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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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Air Pollution in Tehran: Health Costs, Sources, and Policies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Heger, Martin; Sarraf, Maria; Heger, Martin Philipp
    Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), is located in the north of the country with a population of about 8.5 million. The population can reach over 12.5 million during the day, with people from nearby cities commuting daily to Tehran for work. There are more than 17 million vehicular trips per day in Tehran, and many of the vehicles have outdated technology. Thus, the air in Tehran is amongst the most polluted in the world. Topography and climate add to the pollution problem. Tehran is at a high altitude and is surrounded by the Alborz Mountain Range, which traps polluted air. Temperature inversion, a phenomenon particularly occurring during the winter months, prevents the pollutants from being diluted. Several recent trends indicate that reducing air pollution will not be straight forward: rapid population growth (partially due to migration from other cities), industrial development, urbanization, and increasing fuel consumptionare pressure points for clean air in Tehran. To design an effective approach to air pollution management, it is important to diagnose the problem, determine its sources, and identify affordable and sustainable solutions. This discussion paper provides an overview of the seriousness of air pollution in the city of Tehran; quantifies its impact in terms of health and economic costs; identifies the sources of pollution; and, finally, provides a framework to addressthe problem.
  • Publication
    Assessing the Permanence of Land Use Change Induced by Payments for Environmental Services: Evidence from Nicaragua
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05) Pagiola, Stefano; Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Freire-González, Jaume
    There have been few efforts to evaluate whether the positive land use changes induced by conservation interventions such as Payments for Environmental Services (PES) persist once the interventions end. Since gains achieved by conservation interventions may be lost upon termination of the program, even apparently successful interventions may not result in longterm conservation benefits, a problem known as that of permanence. This paper examines the permanence of land use changes induced by a short-term PES program implemented between 2003 and 2008 in Matiguas-Rio Blanco, Nicaragua. This PES program had been found to have a positive and highly significant impact on land use, and particularly on the adoption of silvopastoral practices. To assess the long-term permanence of these changes, participants were re-surveyed in 2012, four years after the last payment was made. We find that the land use changes that had been induced by PES were broadly sustained in intervening years, with minor differences across specific practices and sub-groups of participants. The patterns of change in the period after the PES program was completed help us understand the reasons for the program's success, and rule out alternative explanations for the program's success. Our results suggest that, at least in the case of productive land uses such as silvopastoral practices, PES programs can be effective at encouraging land owners to adopt environmentally beneficial land use practices and that the benefit will persist after payments cease.
  • Publication
    Methodology for Valuing the Health Impacts of Air Pollution: Discussion of Challenges and Proposed Solutions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-06-23) Narain, Urvashi; Sall, Chris
    This report is meant to inform a joint publication by the World Bank and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on the economic costs of air pollution. Air pollution is a global challenge and one that is acutely felt in developing countries. Illnesses caused by ambient and household air pollution claim the lives of nearly 6 million people each year. The goal of the joint World Bank-IHME report is to raise awareness about the severity of this challenge and to strengthen the business case for countries to take action on reducing air pollution. A secondary goal of the joint World Bank-IHME report is to further the development of a consistent framework for valuing the costs of air pollution in World Bank operations. This report serves as a background paper for the joint report and provides a detailed discussion of the key methodological choices that must be made in valuing the health impacts of pollution and makes recommendations on how these challenges can be addressed. While past efforts to value the health impacts of pollution have greatly contributed to the discussion of challenges and potential solutions, they have at the same time made a number of methodological choices on an ad hoc basis. The hope in developing this note is to bring greater clarity to what the issues are and to provide guidance on how they can be addressed consistently (the note provides clear recommendations where possible and a framing of issues where the literature or the context does not as yet provide clarity on potential solutions).
  • Publication
    Do They Do As They Say?: Stated versus Revealed Preferences and Take Up in an Incentives for Conservation Program
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-06) De Martino, Samantha; Kondylis, Florence; Pagiola, Stefano; Zwager, Astrid
    Use of conditional cash transfers has become widespread in development policy given their success in boosting health and education outcomes. Recently, conditional cash transfers are being used to promote pro-environmental behavior. While many of these Payments for Environment Services (PES) programs have been successful, it has been hypothesized that those with less favorable outcomes have been subject to low additionality, whereby landholders already conserving their land self-select into the program. Insights from the behavioral economics literature suggest that an external incentive, such as PES, has the potential to crowd in or crowd out individual behavior differentially across the initial distribution of intrinsic motivations (Frey, 1992). Thus, to increase the impact of PES, program administrators might gain from a better understanding of both the pre-existing motivations and existing baseline conservation behavior of potential participants. This paper contributes to the literature by disentangling and measuring intrinsic motivations, specifically: Pro-Environment, Pro-Social, Pro-Government, and Social Norms. Controlling for observable opportunity costs, we use these latent motivations to analyze behavioral determinants of take up for a conservation program in São Paulo, Brazil. The payments are an incentive to comply with the Brazil Forest Code. We find that Pro-Social and Pro-Environment landholders are both more likely to be conserving private land not under legal protection before the program is introduced, whereas only Pro-Social landholders are already conserving land under legal protection. With respect to enrollment in the PES program, we find Pro-Social landholders are less likely to enroll while Pro-Environment landholders are more likely to enroll. Thus we expect some level of additionality from the PES program. We discuss these findings in light of the theoretical framework on Self-Determination Theory (SDT).