Economics, incentives and institutions for ecosystems and biodiversity
Lighthouses and Ecosystems: Specifying conditions for successful payment for ecosystem services schemes
Authors: Moritz Remig
Abstract: This article makes a link between Ronald Coase’s work on lighthouses and the provision of ecosystem services. The rhetoric of economists often references the lighthouse as metaphor for a pure public good (non-excludable, non-rival), which requires state provision. Against this kind of “blackboard economics” (Coase, 1988), Coase (1974) went to the field and found out that contrary to the economic wisdom there were indeed private run lighthouses. Here, we take the Coase’s findigns lighthouse and apply them to the provision of ecosystem services. We specify specific circumstances for when markets are an appropriate policy tool for ecosystem services. The paper argues that there are particular conditions of ecosystem services that make market solutions and payment schemes possible. If not, other governance schemes than markets should be applied.
Carbon sequestration - commons for mountain regions?
Authors: Stanislava Brnkalakova, Tatiana Kluvankova
Abstract: Ecosystem services as public or common goods are facing traditional social dilemma of individual and collective interests. Distant users operate across governance scales and with diverse interpersonal and social interest, often ignoring sustainability and carrying capacity of local ecosystems. The actors enjoying and producing ecosystem services rely on different information sources than those producing ecosystem services. Paper demonstrates potential of global climate regulation ecosystem service as a tool to scale down to local policy arena. In our paper we will demonstrate the role of carbon sequestration and common pool resource regime in European mountain regions to maintain valuable ecological values and promote economic performance and social stability of local community following previous studies based on behavioural experiments. Our approach offer innovative governance mechanism for enhancing the adaptation capacity of European mountain regions to sustainability and under the global market and global governance.
Potential of Civil-Public-Private-Partnerships in the design of community based payments for ecosystem services: Evidence from Costa Rica
Authors: Bettina Matzdorf, Barbara Schröter, Isabel Hackenberg, Claudia Sattler
Abstract: Many of the PES approaches using financial incentives are hybrid governance solutions using regulatory rules as well as voluntary types of community management (co-operations) and informal rules. The relations between involved actors are far away to be simple economic ones. We use the example of a Blue Carbon Project to demonstrate that a wide network of very different actors are the key element for the success of this community based PES project. The necessary cooperation between economic, governmental and civil society actors needs a lot of effort. Financial incentives as well as intrinsic motivation and the question of ownership are necessary to run the whole project. Data was collected through Net-Map interviews and a stakeholder workshop with SWOT analysis.
Ecological Fiscal Transfers in Brazil – incentivizing or compensating conservation?
Authors: Nils Droste, Guilherme Rodrigues Lima, Peter May, Irene Ring
Abstract: Ecological fiscal transfers in Brazil, the so-called ICMS-Ecológico or ICMS-E, redistribute part of the state-level value-added tax revenues on the basis of ecological indicators to local governments. We analyze whether the introduction of this economic instrument in a state incentivizes nature conservation via further protected area (PA) designation or rather compensates for the opportunity costs of existing PAs. We provide a microeconomic model for the functioning of ICMS-E and test the derived hypothesis empirically. Employing an econometric analysis on panel data for two decades we estimate the correlation of the introduction of ICMS-E in Brazilian states with protected area coverage. We find that the introduction of ICMS-E correlates with a higher average PA share. While the introduction of ICMS-E schemes may be a compensation for a high share of federal and state PAs, there also is a clear incentive effect for municipalities to designate additional PAs.
Purposes and degrees of commodification: policy integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services may or may not rely on the market or monetary valuation.
Authors: Thomas Hahn, Constance Mcdermott, Claudia Ituarte-lima, Maria Schultz, Tom Green, Magnus Tuvendal
Abstract: Commodification of nature is a contested issue both in the scientific literature and in international politics including the CBD. Much of the scientific debate on commodification has been philosophical and the normative framing has sometimes become an obstacle to analysing empirical outcomes. We combine a conceptual and empirical approach and analyse commodification in terms of how different instruments can be used for policy integration. PES and biodiversity offsets are often associated with high degrees of commodification. However, we find that the framing, design and purposes of these instruments can vary substantially. We identify seven degrees of commodification and find that a specific policy instrument – nature reserve, tax, PES or biodiversity offsets – can be justified by different valuation methods (qualitative, quantitative, and monetary), different purposes and views concerning the market. This flexibility enables economic instruments for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services to be adapted according to country-specific contexts.
