Environment Department Papers

52 items available

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These discussion papers are produced primarily by the Environment Department, on occasion jointly with other departments. Papers in this series are not formal publications of the World Bank. They are circulated to encourage thought and discussion. The use and citation of this paper should take this into account. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the World Bank.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Impacts of Conservation Incentives in Protected Areas: The Case of Bolsa Floresta, Brazil
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-11) Cisneros, Elias; Borner, Jan; Pagiola, Stefano; Wunder, Sven
    Incentive-based conservation is a promising approach to tropical forest conservation, including within multiple-use protected areas. Here we analyze the environmental impacts of Bolsa Floresta, a longstanding forest conservation program combining conditional household payments with livelihood-focused investments in 15 multiple-use reserves of Amazonas State, Brazil. We use grid-based data, nearest-neighbor matching, and panel data econometrics to compare forest-related program outcomes (deforestation, degradation, fires) with non-participating reserves. While post-treatment deforestation and degradation was negligible, this was already the case pre-treatment, since low-threat reserves had preferentially been targeted. We thus find only statistically insignificant additional conservation effects from implementation. No important heterogeneous treatment effects could be detected either. Our findings thus add to the growing evidence that spatial mis-targeting towards low-hanging fruits, that is disproportionally selecting low-threat forest conservation areas into programs, constitutes a prime cause for low additionality found in rigorous impact evaluations of incentive-based forest conservation initiatives.
  • Publication
    Mitigating Climate Change through Restoration and Management of Coastal Wetlands and Near-shore Marine Ecosystems : Challenges and Opportunities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03) Crooks, Stephen; Herr, Dorothée; Tamelander, Jerker; Laffoley, Dan; Vandever, Justin
    There is overwhelming consensus amongst climate scientists that the Earth's warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. To mitigate the most serious impacts of climate change a range of different strategies to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere are required. Building on outcomes and recommendations from various coastal carbon activities, this report explains the GHG dynamics of coastal wetlands and marine ecosystems (chapter two). The importance of coastal wetland and near-shore marine ecosystem carbon pools for climate change mitigation are described in chapter three, with a brief overview of the status of these systems, including drivers of change and implications of degradation of carbon pools, provided in Chapter four. Chapter five gives an overview of policy opportunities under ongoing United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations and through revision of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) carbon accounting methodologies and eligible mitigation activities for developing as well as developed countries. The main recommendations for action are summarized in chapter six.
  • Publication
    Mainstreaming Environment and Climate Change in the Implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-06) Griebenow, Gonzalo; Kishore, Sunanda
    Poverty reduction strategies (PRSs) provide a central framework for macroeconomic, structural, and social policies in developing countries. Because of the numerous and complex links between environment and poverty, it is important that environmental issues are taken into account in the PRS process. This paper follows six previous assessments of the degree of mainstreaming environment in the PRS process using a similar methodology to present trends and provide an understanding of the effectiveness of environmental interventions in reducing poverty. However, it goes beyond previous assessments in three important ways. In-depth country case studies of the evolution of environmental mainstreaming in the PRS process over time. Many countries have now gone through several iterations of their poverty reduction strategies and have received a sequence of credits designed to implement key aspects of these strategies, making it possible to see how the process of mainstreaming environment in the strategies has evolved over time. In this assessment, the authors conduct detailed case studies of this evolution in Ghana, Albania, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The choice of countries was based on the maturity of each country's PRS process, taking into consideration country size, lending volume, and vulnerability to climate change. An assessment of climate change mainstreaming in the PRS process in the same four countries. Like environment as a whole, the potential impacts of climate change have often been considered separately, if at all rather than as an integral part of development policies. An evaluation of environmental development policy loans (DPLs) in several middle income countries (Brazil, Gabon, and Mexico). DPLs represent an important opportunity to mainstream environment and climate change into middle-income countries' growth and development. This review assesses the process by which environmental DPLs have been prepared and the effectiveness with which they have been implemented.
  • Publication
    Environmental Flows in Water Resources Policies, Plans, and Projects : Case Studies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-04) Hirji, Rafik; Davis, Richard
    The overall goal of this report and the accompanying report summarizing the findings and recommendations, both based on the economic and sector work (ESW), is to advance the understanding and integration in operational terms of environmental water allocation into integrated water resources management. The specific objectives of the reports are the following: 1) document the changing understanding of environmental flows, both by water resources practitioners and by environmental experts within the Bank and in borrowing countries; 2) draw lessons from experience in implementing environmental flows by the Bank, other international development organizations with experience in this area, and a small number of developed and developing countries; 3) develop an analytical framework to support more effective integration of environmental flow considerations for informing and guiding: (a) the planning, design, and operations decision making of water resources infrastructure projects; (b) the legal, policy, institutional, and capacity development related to environmental flows; and (c) restoration programs; and 4) provide recommendations for improvements in technical guidance to better incorporate environmental flow considerations into the preparation and implementation of lending operations.
  • Publication
    Assessing the Economic Value of Ecosystem Conservation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-10) Pagiola, Stefano; von Ritter, Konrad; Bishop, Joshua
    This paper seeks to clarify how valuation should be conducted to answer specific environmental policy questions. In particular, it looks at how valuation should be used to examine four distinct aspects of the value of ecosystems: 1) Determining the value of the total flow of benefits from ecosystems; 2) Determining the net benefits of interventions that alter ecosystem conditions: 3) Examining how the costs and benefits of ecosystems are distributed; and, 4) Identifying potential financing sources for conservation. These four approaches are closely linked, and build on each other. They represent four different ways to look at similar data regarding the value of an ecosystem: its total value, or contribution to society, the change in this value if a conservation action is undertaken, how this change affects different stakeholders. Each of these approaches to valuation uses similar data, yet in very different ways, that is, sometimes at a subset, sometimes looking at a snapshot, and sometimes looking at changes over time. Each approach has its uses and its limitations.
