Five rules for climate adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected situations

By Elise Remling

Societies—particularly the poorest—are not ready to deal with the worsening impacts of climate change, and the deficit is growing, according to the latest report from the IPCC. We urgently need to step up investment in climate adaptation interventions, which aim to adjust social systems and structures to reduce their vulnerability to climate change.

However, in doing so we also need to recognize that interventions that make one community or area more resilient can make others even more vulnerable and insecure, and in some cases increase the risks of conflict. Researchers still often neglect such ‘maladaptive’ outcomes; practitioners even more so. How can organizations working on adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected situations make sure their interventions not only do no harm, but even contribute to peace?

Continue reading “Five rules for climate adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected situations”

Industrial policy for lower-income countries in the age of global value chains

By Karin Fischer, Christian Reiner and Cornelia Staritz

Countries of the Global South and particularly lower-income countries could barely benefit from the integration into global value chains (GVCs) so far. Regional integration, ecological leapfrogging, development-oriented macroeconomic policies and certain global framework conditions are necessary to distribute the benefits from (and costs of) GVCs more broadly. Continue reading “Industrial policy for lower-income countries in the age of global value chains”

Above or below the poverty line

Three key questions for understanding shifts in global poverty

By Andy Sumner and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez

In 2010 and the following years, there was attention to the fact that much of global poverty had shifted to middle-income countries (for example here, here, and here). The world’s poor hadn’t moved of course, but the countries that are home to large numbers of poor people had got better off on average and poverty hadn’t fallen as much as one might expect with economic growth in those countries moving from low-income to middle-income. There were also some big questions over the country categories themselves. One could say the world’s poor live not in the world’s poorest countries but in fast growing countries and countries with burgeoning domestic resources to address poverty albeit ‘locked’ by domestic political economy (who doesn’t want cheap petrol?) Continue reading “Above or below the poverty line”

Sand and gravel: Rethinking aggregate consumption and distribution

By Arpita Bisht

Of all natural resources, mineral aggregates (sand and gravel) have been the fastest growing and most extracted material group over the 21st century. This growth has not only been associated with large-scale ecological degradation, but also with violent extractive operations on local levels.

Given that sand and gravel are heavily used in the construction industry, particularly in concrete production, it comes as no surprise that the growth of infrastructure is the main driver for the overall rise in their consumption. What’s more, since 1970, increasing aggregate consumption has largely been observed in the global South—in regions which have witnessed massive economic and infrastructure growth. Continue reading “Sand and gravel: Rethinking aggregate consumption and distribution”

The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – a trial run for responsible sourcing of raw materials?

By Karin Küblböck

On 1 January 2021 the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation entered into force. From now on, companies importing certain minerals into the EU must ensure that their sourcing practices do not contribute to conflict and human rights abuses. The regulation therefore introduces for the first time mandatory human rights due diligence for companies in the EU. In its current version, the scope of the regulation is extremely limited. Nevertheless, its implementation can provide important lessons for the upcoming comprehensive EU due diligence legislation. Continue reading “The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – a trial run for responsible sourcing of raw materials?”