Dr. Michael Dutschke, founder and director of biocarbon economics, has been working on climate, energy and land use over the last two decades.
This is the relaunch of biocarbon consult, formed in 2007.
The new name reflects the importance of socio-economic processes in the management of natural resources. It also marks the opening of focus from natural carbon to the economics of ecosystem services and rural development as a whole.
The Paris signal to the world
With the "well below" 2-degrees goal, the Paris Agreement has for the first tme set a global goal to be reached by all countries of the world in a common effort. All future national policies across sectors will be measured against this target. Developing countries have achieved to include indigenous rights, the concepts of Mother Earth and Wellbeing in the text. Climate Policy has grown up
For the first time in negotiation history, this sets climate policy in the context of a common vision. All countries have committed to contribute to the global goal to the best of their ability, individually or jointly with other country partners. Instead of prescribed modalities, the Parties are free to choose the compliance mechanisms that best suit their needs.
Global change is affecting urban and rural areas differently. Also the measures required for mitigation and adaptation vary between cities and the countryside.
The whole production and infrastructure of rural areas being oriented toward the cities. Thd lack of education and decreasing income opportunities have led to brain drain into the cities. Also unskilled workforce migrates to urban areas, because even marginal service activities offer a better living than seasonal jobs or small-scale agriculture.
Most of the sustainability problems identified over the last 25 years have their roots in dysfunctional rural development:
The traditional approach of addressing these problems is poverty alleviation, awareness raising, improved governance, capacity building and education. Activities include well drilling, improving medical facilities and implementing village schools. Although the intention is to create resilience and improve income opportunities, the underlying paradigm is still problem oriented and has therefore not succeeded in leading underprivileged regions onto the path of development.
Little attention has so far been paid to the true development potentials of rural areas, beyond the provision of food and raw materials for industrial production. The new paradigm is rural empowerment. Natural resources need to be managed wisely, in order to maintain their ecosystem services. Forests (even planted forests), aquifers, biodiversity areas and fertile soils provide much more value than is currently being paid for. Roughly one-quarter of the world population has no access to formal markets and is hindered to participate in the solution of the world’s challenges.
As opposed to urban development, rural livelihoods are more determined by their natural circumstances. Each landscape has its own resource fingerprint. Also, social and cultural traditions tend to be stronger.
Rural areas offer huge opportunities in terms of economic development. Communication infrastructure is extending at an unprecedented speed and at the same time, industrial production is decentralizing, due to localized renewable energy production and the rapid adoption of 3D printing technology. Investment in rural areas will no longer be restricted to agro-industry, forestry and minerals. Rural development is more than land grab or the execution of state development plans. Instead, it can be lucrative on the long run, if it valuates and protects diverse ecosystem functions and makes use of the local stakeholders’ experience.
biocarbon economics Ltd.
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