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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dasgupta, Susmita; Huq, Mainul; Wheeler, David;
    Publisher: World Bank Group, Washington, DC
    Country: United States

    Bangladesh, with two-thirds of its land area less than five meters above sea level, is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Low-lying coastal districts along the Bay of Bengal are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, tidal flooding, storm surges, and climate-induced increases in soil and water salinity. This paper investigates the impact of drinking water salinity on infant mortality in coastal Bangladesh. It focuses on the salinity of drinking water consumed during pregnancy, which extensive medical research has linked to maternal hypertension, preeclampsia, and post-partum morbidity and mortality. The study combines spatially-formatted salinity measures for 2001-09 provided by Bangladesh with individual and household survey information from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys for 2004 and 2007. It uses probit and logit analyses to estimate mortality probability for infants less than two months old. Controlling for many other determinants of infant mortality, the analysis finds high significance for salinity exposure during the last month of pregnancy and no significance for exposure during the preceding months. The estimated impact of salinity on infant mortality is comparable in magnitude to the estimated effects of traditionally-cited variables such as maternal age and education, gender of the household head, household wealth, toilet facilities, drinking water sources, and cooking fuels.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mogaka, Hezron; Gichere, Samuel; Davis, Richard; Hirji, Rafik;
    Publisher: Washington, DC: World Bank
    Country: United States

    This report attempts to fill that gap for two of the most important water-related issues facing the effects of climate variability and the steady degradation of the nation's water resources. The study reported here concluded that the El Niño-La Niña episode from 1997-2000 cost the country Ksh 290 billion (about 14 percent of GDP during that period). During El Niño-induced floods, this cost primarily arises from destruction of infrastructure such as roads, water supply infrastructure, and pipe networks. The largest costs incurred during the La Niña droughts (1998-2000) were from loss of industrial production and other costs arising from reduced hydropower generation, as well as from crop and livestock losses. These costs are felt throughout Kenyan society.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    World Bank Group;
    Publisher: Washington, DC
    Country: United States

    The World Bank Group (WBG) has a long experience in engaging in biodiversity with world-class expertise in the field. It has been the single largest funder of biodiversity investments since the late 1980s. The WBG investments have largely been of two kinds: (1) investments in biodiversity, aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of species, habitats, and ecosystems that sustain healthy ecosystems, while enhancing people's livelihoods and safety nets. These investments have also been providing jobs and economic development in frequently impoverished rural areas for example by supporting protected areas and an increasingly important tourism industry; and (2) investments that add value to projects in other sectors, such as irrigation, hydropower, and infrastructure, by increasing their environmental sustainability. The WBG is a global center of excellence that provides economy wide technical and economic knowledge and expertise on biodiversity and ecosystems. It has the standing and convening power to facilitate participatory dialogue between client countries and networks of other relevant stakeholders on matters of biodiversity and climate change concern, such as loss of ecosystem resilience, forest law enforcement and governance, wildlife trade, and overexploitation of natural resources.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McNamara, Kerry;
    Publisher: World Bank, Washington, DC
    Country: United States

    Raising the productivity of smallholders is a necessary condition for increasing incomes and improving livelihoods among the rural poor in most developing countries. This increased productivity is essential to both household food security and to agriculture-based growth and poverty reduction in the larger economy. Smallholder productivity is limited by a variety of constraints including poor soils, unpredictable rainfall, and imperfect markets, as well as lack of access to productive resources, financial services, or infrastructure. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are also vitally important to commercial and large-scale agriculture, and to agriculture-related services and infrastructure such as weather monitoring and irrigation. This note focuses on the sometimes less-obvious importance of ICT in improving the information, communication, transaction, and networking elements of smallholder agriculture in developing countries.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Xie, Jian;
    Publisher: World Bank
    Country: United States

    This report reviews China's water scarcity situation, assesses the policy and institutional requirements for addressing it, and recommends key areas for strengthening and reform. It is a synthesis of the main findings and recommendations from analytical work and case studies prepared under the World Bank Analytical and Advisory Assistance (AAA) program entitled 'Addressing China's Water Scarcity: from Analysis to Action.' These studies focus on several strategically important thematic areas for China where additional research was needed, as identified by the research team and advisory group based on a review of pressing issues. These areas are governance, water rights, pricing, ecological compensation, pollution control, and emergency response. The approach has been to evaluate Chinese and international experience to identify policy and institutional factors that have proven effective in promoting the adoption of water conservation and pollution reduction technologies. The research was based on literature reviews, qualitative and quantitative policy analyses, household surveys, field trips, and case studies to develop feasible recommendations for a plan of action based on realities on the ground.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    de la Torre, Augusto; Fajnzylber, Pablo; Nash, John;
    Publisher: World Bank
    Country: United States

