Atlas of International Freshwater Agreements

This is a comprehensive list and information source of historic agreements related to freshwater. With sections for each continent, tables and maps of key demographic and ecosystem information it puts the agreements in their social and environmental context. These agreements are the base from which ecosystem service transactions will build.

A Knowledge and Assessment Guide to Support the Development of Payment Arrangements for Watershed Ecosystem Services (PWES)

The authors contend that payments for watershed ecosystem services are frequently based of generalizations that may not be true in the watersheds where the program operates. Through tackling common myths about watershed management and looking at the need for monitoring and information collection, good science and institutional arrangements are encouraged to assure the intended results are produced from payment programs.

Market-Based Instruments: The Forum Approach

"The Water Initiative is a World Economic Forum program to ""an initiative to facilitate
multistakeholder cooperation in the management of water and watersheds 'from the summit to the sea.'"" The program involves public-private partnerships that identify opportunities for payments for environmental services and the exchange of best practices. The presentation also give an overview of the Global Greenhouse Gas Register that allows companies to understand their green house gas emissions, their impacts and opportunities to reduce and offset them."

Beyond Carbon Emerging Nexus Emerging Nexus Solar

Through examples and conceptual diagrams WorldWater Corporation presents the opportunity to combined solar energy and water pumping to provide water where it is currently unavailable, give added security to water treatment and supply plants for industrialized utilities and reduce pumping costs and emissions from diesel generators used by farmers. This powerful concept is demonstrated through projects in the Philippines and California. This basic concept shows the applicability for diverse settings, including a payment driven mechanism for the rural poor.

Low-carbon Africa: Leapfrogging to a green future

An abundance of resources and its sustainable development ambitions give Africa a real advantage when it comes to renewable energy. With access to a ‘leapfrog fund’ from global mitigation finance, this could  lay the ground for  a low-carbon future.
 

Access the report here

Agroforestry in REDD+: Opportunities and Challenges

Agroforestry and other tree-based systems (wood lots, afforestation) can contribute to REDD+ in two ways: 1) as part of REDD+ under certain forest definitions;  and/or 2) as part of a strategy for achieving REDD+ in landscapes. In the context of REDD+, agroforestry has the potential for reducing degradation by supplying timber and fuelwood that would otherwise be sourced from adjacent or distant forests. In fact, agroforestry has been used in several protected area landscape buffer zones and within conservation as one way of alleviating pressure on forests, thereby reducing deforestation. However, enabling market infrastructure, policies on tree rights and ownership and safeguards would be necessary for agroforestry and other tree-based systems in the landscape to effectively contribute to the goals of REDD+ and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

Download brief here

Drivers and consequences of tropical forest transitions: options to bypass land degradation?

The early studies of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins stratified the domain for study into stages of a generic transition pathway that suggested a strongly non-linear trajectory of change. In this scheme, a phase of degradation of above-ground vegetation, based on over-logging or shortening fallow cycles in intensified swiddens can lead to a grass-fire cycle that needs special conditions to allow successful rehabilitation. Many places with current agroforestry and tree mosaics have gone through such a phase. A new review of the global literature on these ‘forest transitions’ by Meyfroidt and Lambin (2011) framed important conclusions.

Land use trajectories that avoid a low tree-cover phase and ‘bypass’ the high emission stages are often targeted in REDD+ policies; examples exist in transitions of swiddens to agroforests rather than intensive annual cropping systems degrading into grasslands with frequent fire. Changes in land tenure regime are often key to change in tree cover.

Download brief here

On-farm timber production for emission reduction with sustainable benefits at the tropical forest margins

On-farm trees in West and Central Africa are increasingly recognized as an important source of timber with tremendous opportunities  for enhancing livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, contributing to reducing forest degradation  and other functions. This policy brief highlights key findings and issues  from  research in Cameroon and Ghana – especially as it relates to REDD+ and sustainable land management.

 



Download brief here

Building Forest Carbon Projects (Step-by-Step Overview and Guide)

Forest projects around the world are working to confront the practical challenges of reducing emissions and providing local benefits. To facilitate the development of forest projects, we have compiled strategic step-by–step guidance to emerging best practices. Drawing on the experience of the Katoomba Incubator, this series of documents helps project developers understand key technical, social, environmental, and financial issues and points the way to key tools and guidance. Composed of nine volumes, the Building Forest Carbon Projects series is best accessed first through the Step-by-Step Overview and Guide, which outlines the key steps in the project development cycle. This overview is complemented by the eight guidance documents that constitute the meat of the series, with each exploring in detail one critical aspect of forest carbon project development.

Subdocuments:

  • REDD Guidance: Technical Project Design
  • AR Guidance: Technical Project Design
  • Carbon Stock Assessment Guidance: Inventory and Monitoring Procedures
  • Community Engagement Guidance: Good Practice for Forest Carbon Projects
  • Legal Guidance: Legal and Contractual Aspects of Forest Carbon Projects
  • Business Guidance: Forest Carbon Marketing and Finance
  • Social Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects
  • Biodiversity Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects

Download the publication here.

