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 52
  • 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
    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).
  • Publication
    Analysis of Community Forest Management in Madagascar
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-09-24) World Bank Group
    The major role tropical forests play in biodiversity and climate change has led the world to search for effective ways to slow down deforestation. Community forest management (CFM) is an example of the broader concept of community-based natural resources management (CBNRM). As part of the decentralization policy in many countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, CFM was expected to promote: (i) a more effective stewardship of the resources by involving the local communities in the management of the resources, and (ii) a more locally-driven development with them tapping most of the derived benefits. The precursors of CBNRM and CFM in Madagascar are the centrally-led compensation-based mechanisms to conservation. Madagascar is one of the first countries in the southern hemisphere to have put in place a legal framework for CBNRM and CFM. The CBNRM implementation process starts with the creation of a local natural resources management group. The government has identified the protection of natural capital and the harnessing of its value as a key pillar in its national development plan for 2015-2019. The plan identifies poor governance as a major constraint to achieving the country’s development objectives. It puts strong emphasis on the roles of both natural capital and the necessity for a more inclusive economy to achieve sustainable development. This report will help the Bank take stock of the nearly two-decades of implementation of the national environmental action plan and provide nation-wide facts that will inform future investment in renewable natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction, and local development in the future. The present work is targeted to decision makers and stakeholders involved in CFM policy with the objective of taking stock of almost 20 years of implementation and advise on future directions in policy formulation. The report is organized as follows: section one presents community forest management (CFM) in Madagascar. Section two provides the result of an impact evaluation analysis conducted on the application of CFM policy. Section three provides an analysis of the legal and institutional aspects of the application of CFM policy in Madagascar. Section four presents recommendations for the short, medium, and longer term. Section five concludes.
  • Publication
    Improving Environmental Sustainability in Road Projects
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-02) Montgomery, Robert; Schirmer, Howard Jr.; Hirsch, Art
    The focus of this document is to provide a wide range of ideas and options to improve the inclusion of environmental sustainability throughout the road transportation project cycle (system planning, project planning and design, construction, and operation and maintenance) based on environmental sustainability indicators and highlighting environmentally sustainable products and materials for road construction. Sustainable economic growth in low- and middle-income countries is a key to poverty reduction and shared prosperity, which in part is dependent on reliable and safe transportation systems. Road and highway systems provide a critical function in creating and maintaining a desirable quality of life.
  • 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
    Reducing Disease Risk in Aquaculture
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank Group
    There are thousands of rickettsial, viral, bacterial, protozoan, and metazoan parasites that cause disease in farmed aquatic animals. While the basics of farm-level disease management are known, the interconnectedness among aquaculture installations and between aquaculture and the external environment means that only a few careless farms can ruin an industry. Considering the gravity and frequency of fish disease outbreaks, guidelines on the development and implementation of national policies for their prevention, detection, and management are urgently needed. Hampering this is the lack of a comprehensive overview of the practical ways and means of regulating aquaculture that will permit both governments and aqua culturists to: (1) calculate the cost-benefit ratio of investments in disease control, and (2) find a cost-effective strategy for the implementation of best practices. The study is based on review of published and unpublished data supplied by the Chilean, Vietnamese, Malagasy, and Mozambican authorities, researchers, and local aquaculture investors and other stakeholders. The selection of case studies was guided by the need to explore disease outbreaks in a range of geographical and industrial development scenarios. The three case studies capture the breadth and depth of experience among farmers and governments confronted with catastrophic disease outbreaks in aquaculture. The overarching lesson is that successful aquaculture depends on the capacity of biological systems to support it. Defining the capacities of bodies of water is essential in order to regulate the number of farms and to set limits on the maximum production in farming areas.
  • Publication
    Investing in Natural Capital for Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Boosting Shared Prosperity : A Biodiversity Roadmap for the WBG
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank Group
    The World Bank Group (WBG) has a long experience in engaging in biodiversity with world-class expertise in the field. It has been the single largest funder of biodiversity investments since the late 1980s. The WBG investments have largely been of two kinds: (1) investments in biodiversity, aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of species, habitats, and ecosystems that sustain healthy ecosystems, while enhancing people's livelihoods and safety nets. These investments have also been providing jobs and economic development in frequently impoverished rural areas for example by supporting protected areas and an increasingly important tourism industry; and (2) investments that add value to projects in other sectors, such as irrigation, hydropower, and infrastructure, by increasing their environmental sustainability. The WBG is a global center of excellence that provides economy wide technical and economic knowledge and expertise on biodiversity and ecosystems. It has the standing and convening power to facilitate participatory dialogue between client countries and networks of other relevant stakeholders on matters of biodiversity and climate change concern, such as loss of ecosystem resilience, forest law enforcement and governance, wildlife trade, and overexploitation of natural resources.