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This page was updated on: 12/10/10



Sustainable Development Key Publications and Online Resources Archives: 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002


Latest New Publications and Resources

Food security, farming, and climate change to 2050

Rural Poverty Report 2011

Waste and Climate Change: Global Trends and Strategy Framework


Food security, farming, and climate change to 2050

(IFPRI, 2010)

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released this report, which examines scenarios, results and policy options to promote sustainable food production in an era of climate change. The report features 15 food security scenarios through 2050 that examine potential population and income growth, alongside climate change scenarios. The report suggests that the negative impacts of climate change on food security could be mitigated by improved agricultural productivity, broad economic growth and robust international trade to counter regional food shortages. The report notes poor biophysical and social data to help improve models, but also highlights initiatives underway to address these shortfalls. The report further underscores the need to improve satellite observation data. [IFPRI publication on food security and farming]


Rural Poverty Report 2011

(IFAD, 2010)

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) released this report, which provides updated estimates on the number of rural poor people in developing countries and rural poverty rates. This 2011 edition of the report is the first since 2001. The report underscores threats to rural development posed by climate change, volatile food prices, and natural resource constraints. It also notes ecosystems and biodiversity that sustain agricultural production are changing, and highlights the challenges to boosting international agricultural productivity. In terms of opportunities, the report describes the growth of urban centers and better organized agricultural markets. It further outlines efforts to help poor rural people avoid and manage risks. [IFAD press release] [Report website]


Waste and Climate Change: Global Trends and Strategy Framework

(UNEP, 2010)

The report estimates the emissions contribution of the waste sector at roughly 3-5%, but notes that reliability of calculation methods and data between countries vary, and concludes that the waste sector is well placed to cut its contribution to global man-made greenhouse gas emissions. [The report]


Protecting Arctic Biodiversity: Strengths and Limitations of Environmental Agreements

(UNEP GRID-ARENDAL, October 2010)

This report, released during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), details solutions to the current biodiversity crisis in the Arctic, but it stresses that conservation gains are only possible if root causes for biodiversity loss are addressed outside the Arctic.trans It finds that existing multilateral environmental agreements that include the Arctic region, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, may be effective against threats caused by local, national or regional activities (mining and oil and gas exploitation, for example) if implemented adequately, because threats such as climate change, transboundary contaminants and habitat fragmentation are global in nature. Among its recommendations, the report stresses that: more global, cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary thinking by policy-makers, scientists and other stakeholders will be necessary to deal with increasing pressures on Arctic biodiversity; the Arctic Council could play a more active role in supporting the development of specific conservation efforts and further collaboration with non-Arctic states that share responsibility for migratory Arctic wildlife; strengthening existing mechanisms for the protection and conservation of biodiversity, through the implementation of existing mechanisms, is necessary; harmonization of national reporting between the Arctic nations on issues of common concern would allow for more effective national reporting to multilateral environmental agreements; Arctic nations should substantially increase the extent of protected areas, especially in coastal zones and in the marine environment; and Arctic nations should invest in co-management regimes and programmes of adaptation for societies in the Arctic, drawing on their traditional knowledge. [The report]


Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention

(World Bank, United Nations, 2010)

The report by the United Nations and World Bank, stresses the need for prevention to reduce countries' vulnerability to natural hazards in order to enable their sustainable and cost-effective development. It outlines a number of measures to prevent death and destruction from natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes and flooding and estimates annual global losses from natural disasters could triple to US$185 billion by the end of this century, without calculating the impact of climate change. One area in which the report calls for more spending is early warning systems, particularly weather forecasting. It also urges governments to ensure that new infrastructure does not introduce new risk, including by locating infrastructure out of harm’s way. [The report]


Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

(UNCTAD, October 2010)

This report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), monitors global trends related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) from a development perspective. It focuses on the potential impact of ICTs in enterprises for reducing poverty and improving livelihoods. [The report]


Economic Diversification in Africa: A Review of Selected Countries

(AU, UNOSAA, OECD, October 2010)