State of Watershed Payments 2012: Executive Summary for Business

 This report benchmarks companies taking a landscape-scale approach to water risk – looking beyond  direct operations to the larger watershed context.  Business leaders from Coca-Cola to SABMiller to  Sony are experimenting with natural infrastructure  investments that address many of the operational  risks at the top of their lists – including supply disruptions  and emerging regulations – while saving money,  increasing resilience to climate and natural disaster  shocks, and improving relations with local communities.  These efforts are known as investments in  watershed services (“IWS”).

This executive summary is developed specifically for a business audience, building upon data and analysis first  presented in a more comprehensive report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace on the topic of  watershed investments –  Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012. In  Charting New Waters,  we track the size, scope, and outlook for investments in watershed services and in the ecological infrastructure  from which they flow.

State of Watershed Payments 2012: Executive Summary for Business

 This report benchmarks companies taking a landscape-scale approach to water risk – looking beyond  direct operations to the larger watershed context.  Business leaders from Coca-Cola to SABMiller to  Sony are experimenting with natural infrastructure  investments that address many of the operational  risks at the top of their lists – including supply disruptions  and emerging regulations – while saving money,  increasing resilience to climate and natural disaster  shocks, and improving relations with local communities.  These efforts are known as investments in  watershed services (“IWS”).

This executive summary is developed specifically for a business audience, building upon data and analysis first  presented in a more comprehensive report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace on the topic of  watershed investments –  Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012. In  Charting New Waters,  we track the size, scope, and outlook for investments in watershed services and in the ecological infrastructure  from which they flow.

BioCarbon Partners REDD Informational Comic

The BioCarbon Partners (BCP) Trust’s Community Engagement Team has found its own fresh approach to increasing awareness in Africa among community stakeholders regarding REDD+ project activities, through a comic created by artist Naomi Fearn.  Please note that the comic may be distributed/shared but not used for commercial purposes without BCP’s written consent.

Read more about the project here

Charting New Waters

 The number of initiatives that protect and restore forests, wetlands, and other water-rich ecosystems has nearly doubled in just four years as governments urgently seek sustainable alternatives to costly industrial infrastructure, according to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.

 
“Whether you need to save water-starved China from economic ruin or protect drinking water for New York City, investing in natural resources is emerging as the most cost-efficient and effective way to secure clean water and recharge our dangerously depleted streams and aquifers,” said Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends President and CEO. “80 percent of the world is now facing significant threats to water security. We are witnessing the early stages of a global response that could transform the way we value and manage the world’s watersheds.”
 
The report, State of Watershed Payments 2012, is the second installment of the most comprehensive inventory to date of initiatives around the world that are paying individuals and communities to revive or preserve water-friendly features of the landscape. Such features include wetlands, streams, and forests that can capture, filter, and store freshwater.

Lessons Learned from Community Forestry & REDD+ in Brazil

In the new publication REDD+ and Community Forestry: Lessons Learned from an Exchange of Brazilian Experiences with Africa, experts describe the lessons learned from an initiative by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to share Brazilian experiences with African countries. The initiative was undertaken by World Bank staff with funding from the Global Environment Facility and coordinated by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, with technical support from the Office National des Foríªts International.

 
The new publication brings together information, analyses, and conclusions on issues relevant to the design and implementation of national REDD+ strategies. It aims to foster a discussion on the role of community forest management as a strategic option to promote REDD+ goals, and, conversely, on ways that REDD+ can incentivize community management of forests.
 
The report’s main conclusions include:
  • REDD+ initiatives need to be integrated with sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, including forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and environmental policies.
  • Support for long-term capacity building and financing are key elements for the success of REDD+ initiatives.
  • Community-based forest management plays a very important role in reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Forests should managed through participatory processes that empower indigenous peoples and local populations in decision making.
  • Measurement, reporting and verification are key elements of REDD+ initiatives, and South-South cooperation plays an important role in increasing their efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Cooperation and exchange of experiences with Brazil could provide important support for REDD+ development in Africa.

Read more here

Assessing the Outcomes of COP 17

IISD’s Climate Change and Energy team assessed the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) held in Durban, South Africa November 28 to December 11, 2011. COP 17 illustrated that there is a clear trade-off between the level of ambition and the inclusivity and robustness of a future agreement. To get countries like the U.S., China and India into the global mitigation tent, the agreements reached in Durban had to reflect a broad range of interests and be designed in a way that provided some flexibility, particularly for major emitters. The negotiations made it painfully clear that many entrenched divisions remain among key actors on critical issues. Nonetheless, the outcomes in Durban are a step forward in establishing an international agreement beyond Kyoto—one with mitigation commitments from all major emitters, including developed countries and several major developing countries.

