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.

Markets for ecosystem services: Applying the concepts

This paper explores definition and measurement of ecosystem services, development of institutions and mechanisms to facilitate trade and integration of these instruments into the broader natural resource management agenda and toolbox, all with respect to pilot markets for ecosystem services in three case study catchments. Emphasis is placed on pilot selection rationale and identification of key facilitative mechanisms and institutions.

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."

Creating Markets for Ecosystem Services: Notes From the Field

In recent years, a number of initiatives around the world have sought to create markets for ecosystem services, some dependent on government intervention and some entirely private ventures. This paper and presentation will review the status of these projects, discuss their challenges and successes, and reflect on Jim Salzman's recent experience with establishing a market for water quality in Australia.

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.

Developing new income streams for farmers – NSW Environmental Services Scheme: Progress Report on Outcomes and Experience Developed during its Implementation

This progress report describes the experiences of the NSW Environmental Services Scheme as of 2003. The primary aim of the Environmental Services Scheme is to look at some of the practical issues that will arise in the development of a market to support the environmental services produced on-farm. These include the costs associated with including environmental services within rural production, how to define and create ownership of the services produced, and the types of financial, contractual and incentive arrangements necessary. So far, the reception from implementing agencies, landholders and the rural community, has been very positive.

Selling Forest Environmental Services: Market-based Mechanisms for Conservation and Development

Two environmental economists with the International Institute for Environment and Development and Pagiola (an environmental economist with the World Bank) are the editors and among the authors of this collection of 15 essays in this book. The papers present case studies of the application of market-based mechanisms for watershed management, biodiversity, forest carbon, and other resources, in countries that include the US, Canada, Australia, India, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, Panama, and Brazil. The book demonstrates how payment systems can be established in practice, their effectiveness and their implications for the poor.

Natural Values: Exploring Options for Enhancing Ecosystem Services in the Goulburn Broken Catchment

This report summarises results of the first ecosystem services project undertaken in Australia. The project has sought to introduce a new way of thinking about the relationship between people and the environment they depend on. The project's quantification of ecosystem services at selected scales (case studies) contributes directly to catchment planning. Above this, the awareness of transfer of services across scales can contribute to investment in natural capital that takes explicit account of otherwise unrecognised scale effects.

Contingent Valuation and Endangered Species: Methodological Issues and Applications

This book features an investigation into the theory and means by which "value" can be placed on the environment and included in conservation decision making. In essence, the authors demonstrate a contingent valuation method which can be applied to environmental "goods," endangered species, and the conundrums of biodiversity. As an example, this methodology is applied to the conservation of endangered species in the State of Victoria, Australia, and discusses the use of such values in the decision making process required under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

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).

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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.


  • 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.

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.


Global Climate Leadership Review 2012

Australia does not act on climate change in isolation. The Climate Institute’s Global Climate Leadership Review 2012 positions Australian climate policy in a global context. It aims to elaborate on the implications of global climate diplomacy and domestic actions for Australia.

The overarching theme of this flagship project is leadership. The Global Climate Leadership Review identifies which nations are currently leading the low carbon economy, who is leading the international negotiations and provides an annual case study of where Australia can show leadership.
Access 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.

Biodiversity Offsets:

This “ICMM proposition statement” provides an industry perspective on biodiversity offsets. It addresses those aspects of offsets on which different groups disagree, for example: How to establish offsets? Which activities are acceptable offsets? How to compare the biodiversity lost through the mining activity with gains through the proposed offset?

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.

Submission on the Proposed Biodiversity Banking Scheme

Executive Summary

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and Total Environment Centre

(TEC) approach the issue of biobanking with scepticism. The history of offsets in

New South Wales and Australia generally has not been a good one, with a strong

tendency to inappropriate compensation that has not ‘maintained or improved the

environment’; little follow-up and long term assurance; and in some cases, ultimate

failure. Environment groups have generally opposed the use of offsets as they have

gained the reputation as ‘greenwash’.

Biobanking is claimed to be a more scientific and coherent attempt at offsets but

because it has emerged from this previously unconvincing background, it must be

subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny – if it is to convince the community as to its

utility. During the debate on biobanking, developers have been keen to point out

that it must be usable by them (ie, maintain or improve revenue at the expense of

the environment) for the system to be acceptable as a modern planning tool.

