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.

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.

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:

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.


Proceedings from the Workshop on Payment for Environmental Services: CCICED Task Force on Forests and Grasslands

On April 22nd and 23rd, 2002, the CCICED Western China Forest Grasslands Task Force co-sponsored a workshop on payment schemes for environmental services… The workshop was prepared in response to findings of case studies of the Cropland Conversion and Natural Forest Protection Programs conducted by the Task Force in 2001. These studies identified a number of design and implementation issues that merited further attention, including the targeting and level of payments, monitoring and evaluation of impact, as well as the sustainability of financing. The studies also raised the question of the relationship between these programs and the pilot "Forest Ecological Compensation Fund" under implementation by the State Forestry Administration (SFA). The purposes then of the workshop were to: (1) inform the SFA leadership and related researchers of experiences of other country governments in designing and implementing public payment schemes; (2) introduce them to optional public and private approaches to achieve conservation goals, such as carbon trading, and to generate recommendations for improving public payment schemes in China.

Nature: poor people's wealth, the importance of natural resources in poverty eradication

This publication describes the direct link between environmental degradation and rural poverty. Drawing on examples from a number of countries (including Chile, Cameroon, Ghana, El Salvador, Paraguay, East Timor, and Colombia), it details the cycle of over-exploitation of the environment, loss of cultural, political and economic self-determination, inequity, hunger and poverty. On the positive side, the report highlights cases in which community-based natural resource management has enabled people to gain access to and control over these resources, thereby realising the possibility of povery reduction.

Payments for environmental services: some nuts and bolts

This paper aims to help demystify PES for non-economists, starting with a simple and coherent definition of the term. It then provides practical 'how-to' hints for PES design. It considers the likely niche for PES in the portfolio of conservation approaches. It concludes that service users will continue to drive PES, but their willingness to pay will only rise if schemes can demonstrate clear additionality vis-í -vis carefully established baselines, if trust-building processes with service providers are sustained, and PES recipients' livelihood dynamics is better understood. PES best suits intermediate and/or projected threat scenarios, often in marginal lands with moderate conservation opportunity costs. People facing credible but medium-sized environmental degradation are more likely to become PES recipients than those living in relative harmony with Nature. The choice between PES cash and in-kind payments is highly context-dependent. Poor PES recipients are likely to gain from participation, though their access might be constrained and non-participating landless poor could lose out. PES is a highly promising conservation approach that can benefit buyers, sellers and improve the resource base, but it is unlikely to completely outstrip other conservation instruments.

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.

Integrated Marine Management Concessions

The Conservation and Community Investment Forum (CCIF) team proposes an entirely new, systematic approach to conserving marine resources in Indonesia: the development of an integrated marine management concession. The approach combines the traditional solutions and activities of site based conservation and enterprise development with the immediate and sustainable creation of a conservation concession funding mechanism.

Guidelines for Financing Protected Areas in East Asia

This report advocates a "business approach" to protected area management, entailing the identification of consumer groups obtaining goods and services from protected areas, and attempting to capture a fair return from these groups. Direct and indirect benefits are derived from protected areas. They also supply private and public goods. There is a crucial relationship between the type of benefit provided, the consumer groups involved and the type of financial mechanism that can be utilised.

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.

Background Papers on Wetland Values and Functions

Ramsar's Background Papers on Wetland Values and Functions provides information on several wetland functions, including economic valuations of specific wetlands throughout the world based on these functions. This site provides links to background papers on the following wetland functions: flood control, groundwater replenishment, shoreline stabilization and storm protection, sediment and nutrient retention and export, climate change mitigation, water purification, reservoirs of biodiversity, wetland products, recreation and tourism, and cultural value.

Participatory Management Clearinghouse

The Participatory Management Clearinghouse is a joint initiative of the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar), The World Conservation Untion (IUCN), and The Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA). The clearinghouse is classified thematically by ecosystems, regions, or themes. Posted documents, specific projects and case studies cover issues such as biodiversity and traditional knowledge, gender, water, equitable sharing, protected areas, and indigenous peoples. The new trend for the clearinghouse is a specific focus on participatory management and wetlands issues.

Aquatic and Wetland Plant Forum

The Aquatic and Wetland Plant Forum aims to facilitate exchange of ideas and information relating to the ecology, conservation, identification, taxonomy, and survey methods for wetland plants. The Forum website is built around a series of email lists covering various aquatic and wetland plant topics. Users can freely subscribe to these email lists or visit listserv archives from this web page.

ELI-Wetlands Listserv

The ELI-Wetlands Listserv is a free electronic forum on wetlands, floodplains, and coastal resources and provides an outlet for debate and dissemination of information on wetlands law, policy, science, and management. To subscribe to this list, send an email to

Bioprospecting: lessons from benefit-sharing experiences

This paper looks at how benefits from bioprospecting have been shared among the stakeholders in the arrangements. It briefly describes lessons learned from three case studies on different continents and among various stakeholders and commercial interests.