This study, prepared by the African Union (AU), the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlights that the global financial and economic crises exposed African economies’ dependence on too few export commodities and how they can diversify their economies. The study notes that climate change negotiations are opening up new opportunities for greening African economy growth, such as the Clean Development Mechanism to provide emission reduction credits to private companies. [The report]


Human Development Report: The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development

(UNDP, November 2010)

This report focuses on long-term development trends and indicates that, although inequalities within and between countries remain, people today are generally healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were in 1970. It indicates that major challenges to development, including climate change, need to be addressed by a global governance system and not by individual States. The report stresses that economic insecurity and climate change are major sources of vulnerability and unsustainability of development, in particular from unsustainable production and consumption patterns that rely heavily on fossil fuels. It emphasizes that climate change may be the single factor that makes the future very different, impeding continuing progress in human development.  [UNDP Human Development Report 2010]


Planning Sustainable Cities: UN-HABITAT Practices and Perspectives

(UN-HABITAT, October 2010)

This booklet presents the work of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in the perspective of international debate on urban planning and at the country level. Issues covered include planning for slum prevention and upgrading, addressing climate change and building environmental sustainability, urban safety and security, local economic development and infrastructure, and disaster and post-conflict reconstruction. The booklet focuses on issues related to climate change and the urban environment agenda such as the dependency of cities in fossil fuels and how to bridge the green and brown agenda through environmental management and planning. [The booklet]


The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics

(UNSTATS, October 2010)

This report, by the UN Statistics Division, highlights the differences in the status of women and men in eight areas – population and families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women, environment and poverty. The report notes that climate change may deepen environment-related gender inequality, particularly in developing regions. It also notes that women are considered to be among the most vulnerable groups, as they tend to be more dependent on natural resources threatened by climate change and have fewer assets to cope with it. The report indicates that monitoring the gendered effects of climate change may not be easily detectable at larger geographical units such as region, country, urban and rural. [The report]


State of the World Population 2010: From conflict and crisis to renewal: generations of change

(UNFPA, October 2010)

This report, a flagship publication by the UN Population Fund, emphasizes that when women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men, they are more resilient to conflict and disaster and can lead reconstruction and renewal efforts in their societies. [The report]


Economic Partnership Agreements: Comparative Analysis of the Agricultural Provisions

(UNCTAD, October 2010)

This study analyses the development implications of the agricultural provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and 36 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries by quantifying the immediate monetary costs for non-signatory ACP countries; quantifying the immediate monetary benefits for signatory countries and analyzing the options for increased supply; analyzing the agricultural liberalization commitments of each region; analyzing how the actionable and non-actionable provision of agreements affect ACP agricultural production, trade and development. [The report]


Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities

(Asian Development Bank, 2010)

The report, product of a two-year collaborative study by the ADB, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank, highlights the impact of climate change on Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila under a range of climate change scenarios through 2050. The report finds that costs from major flooding events on infrastructure and the economy could run into the billions of dollars, with urban poor populations likely to be the hardest hit. It concludes that all three cities need to take targeted, city-specific and cutting edge approaches to meet these challenges. [The report]


Rethinking Global Biodiversity Strategies: Exploring Structural Changes in Production and Consumption to Reduce Biodiversity Loss

(Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2010)

This report argues that further expansion of the global network of protected areas will be necessary, but will not be sufficient to attain a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss worldwide. Structural changes in consumption and in the efficiency of production are indispensable. Changes in agriculture, forestry, fishery and energy supply are required to slow down biodiversity loss, through reduced expansion of agricultural land, stopping overexploitation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and limiting climate change. [The report]


Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health

(UN Secretary-General, September 2010)

This strategy, launched by the UN Secretary-General, sets out a plan to save the lives of millions of women and children who may die of preventable causes, calling for coordinated efforts and building on what has been achieved so far. Among various issues, the strategy notes that dirty water and inadequate sanitation cause diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and dysentery, especially among pregnant women, so sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is critical. It also notes that community-based health efforts must educate women and children about sanitation and must improve access to safe drinking water. [The report]


