Increased levels of trade and investment across regions targeted sectors and geographical areas in Central, West and South Asia, with greater access to markets and services for poor people, including women.
Guinea is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Just over a quarter (28 per cent) of the population have access to electricity and chronic power cuts have previously led to civil unrest. The country has vast and underdeveloped hydropower resources but currently only 400 megawatts of installed grid capacity, dropping to as low as 150 megawatts of reliable power. 84 per cent of businesses in Guinea experience electrical outages, suffering four electrical outages a month, resulting in a 5 per cent loss of annual sales. The project will provide a medium-term power solution to support the country’s post-Ebola economic recovery until further hydropower resource comes on stream. Designed to deliver international environmental standards, it will be a strong signal to attract other international investors to the country.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. Globally, smoking kills more people every year than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. By 2030, more than 80% of the world's tobacco-related deaths will occur in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Preventing people from starting to use tobacco, and encouraging users to stop, is a global priority. The World Health Organisation is addressing this through an international treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which has been signed by 181 countries and sets out the policies countries should adopt to prevent smoking. The United Nations (UN) sees the FCTC as so important that when it set up 'Sustainable Development Goals' it included the FCTC in Goal 3, which is about improving health and wellbeing for all the world's people. Goal 3.10 says that the implementation of the FCTC should be strengthened in all countries. However, while a number of high income countries (HICs) have made good progress in FCTC implementation, this is not the case in all LMICs. Signing the treaty is not enough: governments need to be helped to introduce good policies and enforce them. However, few LMICs have the capacity, or in some cases the staff with the right skills, to carry out the research and advocacy necessary to design, implement and achieve compliance with good tobacco control policies. Also, most existing research on tobacco has been conducted in HICs, and is not always relevant to LMICs. Thus we need to train and support researchers in tobacco prevention in LMICs, with skills in economics, clinical medicine, public health and the social sciences, for example. This proposal is about filling these gaps, building on some good work already under way. Our proposed programme will be undertaken in two parts of the world (South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) where progress on tobacco control has not always been good, and where the tobacco industry is active in attempting to undermine measures that work. We propose to build research capacity in several LMICs, thought a programme of research designed to address local priorities in each country, supported by a programme of training in research and impact. It will focus in particular on three issues relevant to UN SDG 3 but also other UN goals on peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16) and partnerships (SDG 17). These are: tobacco taxation (which helps reduce tobacco use and provides money for governments to build the economy); preventing illicit trade in tobacco (by protecting tax revenue, reducing corruption and helping to reduce crime) and preventing tobacco industry interference (which aims to prevent or undermine national implementation of FCTC measures). Studies will be conducted on these topics as well as additional priorities chosen by countries (like building evidence for 'smokefree' clean air policies, putting health warnings on tobacco packets and services to help people stop smoking). To do this work we have put together a team including UK academics, researchers in LMICs, and charities working to reduce harm from tobacco. The programme will be led by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a UK Centre for Public Health Excellence. The team also includes research organisations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, India, South Africa and Uganda, and can be expanded to include other LMICs if resources allow. Support is included from Cancer Research UK, the world's largest independent cancer charity. Additional help will come from other supporters including the FCTC's Framework Convention Alliance and the American Cancer Society. Funding will be used to support a network of early career (post-doctoral) researchers and teams in LMICs and the UK. Extensive training opportunities and support to carry out high quality research on policy and practice in each country and internatio nally, and to establish strong research partnerships for the future, will be provided.
This project will examine the long-term resilience of Colombian forest ecosystems to environmental and climatic changes and improve understanding of the future implications of forest degradation for Colombian society. We focus on forests that are not pristine in that they are used by local communities and are affected by logging and fire. This fills a research gap in understanding how forests, which may be regarded as biologically 'degraded', have undergone changes in biodiversity, in ecosystem services, and in how they participate in local and global cycles of carbon and energy. The project will achieve this by building a network of permanent ecological monitoring plots across gradients of forest environment and degradation to allow evaluation of biodiversity and measurement of processes such as current and historical effects of fire, and carbon storage and changing climate.This data will be integrated with socio-cultural research, focusing on existing cultures of biodiversity conservation. This understanding is essential if the scientific evidence is to be integrated into long-term management plans and policy, as forest degradation in Colombia is strongly associated with changes to the fabric of social life, including the effects of sustained conflict. Participatory research and interviews will also allow the views and perceptions of key stakeholders, especially local communities, to influence our research priorities and outputs from the beginning. This transdisciplinary work is critical to the implementation of international frameworks for biodiversity conservation aimed at reversing the effects of forest degradation. As Colombia emerges from decades of conflict, substantial changes are already occurring in land use, for example in the cultivation of areas that were previously inaccessible due to security issues. Our results will be scalable beyond the focus of Boyaca and Cundinamarca to the Colombian national scale and across the tropics. Tropical forest degradation affects an estimated 500 million ha globally and is an increasingly important driver in the global carbon cycle. However, in Colombia there is little information about change and recovery from degradation; over what time-scales changes occur; what are the major socio-environmental drivers of change; and to which baseline should forests be restored. Due to this high uncertainty, degradation is poorly quantified by climate policy such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) with the result that global CO2 emissions-cuts scenarios may not be sufficiently ambitious and local projects may not benefit from carbon payment schemes. We propose an innovative transdisciplinary methodology that will bring local knowledge, livelihood strategies and priorities into dialogue with multiple biophysical data sources, in order to evaluate change. We will supplement our existing plot data with new field, socio-environmental, and long-term ecological data to create a unique long-term network of degraded forest plots across Boyaca and Cundinamarca, covering variation in types and degrees of degradation (e.g. logged, logged+burned). We will, further, use these data with remote sensing approaches to evaluate the spatiotemporal variation in forests and assess drivers of change across the region to inform policy, conservation, and management. The project will provide critical information to improve climate and vegetation models that can help to assess whether forests and forest associated agriculture (e.g., coffee, cacao) will be resilient in the face of future climatic changes. This information will be used to inform policy recommendations and transformation pathways co-designed with a suite of stakeholders. In summary, this project can transform understanding of the controls on forest biodiversity and ecosystem service, determine ecosystem resilience to clim ate and disturbance, and support socio-environmental planning for sustainable resource use.