Technology

Event: Resilient Cities Asia 2015 [viewed]

Organized for the first time, Resilient Cities Asia 2015, taking place from 11-13 February 2015, in Bangkok, Thailand, will aim to become a key regional platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation, providing innovative solutions for cities and local governments, currently facing related threats and challenges, that will help mainstream resilience considerations into policy and practice. The event builds on 'Resilient Cities - The Annual Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation,' held since 2010, in Bonn, Germany, and is organized by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.  

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Event: Arctic Frontiers 2015: Climate and Energy [viewed]

The 9th Arctic Frontiers conference, organized around the theme 'Climate and Energy,' will address three scientific themes, namely: global implications of Arctic climate change; ecological winners and losers in future Arctic marine ecosystems; and the role of the Arctic in global energy supply and security. In addition, the conference will include: policy and business programmes; social and cultural, and side events; a Young Scientist Forum; and an Emerging Leaders programme. The conference is expected to attract over 1,300 participants from academia, government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Arctic Frontiers secretariat is based at FRAM - High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment, in Tromsø, Norway.  

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Event: Tokyo Conference on International Study for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience [viewed]

Organized by the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), jointly with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) and the University of Tokyo, the Tokyo Conference on International Study for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience will convene world leaders and scientists prior to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to discuss how science and technology can help in disaster risk reduction (DRR), fostering sustainable development. The conference will be held under the theme 'Towards a New Science and Technology to Consolidate Disaster Rsk Reduction and Sustainable Development,' with discussions centering around three areas, namely: consolidating a concept that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goal-setting for disaster reduction; sharing best practices in DRR; and identifying concrete initiatives to support a comprehensive, multi-hazards approach in DRR.  

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Event: Workshop on Building Resilient Communities through Urban Planning and the Integration of Natural Sciences [viewed]

This workshop, jointly organized by the Committee on Housing and Land Management of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Programme on Assessment and Management of Geological and Climate Related Risk (CERG-C) of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, will focus on the integration of hazards, risks analysis and natural sciences into policy making for cities and human settlements of the most vulnerable countries of the UNECE region.  

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Guest Article #123: The Challenge of Africa's Transformation: Issues of Food Security and Climate Change [viewed]

Two years ago, to mark the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a very important milestone for agriculture and food security on the continent, the African Union (AU) declared 2014 the year of agriculture. Today, African economies continue to grow at an average rate of 5.3%. Despite this growth, the current wealth generated has not spread to the poor majority whose livelihoods depend mainly on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and fishing.

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FAO: Improved Crop Varieties, Eco-Friendly Farming Must Happen in Tandem [viewed]

FAO19 December 2014: More than 50 crop production specialists attended a meeting organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome, Italy, which concluded that cereal-based farming systems must be part of the transition to sustainable agriculture in order to meet the increased demand for maize, rice and wheat. FAO estimates that over the next 35 years, farmers will: have to increase annual production of these crops on more degraded farmland, and with less water, fossil fuel and agrochemicals; and face increased droughts, pest and disease threats, and extreme weather events brought on by climate change.

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REN21 Publishes 2014 Annual Report [viewed]

REN21November 2014: The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) has published its 2014 Annual Report, which describes highlights from the year and notes that a decade has passed since the meeting of the first international conference dedicated exclusively to renewable energy, whose steering committee evolved into REN21.

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IEA Reviews US Energy Policies [viewed]

IEA18 December 2014: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its 'Energy Policies of IEA Countries: The United States 2014 Review.' The report reviews the oil and gas boom in the US, developments in the national energy policy framework and efforts toward sustainability in the energy system and stability in the electricity sector.

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EEA: Focus Energy Policies to Spur Innovation [viewed]

EEA15 December 2014: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a report compiling the 582 energy support measures of member States that were in place in 2012 and their probable effects on energy innovation. The report, titled 'Energy Support Measures and Their Impact on Innovation in the Renewable Energy Sector in Europe,' finds that 41% of these measures are associated with renewable energy, while 53% are associated with fossil fuels. The findings of the report suggest support policies could be better focused to drive innovation in renewables.

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ESCAP, Thailand Commemorate 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami [viewed]

UNESCAP15 December 2014: During an event that convened ten years after one of the deadliest natural disasters the world has ever seen, panelists took stock of progress made in building greater resilience to disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, and identified remaining gaps and regional priorities going forward. The event highlighted that, while much has been done to fill the gaps in risk reduction, disaster preparedness and early warning systems ten years on from the Indian Ocean Tsunami, which hit on 26 December 2004, much remains to be done, particularly at the local level.

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