Mining, regional integration and environmental imperatives: perspectives from West Africa

Mining, regional integration and environmental imperatives: perspectives from West Africa
(GovInn, June 2014)

Author: Frank Nyame

Prior to European colonization of the African continent, mining of gold by indigenous people was an important activity for many tribal states and kingdoms that used gold as a medium of exchange to trade in various goods and services. It served as a symbol of power, wealth and influence especially in mineral-rich regions. Well established pre-colonial kingdoms such as the Ashanti in Ghana flourished for centuries partly through conquest and the incorporation of mineral-rich but militarily weaker states or tribes. Pre-colonial mining was thus probably a source of conflict and “integration” in what is now West Africa.

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/mining-regional-integration-and-environmental-imperatives-perspectives-from-west-africa/govinnpolicybrief72014-compressed/

A successful regional approach to environmental governance: The case of the European Union

A successful regional approach to environmental governance: The case of the European Union
(GovInn, June 2014)

Author: John McCormick

Environmental policy was a latecomer to the agenda of the European Union (EU), only establishing itself as a formal interest of European integration with the passage of the 1987 Single European Act. The years since then have seen a flurry of legislative and policy activity, with EU institutions addressing a broadening base of environmental problems. From a time when most legal activity was focused on air and water quality, waste management and the control of chemicals, the EU has become involved in issues as varied as noise pollution, energy conservation, the control of genetically modified organisms, organic agriculture, and efforts to address climate change.

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/a-successful-regional-approach-to-environmental-governance-the-case-of-the-european-union/govinnpolicybrief52014-compressed/

Energy Regionalism: The intersection of resources, regions, and energy

Energy regionalism: The intersection of resources, regions, and energy 

Authored by Dr Kathleen J. Hancock 

This brief argues that regional governance, rather than global or national initiatives, is at the forefront of solving many of our energy security challenges, defined in terms of four concepts: energy availability, reliability, affordability and sustainability. While the UN and World Bank, along with the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for petroleum exporters and the International Energy Agency (IEA) for capitalist democracies who are net petroleum importers, have a role in global energy governance, to varying degrees of success, regional organizations have been much more involved in both developing and developed states than is commonly recognized and hold the promise of even more accomplishments.

For more info read: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/?attachment_id=1715

Agriculture, decoupling and sustainability in South America: The role of new technologies and their implementation, risks and chances

Agriculture,decoupling and sustainability in South America: The role of new technologies and their implementation, risks and chances

Authored by Dr Walter A. Dengue

The world’s population is projected to grow to 8 billion by 2030 with increasing global demands for essential resources. It is projected for example that demands for food will increase by up to 50 per cent, water by 35‐60 per cent and energy by 45 per cent. Without significant productivity increases or decreases in the global per capita consumption of food and non‐food biomass, the world’s rapidly growing population will inevitably lead to an expansion of global cropland. The data shows that the gross expansion of cropland under ‘business as usual’ conditions will be 21 ‐ 55{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6} from 2005 to 2050.

 

For more info read: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/?attachment_id=1702

Thinking about and rethinking agriculture

thinkiagrThinking about and rethinking agriculture
(GovInn, May 2014)

Author: Bruno Losch

After decades of marginalization in the international agenda, agriculture is back. The food price crisis of 2008-2009 reminded most that food security could be a major issue due to the fact that the majority of the world’s population was now living in cities (the tipping point was reached at the end of the 2000s) coupled with the perspective of a 9-billion people planet expected by 2050. Urban population will continue to grow exponentially and will require more natural resources to answer an evolving demand corresponding to new diets. This new context stimulates new strategies of governments and private firms which engage in new investments as they try to secure access to production factors (notably land as illustrated by the boom of land grabbing) and/or to control value chains. It also results in growing interest of equity companies looking for profitable assets and activities; a step towards an increasing financiarization of agriculture which is far away from the harsh reality of billions of rural people in developing countries.

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/thinking-about-and-rethinking-agriculture/govinnpolicybrief42014-compressed/

Latin America’s involvement in agricultural development in Africa: The role of Argentina and Brazil

Latin_AmericaLatin America’s involvement in agricultural development in Africa: The role of Argentina and Brazil
(GovInn, May 2014)

Author: Frederic Goulet

The geopolitics of food and agricultural production has changed drastically over the last two decades, with new players coming from South America, such as Brazil and Argentina. These countries have succeeded in developing industrialised forms of agricultural production with high levels of productivity through foreign and national investments in agricultural science and technology. Indeed, these emerging economies have effectively built a large share of their growth on their agricultural success, exporting grains – but also meat, poultry, and other products to industrialised and other emerging countries.

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/latin-americas-involvement-in-agricultural-development-in-africa-the-role-of-argentina-and-brazil/govinnpolicybrief32014-compressed/

Economic direct democracy: a framework to end poverty and maximize well-being

econdirecoEconomic direct democracy: a framework to end poverty and maximize well-being
(GovInn, May 2014)

Author: John Boik

The world is confronted by serious economic, environmental and social challenges. These include income and wealth disparities, climate change, habitat destruction and decaying infrastructure. The fact that all are related via economic components suggests that current economic systems are unsustainable. Unfettered capitalism itself is increasingly seen as part of the problem, as economists ranging from Thomas Piketty to Joseph Stiglitz demonstrate. The time is ripe to explore approaches beyond “capitalism as usual.”

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/economic-direct-democracy-a-framework-to-end-poverty-and-maximize-well-being/govinnpolicybrief22014-compressed/

India’s Sustainability Transition: of What and for Whom?

Authored by Lydia Powell

(June 2014)

The domestic policies and international positions of the Indian government can be discerned on the right side of the sustainability discourse. India’s 12th, five year plan (2012‐2017), described in over a 1000 pages is based on the theme ‘faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth’. The word ‘sustainable’ appears over 200 times in the three volumes of the document which describe plans for sustaining everything from economic growth and finance to the environment and forests. The document affirms the government’s commitment to global sustainability by pointing out that India is a signatory to over 94 multilateral environmental agreements including the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately all these policy pronouncements are unlikely to put India on the path of true sustainability. There are two related but seemingly contradictory reasons for this.

 

For more information, read here: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/?attachment_id=1679

A Region Without Borders? Policy Frameworks for Regional Labour Migration Towards South Africa

2013_Regions_Without_BordersA Region Without Borders? Policy Frameworks for Regional Labour Migration Towards South Africa
(University of the Witwatersrand, July 2013)

Author: C. Nshimbi and L. Fioramonti

Nshimbi, C.C. & Fioramonti, L. (2013) A region without borders? Policy frameworks for regional labour migration towards South Africa. Johannesburg: African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand.