• Les théories de la gouvernance. Pluralité de discours et enjeux éthiques

      Alain Létourneau (0000-00-00)
      Certes, le travail sur la gouvernance dans le chantier des questions environnementales semble bien amorcé et il ne peut que prendre de l’ampleur dans les années à venir. Il est peut-être encore tôt pour produire une typologie des théories de la gouvernance, ou une conceptualisation trop serrée. Il semble plus opportun pour le moment de repérer les principaux usages que nous rencontrons effectivement des recours à la gouvernance. Nous pourrons ensuite voir comment ce vocable peut fonctionner dans une pluralité de discours, et comment il peut véhiculer des significations assez diverses. Il ne s’agira donc pas d’enrichir un Dictionnaire de la gouvernance ou de mettre un terme aux études de terrain, alors qu’elles débutent! Au contraire, il nous faut réfléchir d’emblée et davantage en termes des usages que nous faisons de nos concepts, et pas seulement rechercher des modèles théoriques en quelque sorte purs qui ne rencontreront presque aucun usage dans la pratique. Il faut s’interroger sur le sens que les acteurs accordent à ces recours et sur ce qu’ils vont y chercher. Il faut aussi nous demander, en plus de la question des effets de sens qui sont produits par l’usage de la gouvernance, quels sont les enjeux éthiques sous-jacents qui sont soulevés par de tels usages.
    • La gouvernance locale à l’épreuve des migrations dues aux changements climatiques : Cas des rapports entre conseils villageois de développement et chefs traditionnels au Burkina Faso dans la gestion des conflits sociaux

      Habib Ahmed Djiga (0000-00-00)
      Burkina Faso, a small country in West Africa, is hard struck by climate change.  Declining precipitation has affected agriculture and lead to the migration of populations from dry areas towards more fertile territory.  These migrations have provoked social conflicts between migrants and aboriginals. This research wants to shed light on the conflict resolution processes used between the village development committees (Conseil villageois de développement (CVD)) and traditional leaders. The committees were recently created as a result of the government’s local governance modernization strategy and are to represent the link between the central government and local populations. Traditional chiefs on the other hand, although withdrawn from the strategy, still play a fundamental role within the community. Using semi-directed interviews and participatory observation, an in-depth look at the relations between CVDs and traditional leaders in the management of conflicts resulting from migrations was conducted. Results confirm that climate change is the cause of population migration and that these in turn cause social conflicts between different ethnic groups. Also, we have examined the management of conflicts by both bodies which appear to be distinct and incompatible.
    • Introduction

      Martine Azuelos; Christine Zumello (0000-00-00)
    • Pour une éthique de la dette écologique

      Julien Delord; Léa Sébastien (0000-00-00)
      We propose an ethical background to the internationally emergent concept of “ecological debt”. We assume that the new generation of environmental philosophers will have to think the catastrophe, not on a future perfect mode like Jean-Pierre Dupuy or Hans Jonas’ theories, but on a past conditional mode. We refuse Dupuy’s “memory of the future” in order to reexplore the ecological memories of past and current catastrophes as a way to discuss the norms for the future. The notion of ecological debt invites us precisely to discuss a new environmental ethics based on past ecological faults.The imperative of an environmental responsibility from present generations towards future generations goes necessarily along with the acknowledgement of a massive ecological debt left by past generations to the present generation. Is it possible, not to say mandatory, to cancel and forgive this debt? But, is forgiving the catastrophe not leading us to renounce to any consistent responsibility between generations and to miss the opportunity to reach a global and efficient environmental ethics? After an historical reminder of the genesis of the notion of ecological debt, which can be defined as the totality of past environmental damages due to human activity and not compensated until the present, we put forward a model of past counterfactual responsibility both on a theoretical and a practical level. Eventually, two applied examples are discussed: one about a private and territorialized industrial debt due to decades of pollutions, and another one about a public and global debt, the climate debt.
    • The Effects of and Responses to Climate Change - A case study of vulnerability to climate change in two rural communities of coastal Vietnam

      Fog Olwig, Mette; Aunsborg, Niels Asger; Sousa De Almeida, Frederick Alberto Rasmussen; Lyduch, Jakob; Arnth Jacobsen, Pi (5-05-27)
      Throughout the project an examination of vulnerability to climate change is performed. The examination will be based on fieldwork in two villages in Central Vietnam, including 18 qualitative interviews, focusing on accounts by the villagers on the lives and livelihood strategies. The examination draws on theoretical approaches and conceptualizations from scholars within the field of vulnerability research, and focuses especially on the social dimensions that cause the villagers to be more vulnerable to climate changes. This is performed through an analysis of the possibilities constituted for the villagers in their social environment, as well as an analysis of the adaptation strategies applied in order to reduce the increased vulnerability caused by climate change. The examination concludes that the interaction between social, cultural, political and economic aspects, are highly determinant in assessing the level of vulnerability to climate change. A lack of stabile income sources due to high sensitivity to variations in climate, lead to financial instability, reducing the level of resilience of the villagers. These variations in climate are constantly forcing the villagers to apply adaptive strategies in order to sustain their livelihoods.
    • Bexar tracks : the newsletter of the Bexar Audubon Society, Vol. 27, No. 05

