Archived project

POLICYMIX - Assessing the role of economic instruments in policy mixes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision.

Goal: POLICYMIX has aimed to contribute to achieving the EUs goals of reversing trends in biodiversity loss beyond 2010 through the use of cost-effective and incentive-compatible economic instruments.
POLICYMIX has been focusing on the role of economic instruments in a mix of operational conservation policy instruments.
The POLICYMIX project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 244065.
http://policymix.nina.no/

Date: 1 January 2010 - 1 April 2014

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Project log

Rute Pinto
added a research item
Spatial models are increasingly being used to target the most suitable areas for biodiversity conservation. This study investigates how the spatial tool Marxan with Zones (MARZONE) can be used to support the design of cost-effective biodiversity conservation policy. New in this study is the spatial analysis of the costs and effectiveness of different agro-environmental measures (AEMs) for habitat and biodiversity conservation in the Montado ecosystem in Portugal. A distinction is made between the financial costs paid to participating landowners and farmers for adopting AEMs and the broader economic opportunity costs of the corresponding land-use changes. Habitat and species conservation targets are furthermore defined interactively with the local government agency responsible for the management of protected areas, while the costs of agro-forestry activities and alternative land uses are estimated in direct consultation with local landowners. MARZONE identifies the spatial distribution of priority areas for conservation and the associated costs, some of which overlap with existing protected areas. These results provide useful insights into the trade-offs between nature conservation and the opportunity costs of protecting ecologically vulnerable areas, helping to improve current and future conservation policy design.
Oscar Sarcinelli
added a research item
Conservation projects require restrictions on economics land use and this type of costs are generally private costs. To increase the bargain power of the institutions that promote conservation projects is important to value the private opportunity cost and use this information for planning more cost effectiveness conservation interventions. These private opportunity costs can be accessed by evaluating the loss of net profit expected from an investment opportunity (or land use) for an agricultural activity more profitable than conservation activities. The question is when an extensive conservation project involves different private opportunity costs that vary spatially and implies in defining a mix of strategies for planning low cost-effectiveness conservation interventions. The Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor is located on Southern Brazil holds the most important water provision system for São Paulo Metropolitan Region and its main ecosystem service threatened are water related services. In the region conservation projects aims to enlarge forest cover in private lands that implies in agricultural areas reduction. This study aims to evaluate the private opportunity cost for an extensive forest recover program in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor Region and discuss its results focusing in three central questions: i. What is the private opportunity cost of forest restoration for the main land use activities in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor Region? ii. How the private opportunity costs varies in the region? iii. Using the opportunity costs information discuss the most cost-effectiveness PES strategy to access the desideratum of the Brazilian Forest Code? The survey's methodology was conducted collecting data in the field from production costs and revenues for the four most important agricultural activities in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Region and furthermore obtains the private opportunity costs using the net present value (NPV) analysis. To achieve these goals we developed a sample design that considered water catchments with different landscape and socioeconomic context and composition. For the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Region cattle raising (milk and meat) and eucalyptus plantation (timber, firewood or charcoal) drives the higher proportion of agricultural based activities (38.79% and 11.47%, respectively). By using high resolution images from Sensor Spot (2.5 meters resolution) and the Feature Analyst extension for ArcGIS 10 software, we identified all riparian areas defined as protected areas by Brazilian Forest Code. A private opportunity cost of each agricultural activity was obtained from the calculation for a land use change between agriculture activities and native forest in these protected riparian areas. Results have showed that the private opportunity costs in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor vary from US$ 117.07 to US$ 449.80 ha-1 .year-1 which represents a range of 384.22% between the lowest and highest private opportunity cost value. We found that the most cost-effectiveness PES strategy for an extensive forest restoration program in this region is to pay the private opportunity cost for each agricultural activity individually.
