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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Margulis, Sergio ; Hughes, Gordon ; Gambrill, Martin ; Azevedo, Luiz Gabriel T.This study examines how environmental issues have been addressed in the water sector in Brazil, within the context of activities of the Federal Government, generally, and those implemented under Bank sector operations, in particular. The core focus of the study lies in the management of water quality, as it affects both the users of raw water, and those who are primarily concerned with the disposal of wastewater. The report considers the following three sectoral areas concomitantly - water resources management, water supply and sanitation, and, the environment - thus limiting its review, and focus to those themes which are key to the over-arching issue of water quality. Water resources management in the country relied upon heavy investments in medium, and large scale projects that provided basic infrastructure for water uses. However, these have produced questionable impacts in terms of reducing poverty, and inequality. One of the reasons for this, has been the poor infrastructure management, which despite its importance, has been largely underestimated. While improvements in the utilization of existing infrastructure in the water sector remain critical, it needs to be complemented by incentives to both service providers, and water users. Moreover, low economic, environmental, and social returns from investments in the water sector, reflect the tendency to distract attention from the objectives in the design, and implementation of projects. Thus, an assessment of water quality goals is required, which should be based on systematic evaluations of the costs, and benefits of reaching alternative standards, and explicit social objectives.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Schneider, Robert R. ; Arima, Eugenio ; Verissimo, Adalberto ; Souza, Carlos, Jr. ; Barreto, PauloThe report contributes to the debate surrounding land use in the Brazilian Amazon. It sets the context by reviewing the evidence concerning the deleterious effect of increasing levels of rainfall on agricultural settlement, and productivity. Next, it compares the economic future of an Amazonian community, under the traditional "predatory logging followed by ranching" model, and under sustainable logging. Last, the authors investigate the potential to create a system of national forests. The authors make four conclusions: 1) they demonstrate that increasing levels of rainfall, seriously undermine agricultural productivity, and sustainability. At the highest extreme, in the 45 percent of the Amazon with annual rainfall of over 2,200 mm, only forestry, and possibly some palm crops, are likely to be economically viable; 2) the authors assert that in this area of the Amazon, and much of the transition area (rainfall between 1,800 mm and 2,200 mm), sustainable forestry would provide more stable communities, and a higher standard of living than agriculture; 3) the authors conclude that regulatory competition, and a short local political time horizon, prevent sustainable forestry from being adapted, despite its better long-run performance; and, 4) some 10 percent of the Amazon could be put into national forests, in a way that would both meet current demand for Brazilian Amazonian timber, and reinforce the Amazon park system, which is expected to fully conserve 10 percent of the Brazilian Amazon.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-10) Kojima, MasamiIn response to emerging epidemiological evidence of the toxicity of diesel vehicular emissions, there is growing interest in substituting conventional diesel with much cleaner natural gas in cities where ambient concentrations of particulate matter are markedly higher than what is internationally considered acceptable. This paper compares the performance of natural gas and conventional diesel buses, and outlines the barriers to the adoption of natural gas buses in developing countries. In the absence of emissions standards that effectively require natural gas, natural gas-fueled buses are unlikely to be adopted because they are more expensive to operate relative to diesel buses. The social case for replacing diesel with natural gas a fuel for buses rests on environmental grounds. If a local government decides that the reduction in air pollution associated with the substitution of conventional diesel with natural gas for use in buses is worth the cost, then it needs to adopt policies to encourage the switch to natural gas. These might include emissions standards for buses, or fuel and vehicle taxes that reflect marginal social costs. The contribution of exhaust emissions from buses to the ambient concentrations of harmful pollutants needs to be quantified so that associated health damage costs can be estimated.