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Despite being one of the most pervasive materials on the planet, plastic and its impact on human health is poorly understood. Human exposure to it grows with increasing plastic production and use. Research into the human health impacts of plastic to date have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from disposal to ongoing impacts as air pollutants and ocean plastic. Individually, each stage of the plastic lifecycle poses significant risks to human health. Together, the lifecycle impacts of plastic paint an unequivocally toxic picture: plastic threatens human health on a global scale.
Governance reform is about instituting and practicing new ways of operation and interaction. It is no linear process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates among varied interests and challenges towards changing entrenched practices.
Embarking on the present review, and in the interest of harvesting practical lessons from UNDP's Water & Ocean Governance (WOGP) portfolio, the exploration was focused on "What works in water/ocean governance?" The report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives.
The report therefore puts a selected set of projects of the WOGP under the spotlight. Whereas the achievements are often of a very different nature, they all tackle complex, cross-sectoral water or ocean issues that none of the actors involved could have managed on their own. This illustrates the important difference between management – addressing matters that are principally tackled by one actor, often within the purview of one organization – and governance, which relates to the broader relations and rules that regulate the way a whole sector or society acts jointly.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.;
The Great Recession of 2007-09, as pundits are now calling it, hit Northeast Florida brutally. A regional economy that had been fueled by population and construction growth, consistently doing better than the national average, saw unemployment skyrocket when the housing market collapsed, the economy retracted, and population growth slowed to a trickle.Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) surveyed the community to identify residents' top priority for in-depth study. Job growth far surpassed any other regional issue. Volunteers and partner organizations from the seven-county region came together to explore new ideas for retaining existing jobs, rapidly creating new jobs, and for positioning the region for long-term economic growth.
The study committee visited the seven partner counties (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns), examined existing job development plans and economic development strategies for the region, and explored promising practices from other regions that were achieving success despite the national economic climate.
The resulting recommendations are designed to enhance economic development and job creation, signaling to the state and nation that Northeast Florida is open for business.
Implementation of these recommendations will highlight Northeast Florida's existing assets and strengthen its competitive advantages in the economic world. Most significantly, action will build on Northeast Florida's successes and enhance the combined regional approach to competing in the global marketplace.
First, the region must focus on its key regional growth industries. The primary immediate opportunities for substantial job creation in the region are in the areas of:* port logistics and associated industries* health and medical sciences* aviation/aerospace and defense contracting* financial services
Second, the region must bring its business and education sectors together in a shared emphasis to build and maintain an educated and skilled workforce. Shifting economic realities, along with the skill sets required for job growth, necessitate the training (or re-training) of local workers and the retention of these skilled local workers in their employment positions. It also prescribes the need for attracting talented workers from around the world.
Third, economic success will require even more emphasis on encouraging the growth of small businesses. Enhancing the region's entrepreneurial spirit is critical to sustaining a vibrant economy. Improving access to support for small business development and expansion holds the potential for creating more jobs and more business owners.
Fourth, the region requires both a vibrant urban heart and an expanded vision of its assets and aspirations – unfettered by current boundary definitions. The outsider's view of Northeast Florida often begins with Jacksonville and its downtown core. A good first impression of the city, along with having strong economic development partners with a variety of different attributes, can have long term positive implications. Successful regional economic development also means rethinking the regions boundary lines and embracing all the potential Northeast Florida has to offer – such as the research capacities demonstrated by the University of Florida
Fifth, regional leadership must come together to encourage economic growth and enhance the business-ready environment of Northeast Florida. Regional leadership (political, business, and community) must maintain focus on reducing issues that unnecessarily add roadblocks to sustainable economic growth, by streamlining regulation and permitting processes, in order to improve Northeast Florida's competitiveness and economic success.
Together, the implementation of these recommendations can accelerate short-term job creation and, more significantly, strengthen the region's ability to sustain economic growth for years to come.
We are proud to present this catalogue as a collection of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, offering the WASH practitioner community a unique opportunity to access over 30 innovations that could help to solve their most pressing problems.