E-Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals

(World Bank, September 2010)

This e-Atlas, developed by the World Bank, provides visual maps of the indicators that measure progress toward the eight Millennium Development Goals – covering from poverty reduction, food security to environmental sustainability – with explanations of each goal and its related targets as the context. The e-Atlas allows the user to create a world map focusing on a selected indicator, with country rankings and data expressed by tables or graphs. [The e-Atlas]


World Energy Outlook 2010 – Energy Poverty: How to Make Modern Energy Access Universal

(International Energy Agency, UNDP, UNIDO, September 2010)

The International Energy Agency (IEA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have released an excerpt fromtheir forthcoming World Energy Outlook, titled "Energy Poverty: How to make modern energy access universal?" The report notes that over 1.4 billion people currently lack access to electricity, and argues for the need to improve energy access and reduce energy poverty on health, environmental, and economic development grounds. It estimates the investment costs required to close the energy access gap completely to be US$36 billion per year globally until 2030. The report also introduces the Energy Development Index, a new tool to help measure progress on energy poverty. [The report]


Measuring Irrigation Subsidies: Policy Recommendations from a Spanish Case Study

(IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative, September 2010)

This policy brief draws out the lessons learned from a country study estimating irrigation subsides in Spain. The country study adopted the GSI method for quantifying irrigation subsidies which encompasses the main components of the Net Cost to the Supplier approach. The study estimated subsidies to irrigated agriculture in Spain are between €906 million per year and €1.120 million per year based on conservative assumptions. The policy brief discusses a number of important issues relating to irrigation subsidies and provides recommendations on how to overcome some of the more general methodological challenges analysts face when quantifying irrigation subsidies, such as setting an appropriate price for water use, and economic principles for valuing investments of capital for irrigation infrastructure. While providing a number of general recommendation to policy makers on the need to  improve the transparency of information available on irrigation subsidies, it also provides a number of specific recommendations for policy makers in Spain, to help improve the level of information made publicly available on subsidy programs. [The policy brief]


Mapping the Characteristics of Producer Subsidies: A Review of Pilot Country Studies

(IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative, August 2010)

This paper is published as part of the series Untold Billions: Fossil-fuel subsidies, their impacts and the path to reform. This study helps increase the body of knowledge about the data sources that hold information on subsidies to fossil-fuel producers, by reviewing available data in a series of countries, diverse in terms of their level of data transparency, governance systems, energy markets and stages of economic development. Using a detailed matrix setting out the main subsidy policies, the type of fuel, and their main data sources, pilot studies have been completed for China, Germany, Indonesia and the United States. It was found that fossil-fuel producers are supported by a multitude of policies, ranging from direct payments to preferential access to government-owned lands. While direct payments were relatively easy to identify in government budget reporting, data was not always provided at a sufficient level of disaggregation to allow proper attribution to beneficiaries. Pilot studies also found that information on these support measures was held by a variety of government ministries and non-governmental organizations. [The report]


Measuring Irrigation Subsidies in Spain: An application of the GSI Method for quantifying subsidies

(IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative, July 2010)

The report provides a starting point for a debate on the use of irrigation subsidies in Spain, quantified using the GSI’s Method for quantifying irrigation subsidies. The report found subsidies to irrigated agriculture are in the range of €900 to €1120 million per year. More than half of those subsidies finance the modernization and rehabilitation of water distribution infrastructures in irrigated districts to allow for water savings. The study also found the Spanish Government should consider establishing legislation requiring water authorities to publicly provide information on water costs, revenues and subsidies in a more organized and usable manner. This would include establishing the minimum level of information to be provided, the adequate level of disaggregation, the methodology used to develop it, and the formats in which information would be presented. It also highlights the need to develop sound replicable methods for measuring and quantifying subsidies. [The report]


The GSI’S Method for quantifying subsidies to irrigation

(IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative, January 2009)

