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Grunewald, Germany

Benson D.,University of Exeter | Gain A.K.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Rouillard J.J.,Ecologic Institute
Water Alternatives | Year: 2015

Nexus thinking, in the form of integrating water security with agriculture, energy and climate concerns, is normatively argued to help better transition societies towards greener economies and the wider goal of sustainable development. Yet several issues emerge from the current debate surrounding this concept, namely the extent to which such conceptualisations are genuinely novel, whether they complement (or are replacing) existing environmental governance approaches and how - if deemed normatively desirable - the nexus can be enhanced in national contexts. This paper therefore reviews the burgeoning nexus literature to determine some common indicative criteria before examining its implementation in practice vis-à-vis more established integrated water resources management (IWRM) models. Evidence from two divergent national contexts, the UK and Bangladesh, suggests that the nexus has not usurped IWRM, while integration between water, energy, climate and agricultural policy objectives is generally limited. Scope for greater merging of nexus thinking within IWRM is then discussed. Source

Glenk K.,Kings College | Lago M.,Ecologic Institute | Moran D.,Kings College
Water Policy | Year: 2011

The EC Water Framework Directive (WFD) sets ambitious quality targets for member state water bodies by 2015. The provisions are being transposed predominantly using a cost-effectiveness criterion, which raises questions about the relative balance of costs [of reaching good status (GS)] and corresponding (non-)market benefits or the economic efficiency of the legislation. This study provides an insight into public perceptions of water quality improvements based on an application of national characterisation data on the state of the water environment in Scotland. A choice experiment approach is used to quantify non-market benefits of achieving GS across Scottish rivers and lochs over varying timescales and different geographical levels, with the aim of revealing willingnessto- pay data that is specifically relevant for WFD implementation. We find that the benefits of implementing the WFD are substantial. Results show that geographical differences in preferences for national improvements in the river and loch water quality in Scotland exist, both in terms of magnitudes of benefit estimates and time preferences for improvements. These differences need to be taken into account in analyses at the river basin district or national level in order to support policy options for the implementation of the WFD across the country. © IWA Publishing 2011. Source

Plieninger T.,Berlin Brandenburg Academy of science and Humanities | Plieninger T.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Schleyer C.,Berlin Brandenburg Academy of science and Humanities | Schaich H.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 4 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

Agroecosystems are vital for supplying ecosystem services to human society, but most modern farming practices impact detrimentally on the environment. Public agricultural support policies have been critically important in influencing the transformation of the farm sectors; however, few of them have been dedicated to enhancing ecosystem services beyond agricultural commodities. The largest agricultural support system worldwide, the European common agricultural policy (CAP), has now come to a critical point, as major decisions concerning its design and implementation after 2013 are about to be taken. The debate on this reform process presents a unique opportunity to trigger a transition from commodity-based subsidy policies to policies centered on efficient provision of ecosystem services from agricultural land. To prompt such discussion, we formulate key recommendations informed by a review of ecosystem services literature and address verifiable links to human well-being, nonmarket valuation for balanced services provision, treatment of ecosystem services bundles, site-specific and regionalized approaches, matching spatial scales for different ecosystem services, funding permanence for payment schemes, strong monitoring and adaptive approaches to tackling uncertainties, and coherent cross-sectoral policy design. If these issues were to be considered in formulating and implementing future CAP, it might become an exemplar for redirecting agricultural policies elsewhere in the world toward sustainability. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Srebotnjak T.,Ecologic Institute | Carr G.,Northern Oil and Gas Branch | De Sherbinin A.,Columbia University | Rickwood C.,Natural Resources Canada
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

Water is an essential resource for life on Earth and available freshwater resources are emerging as a limiting factor not only in quantity but also in quality for human development and ecological stability in a growing number of locations. Water quality is a significant criterion in matching water demand and supply. Securing adequate freshwater quality for both human and ecological needs is thus an important aspect of integrated environmental management and sustainable development. The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University includes a Water Quality Index (WATQI). The WATQI provides a first global effort at reporting and estimating water quality on the basis of five commonly reported quality parameters: dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, pH value, and total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. This paper explains the motivation and methodology of the EPI WATQI and demonstrates how hot-deck imputation of missing values can expand its geographical coverage and better inform decision-makers on the types and extents of water quality problems in the context of limited globally comparable water quality monitoring data. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Emissions trading promises the achievement of a pre-defined environmental outcome at least cost. If the system works and key assumptions hold, it would seem to be an "optimal" climate policy instrument. On closer inspection, however, it is less clear what constitutes an "optimal" climate policy. This paper argues that optimality involves a range of criteria beyond short-term economic efficiency, but also has to consider the longer-term dynamic efficiency, as well as the political, administrative and legal feasibility of policy instruments. The assessment of optimality is confounded by the fact that climate policy relies on a number of policy instruments. This paper argues that a policy analysis should look at the performance of the entire instrument mix, and not analyse individual instruments in isolation. Such a mix will differ from country to country - depending on political preferences, administrative capacities, or regulatory traditions. The mix is also evolving: as climate policy aims to transform entire economies, the impact of individual policy instruments in the climate policy mix grows - measured by the share of the relevant markets that they affect, the incentives they provide, or the costs they impose. As this impact grows, there is increasing interaction between policy instruments. Understanding and managing these interactions therefore becomes key for successful climate policy. Emissions trading has a particular position in this instrument mix: it directly targets the end result, i.e. emissions from the regulated sectors, inputs to the process, technologies used, or the infrastructure, where other instruments target the interim stages in the process. At the same time, emissions trading also builds on other policies, for instance through administrative and regulatory infrastructures. This paper discusses how the other policy instruments affect the functioning of an emissions trading scheme (ETS), and how this will reflect on the performance of an ETS in terms of optimality. Source

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