Access the report here

USAID Research and Analysis of Carbon Rights and Institutional Mechanisms for REDD+ Benefit Distribution

While a number of researchers and organizations in the US and internationally have highlighted the potential impacts of mitigation efforts on tenure, there remains minimal information and best practice on how to practically address these issues at the field level. Emerging interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+) pose potential opportunities and risks for the rights of rural populations in developing countries. In many countries, the right of local populations to benefit from REDD+ activities requires further clarification. As a result, there are lessons to be learned from countries that are progressing on REDD+ or have experience with payment for environmental services (PES). PRRGP’s work on REDD+ over the past ten months has examined 1) trends and opportunities for the devolution of rights to local populations; 2) how tenure relates to the right to benefit from REDD+ revenues, and 3) early experiences with and best practices on governance systems for benefit distribution.

Framework papers have been developed on each of these topics, as well as provide insights from country case studies in Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, Mexico, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The work has resulted in the development of two tools related to a carbon rights guidebook and an analytical tool for assessing benefit distribution institutions which will be released in the coming months.  

Working papers are available on:

  • Devolution of Forest Rights and Sustainable Forest Management: A Review of Policies and Programs in 16 Developing Countries
  • Devolution of Forest Rights and Sustainable Forest Management: Country Case Studies
  • REDD+ and Carbon Rights: Lessons from the Field
  • REDD+ and Carbon Rights: Case studies from Mexico, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania and Mozambique
  • Institutional Mechanisms for REDD+ Framework Paper
  • Institutional Mechanisms for REDD+: Case studies from Mexico, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Issues Brief: Land Tenure and REDD+: Risks to Property Rights and Opportunities for Economic Growth

***Working Papers and presentations on each of the framework papers are accessible here

Feedback on the working papers is welcome and can be delivered to: matt.sommerville@tetratech.com

Collecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies

“Connecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies” includes a suite of learning modules, case studies, and resources to help businesses develop sound water strategies. The toolkit offers guidance in assessing water use and impacts, identifying risks and opportunties, and developing systems for tracking and managing water resource management. “Connecting the Drops: Toward Creative Water Strategies” also includes a comprehensive overview of the business case for water sustainability.

Collecting the Drops: A Water Sustainability Planner

“Collecting the Drops: A Water Sustainability Planner” is a set of tools developed by the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) to help businesses assess their water use and impacts, and better understand how water resources management can affect “license to operate.” The toolkit will be especially useful to facilities staff and/or a business’ operating division, and includes training modules on water use and impacts and water management risk assessment, impact calculators, and case examples.

Emissions Trading, Carbon Financing and Indigenous People

This is a short guide for Indigenous land managers
and those who work with Indigenous communities
to the phenomenon of climate change,
and to ‘market’ and financial mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, often referred
to as the ‘carbon market’, ’emissions trading’
and/or ‘carbon financing’. This guide is intended
as a first edition – it is hoped that future editions will include even more case studies of Indigenous involvement with the carbon market and
will focus on particular geographical regions.

Sustainable Resource Management in Malawi

The Lake Chilwa Wetland Project in Malawi attempts to prevent the overexploitation of Lake Chilwa’s
natural wealth and biodiversity. The project
developed community groups and institutions to sustainably manage the resources. As markets already existed locally for the lake’s natural products, the purpose was to insure the continuation of the resource extraction while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem.

Sasumua Water Treatment Plant – Kenya

The Sasumua Water Treatment Plant is an
innovate payment for ecosystem services
project still in development, which seeks to
provide water quality services by paying
upstream farmers and pastoralists to change
their cultivation practices. Though not yet fully
operational, the Sasumua case highlights many
strengths of PES, as well as many of the
factors strongly influencing its success.

The Kunene Region Torra Conservancy

The Torra Conservancy, a community initiated conservation and
rural economic development project, was established in 1998 to
protect the local ecosystem and encourage development of
income-generating activities for the local community.

Watamu Turle Watch Nest Protection Programme

The Nest Protection Programme in Watamu Beach, Kenya
was established in 1997. The program was created in
response to the decimation of the reproductive capacity of the
local turtle population, due primarily to turtle egg poaching
from the Watamu nesting site. It was estimated that prior to
the implementation of the program, 100% of all turtle eggs
were harvested annually. This case study looks at the ways that social and environmental problems are addressed through this program.

Working for Water: PES in South Africa

In South Africa, Working for Water provides one of the
longest-standing and most successful examples of
payments for ecosystem services (PES). Initiated in
1995 just one year after the end of apartheid, the
program organizes poor South Africans in local
communities to eradicate invasive alien plants (IAPs)
through country’s Department of Water Affairs and
Forestry.

The World's Water

Drawing on modern data, this book considers the political, economic, scientific, and technological issues highlighting the growing crisis for many regional water systems. The book looks at some of the major trends in water technology and policy. It suggests policies and strategies to improve the rational use and distribution of water.

A Green Thumb for the Invisible Hand

This is a brief overview about the changing political and economic climate on climate change in the US. It includes an analysis on issues related to carbon trading and its role in influencing policy.