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Chevassus-Au-Louis B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Pirard R.,Institute du Developpement Durable et des Relations Internationales IDDRI
Revue Forestiere Francaise | Year: 2011

Forest ecosystem services, particularly those that do not give rise to commodity transactions, have been extensively studied in the last fifteen years so as to characterise, quantify and estimate their monetary value. These studies yield very diverse estimates due to the different types of forests studied, the methods of evaluation used and the content itself of the notion of ecosystem services. We deal with this latter aspect in Part I of the article. After clarifying the differences between ecosystem services, ecological services and environmental services, we show that the notion of "benefits derived from ecosystems", which is often used to deal with economic assessments of services, in fact covers, particularly in man-managed ecosystems such as temperate forests, contributions that derive both from "ecological capital" and "human capital". We conclude by underlining, on the one hand, the practical relevance of these distinctions and, on the other, the complexity of the relations between these ecosystem services and biodiversity. Part II presents a summary of available monetary value estimates for services provided by French forests. This summary places special emphasis on the importance of regulation services (carbon fixation, influence on the water cycle and the quality of the water resources, erosion control, etc.) in spite of the fact that we do not currently have estimated monetary values for all of these services. Cultural values, namely recreational ones, also appear on average to be more significant than timber production. In total, all the services evaluated are thought to represent some five times the value of timber production alone. However, this average estimate provides just an order of magnitude for the importance of these services; not only does it integrate just some services and considers use values alone, it furthermore needs to be developed so as to take into account the diversity of local contexts, be they ecological or socio-economic. In Part III, we broach the issue of possible payment ecosystem services; after describing the various possible uses (which in practice are rarely encountered) for these economic assessments of the services, we detail the concept of "payment for ecosystem services" (PES) which can be construed either as a general principle for action (the legitimacy of compensating a service provider in one way or another), or as a specific economic and legal instrument (e.g., and according to the more common definition, as a voluntary, explicit contract setting out the conditions of payment of one or several beneficiaries and one or several suppliers of services who are named). We stress the fact that the number of cases that follow the second definition is very smatl in practice. Two case studies relating to tropical forests in Costa Rica and Indonesia are then presented, leading us to the conclusion that the evaluation of PES is the outcome of multiple economic, social and political considerations that very rarely include the estimated monetary values of these services as presented in Part II. The concluding section reviews the various controversies relating to economic assessment and the possibility of paying for ecosystem services. It is suggested that a clear distinction should be made between the realms of legitimacy, feasibility and, finally, of applicability. Emphasis is placed on the fact that the road towards effective compensation for these services is no doubt still a very long one.


Wang X.,Institute du Developpement Durable et des Relations Internationales IDDRI
Energy Economics | Year: 2012

Considering the dual context of China's domestic willingness to have a cleaner export structure and the widespread concern among developed countries that carbon leakage from developing countries, particularly China, could threaten their own climate policy effectiveness; this paper uses the SICGE model to investigate the economic rationale of taxing direct CO 2 emissions of export in China. With an export carbon tax set at 200 yuan/t CO 2, three policy scenarios were studied, where the tax revenue is: undistributed; redistributed neutrally to stimulate investment; and redistributed neutrally to stimulate consumption. According to the model, the economic and climate effects of the different policy scenarios are not particularly distinguishable. The economic impacts are slightly negative while the effect on the export structure is significant: the export of major energy-intensive products decreased and the export of certain sectors (labour-intensive or with higher value-added) increased, resulting in a cut of 3.77% in total direct CO 2 emissions from exports. The revenue redistribution to stimulate consumption is shown to be the optimal scenario choice, which was confirmed by further sensitivity tests. By reviewing related WTO laws, this paper concludes that a clearly designed export carbon tax with a comparable carbon price is in China's own interest, while lessening the carbon leakage concerns of developed countries. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Freibauer A.,Institute of Agricultural Climate Research | Mathijs E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Brunori G.,University of Pisa | Damianova Z.,Programme Director Innovation Programme Applied Research and Communications Fund | And 4 more authors.
EuroChoices | Year: 2011

Sustainable Food Consumption and Production in a Resource-constrained World This article summarises the findings of the Third Foresight Exercise organised by the EU Standing Committee on Agriculture Research (SCAR). The challenges ahead for the European agri-food system differ in their complexity, scale and speed to those we have faced in the past, pointing to a new level of change. The interconnections between these combined challenges and the limited understanding of the various feedback loops linking them, contribute to uncertainty about future developments. There is growing evidence, however, that these challenges are so large that a 'business-as usual' approach is not an option and that transformative change is needed which will open up a window for innovation, new ideas and new paradigms. Three pathways have been identified to guide the transition to a sustainable agri-food system: consumption changes, technological innovation and organisational innovation. To make the transition successful, research and innovation programmes should be transformed in order to tackle these challenges and to produce the necessary system innovations. Diversity of approaches and paradigms, transdisciplinarity, experimentation in both the technological and social realm and coordination should be promoted in the design of the research and innovation programmes. © 2011 The Agricultural Economics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists.


