First, I would like to thank the organizer to give us opportunity to present some of the initial plans for the Working Group on “Economic Valuation of Options and Outcomes”. Unfortunately, Dr. Pushpam Kumar, who is leading the Working Group was unable to join today due to his prior commitments. So, I am making this presentation on his behalf.
First, let me briefly describe the objectives of the work of the Group. The first objective is, to establish different scenarios based on different degrees of land degradation, at the global scale. The second objective is to identify a range of interventions and response policies that can be introduced to address land degradation. It could be the introduction of new technologies, other mechanical interventions, or it could be biological measures such as changing farming practices. The third objective is to evaluate cost of action, which is the benefit from avoiding damage or land degradation. And, the fourth objective is to evaluate the cost of inaction, which is the cost due to damage or land degradation.
In terms of the approaches to be followed, the focus will be to identify benefits of avoided degradation, And, it will be a multi scale assessment, gathering and analyzing data from different spatial scales The work will also involve mapping of benefits from ecosystem services. The benefits will emerge if action is taken, and there will be a loss if no action is taken. So mapping will help us understand the benefits from different types of ecosystem services. The proposed timeframe include: Current, which covers 2013 to 2014, and 2015, due to its importance in terms of the post MDG agenda, and 2025, which we consider as an ideal timeframe for simulation of immediate future scenarios.
The next few slides describe various aspects of the analysis to be undertaken by the Working Group. One of the first aspects to be analyzed is, types and extent of land degradation. The first column presents classification, types and degrees of land degradation, which could be, for example, very severe land degradation, severe land degradation, and modest land degradation. The data is compiled for different regions, could be 13 to 14 regions, potentially following IPCC classification. The evidences gathered from different regions will be up-scaled to the global level, and the data collected by other working groups will be used for the estimates.
The second aspect to be analyzed is, the Representative Cost Data, which focuses on the costs of different intervention. The first column indicates various types of options and interventions, which could include technical and mechanical interventions, as well as biological interventions such as changing farming practices. The information on the per hectare costs of intervention in different regions will be analyzed.
The third aspect of the analysis looks at the Data on Benefits gained from avoid degradation (cost of action). The first column indicates benefits gained on site and off site. On site benefits include, for example, gain in productivity such as crop and agricultural productivity on site. Off site benefits include, for example, avoided siltation, avoided damage to reservoir, navigation and transportation. The benefits from avoided degradation in different regions will be analyzed for aggregation.
There will also be the analysis on trade-offs and synergies, focusing on the impacts of different response options and interventions on different types of ecosystem services. The first column indicates response options and interventions. For example, if we promote reforestation, it might lead to the decrease in agricultural yield, while it will contribute to carbon sequestration, water filtration, and flood mitigation. Having comprehensive understanding on these trade-offs and potential synergies is critical in formulating appropriate response policies. As we all know, trade-offs occur when the provision of one ecosystem service is reduced as a consequence of increased use of another ecosystem service. In some cases, trade-offs maybe an implicit choice but in others, trade-offs arise without awareness that they are taking place, so it is critical to understand that they are taking place, in order to come up with appropriate management options. UNEP has been implementing projects to analyze ecosystem trade-offs. One of the projects is implemented in Punjab States, India. Since the Green Revolution, the Punjab State has contributed substantially to the food supply of the country, while in recent years, the growth rate of agricultural production has been declining. Therefore, the project is looking at various trade-offs associated with the food security, by analyzing the impacts of intensive rice/wheat cropping system on different ecosystem services and impacts of different response policies and interventions on different types of ecosystem services. Information and data from this type of case studies will contribute to the study to be undertaken by the Working Group.
In terms of next action, the first step is the development of the database on values, and then, the preparation of the synthesis of evidences, based on peer reviewed, semi reviewed values, such as those produced by Government offices and various agencies. Relevant time period for gathering data and information will not go beyond 2005, meaning that data produced since 2005 will be used. Experts to form the team have been identified to be engaged in the work, however, in order to implement these, we still need to secure sufficient resources.
ELD Working Group on Economic Valuation of Options and Outcomes Dr Pushpam Kumar, WG Leader Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit of Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference
Objectives1. Establish different scenarios of land degradation at the global scale2. Identify range of interventions and response policies (technical, mechanical, biological measures, etc.)3. Evaluate cost of action (Benefit from avoiding damage)4. Evaluate cost of inaction (Cost due to damage)
Approaches• Identify benefits of avoided degradation• Multi Scale Assessment• Mapping of benefits from ecosystem services• Timeframe: Current (2013-14), 2015, 2025
Types and Extent of Land DegradationTypes/degree Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region nof landdegradationLD1 $1x $5xLanddegradation 2Landdegradation 3LD n
Representative Cost DataOptions/interv Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region nentionsOption 1 $4x $1Option 2Option 3Option n
Data on Benefits (avoided degradation)Benefit gained Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region n(On site / offsite)e.g. Gain in $1x $1.5xproductivityOption 2Option 3Option n
Trade-offs and synergies: Analysis of response optionsOption/ Agricultural Carbon Water FloodIntervention Yield Sequestration Filtration MitigationReforestation - + + +Modified + + + +cultivationtechnologyetc
Next Action1.Development of Database on Values2.Synthesis of evidences (peer reviewed, semi reviewed values)3.Relevant time period not beyond 20054.Team in place (Experts identified)5.Resources??