East Asia and Pacific remains the world’s growth engine despite a challenging external environment, with developing economies growing by 7.2% in 2013. The proportion of people living in poverty in the region has steadily declined—less than 10% of the population lives on $1.25 a day—but much more needs to be done as there are still close to half a billion people living on $2 a day.
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Natural Capital Accounting Taking Hold Across the GlobeIn the Philippines, one of WAVES’ eight core implementing countries, NCA is taking hold. “Governments and the private sector are being ... Show More +challenged to incorporate NCA into development planning,” said Emmanuel F. Esguerra, Deputy Director General of the Philippines National Economic and Development Authority. “Now we have the resources to build capacity.” Esguerra said important lessons that have come out of NCA are the need for strong government ownership, the early involvement of stakeholders and strong collaboration with experts and partners. He said the path to making NCA the "new normal" would not be a straight line because the challenges are different in every country.Many other country examples were presented to a packed auditorium on the opening day of the partnership meeting. For example:In Guatemala, the forest account showed that the country’s deforestation rate was the highest in Central and South America with the majority of uncontrolled logging being done by households for their basic cooking needs. The information has fueled strategies to control the use of firewood and unauthorized logging, a review of the forestry law, updated regulations, and the support to negotiate greater budget resources for these initiatives.In Indonesia, the government was “shocked” to find out the value of standing timber in Borneo was US$28 billion—over three times the potential revenue from logging the forest and replacing it with oil palm.In Botswana, the first set of water accounts is helping the government understand who the main water users are in the country and whether there is room to expand economic sectors like agriculture and tourism.In the Philippines, 60 percent of GDP is fueled by industries and associated services in the Laguna Lake region outside of Manila. Ecosystem accounts will be instrumental in determining how to manage this resource and “realize the cost of inaction.” Additionally, there is a moratorium on mining activity because legislators feel the profits haven't benefited local communities or the government. NCA can help inform this debate by presenting accurate data on mineral resources.In his first public address, Madagascar’s incoming Minister of Economy and Planning, Herilanto Raveloharison, committed to make NCA a priority and that WAVES would be instrumental in the country’s development plan and fight against poverty.“In Colombia, we look at accounts as a tool rather than an end in itself. They give more political power to Colombia’s natural capital at a critical point in time when we are losing 3.5% of GDP to environmental degradation. This is a red flag,” said Neider Eduardo Abello Aldana, head of the Green and Sustainable Business Office within Colombia's Ministry of Environment.Other topics discussed at the meeting included: the role of the private sector in NCA, how NCA can contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and how international organizations help countries go beyond GDP.WAVES plans to increase the number of core implementing countries while raising awareness globally on the concept of looking “beyond GDP” for a more complete picture of growth and well-being. WAVES also partners with UN agencies—UNEP, UNDP, and the UN Statistical Commission—that are helping to implement natural capital accounting. Show Less -
PartnersDisaster risk management was universally endorsed as a development priority through the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in 2005. This framework is an agreement signed by 168 governments and i... Show More +nternational organizations, including the World Bank Group and the United Nations, to support disaster prevention across the world.As a partnership financing mechanism, GFDRR includes 43 country governments as well as eight international organizations. Recognizing the need for partnership and synergy in the post-disaster context, the World Bank, the United Nations (UN) and the European Commission entered into a Joint Declaration on Post-Crises Assessments and Recovery Planning in 2008 to improve the coordination of support offered to governments affected by disasters.The bank is working closely with UNDP on the development of the Disaster Recovery Framework Guide to guide recovery after major disasters, and with WMO on various hydro meteorological programs around the world.GFDRR has also expanded its global partnerships, including a noticeable growth in the Understanding Risk community of global experts that currently connects more than 2,800 members from 125 countries, including representatives from the public and private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society, academia and scientific and technology communities.Increasingly, partnership is taking on new and innovative forms, including through expert communities and civil society. For example ‘volunteer technical communities’ who apply their skills to some of the most complex aspects of DRM, such as mapping risk and evaluating mitigation options. The Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), a public-private-people partnership, brings together 150 government, private sector and civil society partners supporting the initiative around the globe.Another example of an innovative partnership is the development of the Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergencies, InaSAFE. The initiative was developed in partnership with the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), GFDRR and the World Bank, the Australian government .Moving ForwardIn 2015, three international processes will bring disaster and climate resilience to the forefront of the development agenda. They include the new international agreement on climate change; the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (including the Sustainable Development Goals); and the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.The World Bank will provide timely, cutting-edge DRM knowledge and expertise to partner countries, and will continue to mainstream DRM across all sectors of investment. The World Bank will support countries in the development and use of risk information, further development of country and sector risk profiles, capacity building, and the use of spatial and structural risk analyses to inform investment planning.The World Bank will strive to scale up technical assistance and targeted DRM financing to high-risk developing countries that lack the resources and capacity to invest in long-term risk reduction activities. In addition, the Bank will increase its advisory support for financial exposure profiles, risk financing strategies and sustainable domestic catastrophe risk insurance markets.Looking