There were plans for a huge dam for hydro-electric energy production, mainly for export. The study was designed as a standard Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), including environmental costs and distributional impacts. Cost-benefit-analysis was used to assess the value of the project because it is a widely accepted framework and can combine diverse secondary data about the expected consequences. Despite time pressure and relatively poor data availability, conservative estimates about investment costs, likely returns and environmental damage (along with associated loss of natural assets and...
Case studies tagged with Policy reform
The area surrounding the confluence of the north and south branches of Thornton Creek (Seattle) experiences storm water-related flooding more often than other areas. A cost-benefit analysis, which incorporated ecosystem services values, aimed at identifying the best cost-benefit ratio among three possible options. The assessment results were intended to inform the decision of the choice of a project option.
Removing sediment from reservoirs is an important part of the costs of hydro-power generation. Under the “Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services” project (RUPES), an initiative by ICRAF, upstream farmers changed land-use practices for reducing soil erosion and sedimentation load in streams. The sedimentation rate was used as an indicator to measure the effectiveness of the agreed activities. Monitoring sedimentation rate as an indicator for the positive impact of improving land-use practices made the success of the changes in land-use practices transparent and motivated all...
Viridian were asked to model an entire lowland catchment of approximately 750 km2 for a basket of ecosystem services, so the client could better understand where to focus effort on the ground, assist with planning, inform stakeholder engagement and influence policy formation.
The study also aimed at enhancing the wider understanding of the significance of pollination services to the mountain agricultural economy. Institutional capacities at provincial and national level needed to be strengthened to promote honeybee pollination management.
This case illustrates how ecosystem service assessments can help to catalyse changes in conservation and development policy and management practice − but are rarely the sole factor. In the Upper Tuul example, the intention was to “make the case” for a higher policy and budgetary priority to be accorded to the UpperTuul ecosystem.
Several training and scoping workshops with stakeholders guided an assessment of the Taï Park’s multiple ecosystem services, and helped align it to the purpose of drumming-up support for conservation. This case illustrates the importance of intensive initial scoping prior to examining ecosystem services in more depth. Study results are now being used by park authorities to motivate increased government budget allocations, and to interest the international cocoa industry in co-financing the Taï Park – in their own best interest.
Despite legal protection, mangroves were being cleared for shrimp farming by non-local investors. In a multi-day workshop, the ideas was to learn from local community stakeholders and participating scientists about the problems surrounding the conversion of mangrove ecosystems to shrimp aquaculture.
The aim was to develop potential solutions to the problems and communicate results to the authorities to take action. The main questions to be answered were: How to compare the value attached to shrimp farming with the value of maintaining mangroves? How can the economic, social and...