The GSI's method for quantifying irrigation subsidies draws on the main components of the Net Cost to the Supplier approach. This focuses on measuring identifiable government expenditures as reported in budget reports and official documentation, avoiding the location-specific and time-dependant problems that arise in attempts to factor in fluctuating prices of water and the wide range of externalities, both positive and negative, that can be linked to irrigation subsidies. The long-term aim of developing the method is to move towards a consistent and internationally accepted approach for measuring irrigation subsidy intensities. The methodology is published in the form of a discussion paper, and comment on it is welcomed. [The report]


The Greening of Water Law: Managing Freshwater Resources for People and the


(UNEP, September 2010)

This UN Environment Programme (UNEP) publication explores the notion and the benefits of greening water law by presenting and assessing a variety of legal, procedural and policy mechanisms, for both national and international arenas, that can help to elevate the status and importance of environmental concerns in relation to other societal interests and harmonize the water needs of both people and the natural environment. It recommends that governments take environmental issues into consideration when drafting laws on the use of water to avert an impending water crisis. [The paper]


Economic Development in Africa Report 2010: South South Cooperation – Africa and the New Forms of Partnerships

(UNCTAD, July 2010)

This report discusses the variety of institutional arrangements that are guiding and encouraging new economic relationships of Africa-South partnerships. It provides up-to-date information on African trade with other developing countries outside Africa, as well as on official financial flows and foreign direct investment into Africa from those countries. The report assesses policy issues that arise from the new relationships in each of these areas and provides recommendations to move forward such as to broaden the scope of engagement to include sectors other than the extractive industries; strengthen support for regional integration in Africa; and provide more information on development activities in the region, among others. [The report]


Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2010

(UNEP, July 2010)

This UNEP report focuses on global trends in sustainable energy investment, covering the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. It was released along with REN21's Renewables 2010 Global Status Report. The REN21 report provides a broad look at the status of renewable energy worldwide, covering power regeneration, heating and cooling and transport fuels. It describes the landscape of policies and targets introduced around the world to promote renewable energy. The reports show that countries with policies encouraging renewable energy have approximately doubled from 55, in 2005, to more than 100 today, with half of them in the developing world. [UNEP press release] [IEA press release] [Reports web site]


Core Elements of National Reports

(OECD, 2010)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released this paper with suggestions for improving national measuring, reporting and verification (MRV). Focusing on the Copenhagen Accord’s call for national communications to be submitted every two years, the paper investigates options for easing the burden facing non-Annex I countries to fulfill this requirement. In particular, the paper suggests differentiating information that needs to be regularly updated from that which may remain constant over longer periods. [The report]


World Economic and Social Survey 2010

(UNDESA, June 2010)

The report indicates that many of the global crises in recent years – such as the food, fuel and financial crises – are to a large extent due to major systemic failures in the global economy and weaknesses in the mechanisms for global governance. The report suggests that a sustainable rebalancing of the global economy requires closer coordination across the trading system, the new regime for international financial regulation, the global reserve system and the mechanisms for mobilizing and channeling development finance and climate funding. The report recommends that the international community consider establishing a global economic coordination mechanism that goes well beyond the Group of 20 (G20). [The report]


Capacity Development for Scaling Up Decentralized Energy Access Programmes

(UNDP, June 2010)

This report draws lessons from two decentralized energy projects in Nepal that brought modern energy services to almost a million people in remote rural communities. The projects enabled 250,000 people to be reached by micro hydropower supplying electricity for lighting and mechanical power for agro-processing and other productive activities; and 580,000 people with access to improved cooking stoves. The report underlines the importance of upfront public investment in capacity development to deliver, manage, operate and maintain the solutions to providing energy access in rural areas. It also illustrates that improving energy access accelerates the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [Report website]


Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals: Sustainable, Competitive, Responsible

(UNWTO, June 2010)

This report, published by the UN World Tourism Organization, indicates the UNWTO is firmly committed to fostering the tourism sector’s contribution to development. Tourism accounts for 45% of the exports of services of least developed countries and is a major job generator for many of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The report notes that, in 2009, emerging economies received 410 million international tourism arrivals, a 47% share of the global total, and US$306 billion in international tourism receipts, 36% of the global total. The report argues that the tourism industry can play a significant role in the achievement of the MDGs, in particular eradication of poverty, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships for development. [The report]


Measuring Energy Subsidies Using the Price-Gap Approach: What Does it Leave Out?