A choice experiment approach to inform the design of a PES for watershed protection in a collective pasture system
Authors: El Mokaddem Abdelmohssin, Sylvie Morardet, Caroline Lejars, Rachid Doukkali, Fayçal Benchekroun
Abstract: This paper proposes to use a choice experiment approach to inform the design of a payment for environmental services (PES) scheme for collective rangeland management. The empirical application is located in the M’goun river basin, in the south-east of Morocco. Individual acceptability of various conservation measures and incentives is analysed. Results show that the combination of collective and individual measures under an individual subscription basis, and technical assistance as in-kind incentive to improve livestock and agricultural production performances, are likely to facilitate the implementation of PES and encourage collective action for the conservation of common-property rangelands.
Integrated assessment and valuation of urban ecosystem services
Authors: Erik Gomez-Baggethun
Abstract: Conserving and restoring ecosystem services in urban areas can reduce the ecological debts of cities while enhancing resilience, health, and quality of life for their inhabitants. In this paper we synthesize knowledge and methods to classify and value ecosystem services for urban planning based on the experience of the URBES project and empirical data from a case study in Barcelona city, Spain. First, we categorize ecosystem services and disservices in urban areas. Second, we describe valuation languages (health, resilience, economic benefits) to capture the importance of urban ecosystems. Last, we provide practical examples of biophysical accounting and integrated valuation of ecosystem services provided by urban ecosystems in Barcelona.
An analysis of context specific conditions for applying payments for ecosystem services
Authors: Stuart Whitten, Eeva Primmer, Pedro Clemente
Abstract: Policy-makers at different levels of governance have shown support to voluntary instruments that offer a positive incentive for those who provide the ecosystem service or give up economic activity in favor of conservation. As payments for ecosystem services (PES) have been experimented in different ecological, socio-economic and institutional contexts, there is an opportunity to learn from experiences across contexts. In addition to the context, also the features of the PES applications and the motivations of the participating ecosystem service providing landowners differ. Our analysis, building on three PES applications, distinguishes the generalizable patterns from context specific PES features. We compare PES in contexts where the histories of PES differ: Australia, Portugal and Finland. We use survey data to compare land-owner perceptions of PES scheme design features and motivations to contract. Our analysis contributes to a general framework for the identification and analysis of PES features suitable for distinct application contexts.
Institutions and nature-related transactions in Russian farming: a case study from West Siberia
Authors: Yuliana Griewald
Abstract: Large-scale grain production is considered inefficient because its nature-related specificities lead to the limited ability of gathering people in one place and effectively monitoring their effort, while performance can be attributed both to human effort and nature-related conditions. Accordingly in western countries family farms are key grain producers. In Russia, however, large-scale farms echoing the Soviet production style are still the main grain producers. While many scholars have offered reasons for why family farming has not developed in post-Soviet Russia, the question remains as to why some family farms still exist and how similar they are to their western counterparts. Employing an institutional economics approach and qualitative research methods, the paper empirically examines the agro-food system of grain production in the Tyumen region of Russia to understand how family farming and large-scale corporate farming differ in terms of labour institutions and the organisation of nature-related transactions.