However, the real test for its veracity and ongoing acceptability by the community

is that it does not become marked as a facilitator for the destruction of important

native vegetation, which in the non-rural situation has been much reduced. The

government already has a reputation for a too-close relationship with developers. A

biobanking system that does not significantly lift the bar on the role of native

vegetation protection in non-rural settings will simply reinforce that view.

Additionally the current laws are ineffective largely due to the ongoing dominance

of outdated planning principles practised under the EP&A Act, either where it

intersects with threatened species laws; or where it has free reign. Biobanking

could improve the situation, but its potential to address the significant and ongoing

biodiversity losses is up for debate.

We strongly support providing incentives for biodiversity conservation on private

land in NSW. However, biobanking is unlikely to be a complete major recipe

under the development scenario; rather its methodology could have a widespread

application to allocate stewardship payments drawn from other sources. The

potential of developer initiated biobanking should not be exaggerated.

Offsets must be a last resort and all efforts to avoid and minimise impacts must be

undertaken first. If offsets are a necessity (and environmentally acceptable) as part

of a development approval, then a number of key principles apply. These principles

relate to avoiding and minimising impacts first; offsets must be like for like, and

offsets must be additional.

If biobanking and its methodology are likely to be used to weaken the processes

under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and BioMetric, then environment groups will

rightly reject the proposals. The current legal impediments to use by the rural lands

sector must be maintained, and in fact, the best elements of the Native Vegetation

Act 2003 system imported into biobanking.

The perils of this interaction can be seen in the proposals to remove ‘red flags’,

under the guise of a current definition of ‘viability’ (that avoids the ‘grey’ issues of

small area protection), so that developers can remove irritating remnants. As

pointed out by EDO and TEC small bush remnants in urban settings can have very

significant environmental values. We support all efforts being made to retain them

in recognition that land tenure change (public ownership) along with a

management plan, can in fact maintain or improve their future prospects.

A potential benefit of biobanking is the development of a robust methodology that

could be more extensively used for land use planning and strategic planning. If this

potential is to be realised and be ecologically sound, then the ‘maintain or improve’

test must be rigorous, objective, and scientifically based. It must engender

community confidence and afford credibility to the planning system, in an

increasingly environmentally aware world.

The EDO and the TEC welcome the opportunity to comment on the documents

on public exhibition relating to biodiversity banking. We acknowledge support

from the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) assisting our

participation in the Ministerial Reference Group consultation process.

For the purpose of preparing this report, the EDO interviewed a number of

ecological consultants from the EDO Scientific Expert Register, and sought

feedback from environment and community groups.

This submission is structured in 5 parts. Part One addresses broad overarching

issues in relation to biobanking. Part Two provides comment on the Draft

Assessment Methodology. Part Three discusses the Draft Regulation and

Regulatory Impact Statement. Part Four comments on the Draft Compliance

Assurance Strategy; and Part Five provides a summary of recommendations.

From Exclusion to Ownership

This report finds that the transition did continue in the 2002–2008 period. The area of state ownership
declined, and there were corresponding increases in the area of forests designated for use by communities and indigenous peoples, the area owned by communities and indigenous peoples, and the area owned by individuals and firms.
Though the tenure transition continues, progress is mixed. Among the main problems are that: governments
retain a firm grip on the majority of forests and the forest tenure transition is slow; statutory reforms do not always result in more secure tenure; action on human, civil, political, and gender rights is also necessary to improve well-being, and progress on this front is slow; the area of industrial concessions still greatly exceeds the area of forest designated for use by, or owned by, communities and indigenous peoples; industrial claims on forest lands are increasing sharply, for biofuels production among other reasons;
and some governments are performing poorly in carrying out the reform process.
However, there is good news: many new national reforms have been announced in 2002–2008 recognizing
forest land access and ownership of local people; research results add to the evidence that strengthened forest tenure for communities and individuals can improve well-being, enable exclusion of outside claimants, and improve forest management and conservation; world attention to climate change offers the possibility of increasing the bargaining power of forest peoples; and there is evidence of growth in the movement to strengthen local forest tenure.
The report closes with recommendations on how the forest tenure reform process can be carried forward.

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.