Environment Department Papers

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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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    Country Assistance Strategies and the Environment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-07) Shyamsundar, Priya ; Hamilton, Kirk ; Segnestam, Lisa ; Sarraf, Maria ; Frankhauser, S.
    This report is the outcome of a Country Assistance Strategy and Environment program that was started and aimed to identify practical constraints to incorporating environmental concerns into CASs and to develop a logical framework for doing so. The analysis is based on two key efforts: a review of CASs undertaken in fiscal year 1999, and five participatory case studies of on-going CASs. The report presents a set of practical actions to improve the environmental quality of CASs based on the learning that emerged from the case studies and the environmental review: 1) integrating environmental considerations into country activities; 2) linking environmental efforts to poverty reduction; 3) strengthening the information base; and 4) improving the CAS process. After the introduction, Chapter 2 presents a review of fiscal year 1999 CASs and ranks them according to their treatment of environmental issues. Regional differences are discussed, best practices examined, and recommendations made for future CASs. The methodology used for the review is described in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses the CAS process in five countries - Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Zambia. The chapter then examines practical challenges to mainstreaming environmental issues. The last chapter identifies lessons learned and presents recommendations.
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    Tourism and the Environment in the Caribbean : An Economic Framework
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-03) Dixon, John ; Hamilton, Kirk ; Pagiola, Stefano ; Segnestam, Lisa
    While tourism is one of the most important economic activities in the Caribbean, its reliance is based uniquely on the natural environment, indicating the resource base upon which all of this economic activity is based, is however fragile. Thus, sustainable tourism, and its economic benefits require ensuring that the environmental resources the sector relies on, are managed responsibly by the countries of the Caribbean, the tourism/travel industry, and the visitors themselves. The study examines the links between tourism, and environment, pointing at the magnitude of environmental threats, and the role of information, at creating strong incentives, addressing environmental problems certification schemes, to allow credible advertisement of its environmental quality. Capturing tourism economic "rents" - defined as an excess return to an asset - is viewed as a policy question for governments, on how to use these rents effectively. Mechanisms to capture rents include charging user fees when accessing a particular environmental resource, however, when environmental resources are public goods, user fees do not provide a practical means of capturing generated rents, thus more general taxation schemes are required. Based on this analysis, recommendations include the establishment of corporate income taxes, and moderate tariff rates for tourism inputs, establishing taxation, to be partly, and explicitly identified for environmental, and/or resource user fees.
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    Genuine Saving as a Sustainability Indicator
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-10) Hamilton, Kirk
    Growth theory provides the intellectual underpinning for expanded national accounting and, through the measure of genuine saving, an indicator of when economies are on an unsustainable development path. This theory points in useful directions for countries concerned with sustainable development. The genuine savings analysis raises an important set of policy questions that goes beyond the traditional concern with the macroeconomic and microeconomic determinants of savings efforts. The questions of rent capture, public investments of resource revenues, resource tenure policies, and the social costs of pollution emissions are equally germane in determining the overall level of saving, although it is clear that monetary and fiscal policy remain the big levers. This analysis also provides a practical way for natural resource and environmental issues to be discussed in the language that ministries of Finance understand. This may prove to be an important advantage as many resource-dependent economies struggle to achieve their development goals.