Economics of Sequestering Carbon in the U.S. Agricultural Sector

The analysis employs the ERS U.S. Agricultural Sector Model to evaluate whether farmers adopt three types of sequestering activities – afforesting croplands and pasture, shifting cropland to permanent grasses, and increasing the use of production practices (particularly no-till) and rotations that raise soil-carbon levels. Model simulations were run reflecting 15-year sequestration contracts for four alternative payment designs and six alternative payment levels for additional sequestered carbon.

The report finds that: agriculture can provide low-cost opportunities to sequester additional carbon in soils and biomass; different sequestration activities studied become economically feasible at different carbon prices; and the estimated economic potential to sequester carbon is lower than previously estimated technical potential.

Further, the report finds that an incentive system with both payments for carbon sequestration and charges for carbon emissions may be much more cost effective than a system with payments only.

Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Biodiversity Conservation: An Integrated Hydrological and Economic Model to Value the Enhanced Nitrogen Retention in Renaturated Streams

This paper presents a user-friendly procedure to quantify the increased N-retention in a renaturated river using easily available data. In a case study of the renaturated River Jossa (Germany) the benefits of increased nitrogen retention caused by beaver reintroduction are determined by using the replacement cost method. The quantification of chemical processes is discussed in detail, as well as the problems of defining an adequate reference scenario for the substitute costs. Results show that economic benefits from the evaluated ecosystem service (€12,000/annum) equal 12% of the total costs of the corresponding conservation scheme.

Johns Hopkins University Global Water Magazine

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

Product Water Footprint Assessments: Practical Application in Corporate Water Stewardship

Water footprint assessments can be helpful in supporting corporate water stewardship efforts by providing a tool to measure and understand water use throughout the supply chain. They can provide valuable insight into the largest components and locations of water consumption, the potential effects on local watersheds, and future water availability to serve the collective needs of communities, nature, producers, suppliers and companies. This report details three pilot water footprint assessments conducted for the Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola ® in a 0.5 liter PET bottle produced by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) in the Netherlands, beet sugar supplied to Coca-Cola bottling plants in Europe, and MinuteMaid ® orange juice and Simply Orange ®, and produced for the North American market.

Using economic incentives to conserve CITES-listed species: a scoping study on individual transferable quotas for sturgeon in the Caspian Sea

This paper explores how individual transferable quota system (ITQs) can be used to act as economic incentives in conserving CITES-listed species, with particular reference to sturgeon fisheries of the Caspian Sea. The paper introduces the broad concepts of ITQs and explores economic incentives design, implementation, enforcement and compliance issues, within the context of Caspian Sea sturgeon population.

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

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. The report looks at how water modeling and water balances should be used to analyze watersheds for expected outcomes from changing land use practices.

How Much Is An Ecosystem Worth?

The World Bank, IUCN – The World Conservation Union, and The Nature Conservancy worked together to clarify the aims and uses of ecosystem economic valuation, focusing on the types of questions that valuation can answer, and the type of valuation that is best suited to each purpose. This document is the result of that co-operation. It does not seek to provide a detailed "how to" manual on economic valuation. This report aims instead to provide guidance on how economic valuation can be used to address specific, policy-relevant questions about nature conservation.

Water Quality Trading Programs: An International Overview

“Water Quality Trading Programs: An International Overview” provides a worldwide look at the state of water quality trading, including an overview of the scope of current programs, and an in-depth analysis of key factors that contribute to a trading program’s success, based on a survey of stakeholders. Building on these key factors, the report also makes recommendations for developing water quality trading programs.