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Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change


It is now well understood that the most viable alternative to reduce the CO2 impact of cement (and therefore, concrete) is the use of supplementary cementing materials (SCMs). The reduction in clinker factor of cement can also prolong the life of limestone reserves, making it possible to continue using cement as a major binding material for concrete...

Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change


Community-led approaches stimulating individual and collective energy action have emerged as an alternative route for realising reductions in energy demand, through changes in people's understanding and behaviours related to energy consumption and generation. Much social and environmental psychological research has been undertaken on how domestic energy behaviours can be influenced in order to reduce energy consumption.

Scaling Up Mechanisms for Entrepreneurship


Micro enterprises are engines that boost job creation and fuel equitable economic development. However, despite their crucial role as enablers of improved local capacities and jobs, their growth is limited owing to lack of a nurturing ecosystem. Dialogue with rural communities and local stakeholders over the past few years, has revealed the unmet demand of support services for setting up and improving micro enterprises.

Managing our Natural Resources for the Benefit of All


To achieve a sustainable future, the world clearly has two priorities that must come before all others. The first is to ensure that all citizens have access to the means of satisfying their basic needs. The second is to evolve practices that bring the environmental resource base on which their lives and future integrally depend, back to its full health and potential productivity. To achieve these two primary goals requires urgent action on two fronts.

Potential Game Changers in Skill Development


India is going through a major transition. We are enthusiastically on our way to becoming an informed nation: knowledge-based economy. A knowledge based economy requires a new generation of educated and skilled people. The current government's 'Skill India Initiative', might indicate that we as a nation have embarked our journey on the correct path but there are still many speed breakers.

Waste to Wealth Special


Effects on the environment: Waste results in accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) primarily Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) which are responsible for global warming and climate change. CO2 is released into the atmosphere by the burning of solid waste. CH4 is emitted from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. NO2 is emitted during combustion of solid waste. Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Scientists predict that there is likely to be an overall trend towards increased precipitation and evaporation, more intense rainstorms and drier soil. Changing regional climates are expected to alter forests, crop yields and water supplies.

Technology and Innovation for Sustainability


Since the first major international conference was convened to address issues concerning the environmental and sustainable development in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972, titled, ‘United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the world has come a long way in understanding climate change and its consequences, global consumption patterns and the bio-capacity of its natural resources etc. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a report which was undertaken for the Government of the United Kingdom, argued that the cost of transitioning to a low carbon economy would be much less than the costs and risks of the impact of unmitigated climate change if high technologies and practices were to continue to dominate systems for energy provision (Stern, 2007).

Waste Management and Climate Change Special


The global ideological shift and the economic crises that we have recently faced combined together have almost side lined the pertinent topic of climate change. Commitments made by various nations for the Paris Climate Agreement fall short. The world political scenario is dominated by governments who only believe in incremental goals. At the policy level, financial pressures usually take precedence over environmental concerns. However, what is not being realised is that planned and more futuristic investments can address both issues for a more cost and resource effective approach.

March 2017 : Women Empowerment Special


Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential for building stronger economies, achieving internationally agreed goals for development and improving the quality of life for families and communities. The empowerment of women is often identified as an important aim of international development policies and many donor agencies now include women’s empowerment in their development plans and strategies. Although empowerment is often conceptualised as a process (Cueva Beteta 2006)1, most quantitative studies have been cross-sectional, comparing individual women with others in their communities or societies (Malhotra and Schuler 2005)2.

February 2017: World Radio Day Special


Community Radio in India was envisioned as the third tier of broadcasting in the country, to be owned and operated by communities across India. The policy for the sector was framed in 2001 after much debate and engagement with the government by civil society organisations. While initially the policy only allowed educational institutions to apply for licenses, a revised policy guideline was issued in 2006 that allowed civil society organisations to also apply for a licence to operate a community radio station.

January 2017:Transitioning towards Sustainability


The exchange of goods and services amongst people represents the economy as we know it today. However, we know that these transactions draw upon resources in the natural system represented by exchanges between people and nature. This heavily influences interactions within the natural system impacting the capacities of the natural system to be drawn upon. The ultimate objective of all economic transactions is to enhance ‘the real wealth of society’ measured by the quality and health of the five capitals – physical, social, human, financial and natural. We therefore need to understand whether or not the economic strategies and solutions that we employ add value to or enhance the fundamental capitals.

Sustainable Agriculture


Climate change and global warming are emerging as major challenges facing agriculture in India and elsewhere. In future, these challenges will further accelerate and the resource-poor communities in India and other developing countries, least responsible for global warming, will be the worst affected by it unless urgent actions are undertaken to help them adapt and cope with its unavoidable consequences.

Climate Change Special


The Paris Agreement reached the threshold for formally entering into force this October, bringing into existence the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. Until now as signatories to the agreement, it was just a commitment. But now after 55 countries with cumulative emissions accounting for 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement, it has entered the implementation phase. India is among the ratifying nations and must now prepare for implementing it’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Resilient Cities


The United Nations conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) is aimed at ‘reinvigorating’ the global political commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities and other human settlements, both rural and urban.1 UN Habitat is striving to arrive at a consensus on an urban agenda that would commit countries to sustainable urbanisation ‘which is now more critical than ever as populations, social interactions, economic activities and environmental impacts are increasingly concentrated in cities’. The product of that reinvigoration, along with pledges and new obligations, is being referred to as the New Urban Agenda. This agenda will set a new global strategy around urbanisation for the next two decades.

Credit based Eco Housing model for Rural areas of India


Providing adequate shelter for its rural population continues to be a major challenge. Development Alternatives in collaboration with Fondazione FEM Onlus did an action research project on ‘credit-based eco housing for the rural populate of Bundelkhand region” in central India, which aimed towards provision of low coast eco-friendly housing for working poor through ecosystem approach. The paper deals with the project case study and details the process innovations pioneered in the project, the benefits achieved through these innovations and the learning from the project. Based on this case study, the paper would also detail the mechanisms necessary for scaling the model for wider dissemination in Indian populace

Technology for Green Economy


Environmental performance evaluation is conducted by adopting a life cycle analysis approach. Eco-labeling is a voluntary scheme for certification of environmental performance of products. Eco labels, as per International standard, ISO 14021:1999 are classified under three types: • Type-I: A multi-criteria based programme which authorises use of eco-labels on various product categories based on life cycle assessment of its environmental impacts. The certification is done by an Independent agency. • Type-II: Self environmental declarations made by companies in association with their own products or services. • Type-III: Labels are awarded based on quantified environmental data of a product under pre-defined parameters set by a qualified third party based on life cycle assessment. Verification of eco-label is done by another qualified third party.



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