(IISD, 2009)

The OECD and the IEA have produced estimates of global subsidies to fossil fuels that make the case for action on both environmental and economic grounds. But the methodologies most often used may significantly underestimate the size of the problem. This paper explains why this is so and explores ways to come to a more accurate picture. The report.


Lessons Learned from the Restructuring of Poland's Coal-Mining Industry

(IISD, 2010)

This report looks at the reform process in the context of Polish coal mining. Soon after the country’s economic transition began in 1989, demand for coal declined but controls on coal prices remained in place. The cost of the subsidies proved untenable given over-employment combined with high production costs. The report draws some general lessons from Poland's experience in achieving long-term viability of the industry. The report.


Lessons Learned from Attempts to Reform India's Kerosene Subsidy

(IISD, 2010)

This report examines attempts to reform India's long-standing subsidy on residential kerosene. At least one-third of the subsidized kerosene is diverted to the black market for use as a transport fuel - a lucrative business for corrupt fuel distributors who, in turn, bribe government officials to obtain licenses to distribute or blend the fuel and to maintain the subsidy. India has tried to reform the subsidy but failed because of strong political pressure from the poor and black market participants. It draws lessons from this experience for the future. The report.


Lessons Learned from Brazil’s Experience with Fossil-fuel Subsidies and their Reform

(IISD, 2010)

This report explains Brazil’s attempts to reform fuel subsidies, often frustrated by interest groups trying to maintain the use of certain consumer subsides. The report reviews the rationale for their reform and analyzes why Brazil’s previous attempts have been so difficult. The Brazilian experience is useful for understanding the rationale for subsidies in countries with large regional and social disparities. It draws lessons from this experience for the future. The report.



(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), June 2010)

This sixth issue of Agriculture Outlook projects the global markets of key agricultural commodities in order to build consensus on how global agriculture may evolve in the coming decade and the key issues impacting its course. The report highlights an improved macroeconomic environment for commodity projections from 2009, with growth expected to be stronger and faster in large developing countries than in developed countries. It notes that global agricultural production is anticipated to grow more slowly in the coming decade than in the previous decade, and that production growth in the least developed countries is struggling to keep up with population growth. It describes the need for governments to create policies that increase confidence in access to food and notes the potential volatility created by uncoordinated policy actions among governments internationally. Agriculture Outlook 2010-2019 web site.



(International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), 2010)

Established in 2000, the ICRIForum was designed to streamline the delivery of information to ICRI Members and the general public regarding both the actions of the International Coral Reef Initiative and global coral reef conservation efforts more generally. ICRIForum has recently been redesigned. It offers a central location for all documents related to the work of the Initiative for the last 15 years. The website.



(UNEP, GRID-Arendal, 2010)

Edited by C. Nellemann and E. Corcoran, this report is a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity and a complement to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study. It documents over 30 successful case studies referencing thousands of restoration projects ranging from deserts and rainforests to rivers and coasts. The report confirms that restoration is not only possible but can prove highly profitable in terms of public savings, returns and the broad objectives of overcoming poverty and achieving sustainability. It also provides important recommendations on how to avoid pitfalls and how to minimize risks to ensure successful restoration. The report.



(UN Secretariat, May 2010)

The report of the twelfth session of the Committee for Development Policy has been released (E/2010/33). The report covers the following issues: impact of global crises on gender equality and the empowerment of women; international support measures available for least developed countries; support by the UN system for small island developing States, and coherence of the climate change agenda in relation not only to its own financial architecture but also with respect to other development policies; and the development progress of countries graduating from the least developed country category, namely Equatorial Guinea, Maldives and Samoa. The report.



