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.

Developing a market in biodiversity credits

One vision of a future rural economy sees landholders receiving payments, not only for the commodities they produce but also for the environmental services that they provide by managing their properties in a particular manner. One method of achieving this is would be through Government funded stewardship payments, but a more interesting alternative would be the development of markets whereby landholders could trade not only carbon sequestration credits, but also salinity control credits and even biodiversity credits.

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.

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.

A Working Paper, BioBanking

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is developing a biodiversity offsets and banking scheme. This working paper sets forth the broad parameters of the BioBanking scheme and invites comments and suggestions from interested parties and stakeholders. It is a good introduction to the theory and potential of the concept.

Costing Mother Nature

The central role of healthy ecosystems in providing critical services has been, until very recently, overlooked and often taken for granted. This article describes how Australia is leading the world in assessing and valuing ecosystems' 'free' services.

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.

PepsiCo Water Report

 The PepsiCo Water Report details progress on a set of goals organized around a straightforward premise: respecting the human right to water through world-class efficiency in operations, preserving water resources and enabling access to safe water.  This report includes information about PepsiCo’s water policies and management practicies, including support for water projects in developing countries, efforts to improve water use effiency, implementation of water accounting systems.

Coca-Cola Water Stewardship 2009-2010

The Coca Cola Water Stewardship report for 2009-2010 includes information on Coca Cola’s water use and efficiency, involvement in community water projects, and work to protect water source sustainability. Water stewardship efforts focus on three areas: improving water efficiency, recycling the water used in operations (wastewater treatment), and replenishment through community water access and watershed restoration and protection.

Ramsar Data Gateway

The Gateway seeks to enhance the accessibility and utility of data on Ramsar sites by facilitating online access, sophisticated queries, and spatial data integration. The Gateway has been developed by CIESIN in collaboration with the Ramsar Bureau and Wetlands International. The Gateway provides access to data on 1,198 Ramsar sites designated as of August 30, 2002

Wetland Wizard

Wetland Wizard is an internet-based tool designed to allow wetland delineators document wetland plots. This tool allows practitioners to organize and save data in an online database, print, save, and edit wetland data from an internet browser, complete plant dominance and FAC neutral calculations, and search a plant database containing over 7,000 species. As of August 2004 Wetland Wizard was beta testing and free of charge.

The Compleat Botanica

The Compleat Botanica allows wetland managers develop checklists using an indicator and classification fields, monitor biodiversity with a plant-based inventory and share data and results.

Environmental services of forests: A new role for forests in the Green Economy

Traditionally, investment in forestry has been driven primarily by the expected returns from the range of commercial timber products generated when the forest is thinned and harvested. Increasingly, however, investors are recognising potential returns from non-timber benefits – or environmental services – provided by planted forests.

Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook

US, EPA Region 10 has developed this Handbook that will be useful to anyone interested in water quality trading markets in the US or abroad. It steps through how to assess suitability, financial attractiveness, market infrastructure and stakeholder readiness. This is a valuable tool for those look to establish or participate in water quality trading markets.

The World's Water 2005-2005

In this fourth volume of his highly regarded series, The World's Water, Gleick and his research team focus on the most significant current trends worldwide: how to meet the basic needs of over 1 billion people without access to clean water, the growing controversy over public vs. private water, the role of conservation and efficiency in solving water problems, and concerns about skyrocketing bottled water use.

How Much is an Ecosystem Worth?

The international community has committed itself to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional, and national levels. Yet, despite growing awareness, and major efforts in all countries, the latest evidence indicates that biodiversity continues to be lost at a terrifying pace, resulting in what some call the greatest mass extinction since dinosaurs roamed the planet, 65 million years ago. A range of methods have been developed to value ecosystems, and the services they provide, as well as the costs of conservation. The methods available are increasingly sensitive, and robust, but they are often incorrectly used. One reason is poor understanding of the purposes of valuation and what questions it can, or cannot, answer. As a result, decision makers may get misleading guidance on the value of ecosystems, and their conservation. In this context, the Bank, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, and The Nature Conservancy have worked together to clarify the aims and uses of 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 aims to provide guidance on how economic valuation can be used to address specific, policy-relevant questions about nature conservation.

Managing Our Natural Resources: Can Markets Help?

This short document reviews the basics of market-based instruments as they are used in natural resources management in Australia. The review provides brief summaries of existing programs such as BushTender and Catchment Care.

Principles for Pro-Poor Payment Systems

Presentation to CARE/WWF workshop on Pro-Poor Payments for Environmental Services; Bogor, Indonesia. An outline of the basic element to making ecosystem services payments work for the poor.

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.

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.  

USAID Global Waters Newsletter

Global Waters is a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to sharing the challenges and opportunities, and the approaches and lessons learned that reflect upon USAID programming in the water arena. Each issue will highlight the work of USAID’s many implementing partners, as well as some of the more intimate stories of how the Agency’s work directly affects individuals, families, and communities around the globe.

Tradable recharge rights in Coleambally Irrigation Area

This case study gives useful insights regarding the factors to consider when establishing a trading system. Members of the Australian CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems project review the scientific and social information and processes necessary to develop a cap and trade system that will give incentives to increase groundwater recharge, including: how to define, measure and allocate spatially variable irrigator recharge responsibilities, what institutional and organizational infrastructure must be developed including property right instruments as well as monitoring and policing, what trading and compliance considerations must be incorporated.

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.