Global Peatland Database

The Global Peatland Database is continually updated with baseline information on the distribution, size, quality, ecological characteristics, carbon storage and biological diversity of peatlands. This database is currently searchable by country and disjunct areas and contested areas. Peatlands represent 50 to 70 percent of all wetlands and are globally important as carbon stores and sinks, storing more carbon than all the worlds forests.

Wetlands Helpline

The US Environmental Protection Agency Wetlands Helpline acts as the first point of contact for the Agency's Wetlands Division and is designed to allow public access to water-related information. The Helpline is staffed by librarians providing in-depth, EPA-approved information, documents and referrals addressing Federal and State regulatory programs, wetlands science, and educational outreach. The Helpline maintains a catalog of documents that are mailed to requestors free of charge. The phone numbers for the Helpline are 1-800-832-7828 (US) and 202-566-1730 (International).

National Water Resource Plans

Integrated water resources planning implemented on a national basis can be the foundation for protection of water ecosystem services. This document gives a brief introduction and references to other documents within the ToolBox for Integrated Water Resources Management for developing a national program. The related links reference policy and legislative development, institution building and regulatory instruments.

Global Water Partnership ToolBox

The ToolBox for integrated water resource management is a source of policy development, organization building and financial mechanisms to assist decision makers and practitioners in creating policies for sustainable water resources management. The ToolBox is derived from experience and knowledge from implementing integrated water resources management, worldwide. The ToolBox also includes dozens of case studies, organizational listings, reference materials and useful web site links including an overview of water markets and incentive programs with related case studies and references.

The Business of Climate Change: Corporate Responses to Kyoto

The Business of Climate Change presents a state-of-the-art analysis of corporate responses to the climate change issue. The book describes and assesses a number of recent business approaches that will help to identify effective strategies and promote the dissemination of proactive corporate practices on climate change worldwide. By identifying the factors that cause companies to pursue low-carbon strategies and support the Kyoto process, the book will also be helpful to governments in formulating policy.

Business and industry have a crucial role to play in the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. They are major emitters of greenhouse gases, and pressure is mounting for them to engage in a range of mitigation strategies, from emission inventorying and trading schemes to investments in low-carbon technologies. Behind the scenes a number of companies have started to develop strategies to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

These strategies can be very diverse in nature. At a political level, companies try to influence policy implementation and, more specifically, to test ideas in anticipation of possible regulation on the climate change issue. At a more practical level, there are a burgeoning number of initiatives to conserve energy use in production, transportation and buildings, to develop renewable sources of energy, to measure carbon emissions and sequestration at a detailed level, and to develop various markets for trading carbon credits among companies and countries. Some technologies, such as hybrid cars and compact fluorescent lighting, are now market realities.

Common to all of these initiatives is that they operate in an environment of high complexity and uncertainty. The political implementation of the Kyoto Protocol remains uncertain and many details remain unspecified. Economic instruments such as emission trading are favoured, but their mechanisms are still hotly debated and the future price of credits is unknown. New markets for low-emission products and technologies are beginning to appear, but there are currently few regulatory drivers to assist their development. The impact of potential regulation on business will vary tremendously between companies and sectors. The fossil fuel and energy sectors fear the economics of action, while sectors such as insurance and agriculture fear the economics of inaction. Combined with the remaining uncertainties about what form climate change may take, corporate responses to reduce risks have to differentiate between sectors and have to be flexible. For individual companies, these big uncertainties demand new thinking and contingency planning.

The Business of Climate Change is split into four sections: ‘Introduction and overview’ presents a broad perspective on business and climate policies. ‘Policy instruments’ outlines early experiences with different types of policy instruments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from emission trading to voluntary agreements. ‘Sector analysis’ assesses developments within sectors of industry that are likely to play an important role in future climate policies: oil, cement, chemical, automotive and insurance. Finally, ‘Case studies’ discusses bottom-up initiatives to combat climate change in five different organisations.
This book will be essential reading for policy-makers searching for instruments that have proven business support; academics and researchers analysing the complexity of how business is responding to the challenge of climate change; and businesses wishing to learn about best practice in the sectors most likely to be seriously affected.

Communities & Climate Change: The Clean Development Mechanism and Village-Based Forest Restoration in Central India

This study explores the feasibility of a new environmental service financing initiative in India using carbon-offset credit programs that are being developed through ongoing international climate change negotiations. This report is a summary of the first phase of the study. Specifically, the report documents preliminary findings from Harda District, Madhya Pradesh in central India to demonstrate how the Clean Development Mechanism could be utilized as compensation to spread forest stewardship by increasing economic incentives for sustainable forestry.

Diminishing Biodiverse Returns

The article presents a skeptial view of the premise of the Third Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Asset and Benefit Sharing of the Convention on Biodiversity.

Privatization: Nature for Sale

This report, published by Friends of the Earth, discusses the impacts of privatisation of water supply and biodiversity on the poor throughout the world, especially women. This publication documents 34 cases describing what happens when the privatisation agenda is pushed through and the public sector leaves the exploitation and management of natural resources to the private sector.