(UNDESA, May 2010)

This report notes that, although the world economy continued to improve in the first half of 2010, the pace of the recovery has not been sufficient to close the global output gap left by the financial crisis. In addition, the report indicates that the recovery has been uneven across countries. While growth prospects for a few developing countries are encouraging, economic activity is not encouraging in developed economies and even less encouraging in most of the developing world. The report highlights that macroeconomic stimulus is critical for recovery, to boost productivity and employment growth. The report.



(World Health Organization, 2010)

GLAAS is a UN-Water initiative implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to provide policy makers at all levels with analyses of the evidence to make informed decisions in sanitation and drinking-water. Sub-titled “Targeting resources for better results,” this report finds that over 2.6 billion people live without access to improved sanitation facilities, and nearly 900 million people are not receiving their drinking-water from improved water sources. It highlights where efforts stagnate in achieving the Millennium Development Goal Target 7.C. – to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation. It also outlines the post-2015 challenges that need to be addressed by the UN system to collectively support its member States. The report.



(UN-Water and UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, 2010)

This background document was prepared for the 18th and 19th sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 18/19). It highlights water-related aspects of the current CSD thematic issues of mining, sustainable production and consumption, chemicals, transport and waste management. The document.



(World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), March 2010)

This report is based on a series of UNEP FI-WBCSD workshops held in 2008 and 2009. These workshops provided a platform for companies and investors to collectively address barriers within capital market valuation processes that inhibit the proper disclosure and assessment of corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance—underpinning the materiality of ESG factors to long-term, sustainable business value and to the performance of investment portfolios. The resource.


(UNDP, May 2010)

This policy brief addresses various dimensions of the challenges and opportunities arising from the rapid increase in the number of emerging economies due to their greater involvement in development cooperation to address global challenges such as industrial development, technology transfer and climate change. It considers whether they can build a new and more inclusive paradigm that secures faster and more sustainable development, as well as more inclusive cooperation, and translates opportunities into better voice for least developed countries. The policy brief.



(UNDESA, May 2010)

This monthly newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) features an article on the role of affordable transport in achieving sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). The article notes that over one billion people living in rural areas in developing countries lack access to adequate transportation, an essential precondition for development due to its importance for accessing markets, employment, education and basic services. It also underscores that globally increased urbanization and motorization over the past several decades have resulted in an unprecedented rise in emissions, leading to degradation in living conditions worldwide and accelerating climate change. It mentions large- and small-scale transport infrastructure success stories in India and Sri Lanka. The article.



(World Health Organization, 2010)

GLAAS is a UN-Water initiative implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to provide policy makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the evidence to make informed decisions in sanitation and drinking-water. Sub-titled “targeting resources for better results,” this report finds that over 2.6 billion people live without access to improved sanitation facilities, and nearly 900 million people are not receiving their drinking-water from improved water sources. It highlights where efforts have stagnated in achieving the Millennium Development Goal Target 7.C.  – to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation. It also outlines the post-2015 challenges that need to be addressed by the UN system to collectively support its member States. GLASS 2010.



(UN-Water and UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, 2010)

This background document was prepared for the 18th and 19th sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 18/19). It highlights the water-related aspects of the current CSD thematic issues of mining, sustainable production and consumption, chemicals, transport and waste management. The document.



(UNECOSOC, April 2010)

This report (E/2010/26) of the 48th session of the Commission for Social Development, which convened in February 2010, summarizes the proceedings of the session, which focused on the priority theme of social integration and reviewed relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups. The report recognizes that the attainment of the social development objectives may be hindered by the economic and financial crisis, as well as challenges brought about by the food and energy crisis and by climate change. The report.



