Big Decisions today on Food Crisis in the Sahel: here’s the background

June 19, 2012

Urban Tipping Points – important new research on roots of violence

June 19, 2012

Development costs of a €-crash (or of getting TV); land grabs in Myanmar; an African saviour at the ICC; is the world getting more peaceful?; stuff for Rio; Elinor Ostrom RIP: links I liked

June 19, 2012
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Eurozone breakup could cost the poorest countries $30 billion in lost trade and foreign investment – top number crunching from Ricardo Fuentes behind this new killer fact 

The spread of television destroys social capital (Indonesia), reduces domestic violence (India), increases divorce rates and reduces family size (Brazil) and improves kids’ test scores in poor households, while reducing them in middle class ones (US). Geek Dad summarizes the results of a series of ‘natural experiments’ on the spread of TV [h/t Development Impact]

Will Myanmar’s international rehabilitation lead to a wave of land grabs at the expense of small farmers? Two new land laws — the Farmland Bill and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land Management Bill, recently passed by the legislature and awaiting action by President Thein Sein — are poised to give the government even more power to seize land without consultation or compensation, say land rights gurus Roy Prosterman and Darryl Vhugen.

Fatou Bensouda, can an African woman judge redeem the International Criminal Court? Includes a good update on the ICC’s (numerous) current problems [sorry, ‘challenges’] 

The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009. Scan the data and the country rankings (Iceland top, Somalia bottom).

And some Rio+20-related stuff:

‘Looking back over the past 20 years, most progress on issues such as poverty, human development and climate change has been driven by national-level concerns, not by multilateral goals or agendas….. If the debate at Rio+20 is to have any meaning, it must be a debate about whether and how multilateral summits and targets can engage with the real world of national politics.’ Wise (and cautionary) words from Matthew Lockwood.

A Rio+20 smartphone app: ‘Welcome to ENB Mobile, which provides a variety of multimedia informational resources, free of charge, for sustainable development decision makers, including Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage from intergovernmental environmental negotiations, knowledgebases with news about meetings and publications related to international sustainable development policy and community listservs.’ Suddenly feel the need to lie down in a darkened room….. [h/t Matthew Lockwood]

Crowdsourcing solutions in Rio – vote here. If only the world worked like this [h/t Eddy Lambert]

‘Inaction in Rio would be disastrous, but a single international agreement would be a grave mistake….. We have a decade to act before the economic cost of current viable solutions becomes too high. Without action, we risk catastrophic and perhaps irreversible changes to our life-support system. Our primary goal must be to take planetary responsibility for this risk, rather than placing in jeopardy the welfare of future generations.’ Elinor Ostrom, still (and shamefully) the only woman ever to win a Nobel prize for Economics, died last week, but not before writing a typically insightful piece on Rio+20 [h/t Beyond Aid] Here she is explaining her thinking:

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