Desbureaux S.,University dAuvergne | Desbureaux S.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Brimont L.,Institute du Developpement Durable et des Relations Internationales IDDRI
Ecological Economics | Year: 2015

This paper exhibits the multiple dimensions of the cost of stopping the main driver of deforestation in Madagascar, slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy). As well as being a major component of the economic livelihoods of most local households living at the edge of forests, tavy has been described by anthropologists as an important cultural practice. In this paper, we show that stopping tavy does not only entail an economic cost for local households. The loss of the cultural dimension of tavy would come at an additional "cultural cost" for some. Our results suggest that a viable cessation of deforestation in Madagascar would require going beyond simple compensation of the opportunity costs of avoiding deforestation. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Colombier M.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI | Li J.,CIRED
Climate Policy | Year: 2012

What are relevant urban development investment strategies for improving building energy efficiency (BEE) and decarbonizing the urban district heating supply in rapidly urbanizing China? Different trajectories of BEE and energy supply technologies are compared in the urban context in a northern Chinese city. Vigorous improvement of BEE will significantly enhance the prospective financial capacity to facilitate deployment of backstop technologies (e.g. carbon capture and storage) in order to decarbonize the energy supply and achieve the long-term targets of low-carbon buildings. Carbon finance instruments should be used to facilitate public policy to accompany the necessary transition in the urban development process. The government-run efficiency procurement scheme will overcome the problem of insufficient incentive and high transaction costs associated with individual Clean Development Mechanism projects. Appropriate investment strategies (allocation of financial resources over the time frame) will allow local governments to harness the large potentials of carbon emissions mitigation while minimizing the risk of long-term technical lock-in in the built environment in Chinese cities. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Voituriez T.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Voituriez T.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI | Wang X.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI
Climate Policy | Year: 2015

This article addresses the implications and remaining challenges behind the seemingly happy ending of the recent EU–China trade dispute on solar products. First, the EU's choice of a specific trade defence measure – anti-dumping – was based on shaky arguments. Second, further trade disputes on green goods are very likely, in particular because China is increasingly implementing domestic support policies on green sectors, bringing down Chinese export prices. Third, trade defence measures could be adopted as an expensive option. Alternatively to this, the EU and China could consider setting up constructive and preventive mechanisms in order to stabilize trade and broaden their economic relationship. Policy relevance In July 2013 the EU accepted an undertaking by Chinese solar wafer, cell, and module manufacturers to fix minimum import prices for their products, along with a volume cap to be imposed on Chinese solar exports to the EU. In spite of the seemingly happy end of a trade dispute between the two major players in the renewables sector, we show that the possibility of trade disputes over low-carbon products in the near future cannot be ruled out. Drawing on the China–EU photovoltaic ‘dumping case', we highlight some weaknesses in the EU's choice to resort to anti-dumping measures and emphasize the urgent need to invent new forms of trade dialogues between the EU and China as first-choice trade dispute settlement policies. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


Wang X.,Institute du Developpement Durable et des Relations Internationales IDDRI | Wang X.,Lille University of Science and Technology
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

A transparent and comprehensive statistical system in China would provide an important basis for enabling a better understanding of the country. This paper focuses on energy intensity (EI), which is one of the most important indicators of China. It firstly reviews China's GDP and energy statistics, showing that China has made great improvements in recent years. The means by which EI data are released and adjusted are then explained. It shows that EI data releases do not provide complete data for calculating EI and constant GDP, which may reduce policy transparency and comprehensiveness. This paper then conducts an EI calculation method that is based on official sources and that respects the data availability of different data release times. It finds that, in general, China's EI statistics can be considered as reliable because most of the results generated by author's calculations match the figures in the official releases. However, two data biases were identified, which may necessitate supplementary information on related constant GDP values used in the official calculation of EI data. The paper concludes by proposing short- and long-term measures for improving EI statistics to provide a transparent and comprehensive EI indicator. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | University of Bonn, Chalmers University of Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Johns Hopkins University and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The PLOS ONE Collection Measuring forest conservation effectiveness brings together a series of studies that evaluate the effectiveness of tropical forest conservation policies and programs with the goal of measuring conservation success and associated co-benefits. This overview piece describes the geographic and methodological scope of these studies, as well as the policy instruments covered in the Collection as of June 2016. Focusing on forest cover change, we systematically compare the conservation effects estimated by the studies and discuss them in the light of previous findings in the literature. Nine studies estimated that annual conservation impacts on forest cover were below one percent, with two exceptions in Mexico and Indonesia. Differences in effect sizes are not only driven by the choice of conservation measures. One key lesson from the studies is the need to move beyond the current scientific focus of estimating average effects of undifferentiated conservation programs. The specific elements of the program design and the implementation context are equally important factors for understanding the effectiveness of conservation programs. Particularly critical will be a better understanding of the causal mechanisms through which conservation programs have impacts. To achieve this understanding we need advances in both theory and methods.

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