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UN Environment Programme (UNEP);
The development of packaging policies stems from intersecting challenges being faced by economies across the world. On one hand, growth in population has led to an increase in consumption and consequently an increase in the amount of per capita waste generation. Household waste generated contains increasing amounts of packaging waste and, more specifically, plastic packaging waste. On the other hand, existing municipal waste management infrastructure is struggling to keep up with basic collection of waste and is far from equipped handle plastic packaging waste by means that would result in recovery of material by recycling. Most of the plastic packaging waste ends up in the landfill or worse still, leaks into the environment. To confront the growing crisis of plastics leaking into the environment (particularly the marine environment), packaging policies are required to address the intersecting challenges of increasing packaging waste (plastics packaging waste in particular) and the limitations of existing municipal waste management infrastructures. Plastic packaging discussed in this report is defined as plastic materials used to cover and package consumer products. Plastic packaging generally refers to primary, secondary, and in some instances tertiary packaging materials. Whilst there is a lack of definition and standards with respect to plastic packaging waste in ASEAN, this report defines plastic packaging waste as plastic packaging materials which are either disposed of in the landfill or leaked into the environment..Post-consumer packaging collected by the formal and informal sector for recycling is also covered within this report.
Around the globe, a wave of financial innovation that seeks to create social and environmental benefits while producing attractive returns is shaping the field of sustainable finance.
From investments in publicly listed corporations based on environmental, social, and governance factors, to bonds issued to fund climate and environmental improvements; from micro-credit to small retailers through innovative credit assessments, to parametric insurance products improving the disaster resilience of countries, the world of sustainable finance is growing and becoming increasingly diverse.
In this report, we take a closer look at these innovations and more, highlighting how they are working to mobilize private-sector capital at scale to address social and environmental challenges. We also explore recent developments and potential opportunities in Asia's four largest economies: China, India, Japan, and Indonesia.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
Those who travel to other countries may experience high speed rail (HSR) services and wonder why a similar transportation network has not been implemented in the United States. The following fact sheet provides a brief history of international high-speed rail developments and a comparison of the status of HSR deployment around the world, along with a discussion of issues that policymakers and business leaders may want to consider in their long-term planning for future U.S. transportation infrastructure.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF);
WWF investigated the trade flow of legal and illegal crab harvested in Russian waters throughout the North Pacific to better understand the impact on the global seafood market. Analysis used primary sources such as Russian crab stock assessments, publically accessible trade and customs data, satellite imagery of fishing boat movements, and interviews with experts to obtain a unique picture of the harvest of legal and illegal crab products.
Economist Intelligence Unit, The;
Fixing Food is an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report on food system sustainability globally, spanning agriculture, nutrition, and food loss and waste. It draws on an interview programme with experts from the academic, public and private sectors and is published alongside the Food Sustainability Index (FSI), a quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, which ranks 25 countries according to their food system sustainability. The project was developed with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN).
Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS);
Established by a prominent public prosecutor, Sawayaka Well-being Foundation has fostered the development of more than 2,000 community volunteer organizations to support Japan's elderly to lead independent lives.
The Sawayaka Well-being Foundation (SWF) is a national association of more than 2,000 groups across Japan that share a vision for promoting community-based volunteerism. SWF was founded in 1991 by Tsutomu Hotta who abruptly left a high-profile role as Deputy Vice Minister at the Ministry of Justice to bridge the shortfall in the state's capacity to provide care services to senior citizens and address the growing disconnect between individuals and their communities.
This publication presents overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Each overview covers health insurance, public and private financing, health system organization and governance, health care quality and coordination, disparities, efficiency and integration, use of information technology and evidence-based practice, cost containment, and recent reforms and innovations. In addition, summary tables provide data on a number of key health system characteristics and performance indicators, including overall health care spending, hospital spending and utilization, health care access, patient safety, care coordination, chronic care management, disease prevention, capacity for quality improvement, and public views.
Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies;
Although the development of civil society organisations in Japan occurred relatively late compared to Western and some developing countries, a growing number of scholarly works have documented modern Japan's rapid growth of citizen activism and social action. However, discourse on civil society in Japan has emphasised a pattern of numerous small local groups with limited budgets and staff, and few large professionalized organisations. Nonetheless, Japan has witnessed a recent surge in civil society activism, where the number of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working on international development and foreign aid issues is on the rise. As NGOs are a key source of citizens' power, the expansion of such organisations in Japan has important implications for the shifting relationship between civil society and the state.
