Institutional Framework

Governments adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ushering in a new era of sustainable development where ‘no one is left behind.’ They include a specific goal — SDG 14 — to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. While policymakers can use a number of legal, regulatory and economic tools to do so, there should be more focus on harnessing fiscal instruments such as taxes, subsidies and conditional transfers to provide the necessary incentives.
Living in a harsh, desert climate, Omani rural communities have developed locally-appropriate knowledge to deal with water scarcity. Similar to the qanat, the aflaj taps into the natural water table and uses a gravity system to channel water through underground channels to villages. Traditional techniques of water management, such as the aflaj, represents a way of adapting to and coping with difficult climates which have persisted for millennia. However, knowledge systems have often ‘decayed’ with the onset of modernity.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 26-27, 1 June 2017
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations present a novel approach to global governance where goal-setting features as a key strategy. ‘Governance through goals’, as exemplified by the SDGs, is new and unique for a number of characteristics such as the inclusive goal-setting process, the non-binding nature of the goals, the reliance on weak institutional arrangements, and the extensive leeway that states enjoy.
Elsevier, Global Environmental Change, Volume 26, May 2014
In 1997, the global value of ecosystem services was estimated to average $33. trillion/yr in 1995 $US ($46. trillion/yr in 2007 $US). In this paper, we provide an updated estimate based on updated unit ecosystem service values and land use change estimates between 1997 and 2011. We also address some of the critiques of the 1997 paper. Using the same methods as in the 1997 paper but with updated data, the estimate for the total global ecosystem services in 2011 is $125. trillion/yr (assuming updated unit values and changes to biome areas) and $145.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 8, June 2014
Sub-Saharan Africa needs to produce more food, feed, and fiber to support its growing population and intensification of smallholder agriculture is a crucial component of any strategy towards this goal. Sustainable Intensification (SI) acknowledges that enhanced productivity needs to go hand in hand with the maintenance of other ecosystem services and enhanced resilience to shocks. A very diverse group of smallholders dominate SSA agriculture, with large heterogeneity in socio-technical conditions, famer typologies, production objectives, and the biophysical environment.
For economic development to succeed in Africa in the next 50. years, African agriculture will have to change beyond recognition. Production will have to have increased massively, but also labor productivity, requiring a vast reduction in the proportion of the population engaged in agriculture and a large move out of rural areas. The paper questions how this can be squared with a continuing commitment to smallholder agriculture as the main route for growth in African agriculture and for poverty reduction.