Interaction between pollinators and pesticide use in agricultural crops: An ecological-economical modeling approach in South West France
Authors: Georgios Kleftodimos, Nicola Gallai, Charilaos Kephaliacos, Stelios Rozakis
Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a substantial decline of pollinators in Europe. This phenomenon has been partly associated with changing farm practices and in particular with the increase of pesticides use. These practices have particularly affected the insect pollinators and more specifically the bee populations. The bee’s pollination plays a crucial role in the oilseed crop production and especially in the hybrid sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) seed production, which is an important economic industry that supports other agricultural sectors. In this paper, we developed an ecological-economic model of a single farm output, assuming that both pest control and pollination are essential inputs, for two farm-types in South-Western France. According to different agronomic contexts, different levels of subsidies or penalties can be efficiently targeted to the implementation of new farming practices. The results depend on farm characteristics, agri-environmental indicators, labor allocation capacities and also farmers’ perceptions of yield risks.
Landowner and hunter’s rights over red deer stocks management in several regions in Europe
Authors: Laura Bouriaud, Irina Prokofieva, Elena Gorriz, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Liviu Nichiforel, Christine Farcy
Abstract: There is a major concern across European nations about the management of wild large herbivores (red and roe deer, elk, moose) and their abundance and economic effects on forest ecosystems. The present study applies the analytical framework of Institutional Resource Regimes to understand the problems of controlling red- and roe deer populations. We describe how the rights over the game and over hunting are distributed between the landowner and the hunter in 12 countries in Europe. While legal property rights system establishes who owns the animals, public policies (e.g. hunting regulations) define who owns the right to hunt and which qualifications (minimum hunting area, licenses, management plans) are needed for that activity. The lack of coherence between the property rights system and the public policies has significant consequence on ecological sustainability of forestland management, as shown in six selected regions, for which a deeper analysis was performed.
Tragedy of Birdscaring
Authors: Matthew Ainsley, Nicolas Kosoy
Abstract: The impacts of climate change present significant food security challenges for smallholder farmers in semi-arid Kenya. Many barriers, however, remain to a wider use of ‘climate-smart agriculture’. Examining bird scaring, this paper highlights the importance of one such barrier with the goal of increasing household food security in the region.
Neoclassical economics, with its focus on self-interested, rational actors and technological prescriptions, fails to present feasible solutions to this so-called externality. Individually scaring birds from their land, farmers achieve a ‘momentary Pareto optimal’, perpetuating a ‘ripple effect’ whereby costs are continuously shifted from one bird scaring farmer to the next. Farmers in the region can address this so-called externality through collective action. At this scale, the negative costs of the externality are evenly distributed across all receptors, leading to long-term, community-wide social wellbeing improvements.
Making nudges: updating the wolf management plan in Finland
Authors: Juha Hiedanpää, Matti Salo, Jani Pellikka, Mikael Luoma
Abstract: Finnish wolf policy is reaching a cul-de-sac. Wolf population has stagnated on a low level, while the wolf–human conflict is intensifying. Civil society is calling for more close-range decision making powers on wolf territories and, simultaneously, the wildlife administration is expressing ideas about “territory politics”, meaning that wolf management should be planned on a territory level. The purpose of our pragmatist transdisciplinary action research was to help to merge these interests. As part of updating the wolf management plan, we organized ten wolf territory level workshops in southern Finland in the fall of 2014. In this paper, we describe the institutional and social-ecological modifications that were written into the wolf management plan as a result of these workshops. Territory level power was exercised, hope fulfilled and a promise given. No doubt, the Finnish government and the European Commission follow with interest what will happen on Finnish wolf territories.
Time discounting in biodiversity offsets
Authors: Michael Curran
Abstract: Biodiversity offsets are increasingly employed to compensate local development impacts, often through habitat restoration. One proposed correction for time delays in habitat creation involves applying time discounting to future biodiversity “gains”. The arguments for this are borrowed from utility discounting in economics. This paper revisits the issue, critically assessing the justifications for discounting presented in the literature (and the choice of rate). I find that discounting in offsets is riddled with conceptual holes, lacks even the most basic justification for the vast majority of values society has for biodiversity, and draws on somewhat bankrupt economic theory that is barely further developed in terms of justification and consistency. While the practice is seductive due to its simplicity and common sense, a better strategy would be to establish a more coherent and firm position against time lags in offset transactions.