This paper explores the development of Japan's civil society by focusing on patterns of citizen volunteerism and the role of NGOs in the country's natural disaster relief and restoration efforts. By comparing the post-disaster landscape for citizen volunteering, advocacy, and NGO performance in response to the 1995 Kobe and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes, this paper aims to trace how civil society leadership in Japan has evolved. In particular, this paper examines how the disaster management infrastructure established after Kobe influenced NGO performance in volunteer training and coordination, liaison with officials, and relief efforts for Tohoku's disaster areas. A better understanding of citizen involvement with NGOs will provide an important indicator for the future trajectory of civil society and disaster resilience in Japan in an international context.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
Imagine a device that could take the most abundant element in the universe and convert it into electricity, heat, and water, without emitting any harmful pollution. Sounds too good to be true? But, such a device exists -- the fuel cell.
A fuel cell is, in a way, a battery that can be refueled (as opposed to recharged). Fuel cells generate electricity by combining oxygen and hydrogen (or a hydrogen-rich fuel source) in a chemical reaction, and continue to operate so long as fuel is provided. When pure hydrogen is used, the only byproduct is heat and water -- there are no harmful emissions at all.
This fact sheet will give an overview of fuel cells, examining their strengths and challenges, applications, and the impact of federal and state clean energy policies on their commercialization and deployment in the marketplace.
Embracing Change: The Critical Role of Information, a research project by the Internews' Center for Innovation & Learning, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, combines Internews' longstanding effort to highlight the important role ofinformation with Rockefeller's groundbreaking work on resilience. The project focuses on three major aspects:
- Building knowledge around the role of information in empowering communities to understand and adapt to different types of change: slow onset, long-term, and rapid onset / disruptive;
- Identifying strategies and techniques for strengthening information ecosystems to support behavioral adaptation to disruptive change; and
- Disseminating knowledge and principles to individuals, communities, the private sector, policymakers, and other partners so that they can incorporate healthy information ecosystems as a core element of their social resilience strategies.
This publication presents overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Each overview covers health insurance, public and private financing, health system organization and governance, health care quality and coordination, disparities, efficiency and integration, use of information technology and evidence-based practice, cost containment, and recent reforms and innovations. In addition, summary tables provide data on a number of key health system characteristics and performance indicators, including overall health care spending, hospital spending and utilization, health care access, patient safety, care coordination, chronic care management, disease prevention, capacity for quality improvement, and public views.
Migration Policy Institute;
Several governments in the Asia-Pacific region have actively engaged in the United Nations' Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) for the past seven years, as both participants and leaders. Virtually every country in the region has assigned representatives in GFMD's network of country focal points, eight Asia-Pacific countries are part of GFMD Steering Group, and a number have contributed to the roundtable and thematic meetings either as co-chairs or team members. Three countries from the region were also part of a 14-member Assessment Team that outlined the future of the Forum after 2012.
The region's active engagement has helped shape the themes and topics of GFMD meetings, beginning with the first meeting convened in 2007. However, during this time, the challenges facing migrants and their families have not abated. To remain relevant, the GFMD must become as instrumental in shaping the reality on the ground as it has been in shaping the global discourse on migration and development. The 2012 GFMD assessment shows participant states' demand for a more development-focused and results-driven forum.
The GFMD could provide more opportunities for collaboration between governments and other migration stakeholders. While becoming more action-oriented, it should continue to shape the agenda on migration and development and set international priorities among the wide range of issues that demands attention. Toward these ends, the GFMD would benefit from (1) an enhanced linkage with regional fora and processes; (2) a more dynamic people-to-people networking platform where policymakers can find partners, pilot projects, test ideas, and develop policy and programmatic tools; and (3) a more focused, action-oriented, and results-driven process for the next five years.
This brief argues that although the Global Forum on Migration and Development was primarily designed as a venue for changing the discourse on migration, the success of its efforts to date and the pressing need for progress on the ground both indicate that it is time to assess how the Forum can facilitate concrete action.