  • Publication
    Participatory Conservation for Protected Areas : An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Sources (1996-2001)
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-01) Diamond, Nancy; Nkrumah, Elisabeth; Isaac, Alan
    This report provides annotated summaries of recent publications on participatory conservation for protected areas. The report focused on lessons learned and good practices for donor-funded projects. The summaries include study objectives, methodology and findings. A keyword search list is also available at the end of the report.
  • Publication
    Poverty Reduction and the Millennium Development Goal on Environmental Sustainability : Opportunities for Alignment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-09) Bojö, Jan; Reddy, Rama Chandra
    About 50 countries have prepared interim and full Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). In this context, this paper examines Millennium Development Goal (MDG)7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability, its targets and indicators, and responds to three questions: To what extent do PRSPs define and adopt targets and indicators that align with those of MDG7? To what extent do the available data allow tracking of progress with respect to MDG7? When data are available, what are the trends, and how can the data be effectively utilized to examine the status and trends of countries in relation to MDG7? The assessment of interim and full Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) shows that: 1) Only 12 of the 28 full PRSPs present some information on the baselines and targets in line with the MDG7; and none of the 22 interim PRSPs present discussion on the long-term perspective; 2) Within the PRSPs that present targets aligned with MDG7, attention is almost exclusively focused on water and sanitation; 3) Available data can be used to document the status and trends of relevant MDG7 indicators.
  • Publication
    A Critical Review of the Literature on Structural Adjustment and the Environment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-04) Gueorguieva, Anna; Bolt, Katherine
    This paper analyzes the available literature about the effects of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) on the environment and the convincing evidence for their success or failure. The studies covered refer to the SAPs by the World Bank as well as to general government programs that have similar policy implications. SAPs are designed to reform economies to become more liberalized and export-oriented while reducing the role of governments that have become inefficient bureaucracies. Because of the implications of policies such as debt accumulation and trade, a concise literature review on debt and trade liberalization is also included. Despite the controversy surrounding structural adjustment and the environment, the debate has been largely based on anecdotal evidence and country case studies. Most of the studies reviewed are not quantitative and have not applied rigorous statistical methods. The conclusions of studies on the effects of structural adjustment (SA) on the environment are strongly influenced by what is examined, the sectoral level, and the stage of the SA process. The infrequency of high-caliber studies is due to data scarcity and statistical limitations. There is little reason to doubt, however, that over the longer term, the sorts of changes in incentive structures and relative price changes brought about by SA lending will have an impact on the environment. Economies undergoing SA will experience both growth (assuming the success of SAPs) and structural shifts, which will affect the extraction of natural resources and the level of pollution emissions.
  • Publication
    Biological Resource Management : Integrating Biodiversity Concerns in Rural Development Projects and Programs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-01) Grimble, Robin; Laidlaw, Martyn
    The aim of this study is to improve understanding of how biological resource conservation concerns can be better incorporated into projects and programs that primarily address the objective of rural development rather than environmental conservation. A multi-disciplinary study team was assembled and six background papers produced, along with the main overview paper. The six papers were on: 1) measuring biodiversity, predicting impacts, and monitoring change; 2) integrated pest management and biodiversity conservation; 3) biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes in Britain: relevant issues for developing countries; 4) reconciling biodiversity and development issues in practice; the search for a win-win situation in Ghana's coastal wetlands; 5) strategies for biodiversity conservation: examples from Tanzania; and 6) participatory initiatives in biodiversity conservation: lessons from experience. A study was also made of World Bank policies and procedures relating to biodiversity management and rural development together with three portfolio reviews. These findings were incorporated into this paper. This paper argues that bioresources and people's livelihood systems are intricately interrelated, and opportunities for intervention for development purposes must start from good understanding of different people's access to and use and management of these resources, and also the incentives, constraints, and institutional factors governing the process.
  • Publication
    A Decade of Environment Management in Chile
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-07) Ruthenberg, Ina-Marlene; Caicedo, Claudia
    This publication presents an evaluation of the Environmental Institutions Development Project in Chile, selected by Bank management to be part of an intensive learning process in final project evaluation, given its contributing factor to the Bank's knowledge base on environmental institutional development projects. The first part of the publication focuses on the project as catalyst for culture change, and contains excerpts from lessons learned, with extensive input from the Project's implementing agency - Comision Nacional del Medio Ambiente (CONAMA) - government officials, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and academia. Such lessons indicate that in the absence of a national policy framework, particularly where a tradition of coordination in the subject does not yet exist, it is necessary to limit the project's objectives, but include an aggressive awareness promotion, and consensus on environmental issues, with a direct focus on human resources development in respect to environmental decision-making in sector agencies. The second part, reflects on the evolution of environmental institutional development, through working papers presented at, and compiled from the Seminar on Environmental Management, covering issues such as design, and progress in environmental management, the roles of the public, and private sectors, as well as that of civil society's perspectives. Further subjects acknowledge international influences from an industry's perspective on environmental quality, and impact, and, address how to strengthen the ties between environmental institutions, and the international community.