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."

Can a Financial Instrument Improve the Management of Natural Ecosystems?

This report highlights the opportunities presented by the 2000 Amendment to the 1995 Pensions Act in the UK to improve companies' management of natural capital, including ecosystems, the services they deliver and the millions of animal and plant species that constitute biological diversity.

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.

GHG Market Report 2011

This year, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)’s annual Greenhouse Gas Market Report is focussed on Asia, and is released at Carbon Forum Asia in Singapore.   Its title « Asia and Beyond on the roadmap to Global Carbon & Energy Markets », recognises the shifting focus of the world’s engagement with climate change through pricing and market mechanisms.   As in so many other parts of the global economy, the Asia Pacific region is beginning to lead.

Authors from all sectors and all parts of the world, including businesses, public entities, research institutes, and international organizations have set down their perceptions and predictions in 29 essays and articles about the carbon scene in Asia and further afield.

Here are some points from the articles:  

•       Australia’s new emissions trading laws are a game-changer.   Kyoto-compliant credits created under Australia’s “Carbon Farming Initiative” can be used for up to 5% of compliance during the fixed price period up to 2015 and without restriction afterward. But over the period from then to 202o, approximately half of the planned emissions reductions are projected to come from overseas offsets, decisively breaking the near-monopoly that Europe has had as source of demand till now;
•       New Zealand’s trading system is changing; having started with “no” free initial allocation and then made transitional concessions, as opposed to Europe which started with free allocation and is now moving towards auctioning, New Zealand looks to be integrating more closely with the expected course for other markets;
•       Korea is pushing ahead firmly with its commitment to trading.   Like other new markets, it is learning from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and can avoid any mistakes the EU has made along the way. Placing a price on carbon through the ETS is essential to encourage the development of Korea’s new green economy, a central plank of Korea’s national development plans;
•       Taiwan is also ready to move ahead with trading, and its Environmental Protection Agency is developing their “Low-carbon City Implementation Program.” The final target is that four low carbon metropolitan areas will be developed in each of the northern, central, southern and eastern parts of Taiwan by 2020;
•       China has set an ambitious timeline to pilot carbon trading at a regional level by 2013 and at a national level by 2015. In the pilot phase, local governments can decide upon the means of capping and select capped sectors by themselves. While the future of carbon trading in China depends on the pilot programs preparatory work at a national level is also starting;
•       Japan is exploring the possibilities of a bilateral offsetting credit mechanism (BOCM) to complement the existing Kyoto mechanisms that are being used for achieving 2020 GHG emissions targets under the UNFCCC. While the situation on mandatory trading in Japan is not clear at present, the voluntary market is likely to grow faster post-2012.;
•       It is estimated that India’s total industrial efficiency market stood at USD 5.5bn in FY2009-10. The market now includes the Perform Achieve and Trade scheme, designed after careful study of the EUETS and other trading regimes.   It is forecast that this segment will grow at a 15% over the current decade. Developed countries like UK, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, USA, Sweden, Italy are already using similar mechanisms to drive energy efficiency policies and save carbon. India is the first among the developing nations to introduce such an initiative.

Download the report here

Special Report: New Approaches to Old World Carbon

Voluntary   carbon credits – made for reducing CO2 in countries without existing “caps” on carbon, but Europeans like them too.

And European corporates increasingly seek to invest in local projects, which are not always kosher under the current Kyoto Protocol framework.

This special report from Ecosystem Marketplace explores existing programs’ limited options and creative approaches to domestic carbon reductions – and how Durban could change everything.

Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union

In Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union the author reviews methods to control agricultural pollutants to water in European Union countries. She finds that voluntary methods dominate with incentives given to farmers for less polluting methods. This implies a that the farmer has a property right to pollute and should be compensated for not polluting.

Towards a Green Economy in Europe: EU Environmental Policy Targets and Objectives 2010–2050

The ‘green economy’ has emerged as a priority in policy debate in recent years. But what does the concept mean in practice and how can decision-makers measure progress towards this strategic goal? This report provides some answers, presenting a detailed overview of the key objectives and targets in EU environmental policy and legislation for the period 2010…-2050. It focuses on selected environmental and resource policy areas, specifically: energy; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone-depleting substances; air quality and air pollution; transport sector emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants; waste; water; sustainable consumption and production (SCP); chemicals; biodiversity and land use.

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

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.

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.

Piloting greater use of standardised approaches in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Perspectives together with SouthPole, Econ-Pí¶yry and GERES have developed standardised baselines under the CDM and explored how they can be applied in particular countries. Standardised baselines are uniform procedures applicable to multiple projects to simplify the calculation of emission reductions and additionality demonstration in the CDM. Corresponding decisions and guidelines have already been published by the CDM Executive Board (EB) at its 62nd and 63rd meeting.   Such approaches should help reduce transaction costs, enhance transparency, objectivity and predictability and facilitate access to the CDM for underrepresented countries and project types.

Download the report here

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.

State of the Voluntary Carbon Market webinar

APX, New Carbon Finance and Ecosystem Marketplace would like to invite you to a complimentary Webinar, The Voluntary Carbon Markets: Current State of Affairs. You may already know that the global voluntary carbon markets continue to experience dramatic growth involving everyone from corporations and project developers to financial services and NGOs. But what’s really going on with these markets and is it time for you to get involved or increase your participation?

This educational event will provide an inside look at some of the latest information on these exciting markets covering topics including:

* Current growth estimates, VER pricing trends, and market predictions
* Emission reduction projects that are creating offsets
* Who is driving demand and why they are buying
* Standards, their role in the markets, utilization, and trends
* Substantiating environmental claims using carbon offsets
* Project offset registries and market infrastructure solutions

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.

