Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Tag: climate-change

    Found 8 posts.

    Climate Change Mitigation Laws Strong Governance and Institutions to Cope with Natural Disasters

    By - 12 de September de 2017, 3:00 pm

    By Sergio Lacambra

    Climate Change Mitigation Laws

    Kids playing football in the streets of Pisco. The pic was taken in 2009, 2 years after  the last biggest earthquake. Image: twak. Creative Commons License.

    The magnitude 8.0 earthquake that ravaged a large part of Peru in August 2007 left behind a massive toll: 7,000 families without homes or safe water, 220,000 children without schools, collapsed ground transportation, and destroyed infrastructure.

    Such natural disasters are not isolated incidents, especially in Peru, one of the most vulnerable countries in the Region to such events. Disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions affected Peru 109 times between 1970 and 2010,causing 74,000 deaths and affecting some 18 million people. Read more…

    What does energy efficiency have to do with hotels in the Caribbean?

    By - 14 de May de 2015, 12:01 am

    By Christiaan Gischler* and Alice Driver**

    The Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Program (CHENACT) helps hotels embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    Bridgetown (Barbados ) tourist destination in the Caribbean. Photo : Getty Images.

    Bridgetown (Barbados ) tourist destination in the Caribbean. | Photo : Getty Images.

    Around 25 million tourists visit the Caribbean each year, making tourism a key driver of the economy that accounts for 30 to 50% of direct and indirect employment in some countries. In most families, at least one member is employed in the hotel or tourism industry. Traditionally, hoteliers focused on expanding the number of available rooms in order to increase profits, but the 2008-2012 international economic crisis sparked a decline of up to 15% in tourist visitors.

    That has forced hoteliers to find smart ways to reduce costs while maintaining the high quality of tourism services. Where to start? Perhaps with the sun, the air conditioning, and the light switch. Read more…

    Deforestation and conflict in Colombia

    By - 24 de September de 2014, 5:45 pm


    From the abstract and conclusions of this paper on civil conflict and deforestation in Colombia:

    Despite a growing body of literature on how environmental degradation can fuel civil war, the reverse effect, namely that of conflict on environmental outcomes, is relatively understudied.


    We study this relationship in the case of Colombia.


    Our results are consistent with the idea that paramilitary militias use the following modus operandi: first, valuable territories are cleared through violent intimidation, which induces forced displacement; second, the vacated land is purchased at very low prices; and third, legal and illegal investments are instituted in those areas. Examples of end products of this process are coca crops, mineral exploitation and oil palm agriculture.


    violent conflict in Colombia has been a force that has driven and continues to drive deforestation.

    Do We Practice Climate-Smart Agriculture?

    By - 17 de June de 2014, 8:07 am

    By Nancy McCarthy* | | Senior Researcher, Lead Analytics

    Despite the need for practices that counteract the effects of climate change on agriculture, Latin America is lagging behind. Credit: Istock photos.

    Despite the need for practices that counteract the effects of climate change on agriculture, Latin America is lagging behind. Credit: Istock photos.


    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization , in its Working Group I report, confirmed that it is extremely likely that human activity has contributed to increases in global average surface temperatures through the release of greenhouse gases.

    The report also states that it is very likely that human activity has contributed to increased frequency of extreme weather events.  Given current trends in emissions, further climate changes and frequency of extreme weather events is projected to continue through the 21st century.  This underscores the importance of developing and implementing adaptation strategies, particularly for vulnerable sectors.  

    The  Working Group II report documents current evidence on vulnerable sectors, likely impacts in the absence of adaptation, and more limited evidence on adaptation strategies.  As documented in this report, a particularly vulnerable sector is agriculture.  Those dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods are also often those with limited resources to adapt to climate changes, including expected increases in the frequency of weather extremes.  This then presents a double challenge, supporting those with limited resources to adapt to climate change in a sector particularly vulnerable to such changes.

    A recent IDB study synthesizes current empirical evidence on a number of agricultural practices that have been posited to increase yields and reduce yield variability by building soil quality, increasing water use efficiency, and reducing soil and water erosion.  

    Read more…

    In the long run we are all dead

    By - 31 de May de 2013, 11:02 am


    Discounting future flows is a critical step in Cost Benefit or Cost Effectiveness. Many institutions still use relatively high discount rates, which might not be applicable to projects where benefits-or costs- will happen way in the future in a world of rapidly declining cost of capital. Is it time to reconsider discount rates estimates for development projects, particularly in light of climate change and historically low interest rates?

    If you work in climate change or education interventions, where benefits and costs materialize a long time from now, the choice of a discount rate is of critical importance. The background papers commissioned for the Stern Review concluded that this rate – which they base on the inter-temporal value of an extra unit of consumption (marginal rate of substitution) – is very low (on average 1.4%) and declines over time.

    This approach is in sharp contrast with that typically taken by many governments and international agencies which base their discount rates on a uniform opportunity cost of capital and enforce its use across the board for all of investments. This typically yields discount rates in the 7-14% range which were first estimated in the 1960s.

    But this tension on the estimation of a discount rate goes way back: from Arrow to Feldstein or from Sen to Harberger, the rate – reflecting which constraint was binding – ebbed and flowed, fluctuated and moved. But as economists do have more than two hands, in his classic 1982 article “Discount Rates” J. Stiglitz argued that the rate should vary from project to project, depending on which constraints are binding.

    But this hot debate around the discount rate fizzled in the real world. Read more…