Peter H. May
added a research item
This case study reviews the Brazilian experience since the mid-1990s with certification of natural and plantation forests at corporate and community levels. Discriminating world markets, corporate social responsibility, and image concerns stimulated certification by the plantation segment. Initial certifications were carried out according to FSC standards, using criteria adopted by a national tripartite working group. A separate national certification scheme (CERFLOR) was recognized in 2002 by the PEFC. Over 1.2 million hectares (ha) in plantations and associated natural reserves had been certified by May 2004 under both schemes, of which about 80 percent was certified according to FSC criteria. Only about 500,000 ha of natural forests had been certified, although Brazil is simultaneously the world's largest producer and consumer of tropical timber. Deforestation and illegal extraction in the Amazon continue to flood the domestic market. Government policy affirms that voluntary certification is an important means to internalize socio-environmental costs but does not supplant national regulation, which in some local cases has imposed additional burdens on those who have adopted certification. Concessions in public forests and forest family partnerships may draw regulatory norms and certification criteria closer together. The case study concludes, however, that certification has made an impact in Brazil where it is perceived as being key to market access, even where there is no substantial price premium. Where certified firms must compete with rampant disorder and illegality, as in the Amazon region, certification's impact has remained limited and oriented toward specialized niches, and as such has not raised the bar on industry-wide practice. Future development of the certified forest industry in Brazil will depend on adoption of more flexible standards for certification of outgrowers and community forest managers, and on a more congenial accommodation of government regulators and certified enterprise.
Oscar Sarcinelli
added a project reference
Christoph Schröter-Schlaack
added a research item
The financial resources needed for globally implementing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been estimated at US$ 150–440 billion per year (CBD COP11, 2012) – of which only a fraction is currently available. Significant efforts have been undertaken in many countries to increase funding for biodiversity conservation. Nonetheless, this funding shortage remains immense, acute and chronic. However, we do not lose biodiversity and ecosystems primarily for lack of conservation funding but also due to poor governance, wrong policies, perverse incentives and other factors. This begs the question: How should limited conservation resources be used? For directly tackling biodiversity threats, for addressing the underlying drivers, or rather for strengthening the financial management and fundraising capacity of implementing organisations? As country contexts differ, so do the answers. This report synthesizes experiences of German development cooperation working towards improved biodiversity finance in eight countries: Viet Nam, Namibia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mauritania, Ecuador and Peru. Our findings suggest a shift in perspective in the international biodiversity financing debate: We need to move from a focus on innovative financing mechanisms towards thinking ‘innovation’ more broadly. Financial resource mobilisation needs to go hand in hand with efforts to slow the drivers of conservation costs and to improve effective spending capacity. For this, the constraints to financial sustainability of biodiversity conservation need to be better understood at country level. Innovative financing mechanisms can be part of the solution and deliver multiple benefits only if their design is carefully fitted to context. Beyond that, landscape approaches to conservation make clear that investing in healthy ecosystems is critical for livelihoods and development.
Paula Bernasconi
added a research item
Opportunity costs of land varies from R$5,000 (lighter) to R$50,000 (darker) R$ per hectare in São Paulo, based on prices for cleared land. It was used as the cost criteria in the simulation. Full paper: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0164850.g001
David N. Barton
added 2 research items
We use spatially explicit indicators for biodiversity conservation status and opportunity costs of conservation to evaluate the role of voluntary forest conservation in a mix of policy instruments distributed across a landscape. We define a spatially explicit evaluation of a policy mix as a “policyscape analysis.” A policyscape analysis includes a comparison of (1) actual spatial overlap of instruments, (2) “functional overlap” of instruments in a cost-effectiveness space, and (3) complementary spatial targeting of instruments as computed by reserve site selection models. To illustrate, we evaluate the actual spatial coverage in cost-effectiveness space of Norway's public protected areas and private voluntary forest conservation. We use proxies for conservation value and opportunity cost—a national Nature Index for forests and forest productivity classes. We conclude by discussing the empirical challenges of our “policyscape analysis.” These have bearing on future “return-on-investment” analysis and reserve site selection modeling in Norway.
The International Conference on Policy Mixes in Environmental and Conservation Policies was held in cooperation with the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) and took place at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany, 25–27 February 2014. The conference brought together the participants from the EU FP 7 project entitled POLICYMIX, as well as scientists and practitioners from 26 countries and five continents. The original project’s scope on assessing the role of economic instruments in policy mixes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision was broadened for the conference to include contributions from other policy sectors such as climate, energy, fisheries and water resource policies.