    Based on analysis of recent data on the evolution of global temperatures, snow and ice covers, and sea level rise, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently declared that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal." Global surface temperatures, in particular, have increased during the past 50 years at twice the speed observed during the first half of the 20th century. The IPCC has also concluded that with 95 percent certainty the main drivers of the observed changes in the global climate have been anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases (GHG). While the greenhouse effect is a natural process without which the planet would probably be too cold to support life, most of the increase in the overall concentration of GHGs observed since the industrial revolution has been the result of human activities, namely the burning of fossil fuels, changes in land use (conversion of forests into agricultural land), and agriculture (the use of nitrogen fertilizers and live stock related methane emissions).

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Lochte, Karin;
    Publisher: PANGAEA
    Country: Germany
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pagiola, Stefano; Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Freire-González, Jaume;
    Publisher: World Bank, Washington, DC
    Country: United States

    The effectiveness of conservation interventions such as Payments for Environmental Services (PES) is often evaluated, if it is evaluated at all, only at the completion of the intervention. Since gains achieved by the intervention may be lost after it ends, even apparently successful interventions may not result in long-term conservation benefits, a problem known as that of permanence. This paper uses a unique dataset to examine the permanence of land use change induced by a short-term PES program implemented in Quindío, Colombia, between 2003 and 2008. This the first PES program to have a control group for comparison. Under this program, PES had been found to have a positive and highly significant impact on land use. To assess the long-term permanence of these changes, both PES recipients and control households were re-surveyed in 2011, four years after the last payment was made. We find that the land use changes that had been induced by PES were broadly sustained in intervening years, with minor differences across specific practices and sub-groups of participants. The patterns of change in the period after the PES program was completed also help better understand the reasons for the program s success. These results suggest that, at least in the case of productive land uses such as silvopastoral practices, PES programs can be effective at encouraging land owners to adopt environmentally-beneficial management practices and that the benefits will persist after payments cease.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    World Bank;
    Publisher: Washington, DC
    Country: United States

    The objective of the Functional Review of the Environment, Water and Forestry sector (FR-EWF) is to help the Government of Romania (GoR) develop an action plan for implementation over the short- and medium-term to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the sector administration, and provide input to the Government National Reform Program (NRP 2011- 2013) and beyond, especially in relation to those functions that support Romania's implementation of key EU directives, help speed up convergence with the environmental Acquis, remove constraints to EU structural funds absorption, and manage the country's natural assets sustainably. The report is presented in two volumes, with the first volume providing an integrated view of the sector as currently configured around environmental management, water, and forestry, and the second volume dedicated to a detailed review of the forestry sector. Volume 1 is organized as follows: Part I provides an overall introduction, objectives and context of the review; Part II summarizes the key challenges facing the sector, focusing on the three main sub-sectors, environmental management, water, and forestry; Part III reviews the strategic framework of the sector, pointing out areas where improvements will be needed; Part IV reviews the configuration of the sector, its organization and performance; Part V assesses the salient cross-cutting issues; and Part VI presents the key recommendations. Volume 2, dedicated to the forestry sub-sector, is organized along the four assessment areas.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Iyer, Ram Balam;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Time and energy are finite resources in any environment, and how and when organisms use their available resources to survive and reproduce is the crux of life history theory (Gadgil and Bossert 1970; Balon 1975; Stearns 1976). The different survival strategies used by animals are often shaped by their environment in addition to their biology (Winemiller and Rose 1992), which allows for exploration into biological variability when environmental factors are known. For this reason, the Line Islands in the Central Pacific provide an ideal location to perform observational studies due to their unique productivity gradient and fish assemblage structures across the island chain (Sandin et al. 2008; DeMartini et al. 2008; Fox et al. 2018; Zgliczynski et al. 2019). Many of the world’s coral reefs are in remote regions that lack monitoring programs or even local populations, so conducting ecological surveys on fish communities in these regions can require extensive amounts of time, energy, resources and people. The inherent variability an environment exerts on the many factors that contribute to growth over a lifetime make it difficult to generate a directly proportional formula that calculates age. A novel age estimation method was developed that utilizes in-situ visual census data to estimate the age of fishes, and as a case study, several fish were chosen as representative species to explore its capabilities. Through this process, new ecological information and insight can be gained about the age structures of fish populations both between and throughout the Line Islands.