(WHO and UNICEF, March 2010)

This progress report, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), provides the status of safe drinking-water and sanitation standards and the significant progress made to reach the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the number of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. The report focuses on equity issues and highlights that the vast majority of people without access to water and sanitation live in rural areas. The report.



(UNESCAP, March 2010)

This report, published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), takes stock of the status of achievement of MDGs in the Asia-Pacific region and identifies key challenges, including climate-induced constraints. The report notes that environmental degradation and climate change, which can potentially increase food insecurity, lack of access to energy sources, and water scarcity disproportionately increase the burden on women and girls. The report also identifies some of the solutions to address the challenges to meet the MDGs such as social protection and regional and South-South cooperation for strengthening global partnership. The report.



(World Bank, March 2010)

This report by the World Bank focuses on how quiet corruption is affecting the most poor, endangering Africa’s development efforts and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Through an assessment of four key sectors – education, health care, agriculture, and the private sector – it indicates that the failure of public servants to deliver goods or services paid for by governments leads to an increasingly negative expectation of service delivery systems, causing families to ignore the system. In addition, the report estimates that 43 percent of the fertilizers sold in West Africa in the 1990s were ineffective due to poor controls at the producer and wholesaler levels. The report.



(WHO/UNICEF, 2010)

This report of the World Health Organization /UN Children’s Fund (WHO/UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation provides the most recent data for drinking-water and sanitation, along with the implications and trends these new data reveal for reaching the basic sanitation and safe drinking-water Millennium Development Goals. The report concludes that the world is on track to meet safe drinking-water standards, but more effort is needed to improve sanitation. It further states that water and sanitation both need to overcome challenges, notably in rural and poor areas, to ensure continued progress. The report.



(FAO, 2010)

Aquacrop is the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) crop-model to simulate yield response to water of several herbaceous crops. This new Aquacrop practical exercise tests users on their ability to create climate files using the Aquacrop software. The step-by-step solution is also provided. The exercise. The solution.



(UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, February 2010)

The Hashimoto Action Plan II (HAP II) focuses on two areas, namely integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water and disaster. On IWRM, the Plan aims to apply IWRM more effectively and manage the rapidly increasing need for water to adapt to climate change. The HAP II recognizes that since climate change has already begun to alter the global meteorological pattern with its effects being amplified in the water cycle, IWRM offers the best available framework for building the resilience needed to adapt to climate change. The plan.



(FAO, February 2010)

This database on gender and land rights, by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, provides information on national legal frameworks, including inheritance legal mechanisms, that regulate the access of women to regulated land ownership. It also includes information on international treaties and conventions, customary law land tenure and related institutions, and work of civil society organizations in selected countries as they focus on land rights and gender issues. The report.



(UNESCAP, UNDP, and ADB, February 2010)

This report, which would jointly prepared by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank and the UN Development Programme, illustrates the negative impacts of the global economic crisis on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region and identifies opportunities for action showing how countries can better protect themselves from future crises. The report focuses on issues from gender parity in education, and lack of access to basic sanitation and safe water. It emphasizes that, without social protection, the poor are more vulnerable to natural disasters. The report.



(IFAD, February 2010)

This report, written by Marilyn Carr with Maria Hartl, reviews experiences in introducing labour-saving technologies and practices to rural women and persisting gender discrimination in access and control for the past three decades. It also examines the challenges involved and lessons that can be learned for more effective implementation as it relates to rural energy, transportation and farming practices. The report.



(ECLAC, 2010)

This study reviews progress in Latin America and the Caribbean in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It highlights that, despite the growth in protected areas and success in eliminating ozone depleting substances (ODS), high deforestation rates, which are double world averages, and sustained increase of carbon dioxide emissions in the region are impeding compliance with the seventh MDG on environmental sustainability. The report.



(KfW Entwicklungsbank, 2010)

The KfW Entwicklungsbank, the German Development bank of the Federal Republic and federal states, acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ, has commissioned the development of this Excel-based tool to calculate climate protection effects of different waste disposal strategies. The objective of the Tool is to aid in understanding the effects of proper waste management on GHG emissions. The SWM-GHG calculator and a manual can be downloaded free of charge in German or English.



