LAC Occasional Paper Series

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The LCSSD Occasional Paper Series is a publication of the Sustainable Development Department (LCSSD) in the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The papers in this series are the result of economic and technical research conducted by members of the LCSSD community. The series addresses issues that are relevant to the region’s environmental and social sustainability; water, urban, energy and transport sector development; agriculture, forestry and rural development; as well as cross-cutting topics related to sustainable development such as climate change; logistics; crime and violence; and spatial economics. While all papers in this series are peer reviewed and cleared by the LCSSD Economics Unit on behalf of the Director of LCSSD, the findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper, as in all publications of the LCSSD Occasional Paper Series, are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. The World Bank does not garantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use.

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Restoring the Coastal Environment in Cartagena, Colombia

2014, World Bank

Cartagena, the historic city where the '1983 Cartagena convention for the Protection of the Caribbean' was signed, is meeting its responsibilities to protect the public health of its citizens as well as the costal marine environment through improved wastewater management. Cartagena's experience can serve as an inspiration to the wider Caribbean region and provide a model for other developing coastal cities. Water pollution control is a key issue for the world's coastal cities. Pollution emanating from domestic and industrial wastewater can not only contaminate the ocean environment but also damage highly productive estuaries and bays that provide a critical ecological connection to the marine environment. Inadequate wastewater management can also pollute urban beaches, potentially threatening public health and undermining tourism. This technical note summarizes Cartagena's experience in wastewater management for international dissemination and was jointly prepared by the World Bank, the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Cartagena water utility (ACUACAR), and the Global Partnership for the Oceans (GPO).

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Freight Flows,Logistics Costs, and Efficiency: Optimal Path Analysis

2012-06, World Bank

In Central America, cargo is transported almost entirely by road. The movement of imports and exports to and from international seaports is done by truck. Rail service is almost nonexistent and air transport serves less than one percent of the cargo generated within the Central American Common Market (SIECA, 2004). Intra-regional trade is much more important in Central America than it might seem at first glance. The second largest trading partner of Central America is the region itself. In 2010, one quarter of the exports from Central America were destined for final consumption within the region. Half of the exports of Central America (54 percent in 2010) correspond to agricultural products and a large proportion of them supply markets inside the region. Nearly 40 percent of intra-regional exports consist of food, beverages, animals and plants (SIECA, 2011). Perishable food products are transported on trucks, and spatially restricted by the geography and the road infrastructure. In this context, inefficiencies in the supply chain and delays in freight flows lead to economic losses and amplify the negative impact of the distance to the markets on trade. A gravity model of trade showed that the negative effect of distance1 on total intra-regional exports is 77 percent higher in Central America than in the European Union (World Bank, 2010). More precisely, an increase in distance by 1 percent is expected to reduce intra-regional bilateral exports in Central America by 1.65 percent. In terms of volume, the negative effect of distance within the region exceeds the effect in Europe by 50 percent in grains and up to 550 percent in processed food. In the latter case, an increase in distance by 1 percent is expected to reduce intra-regional bilateral exports of processed food in Central America by 2.88 percent.

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Inclusive Green Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

2013-01, World Bank

Argentina has expanded the use of its portion of the Parana-Paraguay waterways system for the transportation of soy and other bulk commodities through an innovative tolling system that self-finances the dredging and maintenance of the rivers. Brazil, in turn, is pursuing a 'green trucking' strategy to improve efficiency of its cargo haulage industry, reduce petroleum usage, and curb pollution from trucking. For the entire hemisphere, the expansion of the Panama Canal will bring post-Panama vessels and introduce greater scale economies in shipping. The following sections of this paper provide a more detailed review of the sectoral objectives, challenges, and way forward in making Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) growth greener and more inclusive. It looks back over the achievements of the demand sectors of urban development and infrastructure services, energy, urban transport, and water and sanitation, as well as natural resources and rural development since Rio 1992. It highlights the achievements in those areas, and the ability of those accomplishments to establish a robust path for the region to inclusive green growth.

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Agro-Logistics in Central America: A Supply Chain Approach

2012-06, World Bank

This chapter uses supply chain analysis (SCA) to identify transport and logistics bottlenecks that add costs, times and uncertainty to the exportation of perishable agricultural products from Central America. Macro-level analyses of logistics performance, including the logistics performance index, Doing Business Reports and Enterprise Surveys of the World Bank, as well as the Global Competitiveness Index of the Global Economic Forum, often leave policy-makers unclear on exactly what poor performance means for exporters and producers in Central America. How does poor road quality eat away at the profit margins of my country's producers? Extensive procedures add time to export processes, but how much time? How and to what extend does this additional time hurt the competitiveness of key industries? How does this effect vary by product type? By tracking the movement of seven carefully selected exports, these supply chains complement macro-level analyses by answering these questions for some of the region's key agricultural exports. A range of unique characteristics makes the success of perishable exports exceedingly dependent on the efficiency of the related logistics systems and the ability to connect effectively and reliably to global supply chains. Remote production zones add cost, time and variability to transport from the farm gate to the distribution, collection or processing center. Increasingly complicated international sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) add institutional and procedural complexity to the supply chain. Above all, the time sensitivity of most perishable products increases the value of time and makes cold chain infrastructure and the availability of refrigerated containers essential for successful exportation.