazon countries to halt deforestation. At the same time, Norway is investing in companies that are abusing the rights of indigenous peoples and destroying the rainforest. This accords great responsibility to Norway.
The report concludes with a set of recommendations to Norwegian authorities on how they might strengthen their efforts to promote human rights in the Amazon region. Given the pressures to which human rights are being subjected such as documented in this report, it is necessary to consolidate the human rights component of Norway’s involvement in the Amazon.
Globally more than one billion women have no interaction with a bank or financial service provider. Rural women face unique challenges and limitations. They have, on average, lower levels of literacy and education than men, and generally have less freedom within households and communities. At the same time, women are responsible for managing the household, raising the children, contributing to some part of the family business as well as engaging in community activities more than men. Recent changes in some rural economies have also pushed women to look for salaried work outside the home. However, women’s lack of access to credit, the tools to run a farm (supplies and equipment), and markets inhibit their productivity and potential, a potential that financial institutions are well-positioned to tap.
In Latin America approximately 61 percent of adults do not have an account at a formal financial institution, slightly higher than the rest of the developing world (58 percent.) The rate for high-income countries is 11 percent. Only 35 percent of women in the region have access to financial services; presumably the number for rural women would be quite low.
Financial institutions interested in broadening their offering to rural areas, especially to women, will have to overcome some geographic and cultural challenges and it will take time to make changes in these remote areas. However, reaching rural clients offers growth in competitive markets where urban areas are saturated and concerns about overindebtedness are rising. Women’s World Banking believes that inclusion of women as a long-term strategy makes institutions more competitive and offers a much sought after growth opportunity.
Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) in Latin America is a large field, with many complimentary issues, such as agroforestry, water management, meteorological forecasting, and even the link between CBA and development itself. Each entry included in this guide highlights one of these CBA arguments, then describes some of the key publications related to the issue and how they contribute to the Latin American debate.
Mountain ecosystems in Central America and the Andean region play an important role in relation to economic activities, ecosystem services and cultural heritage in numerous Latin American countries. It is the mountains where the region’s most important water sources originate, providing a constant water supply to some of the largest cities in South America, including Mexico City, Bogota, Quito, La Paz and Lima. These zones also represent centres of origin of cultivated staple crops that provide vital sources of food. Over millennia, native communities developed their own practices to adapt to climate variability in these zones, some of which are still in use today. During the last decade, advances in research and practice have led to implementing strategies to support communities and nations to adapt to new challenges posed by climate change.
This selection of publications highlights key resources documenting these policy and practice experiences, focusing on: Adaptation Strategy and Programme Design , Country Case Studies , Practical Tools , Traditional Knowledge , and Sustainable Water Management .
Community-based responses to climate change build the capacity of populations to adapt in the face of increasing climate variability. This selection highlights some key publications related to Community- Based Adaptation (CBA) in Latin America. The first publications offer Practical Tools and Resources for putting CBA into practice, and the second set focuses on Latin American Case Studies .
This Spotlight highlights some of the key publications that study, analyse and document Brazil’s ethanol programme. The publications focus on the following specific issues: Brazilian government policies to promote the sector; sustainability issues; expansion, land use and agro-ecological zoning of sugarcane; bagasse, cogeneration and bioelectricity; and advanced biofuels. Together these resources highlight the current key issues surrounding the sector, offering a useful entry for readers from other regions who wish to understand the Brazilian experience with ethanol.
By ratifying human rights treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. But these obligations will do nothing if governments do not allocate public funds to the realisation of those human rights. In the last decade, CSOs and local governments in Latin America have developed budget analysis and design methodologies that incorporate a human rights approach to assess the degree to which governments’ budgets and public policies work towards the fulfilment of human rights. This selection highlights some of the key publications in this emerging field, including Guides and Tool-kits; methodologies for budget analysis of Specific Rights like health, education and the rights of children; and Country Case Studies, that focus on specific countries but look at a variety of rights.
Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) – a Latin American innovation – have now gained fame around the world for their effectiveness in promoting human development, fighting poverty and reducing inequality. CCTs are social programmes that provide families with direct cash transfers, as well as other support, such as nutritional supplements and educational assistance, in exchange for complying with certain health- and education- promoting behaviours, such as sending children for medical check-ups and attending school regularly. Like most social programmes, though, CCTs are vulnerable to corruption and misuse of funds, such as local public officials or leaders manipulating beneficiary selection or using the transfers to curry political support. In Latin America, oversight initiatives have been developed, through which beneficiaries get engaged to oversee the appropriate delivery of the programme.
The following selected publications illustrate and analyse a variety of experiences in which citizen participation is improving oversight of CCT programmes in the Latin American context.