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 13
  • Publication
    Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Climate Change : The Economic Problem
    (Washington, DC, 2010-11) World Bank
    Climate change is both a cause and an effect of biodiversity change. Along with anthropogenic dispersion, climate change is the main driver of change in the geographical distribution of both beneficial and harmful species, crops, livestock, harvested wild species, pests, predators and pathogens. And the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to climate change depends on the diversity of species they currently support. This paper considers the connection between climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services. The impact of climate change on human wellbeing is measured by the change in ecosystem services caused by climate related change in biodiversity. Similarly, the role of species richness and abundance in climate change mitigation or adaptation is measured by the change in the climate-related services of biodiversity. The categories of ecosystem services are those applied in the millennium ecosystem assessment. The paper first considers how climate and biodiversity have been linked in recent attempts to link the two things. From the side of the natural sciences, this covers the consequences of climate change for various dimensions of biodiversity. From the side of the social sciences, it covers the value of biodiversity in the carbon cycle. It then uses insights from the economic treatment of the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem services to re-evaluate the connection between biodiversity and climate change, and to draw conclusions for climate policy.
  • 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
    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.
  • 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
    Poverty Reduction Strategies and Environment : A Review of 40 Interim and Full Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs)
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-06) Bojo, Jan; Reddy, Rama Chandra
    This review systematically assesses the focus of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) on environment-related issues. A total of 40 Interim and full PRSPs from countries in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and East Asia are reviewed. Four major questions: are posed: (i) What issues of environmental concerns and opportunities are identified in the PRSPs?; (ii) To what extent are poverty-environment causal links analyzed?; (iii) To what extent are environmental management responses and indicators put in place as part of the poverty reduction efforts?; and (iv) To what extent has the design and documentation of the process allowed for mainstreaming the environment? The review finds:: There is considerable variation across countries in the degree of mainstreaming: from a high score of 2.2 (Mozambique) to a low of 0.3 (Sao Tome Principe). Scores indicate the approximate level of attention given to environmental matters in the PRSPs. Some variation across countries is legitimate and to be expected, but there is no reason to believe that the lower scoring countries are free from concerns of environmental health and natural resources degradation linked to poverty. Finally, it should be recalled that a PRSP is only the written expression of an underlying and still emerging process of participation and implementation. What ultimately matters are the results on the ground, which cannot be evaluated across 40 countries at this point in time.
  • Publication
    Beating the Resource Curse : The Case of Botswana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-10) Sarraf, Maria
    The endowment of natural resources has often been associated with disappointing economic development. This phenomenon is referred to in the literature as the "resource curse," which hypothesizes that economies experiencing resource booms, either through price increases or new discoveries, will experience unsustainable growth rates. There are various mechanisms through which a resource-boom can negatively impact on an economy. For instance, it can lead to excessive government expenditure during the boom period and drastic cuts when the boom ends; detrimental impacts on non-boom tradable sectors; inefficient investment beyond the absorptive capacity of the country; and rent seeking behavior. By exploring the case of the mineral boom in Botswana, this paper will demonstrate that the resource curse is not necessarily the fate of resource abundant countries. The adoption of sound economic policies and the good management of windfall gains have allowed Botswana to continuously manage growth and to become one of the great success stories of developing countries.
  • 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.