Christoph Schröter-Schlaack
added 5 research items
Abstract This summary description focuses on the coarse grain analysis as represented by the German national case study report (Deliverable 7.2.1) applying to the territory of Germany. We address and model the integration of ecological indicators into intergovernmental fiscal transfers from the national to the state, i.e. Länder level in Germany, and assess the role of ecological fiscal transfers in the overall German policy mix. The fine grain analysis in Germany covers two major topics: 1. Building on the coarse grain report on ecological fiscal transfers, detailed fine grain studies on different aspects of integrating ecological indicators in the German fiscal transfer system are pursued such as the development of appropriate conservation indicators, the detailed discussion of ex ante scenario modelling results, or the legal and institutional options and constraints for introducing ecological fiscal transfers. A substantial part of the fine grain analysis related to ecological fiscal transfers is already covered in the national case study report. Fine grain analysis on ecological fiscal transfers will be continued, resulting mainly in journal publications that will be integrated in the upcoming fine grain report. 2. As Germany is a federal country with its states being responsible for implementing nature and forest conservation policies, a second major focus of the German fine grain analysis relates to the topic of afforestation and related ecosystem services in the Free State of Saxony. Here, the local level analysis investigates economic incentives for afforestation in Western Saxony and discusses the role of these instruments in the Saxon policy mix. This second topic will be a major focus of Deliverable 7.2.2 – Assessment of existing and proposed policy instruments for biodiversity conservation at state and local level. Downloadable from the PolicyMix Web Site: http://policymix.nina.no/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=h7vgQhf1RVg%3d&tabid=3564&portalid=51&mid=5739%22
Paula Bernasconi
added 3 research items
Numbers are the amount of surplus in hectares on each planning unit classified by the sample quantiles (excluding zero surplus to better representation on a single class). The Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes are also represented at the map. (TIF)
The map shows the public protected areas, urban areas, forest remnants, water bodies, main roads and the original area of the two Biomes: Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. Source: SMA-SP, EMBRAPA, IF, ANA, IBGE, respectively. (TIFF)
Oscar Sarcinelli
added 2 research items
The National Water Resources Policy established the principles of participation, integration and decentralization, as well as new instruments for the management of water resources in Brazil. The implementation of this policy created several challenges, such as establishing effective management within the framework of rural territorial structure. The example of the Cantareira's System in Piracicaba river watershed is conducive to the understanding of this challenge. In this scenario, we analyzed the effective implementation of principles, and of two instruments of water resource management from the perspective of farmers' participation: the integration of water management and rural land use, and public policies for rural areas. To accomplish this, we reviewed documents and literature, and considered conclusions drawn from meetings at the Technical Chamber of Use and Water Conservation in Rural Areas (CT-Rural). We identified a lack of participation by farmers' representatives in the CT-Rural Chamber and little concern to increase their participation in the management practices. However, the support payments for environmental services projects (PES) are stimulating farmers and calling attention to the Cantareira area, in addition to promoting the integration of water resource management and rural land use. However, even though this support acknowledges the importance of the farmers, we emphasize the low priority given by the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí Watershed Committee to the rural context of the area studied.
Conservation projects require restrictions on economics land use and this type of costs are generally private costs. To increase the bargain power of the institutions that promote conservation projects is important to value the private opportunity cost and use this information for planning more cost effectiveness conservation interventions. These private opportunity costs can be accessed by evaluating the loss of net profit expected from an investment opportunity (or land use) for an agricultural activity more profitable than conservation activities. The question is when an extensive conservation project involves different private opportunity costs that vary spatially and implies in defining a mix of strategies for planning low cost-effectiveness conservation interventions. The Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor is located on Southern Brazil holds the most important water provision system for São Paulo Metropolitan Region and its main ecosystem service threatened are water related services. In the region conservation projects aims to enlarge forest cover in private lands that implies in agricultural areas reduction. This study aims to evaluate the private opportunity cost for an extensive forest recover program in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor Region and discuss its results focusing in three central questions: i. What is the private opportunity cost of forest restoration for the main land use activities in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor Region? ii. How the private opportunity costs varies in the region? iii. Using the opportunity costs information discuss the most cost-effectiveness PES strategy to access the desideratum of the Brazilian Forest Code? The survey’s methodology was conducted collecting data in the field from production costs and revenues for the four most important agricultural activities in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Region and furthermore obtains the private opportunity costs using the net present value (NPV) analysis. To achieve these goals we developed a sample design that considered water catchments with different landscape and socioeconomic context and composition. For the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Region cattle raising (milk and meat) and eucalyptus plantation (timber, firewood or charcoal) drives the higher proportion of agricultural based activities (38.79% and 11.47%, respectively). By using high resolution images from Sensor Spot (2.5 meters resolution) and the Feature Analyst extension for ArcGIS 10 software, we identified all riparian areas defined as protected areas by Brazilian Forest Code. A private opportunity cost of each agricultural activity was obtained from the calculation for a land use change between agriculture activities and native forest in these protected riparian areas. Results have showed that the private opportunity costs in the Cantareira-Mantiqueira Corridor vary from US$ 117.07 to US$ 449.80 ha-1.year-1 which represents a range of 384.22% between the lowest and highest private opportunity cost value. We found that the most cost-effectiveness PES strategy for an extensive forest restoration program in this region is to pay the private opportunity cost for each agricultural activity individually.