(UNDESA, February 2010)

This report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), aims to contribute to rethinking poverty and its eradication. It asserts the urgent need for a strategic shift away from the market fundamentalist thinking, policies and practices of recent decades towards more sustainable development and equity-oriented policies appropriate to national conditions and circumstances. The report.



(UNICEF, December 2009)

This report, by the UN Children’s Fund agency (UNICEF), evaluates the results of its programmes to mitigate the impact of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, which left nearly 230,000 dead or missing causing social, economic and environmental devastation to already poor areas. The report emphasizes work on safe water and sanitation, the promotion of good hygiene, community-managed ecological sanitation, solid waste management, and environmental practices, particularly amongst school children. The report.



(UNDP, December 2009)

This report highlights six key interrelated challenges facing the Arab region, including: institutional reform; job creation; the promotion and financing of pro-poor growth; the reform of educational systems, economic diversification; and increased food security and self-sufficiency within existing environmental constraints. It stresses that dealing with these challenges requires the adoption of a comprehensive development model based on the human development approach which considers freedoms as the basis for development. The report.



(UNDP, December 2009)

This report analyzes the food security and food sovereignty of Arab states and the emerging challenges. It indicates that, while food security relates to the availability of nutritious food at all times, accessible to all people, food sovereignty relates to self-sufficiency of food production. It notes that the Arab region is characterized by low food sovereignty, high food insecurity, due to erratic food production, declining agriculture shares in GDP, and high levels of water scarcity.

The report also notes that climate change is expected to further exacerbate vulnerability, hunger and malnutrition levels. The report.



(REN21, 2010)

The Renewable Energy Policy Network REN21 has launched the beta-version of its Renewables Interactive Map. The Map contains information on renewable energy, including support policies, expansion targets, current shares, installed capacity, current production, future scenarios, and policy pledges. The map.


(ILC, 2010)

This blog is part of a wider global initiative on Commercial Pressures on Land led by the International Land Coalition (ILC). The blog highlights press reports, research papers, case studies and other information about “commercial pressures on land.” The blog.



(DSD, 2010)

This Innovation Brief was authored by Howard Mann and Carin Smaller of IISD. It examines the implications for sustainable development arising from the trend of private investors and governments stepping up foreign investment in farmland through purchases or long-term leases of large tracks of arable land. The brief.


(UNEP, 2009)

This publication includes a summary of experiences in reducing car use and emissions reduction and is intended for policy-makers, automobile manufacturers, fuel industry executives and city officials. It includes sections on: increase in private car use: increase in private car use as a policy failure; lessons from global experiences in reducing emissions from private cars; and suggested ingredients in policy designing for motivating changes. The resource.



(UNU-MERIT, 2009)

This policy brief, by the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), focuses on the long-term policy commitments that are needed to combat climate change and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. It argues that the global community should accelerate and coordinate investments on R&D that reduce marginal costs of GHG emissions control. The policy brief.


(ECLAC, December 2009)
This issue of the Circular of the Network for Cooperation in Integrated Water Resource Management for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean includes articles on global economic crisis and public services; regulatory accounting (Argentina); new regulatory model (Bolivia); National Water Programme (Mexico); New Water Resources Law (Peru); internationalization and business strategies in the electric industry; UNECE Water Convention; Regional Conference on Policies for Drinking Water and Sanitation Services; and International Seminar �Infrastructure 2020.� The circular.


(UNDESA, December 2009)
This policy brief was prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Sustainable Development, and reviews the topic of ocean acidification and current UN actors that are considering oceans issues. It also presents policy options related to: international action on mitigating carbon dioxide emissions; information generation and dissemination; improving capacities in developing countries; and raising awareness. The brief was prepared by the DSD with input from the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and members of UN-Oceans. The policy brief.


If you would like to submit details of
recently published documents and online resources,
send a message to
Diego Noguera, IISD

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