Technology for Development
Why is technology justice central to international development? As history demonstrates, technology provides a catalyst for change. Practical Action has been working on flood Early Warning Systems (EWS) for over ten years and we have seen not only technology adoption taking place but also social change occurring. At the Technology for Development conference the focus is very much on the former, but in my active participation and interaction with the conference delegates I am interested to explore the latter. Looking […]
The Climate Damages Tax, an idea whose time has come!
Pollution must be brought under control and mankind’s population and consumption of resources must be steered towards a permanent and sustainable equilibrium. E.F Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. According to the last global review Natural Hazards resulted in 9,503 deaths, 96 million people being affected, and economic costs in excess of US$314 billion. Weather-related events were responsible for the majority of both human and economic losses. Almost 90% of the deaths in 2017 were due to climatological, […]
Women as a force to build resilience
Many risk drivers are created by development choices at global or national levels, but all are manifested at the local level, so local people must be central to risk reduction practice. But it is important to recognise that in these communities it is the disabled, elderly, women and girls who are the most at risk. For example, women accounted for 61% of fatalities caused by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, 70-80% in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 91% […]
Enhancing Flood Resilience through Livelihood adaptation
“The 2014 flood was worse than the 2009 flood but the loss and damage was less because people had learned from the earlier event.” Dinanath Bhandari I am currently visiting the Practical Action Nepal flood resilience project in the western region, which has been supported by the Z Zurich foundation for the last five years. The project is working in 74 flood vulnerable communities adjacent to the Karnali River, located in the Terai plains, the flat lands that connect Nepal […]
Financial capital and development, where’s the problem?
When Fritz Schumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful” he used the book to highlight two key challenges. The first that traditional development wasn’t working, he highlighted that it was failing to overcome pervasive and underlying challenges and second, that the economic assumptions guiding this development were flawed. He argued eloquently for a new approach to development, an economic development model in which finite resources were recognised and that the aim wasn’t capital accumulation but human wellbeing. Development in which people not […]
Loss and Damage at COP23
Taking the Loss and Damage debate beyond the contentious issue of compensation to identify the mechanisms needed to address the losses and damages occurring as a consequence of climate change, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. The 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held under the presidency of Fiji. This is the first time a highly disaster-vulnerable country has been the president of a COP, and hence disaster and […]
Why the snail’s pace on tackling Loss and Damage?
We may all be sailing on the same ocean, living together in the same canoe, but it’s clear not everyone has their hands on the rudder. OR Can the five year work plan of the Warsaw International Mechanism deliver for Loss and Damage and Sustainable Development? This week representatives from around the world gather in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP23. The president of […]
International Day for Disaster Reduction #IDDR2017
International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) held every 13th October, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. Read more about International Day for Disaster Reduction and our work here: https://practicalaction.org/drr-2017 “The link between climate change and the devastation we are witnessing is clear, and there is a collective responsibility of the international community to stop this suicidal development” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General on recent visit to the Caribbean. In 2017 IDDR once […]
Fiji’s Vision for COP23
In just over one months’ time the world will focus on the 23rd session of the Conference of Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The global gathering at which progress on combatting climate change will be debated, progress reviewed and hopefully ambitious plans to tackle the challenge will be agreed, supported with the necessary finance and support to put this ambition into practice. This year Fiji holds the presidency for the COP meeting and […]
Resilience in the face of increasing risk and uncertainty
Practical Action’s strategic plan 2017-2020 states “Our vision is for a world where all people have access to the technologies that enable them to meet their basic needs and reach their potential, in a way that safeguards the planet today, and for future generations”. But with development gains being eroded by natural hazards, I sometimes wonder if we are fighting a losing battle? According to the Economist, there are now 400 extreme weather events every year, four times as many […]