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Jon Hall, United Nations Development Program and H(app)athon Committee Member describes how countries are measuring well-being using qualitative and quantitative measures, and how economics is being influenced by newer measures than the GDP. John is a perfect person to watch at a H(app)athon Workshop Event where you'd like to learn more about how Happiness Indicators work, and how countries like Bhutan and their Gross National Happiness Index are changing the way the world looks at wealth.+ More details
Jacqueline Badcock is the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq in Development and Humanitarian Affairs, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)+ More details
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Following three years of earthquake recovery, Haitians are rebuilding their homes, and their livelihoods. One of the most affected sectors following the earthquake was the entire network of small commerce, small businesses, around the cities and the affected areas. Many of those small businesses are owned by women who support one or many families with those incomes. Building up the economy is a major priority for the Haitian Government, which seeks to generate opportunities, many of which focus on women and youth. By partnering with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, and 8 non-profit groups in the capital Port-au-Prince, one such project provided training, technical assistance, access to micro-credit and other resources to develop a trade or start a business. “16 neighborhoods, 6 camps,” was a program developed by the Haitian Government to rehabilitate affected neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince and encourage people living in camps to return home, while creating job opportunities for the residents. Supported by the Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund, a main component of the project aims to empower women through a combination of employment and entrepreneurship programs. Enabling women economically is key to the project’s long-term sustainability. Starting from the ground up, the program created a network of partners, from neighborhood councils, to government ministries, to civil society, to develop 8 job creation projects ranging from crafts to construction. Efforts are already underway to scale up the program to other parts of the country. The success of the Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund is being used as a model by the Haitian Government to identify regional markets, share knowledge, and create job centers to reach even more vulnerable populations nationally.+ More details
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The Poverty-Environment Initiative, through the Joint Support Programme has supported the development of a curriculum focusing on renewable energy, improved cook stoves, rain water harvesting and bio-gas technology. 80 Non-Formal Education Instructors were trained to teach the new curriculum. The programme is expected to reach out more than 700 centers for non-formal education across Bhutan. Education for Sustainable Development constitutes a key sector that needs to be promoted to achieve a Greener and more inclusive Economy.+ More details
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Pobjika valley is considered as one of the jewels of Bhutan. Besides its unspoiled natural beauty, the sceneries offered by the migration of the Black-necked Crane Bird have made this valley renown all over the world. This endemic Himalayan bird flies to Bhutan from October to March escaping from the cold Tibetan winter. PEI is supporting the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in its efforts to promote payment for eco-system services focusing on eco-tourism initiatives in Pobjika Valley. Eco-tourism provides an excellent opportunity to preserve natural capital, while allowing the people of Phobjika valley to earn their livelihoods. Eco-tourism has demonstrated in Pobjika Valley, to have great potential to improve people livelihoods while preserving biodiversity and natural resources.+ More details
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In 2011, to demonstrate the importance of "Greening Development Plans and Budgets" for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development, the Poverty-Environment Initiative in Bhutan supported a number of on ground innovative initiatives. Which successfully demonstrated that Green Development provides an excellent opportunity for Poverty Reduction. PEI supported Tarayana Foundation to construct eco-friendly and disaster resilient houses. 25 households have benefited so far from this successful initiative. Carpenters from the community were provided with training on eco-friendly construction techniques in Zhemgang Dzongkhag by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. The training focused on the use of treated cane and bamboo as construction materials to make it cost effective, eco-friendly and durable. The carpenters returned to their villages and transferred skills to their community. The villagers now have a secure shelter and are able to now concentrate their efforts in agricultural activities and other off-farm opportunities through the skills that they have acquired. This is a clear demonstration of sustainable utilization of natural resources in improving poor people's livelihoods.+ More details
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For thousands of years, Buriganga River has been the lifeline of the city of Dhaka, in Bangladesh. This river nourishes one of the most densely populated cities of the world before falling into the Bay of Bengal. Today, a short vessel trip will reward any visitor with a sad landscape. Strong unbearable odor, black water and floating waste. Indiscriminate dumping of solid and toxic waste by industries and households have made the Buriganga one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The riverbank inhabitants are contracting water born infections and skin diseases. Besides, due to pollution and climate change, the river flow has been shrinking. The Government of Bangladesh realized the river pollution was having a high economic cost. The river could not be used as a transport route and diseases contracted by inhabitants had to be treated. This was enough to launch a multi million project to clean the Buriganga river. Since 2008, Dhaka Water authority is working to bring water from Jamuna river, to increase the water flow. Besides, the government is working to remove all the solid waste accumulated in the riverbed. The Poverty-Environment Initiative is providing technical support to the Water authority to ensure the project is undertaken in an environmental friendly way, that it includes local communities and that infrastructure built resists climate change. In other words, to make sure the project is Sustainable and fair.+ More details
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