Offsetting biodiversity: relocating nature to “save it”
Authors: Evangelia Apostolopoulou, William Adams
Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the way that biodiversity offsetting remakes nature by focusing on the spatial and temporal relocation of environmental harms and goods. We draw on literature on the political economy of place construction and nature production under capitalism and we use primary empirical data obtained through interviews in selected case studies around England. Offsetting involves technical definitions and calculations to construct equivalences between ecosystems, places and conservation credits treating environmental harms and goods as something that can be relocated via a market to facilitate efficient development. Biodiversity offsetting, like carbon offsetting, is not designed to halt or avoid biodiversity loss but rather to move biodiversity losses and gains from one place to another in order to achieve an “efficient” overall balance between preserved nature and permitted development. In this process, offsets bring unevenness and spatio-temporal injustices deepening the conceptual and material separation between society and nature.
Local manifestations of international conservation ideologies and biodiversity conflicts in developing economies
Authors: Biljana Macura, Bibhu Prasad Nayak, Monika Suskevics, Tendro Tondrasoa
Abstract: The study explores “local manifestations of international conservation ideologies” through lenses of conflicts and interplay of international or EU, national and local biodiversity governance in Estonia, India and Madagascar. We develop an analytical framework for the conflict interpretation. Results show how conflicts manifest differently in 3 countries, but they are all resultant of international and national conservation agendas, the nature of local participation, natural resource dependence, local institutional and historical factors. Despite global shift towards people-oriented conservation, conservation governance at the local level tends to display path-dependence. The study shows how recognition of local institutions and genuine participation in decision-making process is needed. Importance of country-specific and locally-adapted solutions for the conflict resolution and effective biodiversity governance is underlined.
Ecological complexity in natural resource management modelling
Authors: Sylvie Geisendorf
Abstract: The paper addresses the interdependency of economic activities and the ecological system. The natural system is more than an easy to understand boundary for the economy. It may transgress thresholds changing resource availability in a fundamental way. If the ecological dynamic is changing from its typical cyclic regime to an unstable chaotic behaviour, the production possibilities of the economic system are affected dramatically. Although we know from biology that ecological systems do not usually transgress that threshold by themselves, they may be pushed over the edge by economic influences. Only a careful depiction of how the ecological system reacts to influences from the economy will allow us to understand its impact on the economy. The paper elaborates step by step how we propose to model the ecological system and which influences from the economy we suggest to consider. We base our proposition for the ecological model on papers from biologists.
Sanctions, social norms, political legitimacy and their impact on forest rule compliance
Authors: Sabaheta Ramcilovik-Suominen, Graham Epstein
Abstract: This paper examines the effect of deterrence and sanctions, social norms and legitimacy, on the compliance behavior of forest farmers with laws that regulate tree felling, farming and use of fire in Ghana. The paper applies a recently developed analytical framework for forest law compliance. The results are based on an interview survey with 226 heads of farming households. The paper suggests that forest users respond differently to different forest laws in different contexts. There is a substantial difference in terms of the level of compliance, where the tree-felling is largely violated, while the rules regulating farming practices and use of fire are comparatively well complied with. Compliance with the tree-felling rule appears to be driven by instrumental factors (detection and fear of sanction); while compliance with the fire and farming rules are linked to normative and intrinsic motivations, notably social norms, peer behaviour and the perceived fairness of rules.
PORES – Power Relations and Ecosystems Services
Is green the new gold? exploring the possible implications of an Ecosystem Services based wave of Neo-mercantilism
Authors: Katharine Farrell
Abstract: This paper develops a set of conceptual and methodological tools for studying the political economy of ecosystem services. These build on the paper ‘Intellectual mercantilism and franchise equity.’ The concept of Intellectual Mercantilism is unpacked, as a tool that points to the power asymmetric ecological political economy of international payments for ecosystem services (IPES), where physical materials that were not previously part of the global money system are accreted, via commodification, to private paper money book values, by creating the idea of a product. Methodologically it is argued that this neo-mercantilist logic compromises the existential right of local and indigenous peoples in tropical countries to political and economic self determination. The methodological tool of ‘walking forward together,’ is proposed as an alternative: not only do the ideations of these local ‘service providers’ guide problem framing, but these persons collaborate in establishing the ontological, epistemological and theoretical foundations of our work.
