This week I was at the G7 meeting in France’s northern city of Metz, discussing biodiversity with Environment Ministers from the Group of Seven countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States), along with delegations from countries such as Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Niger and Norway. Thanks to France’s leadership, the G7 meetings culminated in what is known as the Metz Charter on Biodiversity, elevating biodiversity on the global agenda.
In March 2019, the World Bank and several other development organizations launched “Stand For Her Land,” a global advocacy campaign that aims to realize women’s equal access to land and properties worldwide. Let me share with you why this is important.
For more than 25 years, the World Bank supported over 50 countries in reforming land and property registration systems through modernizing laws and regulations, strengthening institutions, and issuing titles for all properties to lawful land owners. They often use land titles to access credit to improve their land and dwellings – and expand businesses or open new ones, generating jobs, boosting productivity, and increasing incomes. Furthermore, research has shown that secure land and property rights provide incentives for people to invest in agricultural land.
Before the conflict began in Yemen in 2015, 10-year-old Raheeb Al Kamali used to play football in a playground with his friends every afternoon in the AlTawahi District of Aden. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were his sporting heroes. He would run across the playground kicking the ball, imitating his heroes. Undoubtedly, it used to be the best part of his day. To play for Yemen’s national football team one day was his dream.
For African cities to grow economically as they have grown in size, they must create productive environments to attract investments, increase economic efficiency, and create livable environments that prevent urban costs from rising with increased population densification. What are the central obstacles that prevent African cities and towns from becoming sustainable engines of economic growth and prosperity? Among the most critical factors that limit the growth and livability of urban areas are land markets, investments in public infrastructure and assets, and the institutions to enable both. To unleash the potential of African cities and towns for delivering services and employment in a livable and environmentally friendly environment, a sequenced approach is needed to reform institutions and policies and to target infrastructure investments. This book lays out three foundations that need fixing to guide cities and towns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa on their way to productivity and livability.
Across the developing world, financial institutions have leveraged digital technologies and innovative business models to expand access to digital financial services (DFS), such as digital transaction accounts and payment services, which serve as the gateway to financial inclusion. Providers are now diversifying their products offerings to newer DFS, such as credit, insurance, and savings. A recent World Bank Group report examines DFS products geared toward longer-term savings. Financial Inclusion Beyond Payments: Policy Considerations for Digital Savings, looks at how these digital savings products—though not yet mature–have the potential to advance an important element of digital financial inclusion.
In the summer of 1742, two typhoons swept across Japan in quick succession, bringing torrents of heavy rain and flooding major rivers. Records from a young monk who witnessed the floods describe a muddy wave destroying levees and sweeping through villages. As levees and rivers collapsed, floodwaters rose in Edo, Japan’s largest c
The World Bank launched the Climate-Smart Mining Facility on May 1st, the first-ever fund dedicated to making mining for minerals climate-smart and sustainable. The Facility will support the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar power, and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles. It focuses on helping resource-rich developing countries benefit from the increasing demand for minerals and metals, while ensuring the mining sector is managed in a way that minimizes the environmental and climate footprint.
More people in the world have access to financial accounts and tools than ever before. With this access, new products and services are being developed to facilitate convenient usage of these accounts. Taking this a step further, healthy financial inclusion incorporates customers’ ability to balance income and expenses, build and maintain reserves, and to manage and recover from financial shocks using a range of financial tools. The most useful financial services are those that provide customers with convenience, and support resilience through enhanced ability to weather shocks and pursue financial goals; effectively supporting the financial health of the user.
Natural events and disasters of the past have influenced some of the most iconic art of our time. From Turner’s sunsets to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – both were composed in the shadow of the greatest volcanic eruption of our age, Mount Tambora in 1815. The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese artist Hokusai (c. 1829–33) has been interpreted as a warning about tsunami risk. In an era of increasing natural hazards and climate change, art can also communicate the future risks we face.