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 - 10 of 16
  • Publication
    Clean Air and Healthy Lungs : Enhancing the World Bank's Approach to Air Quality Management
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-02) Awe, Yewande; Nygard, Jostein; Larssen, Steinar; Lee, Heejoo; Dulal, Hari; Kanakia, Rahul
    This report specifically deals with air pollution, which was reported, by the World Health Organization (WHO), as the single largest environmental health risk globally in 2012 (WHO, 2014a). Air pollution from outdoor and household sources jointly account for more than 7 million deaths (3.7 million from ambient air pollution and 4.3 million from household air pollution). The following sections of this chapter present the objectives of, and key aspects of the institutional context for, this report followed by an examination of some of the major drivers of deteriorating ambient air quality in developing countries; air pollution sources and impacts; and the status of air quality management in developing countries. Chapter two presents the results of a desk-based portfolio review of World Bank projects that are relevant to reduction of air pollution. This is followed, in chapter three, by an examination of case studies of World Bank projects whose objectives include addressing ambient air pollution, highlighting good practices and lessons for future work of the Bank in supporting clients. Chapter four presents possible approaches for enhancing future Bank support in helping clients to improve air quality and reduce the associated adverse health outcomes. Chapter five presents overall conclusions and recommendations.
  • 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
    Transitioning to Climate Resilient Development : Perspectives from Communities in Peru
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-05) Sperling, Frank; Validivia, Corinne; Quiroz, Roberto; Valdivia, Roberto; Angulo, Lenkiza; Seimon, Anton; Noble, Ian
    The livelihoods of communities in rural areas of Peru are predominantly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture. Given their close connection with the environment, the understanding of how these communities perceive risks and how they adapt to and cope with climate hazards is important for identifying entry points for efforts aimed at building resilience. In this context, it is assumed that the successful use of climate information will depend on appropriate information formats that fit the decision-making structure of communities as stakeholders and also have their trust. In connection with collecting information of community knowledge on environmental predictors of weather and climatic conditions and recommendations for capacity-building needs, it is hoped that the report will provide valuable, initial guidance on which elements play an important role in strengthening the adaptive capacity of communities to climate variability and change. The objective of part one is to place climate variability and change into the broader development of Peru and outline risk management structures. This overview will then be contrasted with the perceptions of risks and vulnerabilities and coping and adaptation strategies at the community level described in part two for Northwestern Peru and the altiplano, which are regions considered highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards. The report concludes by developing a set of overarching and locale-specific recommendations.
  • Publication
    Strengthening Policy Dialogue on Environment : Learning from Five Years of Country Environmental Analysis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-02) Pillai, Poonam
    The objective of this paper is to review experience with completed country environmental analysis (CEAs) to improve the effectiveness of CEAs as a strategic analytical tool. Through in-depth analysis of the process, methodologies, costs, and results of completed CEA pilots, the paper assesses how effective CEAs have been in informing and providing strategic guidance to the Bank and client countries on environment-development issues and the extent to which they have facilitated donor coordination. The analysis carried out in this paper also provides feedback on when to prepare a CEA, how to prepare and structure CEAs, and how to use specific methodologies and processes in influencing policy dialogue with partner countries. The findings are of potential interest to World Bank sector managers, country directors, CEA task teams, and environmental staff, but also to development partners who carry out work similar to CEAs. The paper is based on a desk review of completed CEAs and on interviews with task managers and members of CEA teams. Several reports, including a fieldwork-based assessment of the Ghana, India, and Guatemala CEAs commissioned by the Environment Department; a review on Tunisia by the Quality Assurance Group (QAG); and a report commissioned by the Latin America and Caribbean Region, based on in-country assessments of completed CEAs, have also informed this study. A detailed case study analysis of each completed CEA was prepared for this exercise; it substantively informed the review and is available as a background paper. The original CEA concept note proposed that CEAs have three main building blocks: (a) establishment of environment-development priorities linked with growth and poverty reduction, (b) assessment of the environmental implications of sector policies, and (c) institutional analysis. Assessing CEAs against this building block structure, the review highlights several findings.
  • Publication
    Mainstreaming Environment in the Implementation of PRSPs in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-05) Kishore, Sunanda
    The current assessment builds on previously published reviews of poverty reduction strategy programs (PRSPs), and is the sixth report in a series. This paper aims at presenting a clearer picture of how PRSPs influence the developmental agenda in 11 African countries by assessing the level of environmental mainstreaming in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Process. The paper includes the following headings: introduction; framework for assessment; implementation of environment priorities; and conclusions and recommendations.
  • Publication
    Environment in 2005 Country Assistance Strategies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-11) Kishore, Sunanda
    Country Assistance Strategies (CASs) have been periodically reviewed from a variety of different perspectives. This review assesses how environment is integrated in CASs for 2005 and also compares the progress made by 37 countries over the period of 1999-2005. Five themes are used to assess the 23 CASs across an established methodology also used in previous reviews. The five themes are: issues identification, treatment, mainstreaming, environmental policy and poverty- environment linkages. The review finds that the treatment of environment in CASs has only marginally improved. However, the positive aspect is the increase in the number of good practice cases as illustrated by high scores of individual countries under the five different themes. These good practice cases provide lessons and serve as tools for strengthening future CASs. Poverty environment linkages continue to remain the weakest aspect of CASs.
  • Publication
    Paying for Biodiversity Conservation Services in Agricultural Landscapes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-05) Pagiola, Stefano; Agostini, Paola; Gobbi, José; de Haan, Cees; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Murgueitio, Enrique; Ramírez, Elías; Rosales, Mauricio; Ruíz, Juan Pablo
    This paper describes the contract mechanism developed for the Regional Integrated Silvopastoral Ecosystem Management Project, which is being implemented with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project is testing the use of the payment-for-service mechanism to encourage the adoption of silvopastoral practices in three countries of Central and South America: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. The project has created a mechanism that pays land users for the global environmental services they are generating, so that the additional income stream makes the proposed practices privately profitable.
  • Publication
    A Review of the Valuation of Environmental Costs and Benefits in World Bank Projects
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-12) Silva, Patricia; Pagiola, Stefano
    The review examines the use of environmental valuation in 101 projects in the World Bank's environmental portfolio approved in fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002. It has three broad objectives. First, it examines the extent to which environmental costs and benefits have been incorporated in the economic analysis of projects. Second, it examines how well valuation was used. Third, it seeks to identify areas of weakness so as to feed into plans for capacity building. The results show that the use of environmental valuation has increased substantially in the last decade. Ten years ago, one project in 162 used environmental valuation. In recent years, as many as one third of the projects in the environmental portfolio did so. While this represents a substantial improvement, there remains considerable scope for growth.
  • 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.