Ecosystem services flows: why stakeholders’ power relationships matter
Authors: María Felipe-Lucia, Berta Martín-López, Sandra Lavorel, Luis Berraquero-Díaz, Javier Escalera-reyes, Francisco A. Comín
Abstract: The ecosystem services framework has enabled the broader public to acknowledge the benefits nature provides to people. However, not everybody profit equally from these services. Power relationships mediate the access of people to ecosystem services. We propose a conceptual framework to reflect power relationships that mediate ecosystem services flows by integrating the analysis of biophysical interactions among ecosystem services and of stakeholders’ interactions. We tested the framework in a case study detecting: (i) keystone ecosystem services that determine the provision of other ecosystem services, (ii) relevant services for each stakeholder group, (iii) the capability of stakeholders for managing each service and their implications in other ecosystem services, and (iv) power asymmetries between stakeholders derived from their capacities of managing ecosystem services. Finally, we discuss the application of this conceptual framework for the management of ecosystem services and socio-ecological systems.
Power and institutions: A critical institutionalist perspective to Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)
Authors: Gert Van Hecken, Johan Bastiaensen, Catherine Windey, Sam Wong
Abstract: This paper offers an analysis of the key issues and different perspectives in the Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) debate. Drawing on important questions and critiques that have emerged from this debate, we argue that an expanded actor-oriented and more power-sensitive conceptualization of PES is still needed in order to understand the variegated ways in which PES projects play out on the ground. Building on insights from ‘critical institutionalism’, we explore three key challenges for future PES research: (1) the autopoietic character of social-ecological systems and its consequences for institutional fit; (2) the power and political dimensions related to institutional arrangements; and (3) the diversity of knowledge and motivations based on socio-culturally informed models of agency. A more explicit focus on these challenges can help generate novel insights in the power geographies underlying institutional logics, and thus the complex ways in which PES is designed and experienced in the field.
PORES workshop: stepping into the debate of power relations and ecosystem services
Authors: Elisa Oteros-rozas, Luis Berraquero-Díaz, Marta Berbes-blazquez, Oscar Coppieters, Giacomo D’alisa, Maria Del Mar Delgado Serrano, Art Dewulf, Javier Escalera-reyes
Abstract: We believe there is an urgent need to address power relations of and within the ecosystem services (ES) framework. During 23-24 October 2014, in a workshop (PORES) held in the Universidad Pablo de Olavide of Seville, 22 academics participated at a critical and innovative space for debate on this topic. Given the aim of this Special Session to continue that moment, in this contribution we will present the lines along which the debate at PORES flowed. The debate pivoted around two scales of analysis: the power of the ES framework itself, and the analysis of power relations in ES research. Debates and proposals emerged both in terms of theory/epistemology and methods/tools to be applied in ES research. An overall reflection was expressed that the relation between the ES framework and power relations’ analysis is a meta-framework, a starting point of a path difficult to go across.
Governing Ecosystem Services: Framing, processes, and underlying rationales
Ecosystem Services Governance: Multi-actors, multi-levels, multi-rationalities
Authors: Lasse Loft, Carsten Mann, Bernd Hansjürgens
Abstract: The mainstreaming of the concepts of biodiversity and moreover of ES has resulted in a paradigm shift in its ethical and political foundations, from conserving nature for its inherent/intrinsic value to an emphasis on anthropocentric values. This paradigm shift has also resulted in changes in the governance of natural resources over the past two decades. A trend in governance has been the increasing inclusion of multiple actors in a shift from more traditional state-centered governance to include civil society and private sector actors in ‘new governance’. However this new governance faces various challenges, rooted in the specificities of ES and biodiversity, like the lack of defined property rights, participation, multi-level and sectoral approaches, in transparent value judgments and knowledge gaps. This introductory paper focuses on the identification of the key challenges for ES governance and calls for improvement in the understanding of policy processes.