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.

GEF-FAO Workshop on Productive Uses of Renewable Energy: Experience, Strategies, and Project Development

"This report summarizing the findings of a conference which gathered participants from development agencies, non-governmental organizations, private companies,
research institutes, and universities in 15 countries. The link between energy and access to water for drinking and irrigation was a primary outcome. The report gives useful insights from those implementing water and energy solutions."

At Loggerheads? Agricultural Expansion, Poverty Reduction, and Environment in the Tropical Forests

World Bank Advises Better Forest Governance And Use of Carbon Markets to Save Tropical Forests

Available in: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa (Indonesian)

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 23, 2006 — Preserving the world's rapidly shrinking tropical forests and improving the economic prospects of millions of poor people requires an urgent strengthening of national forest governance. Globally, this calls for strong financial incentives, says a new World Bank policy research report, "At Loggerheads? Agricultural Expansion, Poverty Reduction and Environment in the Tropical Forests."

A majority of people in rural tropical areas — about 800 million — live in or around vulnerable forests or woodlands, depending on them heavily for survival. Yet deforestation at five percent a decade is steadily depleting this resource base, contributing to 20 percent of annual global CO2 emissions and seriously threatening biodiversity.

"Global carbon finance can be a powerful incentive to stop deforestation," said François Bourguignon, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics, the World Bank. "Compensation for avoiding deforestation could help developing countries to improve forest governance and boost rural incomes, while helping the world at large to mitigate climate change more vigorously."

In Latin America, dense tropical forest is often cleared to create pastures worth as little as $300 a hectare, while releasing large amounts of CO2. In Africa and Asia, some deforestation is equally unproductive. These forests may be worth five times more if left standing, providing carbon storage services, than if cleared and burned. If developing countries could tap this value, they could also stimulate more productive agriculture in degraded areas, while preserving the environmental services of forests.

But current carbon markets do not tap the potential benefits of forest carbon. The report reviews the obstacles impeding the use of global carbon finance to reduce deforestation, and offers workable solutions.

"Now is the time to reduce pressures on tropical forests through a comprehensive framework that integrates sustainable forest management into the global strategy for mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity," said Katherine Sierra, Vice President, Sustainable Development, the World Bank.

Deforestation is driven largely by economic incentives to expand agriculture, with varying returns. In Madagascar, poor people clear forests for tiny, short-term gains. In Brazil, commercial farmers clear cerrado and forests for large profits. In both, the rate and profitability of deforestation are influenced by changes in agricultural prices.

"It is said that people destroy forests because they are poor, and that deforestation causes poverty-but generalizations are a poor foundation for policy," said Kenneth Chomitz, the report's lead author. "We find that deforestation is caused by both rich and poor people-and it can either destroy or create assets for poor people."

The report offers a simple framework for policy analysis by identifying three forest types-frontiers and disputed lands, lands beyond the agricultural frontier, and mosaiclands where forests and agriculture coexist. It collates geographic and economic information for each type that will help formulate poverty-reducing forest policy.

The report highlights distinct priorities for each forest type, where deforestation incentives, remoteness, forest rights, and environment interact differently:

In frontier and disputed areas, sorting out and guaranteeing forest rights is critical to mitigate deforestation, reduce conflicts, and improve rural livelihoods

In areas beyond the agricultural frontier, such as the Amazon and Congo basins, and the hearts of Borneo, New Guinea and Sulawesi, quick action to head off the social and environmental impacts of future agricultural expansion is the main challenge.

For often overlooked mosaiclands, where people and trees are most closely integrated, the report's suggestions include payments for environmental services programs. For example, a GEF-sponsored project in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua pays farmers to maintain their forests and shift cattle from degraded pastures to agroforestry systems, which offer carbon and biodiversity benefits.

According to the report, the causes of forest poverty include remoteness, which often impedes forest dwellers from marketing forest products. Millions of forest dwellers lack forest rights, without secure tenure or access to forest resources, or live in degraded areas. Inadequate skills, technologies, or institutions can also depress forest incomes.

New technologies and institutions could help poor people to counterbalance powerful competing interests that tend to capture forest resources, and could help society harmonize environmental and regional development goals. For example, the proposed use of tradable forest protection obligations in Brazil could increase the biodiversity benefits of land use regulations while making it easier for landholders to comply.

Cameroon's reforms include transparent allocation of forest concessions and royalties, and the employment of independent observers who use remote sensing to detect illegal logging.

The report and associate material are available at:
www.worldbank.org/tropicalforestreport

Developing Markets for Water Services from Forests

This document condenses the learning from the Case Studies of Markets and Innovative Financial Mechanisms for Water Services from Forests in to an overview for those interested in creating or participating in these types of markets. It looks at both the potential benefits and pitfalls of ecosystem service markets and how linking the payment to actions that actually create desired benefits is difficult. With an easy to understand format this is an excellent introductory and overview document.

Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation Workshop: A Summary Report

This report summarizes the Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation Workshop (the Petrí³polis Workshop) convened in Petrí³polis, Brazil from 4-8 April 2005. The Workshop was a country- and organization-led initiative in support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) hosted by Brazil and organized by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. The latter was created in March 2003 to identify and reinforce a network of diverse forest landscape restoration (FLR) examples that deliver benefits to local communities, fulfill international commitments on forests, and help manage forests for the ecological health of landscapes.