Reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and associated benefits (REDD+), has received much attention as one of the most controversial climate change initiatives, especially by forest fringed community actors in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Southeast Asia, (SEA) who are skeptical of the scheme.The object of this paper is to examine the seeming potential benefits and accompanying risks and challenges of REDD+ on the livelihoods among smallholder farmers in SSA and SEA. The paper espouses the sustainability context of REDD+ projects as pro-poor forest management mechanisms; through the provision of alternative livelihood. This is achieved through critical review and critique of scientific articles, project reports and relevant documents on REDD+ interventions from a worldwide, regional to local scale. The paper identifies projects that seem to solidify claims that REDD+ projects are simply a new form of colonialism; which the West is using to take advantage of vulnerable groups in the South. The paper concludes with the need to actively engage sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian women in climate change mitigation benefit schemes on account of the expedient role women play in agricultural activities (which may involve deforestation and forest land degradation).
In the chapter, Haq gives a snapshot of the human progress of South Asia, comparing it with other regions. He was worried about the region beginning to lag behind all other regions, including Sub-Saharan Africa. He highlights the role of the two largest economies in the region, India and Pakistan, in financing the major investment in education, health and nutrition for the people. Haq advocates some fiscal and monetary reforms are suggested to invest in human development.
Opportunities exist for adoption of precision agriculture technologies in all parts of the world. The form of precision agriculture may vary from region to region depending on technologies available, knowledge levels and mindsets. The current review examined research articles in the English language on precision agriculture practices for increased productivity among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 7715 articles were retrieved and after screening 128 were reviewed. The results indicate that a number of precision agriculture technologies have been tested under SSA conditions and show promising results. The most promising precision agriculture technologies identified were the use of soil and plant sensors for nutrient and water management, as well as use of satellite imagery, GIS and crop-soil simulation models for site-specific management. These technologies have been shown to be crucial in attainment of appropriate management strategies in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of resource use in SSA. These technologies are important in supporting sustainable agricultural development. Most of these technologies are, however, at the experimental stage, with only South Africa having applied them mainly in large-scale commercial farms. It is concluded that increased precision in input and management practices among SSA smallholder farmers can significantly improve productivity even without extra use of inputs.
AbstractLack of access to modern forms of energy hampers efforts to reduce poverty. The provision of electricity to off-grid communities is therefore a long-standing developmental goal. Yet, many off-grid electrification projects neglect mid- and long-term operation and maintenance costs. When this is the case, electricity services are unlikely to be affordable to the communities that are the project’s primary target. Here we show that, compared with diesel-powered electricity generation systems, solar photovoltaic systems are more affordable to no less than 36% of the unelectrified populations in East Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. We do so by developing geo-referenced estimates of affordability at a high level of resolution (1 km2). The analysis illustrates the differences in affordability that may be found at the subnational level, which underscores that electrification investments should be informed by subnational data.
SUMMARYWe review the use and value of seasonal climate forecasting for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a view to understanding and exploiting opportunities to realize more of its potential benefits. Interaction between the atmosphere and underlying oceans provides the basis for probabilistic forecasts of climate conditions at a seasonal lead-time, including during cropping seasons in parts of SSA. Regional climate outlook forums (RCOF) and national meteorological services (NMS) have been at the forefront of efforts to provide forecast information for agriculture. A survey showed that African NMS often go well beyond the RCOF process to improve seasonal forecast information and disseminate it to the agricultural sector. Evidence from a combination of understanding of how climatic uncertainty impacts agriculture, model-based ex-ante analyses, subjective expressions of demand or value, and the few well-documented evaluations of actual use and resulting benefit suggests that seasonal forecasts may have considerable potential to improve agricultural management and rural livelihoods. However, constraints related to legitimacy, salience, access, understanding, capacity to respond and data scarcity have so far limited the widespread use and benefit from seasonal prediction among smallholder farmers. Those constraints that reflect inadequate information products, policies or institutional process can potentially be overcome. Additional opportunities to benefit rural communities come from expanding the use of seasonal forecast information for coordinating input and credit supply, food crisis management, trade and agricultural insurance. The surge of activity surrounding seasonal forecasting in SSA following the 1997/98 El Niño has waned in recent years, but emerging initiatives, such as the Global Framework for Climate Services and ClimDev-Africa, are poised to reinvigorate support for seasonal forecast information services for agriculture. We conclude with a discussion of institutional and policy changes that we believe will greatly enhance the benefits of seasonal forecasting to agriculture in SSA.