In markets we trust? Reality and myth in Market-Based-Instruments for environmental governance
Authors: Erik Gomez-Baggethun, Roldan Muradian
Abstract: The framing of environmental problems as a failure to price non-market ecoystem services has coincided with the revival of monetary valuation and ‘‘market-based instruments’’ (MBIs) in the environmental science and policy agendas. We draw on empirical case studies and institutional economic theory to examine the scope sand limits of MBIs in ecosystem services governance. We note that their scope of application to effectively address problems on the ground will be ultimately compromised by i) the non-fungible character of most ecosystem services complicates the definition of discrete tradable units, ii) the public good nature of most ecosystem services can involve high transaction costs for developing environmental markets, and iii) commodification of nature encounters wide societal contestation. We conclude by providing tentative criteria to define the scope and limits of markets in ecosystem services governance, including feasibility of technical substitutability and equivalence, transaction costs, basic needs, incommensurability, and environmental justice.
Governance of Ecosystem Services: Approaches for designing and adapting sustainable institutions
Authors: Carsten Mann, Lasse Loft, Bernd Hansjürgens
Abstract: Policy instrument design and implementation is as much a political as a technical issue, a matter of concern and judgment, fact and functionality. Drawing on a gap of empirical information on the political dimension of policy processes, this paper presents insights in policy practice as well as ideas and applications of participatory approaches to improve institutional design and its adaptation to socio-ecological systems. The influence of actors’ interests, networks, struggles over power, needs and demands on policy design and choice are empirically demonstrated. The political and societal implications for the future development of institutions for ES provision and biodiversity conservation are discussed and the chances and limitations for using participatory policy design and assessment approaches are highlighted. Ideally, these insights feed back into the practice of policy design and development. More robust and socially embedded policy solutions and institutions are the desired result of the analytical insights and methodological suggestions.
Economic Issues in Environmental Quality and Degradation
The spillovers from air pollution regulation to CO2 mitigation in China’s manufacturing industry
Authors: Xiao Li, Bing Yu, Yuanbo Qiao, Lei Shi
Abstract: We adopted the input demand theory and modelled different pollutants as different inputs in the production function. With sectoral data from 1991 to 2010, we used the panel data models to estimate the complementarity or substitutability of three local air pollutants, i.e. SO2, soot and dust, for CO2, and the contributions of the output and substitution effects. We found that SO2 was a gross complement and net substitute to CO2 and that both soot and dust were gross and net substitutes to CO2. The output effects functioned for SO2 in inducing ancillary benefits of CO2 reduction, while it failed for soot and dust. A short panel regression demonstrated that since 2006 SO2 has become a net complement to CO2, which marked a great change in SO2 regulation. The achievement in SO2 abatement sets a model for regulating other types of air pollutants and reaping the ancillary benefit of CO2 mitigation.
A Structural Decomposition of Global Raw Material Consumption
Authors: Frank Pothen
Abstract: This study investigates the evolution of Raw Material Consumption (RMC) in 38 countries from 1995 to 2008. Using a Structural Decomposition Analysis, we disentangle three drives of RMC: the level of consumption, the sectoral composition of consumption, and the material intensity with which goods are produced. The underlying data stems from World Input-Output Database (WIOD). Preliminary results suggest that RMC grew from 1995 to 2008 in almost all nations in our sample. The overall growth of consumption was the most important driver of this phenomenon. Falling material intensities reduced the RMC but did not compensate the consequences of boosting overall consumption. Changes in the sectoral composition of consumption had limited impacts.
Is taxing waste a waste of time? Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Authors: Stefano Carattini, Andrea Baranzini, Rafael Lalive
Abstract: This paper exploits a ruling decision of Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court to causally assess the effectiveness of pay-per-bag fees in the Canton of Vaud. We interview households twice and thus collect a panel of household waste data. We couple survey data with official cantonal data. With both datasets we find that pricing garbage by the bag reduces incinerated garbage per capita by about 40%. This estimate corresponds to an arc price elasticity of demand of -0.4. The reduction in incinerated garbage comes with an increase in the frequency of recycling. The seldom application of unit-pricing schemes does not rely then on a lack of effectiveness. We address the question of political feasibility and assess an important gap between acceptability ex-ante and ex-post. The direct experience of pay-per-bag fees improves the perception by the general public in terms of both effectiveness and fairness. Willingness-to-pay per taxed bag more than doubles.