ahead, climate change and disaster risks will be further considered in IDA countries in particular. The IDA 17 Policy Commitments call for the integration of climate and disaster risk considerations into core World Bank operations by (a) requiring all IDA Country Partnership Frameworks to incorporate climate and disaster risk; (b) screening all new IDA operations for climate and disaster risks; (c) supporting at least 25 additional IDA countries to manage climate and disaster risk as part of development; and (d) strengthen and enhance monitoring to capture disaster risk management and climate change co-benefits in lending and non-lending technical assistance.Beneficiaries“I still remember Cyclone Sidr in 2007,” said Hasina Begum, Headmistress of Paschim Napitkhali Primary School in Barguna, Bangladesh. “There were warnings, but nothing could really prepare us for what happened. Cyclone Sidr hit my hometown, Barguna with ferocious intensity. Powerful gusts of winds and heavy rainfalls frightened the helpless people, many of whom had left their homes and possessions to seek the protection of cyclone-shelters, like my school.” The Paschim Napitkhali Primary School, a non-descript two storied building played a life-saving role in 2007, when Barguna and other coastal regions were hit hard by the storm surge of over 5 meters (16 ft). Initially established by Hasina’s father, the school was later rebuilt and converted into a school and cyclone shelter. During the year, the primary school bustles with children – but during cyclones and other natural disasters, the building doubles up as a shelter. In 2007, this cyclone-shelter alone had helped save more than 800 people.With the effects of climate change likely to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters, Bangladesh needs to prepare adequately for increased uncertainty. With this in mind, approximately 700 cyclone shelters are in the process of being constructed or upgraded with better designs with support from the World Bank to protect the country’s coastal population. Show Less -
Bank Group ContributionOver the last decade (from FY04 onwards), the World Bank has supported 34 projects with land tenure as a primary theme in 27 countries, with total assistance amounting to some U... Show More +S$1.2 billion. In addition, some 82 projects in 41 countries addressed land tenure issues as a secondary theme. In some cases, projects focused solely on land tenure issues; in others, land tenure issues were one of several components of broader public investment programs. Some projects financed specific public investments, while others supported policy and institutional reforms. The World Bank’s active project portfolio includes 19 projects with land tenure as primary theme (amounting to some US$771 million in financing commitments) and 27 with land tenure as secondary theme (with at least $200 million in additional commitment). The World Bank’s strong analytical capacity and intellectual leadership has allowed operations to draw on cutting-edge research to show the importance of land issues for overall economic development. It has also helped countries formulate and build participatory national strategies to deal with land in a prioritized and well-sequenced manner. PartnersThe World Bank has partnered with regional development banks, United Nations (UN) organizations, bilateral donors, national and local governments, and civil society organizations, in an effort to advance knowledge and support the modernization of national land policy and administration systems. The Bank has also encouraged considerable ‘South-South’ cooperation among developing countries themselves, often making it possible for government officials and technical staff involved in successful land administration projects to share their experiences with peers in other countries. The World Bank has actively supported preparation and endorsement (May 2012) by the Committee on Food Security (CFS) of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. The Bank is actively engaged with multiple partners (UN agencies, bilateral donors, civil society organizations) in supporting the implementation of the guidelines at the country level through widespread dissemination, capacity building, and financial support to policies and projects that enhance the governance of land tenure according to these guidelines. The World Bank Group considers these guidelines a major international instrument to guide specific policy reforms, since it provided an agreed upon framework for action, broad participation, and monitoring outcomes.Other examples of partnerships on land policy and administration in which the World Bank has engaged include the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN-Habitat-Global Land Tool Network, and the G7 Pilot Program to Preserve the Brazilian Amazon. The Bank also collaborates with professional associations, such as the International Federation of Surveyors, private foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several multi-donor trust funds for post-conflict and post-disaster recovery. The World Bank annually hosts an international conference on land policy and administration with over 800 participants last year alone. The Bank is a member of the Global Donor Working Group on Land, which recently launched a database of all platform donor-funded land tenure projects. The tool will improve the coordination between donors and support the implementation of the voluntary guidelines at individual and country levels. The Bank is also part of the International Land Coalition (ILC), a global alliance of civil society and international organizations which promotes secure and equitable land access.Moving Forward Land and property often account for between one-half to three quarters of national wealth. From this perspective, clarifying land ownership and occupation, resolving land disputes, and the distribution and value of land resources, as well as designing appropriate laws, regulations and institutions, are very important for growth, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. A supportive legal framework and effective arrangements for land administration are as important to the development process as are sound laws, regulations and institutional arrangements for labor and capital. As climate change, food price volatility, and other factors place increasing pressure on scarce natural resources, countries are facing the need to accelerate efforts to modernize land administration systems to secure land rights; ensure that they have accurate data on land resources, occupation and ownership; and that this information is organized in ways that can be easily updated and shared across institutions involved in development, post-conflict and post-disaster planning. The World Bank will continue to work with countries on diagnosis, policy dialogue, operational and financial support in an effort to modernize land administration systems that help protect the land rights of the poor, induce better national resource management, increase productive investment, and help diversify the sources of wealth and its distribution. Show Less -