      Bexar Audubon Society (University of Texas at San AntonioSan Antonio, Tex. : Bexar Audubon Society,, 27)
    • Managing coastal vulnerability and climate change: a national to global perspective

      Nicholls, Robert J.; Penning-Roswell, Edmund; McFadden, Loraine; Nicholls, Robert J.; Klein, Rochard J.T.; Tol, Richard S.J. (Elsevier, 0200-11-23)
    • Managing coastal vulnerability and climate change: a national to global perspective

      Penning-Roswell, Edmund; McFadden, Loraine; Nicholls, Robert J.; Klein, Rochard J.T.; Nicholls, Robert J.; Tol, Richard S.J. (Elsevier, 0200-11-23)
    • The ethical imperative of reason: how anti-intellectualism, denialism, and apathy threaten national security

      Nieto-Gomez, Rodrigo; Strindberg, Anders; National Security Affairs; National Security Affairs; Favre, Greggory J. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, Mar-16)
      Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
    • State of world population 2009

      United Nations Population Fund, 1 December
      How do population dynamics affect greenhouse gases and climate change? Will urbanization and an ageing population help or hinder efforts to adapt to a warming world? And could better reproductive health care and improved relations between women and men make a difference in the fight against climate change? Find the answers in the State of World Population 2009. The whole world has been talking about carbon credits, carbon trading and emissions targets. But not enough has been said about the people whose activities contribute to those emissions or about those who will be most affected by climate change, especially women.
    • Intergenerational report 2010

      Treasury, 1 February
      In addition to assessing the fiscal and economic challenges of an ageing population, this report also includes a comprehensive discussion on environmental challenges and social sustainability. The report assesses the challenges Australia will face over the next 40 years, including an ageing population, escalating pressures on the health system, and the environmental and economic challenges of climate change. This is the first Intergenerational Report of the Rudd government. The Treasurer's speech to launch the report is available here. Crikey's Bernard Keane outlines the main themes of the report here.
    • Have natural disasters become deadlier?

      Raghav Gaiha, Kenneth Hill, Ganesh Thapa (Australia South Asia Research Centre, Crawford School of Economics and Government, 11 April, )
      The present study seeks to build on earlier work by identifying the factors associated with the frequency of natural disasters and the resulting mortality. Drawing together the main findings, some observations are made from a policy perspective to focus on key elements of a disaster reduction strategy. Countries that were prone to natural disasters in the previous decade (1970-79) continued to be so in the next two decades. Geophysical factors (e.g. whether landlocked, distance to coast) had an important role in explaining inter-country variation in the occurrence of natural disasters. However, income did not have any effect. Deaths varied with the number of disasters; they also varied with (lagged) deaths in the previous decade, pointing to (presumably) persistent government failures in preventing deaths where the deaths were high; poor countries suffered more deaths, controlling for these and other effects; larger countries suffered more deaths. The pay-off from learning from past experience is high, as reflected in the elasticity of deaths to disasters. Even moderate learning can save a large number of deaths (e.g. through early warning systems, better coordination between governments and communities likely to be affected). Growth acceleration would also help avert deaths through more resources for disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities. A combination of the two - learning from past experience and more resources for disaster prevention and mitigation-would of course result in a massive reduction in deaths from disasters. Attention is drawn to segmented and shallow disaster insurance markets; the Samaritan’s dilemma in providing emergency assistance to poor countries that neglect investment in protective measures; need for mainstreaming of disaster prevention and mitigation among multilateral development agencies and governments, as also growth acceleration ; why short-term relief must be combined with rebuilding of livelihoods and reconstruction, and the potential for public-private partnerships; and, above all, the need for building ownership of local communities and preservation of social networks. A challenge for development assistance is to combine growth acceleration with speedy relief and durable reduction in vulnerability to natural disasters.
    • Quantifying vulnerability to climate change: implications for adaptation assistance

      David Wheeler (Center for Global Development, 11 July, 2)
      This paper attempts a comprehensive accounting of climate change vulnerability for 233 states, ranging in size from China to Tokelau. Using the most recent evidence, it develops risk indicators for three critical problems: increasing weather-related disasters, sea-level rise, and loss of agricultural productivity. The paper embeds these indicators in a methodology for cost-effective allocation of adaptation assistance. The methodology can be applied easily and consistently to all 233 states and all three problems, or to any subset that may be of interest to particular donors. Institutional perspectives and priorities differ; the paper develops resource allocation formulas for three cases: (1) potential climate impacts alone, as measured by the three indicators; (2) case 1 adjusted for differential country vulnerability, which is affected by economic development and governance; and (3) case 2 adjusted for donor concerns related to project economics: intercountry differences in project unit costs and probabilities of project success. The paper is accompanied by an Excel database with complete data for all 233 countries. It provides two illustrative applications of the database and methodology: assistance for adaptation to sea level rise by the 20 island states that are both small and poor and general assistance to all low-income countries for adaptation to extreme weather changes, sea-level rise, and agricultural productivity loss.
    • Population growth and sustainability

