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Human and Environmental threats in Developing Countries: Does Iceland have a role?. Professor Ruth Haug Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) Norwegian University of Life Sciences. International Environment and Development Studies (EADI, 2006).

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Human and environmental threats in developing countries does iceland have a role l.jpg

Human and Environmental threats in Developing Countries: Does Iceland have a role?

Professor Ruth Haug

Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric)

Norwegian University of Life Sciences


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International Environment and Development Studies Does Iceland have a role?(EADI, 2006)

  • Development Studies is a multi- and interdisciplinary field of studies (not a discipline) that seeks to understand social, economic, political, environmental, technological and cultural aspects of societal change, particularly in development countries


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Environmental threats Does Iceland have a role?

  • Climate change

  • Shortage of energy

  • Water scarcity

  • Biodiversity losses

  • Pollution

  • Land degradation – land shortage

  • Deforestation


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UN’s PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE Does Iceland have a role?

  • United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006): Average temperature of the earth’s surface, have already risen by 0.74 degrees C in the last 100 years, and is expected to increase by an average of about 3 degrees over the next century, assuming greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at current rates.

  • Emission(Calvin, 2007)

    • Agriculture: 14% and Land use: 18%

    • Transport 14%

    • Industry 14%

    • Power: 24% (coal, gas, oil; non-industrial electricity)


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Human threats Does Iceland have a role?

  • Hunger and Poverty

  • Conflicts and lack of security

  • Human rights violation

  • Bad governance

  • Lack of democracy

  • Globalization and market forces

  • Urbanization


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The bottom billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it(Collier, 2007)

World poverty

  • 1 billion poor ($ 1)

  • 2,7 billion ($ 2)

    The four poverty traps:

  • The conflict trap

  • The natural resource trap

  • Landlocked with bad neighbors

  • Bad governance in a small country


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Agriculture for Development: WDR08 and what can be done about it

  • For the poorest, GDP growth in agriculture is 4 times as effective as other growth in reducing poverty

  • Global food supplies under pressure

  • Environment under pressure: sustainable agriculture needed

  • Too little public spending

  • Under recognized potential of women

  • Rich countries need to reform policies that harm the poor


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Who is affected by hunger and poverty? and what can be done about it

Source: UN Millennium Project, Hunger Task Force 2005


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Malnourished people and what can be done about it(UN hunger task force, 2005)

  • Sub Sahara Africa 204

  • India 221

  • Asia and Pacific 156

  • China 142

  • WANA 39


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Food insecurity causes and what can be done about it

  • Poverty problem: 50% peasant farmers, 20% landless, 20% urban, 10% fishers/herders

  • Household level: lack of access to production assets, markets and employment, drought/flooding, HIV/AIDS, voiclessnes, women’s low status, vulnerability,

  • National/international level: bad governance, institutional failure, policy failure, conflict, lack of social security, lack or wrong international response, increased dependency


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Three roles for agriculture in response to climate change and what can be done about it(von Braun, 2007)

10-25% production reduction in developing countries due to global warming by 2080 (Cline, 2007)

  • as a polluter > change production and technology

  • in mitigation > invest in GHG capture

  • in adaptation > adjust production, technology, trade, consumption


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Adapting agricultural systems to climate change and what can be done about it(CGIAR webpage 2007)

  • Climate resilient crops and animal breeds

  • Crop varieties with great tolerance to stresses (drought, flooding)

  • Improved management of water

  • Collective action to protect shared resources

  • Able institutions

  • Supportive policies

  • Market incentives


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Brasil: A biofuel success or not? and what can be done about it(Simoes, 2007)

  • Viable biofuel industry – major exporter of biofuels

  • Ethanol from sugarcane (10% of arable land)

  • Both biofuel and food production have increased

  • 1 mill new jobs

  • Deforestation has decreased (2004-06)

  • Sustainability certification (planned)

  • Biofuel: More democratic world energy market (more diverse energy producers)??


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In sum, biofuel expansion will and what can be done about it(von Braun)

  • Accelerate globalization of agriculture

  • Increase crop prices

  • Raise land values, thereby draw capital into rural areas

  • Create some jobs

    Risks for the poor:

    • food price increase and instability

    • ill-considered policies


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Conflict, Peace and Development and what can be done about it

  • World violent conflicts have decreased from 50 to 30 during the last 15-20 years (Norad, 2007)

  • Poverty does not necessarily lead to conflict, but poverty increases in conflict situation

  • Peace making, peace keeping and peace building

  • Agriculture/fish/wildlife is often of crucial importance in conflict/post conflict countries, often the only livelihood option (Haug, 2008)

  • The international community tends to focus on providing relief, not on long-term development - Undermines local capacity & production, pacifies people & institutions (Haug, 2008)


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Higher Education & Development and what can be done about it

  • Generates knowledge and skills crucial for production and economic growth

  • Provides human capital for social services and development

  • Contributes towards capacity development

  • Plays a role in nation building (critical voice)

  • Produces graduates who pay taxes or send remittances


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Higher education challenges in Developing Countries and what can be done about it

  • Declining quality (expansion)

  • Inadequate funding

  • Inequitable access

  • Going North syndrome

  • Brain drain – brain gain – brain circulation

  • Macro economic demands (IMF)

  • Supply driven aid (managed by North)

  • Commodification of HE


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Gender Equity and what can be done about it

  • Almost 2/3 of the bottom billion are women (Norad, 2007)

  • No improvements in women’s relative income during the last 10-15 years (Gender Equity Index, 2007)

  • Mother’s status and education – most important for children’s nutrition (IFPRI, 2005)

  • How to achieve Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equity?


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What role could Iceland play? and what can be done about it

  • Role model for small countries (re UNDP: best country to live in Human Development Index 2008)

  • From Fish, Horses & Tourists to success in financial affairs (Banking)

  • Climate change: Alternative Energy (re Geothermal Energy)

  • Human rights, Equity and Gender

  • Peace and Security

  • Higher Education (8 universities) Human resources development


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