A new United Nations report warns that a third of the planet’s land is now severely degraded thanks to a doubling in the consumption of natural resources over the past 30 years. Some 15 billion trees and 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost each year, according to the Global Land Outlook (GLO), launched by the secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), at the meeting of States parties taking place in Ordos, China. The GLO takes a critical look at financial and socio-economic values of land, and its impact on the poor.
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are often cited as being the most vulnerable to the future impacts of a changing climate. Furthermore, being located in the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’, PICs have long been exposed to the impacts of a range of natural and climate-related extreme events—such as earthquakes and cyclones—and are considered to be amongst the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters. The physical vulnerability of Pacific towns and cities is further exaggerated by development deficits, geographical isolation, weak governance, and complex issues of land tenure.
This note provides a short overview of urban land and housing market performance in Punjab Province of Pakistan. It describes the characteristics of well-functioning urban land and housing markets and argues that, at present, the Punjab's urban land and housing markets are not performing well. The paper identifies a range of structural and institutional shortcomings that impede urban land market performance, and then concludes by offering recommendations for making land and housing markets functions better.
The main objective of the Country Environmental Analysis (CEA) in Nepal is to identify opportunities for enhancing the overall performance of select environmental management systems through improvements in the effectiveness of institutions, policies, and processes.
This report seeks to present micro evidence on how environmental changes affect poor households. It focuses primarily on environmental resources that are outside the private sphere, particularly commonly held and managed resources such as forests, fisheries, and wildlife. The objectives for this volume are three-fold. It is first interested in using an empirical data-driven approach to examine the dependence of the poor on natural resources. The second objective is to examine the role of the environment in determining health outcomes.
The world faces unprecedented opportunities to reduce global poverty and improve human welfare. Strong global growth and better economic policies in recent years have substantially reduced poverty in many developing countries. However, with the recent financial turmoil in the United States and rising prices for food, oil, and other commodities, the world economy faces heightened risks and volatility. Policymakers around the world face the challenge of maintaining momentum in growth, as well as of improving the quality of growth.
This study on Latin America is based on a sample of eight countries, comprising the big four economies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico; Colombia and Ecuador, two of the poorest South American tropical countries; the Dominican Republic, the largest Caribbean economy; and Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America. Together, in 2000-04, these countries accounted for 78 percent of the region's population, 80 percent of the region's agricultural value added, and 84 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of Latin America.
This paper empirically explores the political-economic determinants of why governments choose to tax or subsidize trade in agriculture. The authors use a new data set on nominal rates of assistance (NRA) across a number of commodities spanning the last five decades for 64 countries. NRAs measure the effect on domestic (relative to world) price of the quantitative and price-based instruments used to regulate agricultural markets. The data set admits consideration of both taxes and subsidies on exports and imports.
This chapter begins with a brief summary of the long history of national distortions to agricultural markets. It then outlines the methodology used to generate annual indicators of the extent of government interventions in markets, details of which are provided in Anderson and appendix A.