Environmental and Economic Impact Assessment of River Restoration in Switzerland
Authors: Ivana Logar, Roy Brouwer
Abstract: In Switzerland there are plans to implement large-scale river restoration measures over the next several decades. Despite this, a lack of both environmental and economic impact assessments of river restoration projects has been identified. This paper aims at closing these gaps by assessing the ecological effects of river restoration measures and estimating economic values of the resulting improvements in river ecosystem services. The former objective is achieved by carrying out on-site measurements of the physical, chemical and biological states of two different rivers. The latter goal is fulfilled by conducting a survey among the local residents. The survey applies stated preference methods (choice experiment and contingent valuation) to elicit people’s willingness to pay for further restoration projects at these two rivers. Moreover, we test for the existence and measure the extent of distance-decay and substitution effects between the two rivers.
Quantifying the ecosystem impacts of resource footprints
Authors: Francesca Verones, Dan Moran, Konstantin Stadler, Richard Wood
Abstract: Multiregional input-output (MRIO) analyses quantify a consumer’s resource footprint (e.g., for carbon emissions or water use) across the globe, taking into account production, trade and transformation steps along the supply chain. However, the spatially differentiated environmental consequences of these resource footprints have so far been poorly quantified due to the complexity of the relationships between resource use and environmental consequences. In order to provide such a measure of consequence, we combine for the first time an MRIO-based resource footprint approach with a novel life cycle impact assessment methodology called LC-Impact. By combining these two data sources we can measure the ecosystem consequences of resource footprints. The LC-Impact dataset features spatially differentiated measures of impact; an important trait given the widely varying environmental consequences of resource use throughout the world. We find that an account of the ecosystem consequences of resource footprints provides a quite different picture of consumers’ global impacts.
A practical method for justifying less stringent environmental objectives according to the EC Water Framework Directive with disproportionally high costs
Authors: Bernd Klauer, Katja Sigel, Johannes Schiller, Nina Hagemann, Katharina Kern
Abstract: The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) generally pursues the ambitious goal of good status for all European Waters but allows “less stringent environmental objectives” if the costs for reaching the goal are disproportionally high. This exemption bears the danger of watering down the ambitions of the directive if abused. Currently no transparent, well-established, universally applicable method for testing disproportionality exists. That is why the authors developed such a method for surface water bodies. The proposed method combines both interpretations of disproportionality – affordability and cost-benefit assessment. Its core idea is to determine a water-body specific disproportionality threshold which is then compared to the projected costs for achieving good ecological status. The method was empirically tested for a river in the German federal state Rhineland-Palatinate. Due to moderate data requirements it is directly applicable in all German federal states and, generally, also in other EU member states.
Industrial water pollution in Uruguay and indirect spillover: sectors’ subsystems through input–output analysis and geographic information systems
Authors: Matías Piaggio, Ignacio Cazcarro
Abstract: Pollution of water resources is one of the main ecological damages in Uruguay. Focusing attention only in polluting sectors may miss some important interactions in the pollution generation if non-polluting sectors indirect pollution is not considered for policy analysis and recommendations. Input-Output analysis allows isolating the effects of sectors, and studying their linkages with the rest of economic sectors and the environment. Geographic information systems allow identifying the hotspots where it takes place the main impacts take place and the efforts to recovery the good state of water bodies (and in general ecosystems). The objective of the present paper is to decompose the water pollution responsibility of polluting and non-polluting sectors’ subsystems. Among other results, we show that polluting sectors’ subsystem is responsible of about 88% total industrial water pollution, but 12% is spillover (indirect) pollution by the non-polluting sectors’ subsystem, explained by direct input requirements to the polluting sectors.