Over the last few years, we have heavily invested in funding and supporting innovation and research in the WASH sector, highlighting gaps in evidence, exploring the problems, identifying opportunities where innovation can play a vital role, and funding the right people to find potential solutions.
Our WASH Innovation Catalogue is the first of its kind. It offers a unique overview of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, and is designed to help practitioners decide which innovations could help them solve their most pressing problems. Taking an innovation from idea to scale can take years, and the innovations featured in this catalogue are all at different stages on that journey, but what this offers the WASH sector now is a look at the exciting work happening around the world to address common challenges.
This is the first comprehensive study regarding the state of automated decision-making in Europe. Experts have looked at the situation at the EU level but also in 12 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They assessed not only the political discussions and initiatives in these countries but also present a section "ADM in Action" for all states, listing examples of automated decision-making already in use.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);
The present report is being submitted pursuant to paragraph 9 of resolution 3/71 of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in which the Environment Assembly requested the Executive Director of UNEP to compile voluntary commitments, as applicable, targeting marine litter and microplastics; to provide an overview of their scope in support of the work of the Environment Assembly on that issue; to better understand progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 14.1 on preventing andsignificantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025 (see General Assembly resolution 71/313); and to report to the Environment Assembly at its fourth session on the matter.
The report contains an analysis of the voluntary commitments made in the context of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Our Ocean Conference, the United Nations Sustainable Development Platform, the Clean Seas campaign and the Environment Assembly portal for voluntary reporting relating to marine litter.
Note: This evaluation is accompanied by a blog post by the RAND Corporation about the initiative. Access these related materials here: https://www.macfound.org/press/grantee-publications/evaluation-investments-energy-efficiency-through-window-opportunity-initiative.
In the late 1990s, there was growing concern that the significant portion of subsidized rental homes that were coming to the end of their initial subsidy period would not obtain renewed subsidy and that the amount of affordable rental housing for low and middle-income families in metropolitan areas would fall to even lower numbers. Responding to this escalating concern, the MacArthur Foundation identified preservation of the existing stock of affordable multifamily rental housing as a pressing need. Consequently, the Foundation launched the Window of Opportunity: Preservation of Affordable Rental Housing initiative in 2000. The initiative would expand to become a 20-year effort, during which the Foundation awarded $214 million in grants and loans to a wide range of organizations including non-profit owners of affordable rental housing, state governments, researchers, financial institutions, industry associations, and advocates.
By 2011, the Foundation and its Window of Opportunity borrowers and grantees had increasingly recognized that energy costs of multifamily rental properties could be better controlled. To this end, the Foundation opted to extend Window of Opportunity with an explicit focus on increasing the energy efficiency of subsidized and unsubsidized multifamily affordable housing. Between 2012-2015, the Foundation awarded $27.5 million through 39 grants or loans as a part of what we term the Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency. The loans were Program-Related Investments, which were low-interest loans to create new business models or grow mission-oriented businesses. The Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency activities comprised a little over 10 percent of the overall $214 million Window of Opportunity initiative.
World Resources Institute (WRI);
This report provides a global overview on the progress of countries in passing laws and regulations that limit the manufacture, import, sale, use and disposal of selected single-use plastics and microplastics which have a great impact in the production of marine litter.
