Research is ‘no panacea’ for development, finds DFID

Governments of low-income countries and international development donors are increasing their funding for research, at least in part, on the assumption that research has positive impacts on socioeconomic development. But this commonly held assumption is not backed up by the evidence. A report from the Department for International Development questions the impacts of research on international development.

Read full report under, What is the evidence on the impact of research on international development?

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Earth Overshoot Day 2014

From the Global Footprint Network
August 19th is Earth Overshoot Day 2014, the approximate date humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what the Earth can renew this year. In less than 8 months, we have demanded an amount of ecological resources and services equivalent to what Earth can regenerate for all of 2014.

On Earth Overshoot Day, humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are drawing down our ecological assets. Ecological deficit spending is made possible by depleting stocks of fish, trees and other resources, and accumulating waste such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans. Currently, the carbon Footprint is the largest portion of humanity’s Footprint — a result of emitting greenhouse gases faster than they can be absorbed by forests and oceans — and contributes significantly to humanity’s ecological overspending.

Find out more from the Global Footprint Network .

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Webinar: Analyzing the Water-Energy Nexus – Case Studies that Examine the Crucial Connection, June 30th

Monday, June 30th, 10am PDT/1pm EDT/5pm GMT(UTC)

Water and energy are profoundly connected and sustainable management of either resource requires consideration of the other.  As the need for energy increases, the need for water also increases, and vice versa. With the growing human population there is growing demand for both of these resources. It takes a considerable amount of water to produce energy for fuel production, cooling, and power production. It also takes a large amount of energy to extract, treat, and transport water for household, commercial and industrial uses. Lowering demand for both energy and water would help to mitigate greenhouse gases and climate change. Water and energy efficiency will also become increasingly necessary for climate adaptation. Our upcoming webinar will feature several case studies that examine this connection, and reveal fresh approaches to the management of energy and water.

Speakers include Ned Spang, Ph.D., Program Manager for the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency; Heather Cooley, Director of the Pacific Institute’s Water Program; and Amanda Acheson, Sustainable Building Program Manager for Coconino County, Arizona.

Please register online at

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Asia Pacific Adaptation Network Forum, Oct. 1-3, 2014

The 4th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2014 is now open for registration. The Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) is organising its flagship Forum on 1-3 October 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under the theme New Partnerships for Resilient Development: Government, Business and Society.

Forum themes

Mainstreaming and Transformative Change
1. Development and the Food-Water-Energy Nexus
2. Disaster Risk Reduction and human security
3. Forestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Change
4. Cities with an emphasis on coastal Development and Sea-Level Rise

To register and for more information on themes and the agenda, visit the Adaptation Forum 2014 website:

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Environmental Assessment Positions – PM Environmental, US

Two environmental assessment positions at the consultancy, PM Environmental:

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TIAS Webinar: Enhancing Social Impact Assessment


Photo: J. Newig © 2004

With the launch of a new working group on Social Impact Assessment, TIAS hosted a webinar, Enhancing Social Impact Assessment, on May 15th 2014. The presenters reviewed the state of the art in SIA, identified areas requiring strengthening and improved guidance, and shared their experiences in the application of SIA.

The Feature Presentations (below) can be downloaded, and a recording and written summary of the event will be available and announced here soon.

“Challenges and developments in SIA at the project level”
Prof. Frank Vanclay, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Groningen

“Distributional impacts of environmental policies in Germany”
Dr. Klaus Jakob, Research Director, Environmental Policy Research Centre, Freie Universität Berlin

“Measuring the social impact of business: Current practices and challenges”
Kitrhona Cerri, Manager, Redefining Value, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Chaired by Jan Bakkes of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Download the full announcement.

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International PhD Workshop Environment-Energy-Climate: Call for Abstracts

With its upcoming PhD workshop on Friday 06.06.2014 and Saturday 07.06.2014 (09:00-18:00), the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at Freie Universität Berlin is bringing together 30 young researchers from various disciplines to present and discuss their work in an informal and constructive atmosphere. The workshop sections cover a broad range of issues and contributions from all areas of environmental, climate and energy policy and politics on the international, national and local level are welcome. The workshop provides a forum for PhD researchers to present papers related or not to their dissertations. Participation is free of charge.

Specific themes are: sustainability and climate governance, sustainability at the local level and renewable energy & energy efficiency worldwide.

Abstracts (max. 200 words) outlining the aims and methods of individual papers should be sent to by the 7th of April 2014.

For further details please contact:

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