Paula Bernasconi
added 6 research items
O principal marco legal para conservação em áreas privadas é o Código Florestal que, entre outras regras, exige que as propriedades rurais mantenham uma parte de sua área sob cobertura de vegetação natural, chamada Reserva Legal. Essa área é destinada à conservação da biodiversidade e à manutenção da provisão de serviços ecossistêmicos. Apesar de apresentar um percentual de cumprimento muito baixo por parte dos proprietários rurais, é esperado um aumento na fiscalização e no seu cumprimento. Isso porque houve recentes alterações na lei que a tornaram menos restrita e trouxeram alguns instrumentos econômicos visando reduzir os custos de oportunidade da conservação. Um das opções para adequação ambiental é a possibilidade de compensação da reserva legal em outra propriedade que possua um excedente de vegetação natural (ou área em recuperação) além do exigido por lei. Esse trabalho avalia o potencial de aplicação da compensação de reserva legal no estado de São Paulo através de uma simulação de impacto desse instrumento utilizando dados empíricos, e também analisa os desafios de sua implementação no arcabouço de políticas públicas do estado. A análise foi feita com o uso do software de planejamento da conservação Marxan através da simulação de diferentes cenários de combinação de políticas e restrições ao mercado de compensação. O objetivo é avaliar os possíveis efeitos do instrumento de compensação em relação à efetividade da conservação e à redução dos custos de oportunidade de adequação à reserva legal, comparados a uma abordagem puramente de comando e controle. Os resultados mostram um claro potencial do instrumento de compensação de reserva legal de reduzir os custos de oportunidade de conservação de reservas legais. Porém, o resultado da alocação das reservas pelo mercado mostra que, potencialmente, não serão localizadas nas áreas mais prioritárias para restauração da biodiversidade. Já a simulação da proposta de inclusão de uma restrição no mercado focando em áreas prioritárias resultou num cenário com custos também menores que a opção puramente de comando e controle, porém com uma efetividade ecológica muito maior. Os resultados ressaltam a importância de análises de impacto de políticas públicas ex ante a fim de subsidiar com dados empíricos os formuladores de políticas.
The objective of this study is to discuss the potential of a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism in combination with several regulatory instruments. This combination of command and control and economic instruments associated with carbon markets could increase provision of ecosystem services beyond the storage of carbon alone, by creation of new protected areas in one of the states of the Brazilian Amazon region. To locate the reader with regard to the specifics of the region, the study initially describes the context and legal framework relevant for environmental protection in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Following this, we apply primary and secondary data to demonstrate the relevance of the proposal for regional policy and practical results of reduced emissions from deforestation.
Paula Bernasconi
added a project goal
POLICYMIX has aimed to contribute to achieving the EUs goals of reversing trends in biodiversity loss beyond 2010 through the use of cost-effective and incentive-compatible economic instruments.
POLICYMIX has been focusing on the role of economic instruments in a mix of operational conservation policy instruments.
The POLICYMIX project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 244065.
 
Paula Bernasconi
added a research item
The recently launched Brazilian “forest certificates” market is expected to reduce environmental compliance costs for landowners through an offset mechanism, after a long history of conservation laws based in command-and-control and strict rules. In this paper we assessed potential costs and evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the instrument when introducing to this market constraints that aim to address conservation objectives more specifically. Using the conservation planning software Marxan with Zones we simulated different scopes for the “forest certificates” market, and compared their cost-effectiveness with that of existing command-and-control (C&C), i.e. compliance to the Legal Reserve on own property, in the state of São Paulo. The simulations showed a clear potential of the constrained “forest certificates” market to improve conservation effectiveness and increase cost-effectiveness on allocation of Legal Reserves. Although the inclusion of an additional constraint of targeting the BIOTA Conservation Priority Areas doubled the cost (+95%) compared with a “free trade” scenario constrained only by biome, this option was still 50% less costly than the baseline scenario of compliance with Legal Reserve at the property.