Safe Water Network;
Since publishing our first India Sector Review, Community Safe Water Solutions, in 2014, a report that assessed the service delivery gap in safe water supply and documented the potential for Small Water Enterprises (SWEs) to provide sustainable safe water supply in quality affected habitations in rural India, we have seen Small Water Enterprises (SWEs) gain traction in the country.Increasingly, SWEs have been recognized for the value and benefits they provide as a cost-effective, safe, affordable solution complementary to piped water supply, to address India's drinking water crisis and contribute to achieving Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 6.1, universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.SWEs are relevant not just to rural, but also to urban India, particularly where increasing urbanization and migration is creating drinking water stress in India's major cities. The situation in urban India, and the role that Small Water Enterprises can play, is detailed in the Urban Sector Review, Drinking Water Supply for Urban Poor: Role of Urban Small Water Enterprises, published in 2016. Drawing from an assessment of the drinking water scenario in four major cities of India, the report reviews the evolving urban landscape and its emerging demands for safe drinking water. Itprofiles potential funding sources and presents the opportunities and challenges that SWE implementers face as they seek to sustain and scale their operations. Lastly, it provides a series of recommendations to move the sector forward.Building on these recommendations, the Policy and Enabling Environment for Small Water Enterprises report, published in 2017, highlighted critical factors that need to be addressed and specific steps to create a more conducive enabling environment for the rapid growth of SWEs in urban India.Advancing these ideas further, and summarizing the seven reports from the 3 year initiative, Small Water Enterprises for Resilient Cities published in 2018 describes how SWEs can provide safe water security affordably to water stressed cities that are coping with dense populations due to increased migration and urbanization.This 2018 Sector Review, Small Water Enterprises to Mitigate the Drinking Water Challenge, ties together the body of work to understand drinking water supply in rural and urban India, and the gap that can be filled by SWEs amid growing water stress and water-quality contamination. It is informed additionally by on ground experience and learnings from our field initiatives in rural and urban India where we have demonstrated the viability of SWEs.The report includes discussions from expert interviews with SWE practitioners such as Fontus Water, Naandi, Sarvajal, WaterHealth India and Waterlife. It calls for further policy and institutional reforms to promote public private partnerships with fair risk management in tenders, and a conducive ecosystem to accelerate expansion of SWEs. Additionally, this report calls for an investment by the Government into Small Water Enterprises to cover capitalcosts and an operating subsidy to enable low pricing in rural areas for providing safe water access to India's population.This report is intended for stakeholders in the water sector including central and state government, state level water supply departments, local water authorities, financing institutions, SWE implementers, NGOs and funding partners who are committed to delivering safe drinking water.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);
This study highlights the economic business case for the private and public sector to invest in the protection, preservation and enhancement of coral reef health. Initiated by the Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit (ISU) and United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and implemented in collaboration with Trucost and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), the analysis maps the value, costs and benefits and financial flows of the coral reef dependent economy. An advisory committee composed of experts representing multilateral development agencies, funds, civil society organizations and finance and insurance companies guided the analysis.
Safe sanitation is essential for health, from preventing infection to improving and maintaining mental and social well-being.
Developed in accordance with the processes set out in the WHO Handbook for Guideline Development, these guidelines provide comprehensive advice on maximizing the health impact of sanitation interventions. The guidelines summarize the evidence on the links between sanitation and health, provide evidence-informed recommendations, and offer guidance for international, national and local sanitation policies and programme actions. The guidelines also articulate and support the role of health authorities in sanitation policy and programming to help ensure that health risks are identified and managed effectively.
The audience for the guidelines is national and local authorities responsible for the safety of sanitation systems and services, including policy makers, planners, implementers within and outside the health sector and those responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of sanitation standards and regulations.
National Toxics Network;
Marine pollutants are impacting the health of our oceans, their inhabitants and those dependent on oceans for food, culture and their very survival. Everyday an ever-increasing cocktail of intentional and unintentional chemical releases, as well as an unrelenting tidal wave of wastes, particularly plastic waste, enters our waterways and the marine environment.
Ocean pollutants include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), mercury and heavy metal compounds, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, oil, plastic wastes and their related chemicals (e.g., BPA, phthalates), personal care products and other industrial and agricultural emissions. We are only just becoming aware of the identity, volume and scope of many ocean pollutants. Their hazards and complex ecological interactions are still unknown.
Many ocean pollutants do not have human health data or environmental fate information, and our understanding of the long-term impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals on the reproduction and behaviour of fish and other marine organisms is still in its infancy.
Chemicals enter the marine environment via atmospheric transport, runoff into waterways or by direct disposal into the ocean. It is estimated that 80% of marine chemical pollution originates on land. The vast majority of the global land surface is connected to the marine environment via river systems, so chemical and plastics pollution of rivers is inextricably linked with ocean pollution.