Preserving Our Marine Health

The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) is a progressive think tank dedicated to seeking out creative, viable  
ideas and innovative research to inject into Australia’s policy debates. Their work combines big picture thinking  
about the future of government with practical research on options for policy reform. They give a diverse, crossdisciplinary community of thinkers space to imagine solutions to Australia’s most urgent challenges and they  
connect their ideas with policy makers, media and concerned citizens.


CDM Reform: Improving the efficiency and outreach of the Clean Development Mechanism through standardization

This study is the first outcome of a new work program on regulatory aspects of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) started by the World Bank in May 2011 at the Carbon Expo in Barcelona. The guiding principle of this work has been to approach the complex and broad topic of CDM regulation in a strictly technical and step-wise manner, based on real world project experience and a broad consultation with practitioners of the CDM.

This document is the first module in a series, focusing on the topic of standardization of project registration and procedures for both stand-alone activities, using standardized baselines, and Programmes of Activities (PoAs) addressing micro-scale emission reductions. The standardization of CDM procedures has always been an element of the evolving CDM regulation. However, the relevance of standardization has grown beyond incremental improvements of the CDM. It has become one of the core areas in developing the mechanism. The reasons are threefold:
First, standardization of CDM methodological approaches can contribute to overcoming certain limitations of the CDM in terms of regional and sectoral outreach as well as objectivity in project assessment and approval;
Second, standardization — if extended to CDM procedures — can improve the efficiency of the mechanism and reduce regulatory risks, transaction costs and time requirements; and
Third, standardization facilitates a more programmatic and systemic implementation of the CDM in developing countries, which could allow the mechanism to grow beyond its current project-by-project scope.
Against this background, standardization gained momentum in the recent regulatory development of the CDM. At the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6) that took place in 2010, in Cancun, Mexico, major progress was made in establishing the concept of standardized baselines. Now it is time to develop the concept further.
This study outlines various options to extend standardization to CDM procedures and the CDM project cycle itself and assess how this could improve the efficiency of the mechanism as well as facilitate more programmatic and systemic approaches.

Read the study here

Wealth, Rights, and Resilience:
An Agenda for Governance Reform in Small-scale Fisheries

The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of small-scale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that-far from being incompatible- these perspectives serves as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses. In order to better appreciate the diversity in governance contexts for small-scale fisheries it puts forward a simple analytical framework focused on stakeholder representation, distribution of power, and accountability, and then outlines principles for identifying and deliberating reform options among local stakeholders.

Offsets the Queensland Way

The Queensland Government Environmental Offsets Policy provides an overarching framework for environmental offsets in Queensland. The policy provides a consistent and transparent approach to the use of offsets. It contains principles and guidelines for developing and applying more detailed ‘specific-issue’ policies for offsetting important environmental values such as vegetation or fish habitats.

Currently, offsets use in Queensland can be characterised as a compliance mechanism as they are required to meet development conditions. Developers will face higher costs if they need an offset and this provides a greater incentive to avoid and minimise impacts on areaswith significant environmental values. The paper canvasses opportunities to now move to develop efficient offset markets in Queensland.

Final Compensatory Mitigation Rule

On March 31, 2008, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) issued revised regulations governing compensatory mitigation for authorized impacts to wetlands, streams, and other waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. These regulations are designed to improve the effectiveness of compensatory mitigation to replace lost aquatic resource functions and area, expand public participation in compensatory mitigation decision making, and increase the efficiency and predictability of the mitigation project review process. Links to the final rule and supporting materials can be found below.

BioBanking: Scheme Overview

This information booklet has been prepared to provide an overview of the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme in New South Wales, Australia.

Vietnam Biodiversity Law, No. 20/2008/QH12, 2009

Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which was amended and supplemented under Resolution 51/2001/QH10 dated on December 25, 2001 of the Xth National Assembly, the 10th session; this Law stipulates biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.


Forests for Water: Exploring Payments for Watershed Services in the U.S. South

“Forests for Water: Exploring Payments for Watershed Services in the U.S. South” offers an introduction to payments for watershed services and other incentive-based mechanisms, and how these mechanisms might work to conserve forested watersheds in the Southern United States. The brief, which was produced by the World Resources Institute, covers possible participants in watershed services transactions and steps for landowners to take in valuing and marketing these services.  

