Latin America as a model for the provision of renewable energy

Christopher attended the 2012 United Nations Rio+20 Summit where he represented the University of South Australia. Christopher is studying a Bachelor of International Relations & Journalism.

Abstract

This paper presents Latin America as a model for the developing world to highlight the challenges that developing countries face in providing clean, sustainable access to energy to their most isolated and deprived communities. As the host of the Rio+20 summit and the regional power of Latin America, Brazil was chosen for analysis as it presents both the progress already made in the provision of renewable energy as well as the obstacles which stand in the way of further progress.

This study shows how regional progress and challenges of renewable energy provision are applicable to the wider developing world and how institutions can learn from this to ensure a greater efficiency when working toward renewable energy targets for the future. The following recommendations are the product of this study:

  •   A forum for the exchange of ideas on renewable energy provision between developing nations must be established;

  •   The Brazilian model of using local products and innovation to develop new technology should be adopted by developing states;

  •   Education of local communities regarding sustainable energy access must complement the provision of new energy technology;

  •   Renewed financial commitment by states to render renewable energy options more competitive in the market is encouraging and essential;

  •   An improvement on data gathering must be made to assist developing states in sourcing sustainable energy; and a continued increase in the co-operation between the International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN and its member states will facilitate the reaching of global energy targets.

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Integrated pest management: The case for Benin

Brittany Laidlaw the 2012 United Nations Rio+20 Summit where she represented Griffith University. Brittany is studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Sustainable Enterprise and is a member of the Honours college.

Abstract

Feeding the excess 2.3 billion people set to occupy the planet by 2050 will be a paramount concern at the Rio+20 UN Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in June 2012. Effective commitments towards securing global food security and rethinking the future of commercial agriculture production will be a fundamental priority. However, the expansion of Western agricultural systems imposes a significant threat to the implementation of sustainable agriculture.

This paper highlights the devastating economic, ecological and health implications of widely-adopted Western agricultural systems within developing nations with a focus on pesticide use in West Africa and in particular, Benin. Upon evaluation of sustainable alternatives such as Integrated Pest Management, this paper found that IPM is essential to the protection of natural ecosystems, the eradication of poverty and food insecurities within West Africa and the continent as a whole. As a recommendation this paper calls for:

  1. Innovative strategies for the implementation of sustainable and environmentally sound methods that reside with the restoration of the earth’s biodiversity which help with the reduction of crop losses and minimisation of environmental and health hazards;

  2. More stringent commitments to the implementation of IPM programs and the transition to more sustainable agricultural practices where government funding has been significantly lacking;

  3. Significant government funding for research and development as well as support in the widespread deliver of IPM messages which remain largely under-financed and overstretched;

  4. Stricter pesticide restrictions that identify public health as a major concern in their application;

  5. More focus to be placed on the development of Farmer Field Schools and various education programs to increase the adoption rates among small-scale farmers as well as incentives for sustainable practices; and

  6. Member nations to recognise the inherent link between of food security and sustainability, whereby these agendas are intrinsically connected and require effective governance to ensure their pursuit.

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