      Bob Birrell (Information and Research Service, Parliamentary Library, 13 Decembe)
      Dealing separately with ecological and social issues, this paper explores the role of population growth in the prospects for a sustainable economy and society in Australia.  On the ecological side, this paper concludes that should Australia’s population reach the ‘Big Australia’ projection of 35.9 million by 2050, this will not put serious pressure on Australia’s non-renewable resource stock or capacity to feed the nation. However such population growth will make the task of reducing greenhouse emissions very difficult. On the social dimension, quality of life issues (including congestion, urban redevelopment and competition for amenity) are a major factor in public concerns about sustainability. The evidence suggests that most people think population growth is a major cause of these problems. State government moves to increase urban density in order to cope with additional capital city residents are likely to exacerbate these quality of life concerns.
    • Grec 1630

      BARDALAS (Leo), protosecretarius. Epistola ad Theodorum Metochitam
    • Maladaptation

      Saffron O'Neill; Jon Barnett (Global Environmental Change, 14 July, 2)
      This paper argues that some degree of climate change is now inevitable, and so therefore is the need for responses to avoid its likely impacts. There are at least five distinct types or pathways through which maladaptation arises; namely actions that, relative to alternatives: increase emissions of greenhouse gases, disproportionately burden the most vulnerable, have high opportunity costs, reduce incentives to adapt, and set paths that limit the choices available to future generations. In order to show how these are manifest in practice, the authors explain these with reference to decisions to (mal)adapt to water stress in Melbourne. Authors: Jon Barnett and Saffron O’Neill, Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne.
    • Kakadu: Vulnerability to climate change impacts

      Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, 15 July, 2
      The report examines the potential impacts of climate change and sea level rise on the South Alligator River system in Kakadu National Park, Australia. It uses modelling to assess the risk of saltwater intrusion and extreme rainfall events on low-lying coastal wetlands, under climate change scenarios for 2030 and 2070. The report discusses adaptation options, potential barriers to adaptation and opportunities to improve future planning, management and policy responses.
    • Policy options to support climate-induced migration

      Asian Development Bank, 16 March,
      The First Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that the "greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration with millions of people displaced by shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and agricultural disruption". Over the next decade, a considerable number of people could be affected by hydrological and meteorological hazards, particularly in South and Southeast Asia. People affected by these intensifying hazards will come under substantial pressure to migrate (temporarily or permanently, and internally or across borders). Estimates of the number of people involved are highly controversial, and range from hundreds of millions to billions. Sudden disasters associated with climate change are most likely to occur in “hot spots”—low-lying coastal areas, heavily populated delta areas, low-lying islands and atolls, and other areas—where communities are already highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards. The region has 4.1 billion people, and faces enormous environmental management pressures. There are also high numbers of climate change hot spots in the region—specific areas or regions that may be at relatively high risk of adverse impact from one or more natural hazards resulting from climate change —with high population densities (particularly in megacities). It is likely that migration will occur in these hot spots as the impacts of climate change are felt. While some displacements are typically temporary, the sudden expulsion of large numbers of people from their home area can place significant pressure on regional and national authorities to provide for their immediate needs. Human displacement resulting from climate change will pose a major threat to the sustainable growth and security of Asia and the Pacific unless measures are taken soon. Climate-induced migration will undermine economic growth; increase pressure on infrastructure and services; enhance the risk of conflict; and lead to deterioration of social, health, and educational indicators. It represents an important potential brake on the region’s recent rapid economic growth. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) study underscored the urgency of developing policies, appropriate institutions and mechanisms to cope with the impact of climate change on migration. It emphasized that migration will become a major adaptive response to climate change and will add to the already increasing level and complexity of population mobility in the region, but stressed that the scale and scope of these impacts cannot be specified at present. It is possible, however, to identify the areas most likely to be impacted by climate change-induced migration, and outline broad policy recommendations to address surrounding issues. This technical assistance (TA) builds on the recommendations of the previous study.
    • Public policy: Why ethics matters

      Andrew Bradstock; David Eng; Jonathan Boston; eds (ANU E Press, 17 October)
      Ethics is a vigorously contested field. There are many competing moral frameworks, and different views about how normative considerations should inform the art and craft of governmental policy making. What is not in dispute, however, is that ethics matters. The ethical framework adopted by policy analysts and decision makers not only shapes how policy problems are defined, framed and analysed, but also influences which ethical principles and values are taken into account and their weighting. As a result, ethics can have a profound impact, both on the character of the policy process and the choices made by decision makers. Public Policy – Why Ethics Matters brings together original contributions from leading scholars and practitioners with expertise in various academic disciplines, including economics, philosophy, physics, political science, public policy and theology. The volume addresses three main issues: fist, the ethical considerations that should inform the conduct of public officials and the task of policy analysis; second, the ethics of climate change; and third, ethics and economic policy. While the contributors have varying views on these important issues, they share a common conviction that the ethical dimensions of public policy need to be better understood and given proper attention in the policy-making process. Image: St. Gallen Symposium / flickr