Forest-to-Faucet Partnership

The Forest-to-Faucet Partnership is a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area (State and Private Forestry) Watershed Program established to enhance the awareness, understanding and management of forests and water. The Partnership develops  targeted reports and tools focusing on  the hydrological services delivered by forests. Its research and dissemination work aims to build bridges between scientific research, watershed managers,  foresters, environmental regulators, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and community leaders. To this end, it develops  

Flow: The Essentials of Environmental Flows

“Flow: The Essentials of Environmental Flows” is a guide to the implementation of environmental flows in the river basins of the world. It explains how to assess flow requirements, change the legal and financial framework, and involve stakeholders in negotiations. ‘Flow’ sets out a path from conflict over limited water resources and environmental degradation to a water management system that reduces poverty, ensures healthy rivers and shares water equitably. It is offered as part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)’s Toolkit series, which aims to support learning on mainstreaming an ecosystems approach in water resource management. The tools are aimed at practitioners, policy-makers and students from NGOs, governments and academia. Versions in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Khmer, Vietnamese and Lao also available.

Charting New Waters – A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges

This report, produced by the Johnson Foundation, offers a comprehensive, cross-sector examination of u.S. freshwater challenges and solutions. It represents consensus recommendations of diverse interests convened by the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin.  

‘Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges’ is the culmination of an intensive two-year collaboration spearheaded by the Johnson Foundation, exploring solutions to U.S. freshwater challenges. The report identifies serious challenges to the quality and supply of freshwater, such as pollution and scarcity; competing urban, rural, and ecosystem water needs; climate change; environmental and public health impacts; and a variety of economic implications. The document offers actions to confront these threats and a plan to ensure that freshwater resources are secure for the 21st century.

Paying for Environmental Performance: Potential Cost Savings Using a Reverse Auction

In a reverse auction, multiple sellers compete to provide services (environmental outcomes) to a single buyer. This policy note documents a reverse auction in the Connestoga watershed where farmers and ranchers competed for government funding to implement management practices to reduce phosphorus runoff, with payments awarded based on the most cost-effective proposals. On average, the reverse auction resulted in a seven-fold increase in the reduction of phosphorus runoff per dollar spent compared to EQIP during the same period and in the same watershed. Increasing the use of quantitative measurements of performance, using measures of cost-effectiveness to rank funding applicants, and allowing a competitive bidding process are all expected to improve the conservation funding allocation process.  

Johns Hopkins University Global Water Magazine

The Global Water Magazine aims to become a leading online forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas between stakeholders, researchers, journalists, NGOs, students, local and national government agencies, and other institutions and individuals working on domestic and international water challenges.  It offers reports and op-ed style writings from leading thinkers and practitioners engaged in these challenges, and notes from the field describing experience of researchers and practitioners.  

USAID Global Waters Newsletter

Global Waters is a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to sharing the challenges and opportunities, and the approaches and lessons learned that reflect upon USAID programming in the water arena. Each issue will highlight the work of USAID’s many implementing partners, as well as some of the more intimate stories of how the Agency’s work directly affects individuals, families, and communities around the globe.

Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL – the largest ever developed by the US  Environmental Protection Agency – identifies the necessary pollution reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment across Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia and sets pollution limits necessary to meet applicable water quality standards in the Bay and its tidal rivers and embayments. The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025, with at least 60 percent of the actions completed by 2017.

US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change

The US Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new guidance for including climate change risks in corporate disclosures includes a focus on water risks. Although corporate reporting related to climate change issues is often limited to energy and emissions data, the SEC’s guidance includes looking at exposure to impacts of climate change like water scarcity, and salt-water intrusion from rising sea levels. The new guidance may have a global impact in the form of a ‘ripple effect’ along a business’ supply chain, as firms subject to SEC regulation require similar reporting from their suppliers and distributors. However, this may also mean heavy reporting requirements for businesses – identifying and measuring water risks will be highly industry- and location-specific, and the concept of water risk is still relatively undeveloped and unstandardized.