Natural capital: The new political imperativeAn interim report prepared for the ‘Parliamentarians and Biodiversity Forum’ ...
Natural capital: The new political imperativeAn interim report prepared for the ‘Parliamentariansand Biodiversity Forum’ a...
Table of contentsForeword.............................................................Foreword ..............................
ForewordIn 2010, we celebrate the International Year of           Examples of successful policies must be addedBiodiversit...
Summary of key messagesParliamentarians can help develop and guide               Messages for legislators on natural capit...
Natural capital: The new political imperativeLegislators have the unique responsibility of                                ...
If our legislators and policy makers had clearer          Ecological restoration, innovative legislation oninformation on ...
Achieving public policy goals through natureIncreasingly, governments and businesses are               These consideration...
Over the short term, it might seem more                  Other natural assets can provide sources of low-profitable to con...
from deforestation and forest degradation,               where land degradation, and pollution of thecombined with enhance...
Case studies from around the worldThe following sections of the report profile a           GLOBE focal points in ten count...
Australia: Managing the Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established in 1975. Following the implem...
movement from the adjoining protected areas.Outbreaks of the invasive ‘Crown of Thorns’starfish plagues have lessened, and...
Brazil: Tax revenue and ecological criteriaSince 1992, a number of Brazilian states have redistributed some of the revenue...
Each state decides on the ecological indicatorsto be used, as well as the overall proportion thatshould be distributed. Th...
Cameroon: Restoration for rural livelihoodsMore than 200,000 people use the resources of the Waza Logone floodplain in nor...
Despite these impressive figures, no furtherlarge-scale donor funding has been forthcoming.In Cameroon, donors tend to fun...
China: Government incentives at scaleThe Chinese government has initiated some of the largest ecosystem restoration and la...
The SLCP is the largest land retirement and               Finally, the success of restoration andreforestation programmes ...
Denmark: From farmland to National ParkDenmark’s Skjern River valley was extensively drained during the 1960s to reclaim l...
Since completion of the restoration works in                       Lessons from the Skjern River experience have2003 (see ...
Europe: Managing coastal zonesOne third of the European Unions population lives along on the coastline, with maritimeregio...
kilometres of the coast and coastal tourism                                                             accounting for an ...
Indonesia: Reducing carbon emissionsThe extensive forest peatlands of central Kalimantan suffered severe degradation in th...
The work of the Partnership also complementsother initiatives by the Indonesian Governmentto protect and rehabilitate the ...
Japan: Legislation on restorationIn Japan, nature restoration is a daunting task because of high human population density,...
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative
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Natural Capital - The New Political Imperative

  1. 1. Natural capital: The new political imperativeAn interim report prepared for the ‘Parliamentarians and Biodiversity Forum’ at the tenthConference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya, Japan.October 2010 GLOBE International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems Supported by the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Environment Programme
  2. 2. Natural capital: The new political imperativeAn interim report prepared for the ‘Parliamentariansand Biodiversity Forum’ at the tenth Conference of theParties to the Convention on Biological Diversity,Nagoya, Japan.Prepared as part of the work of the GLOBEInternational Commission on Land Use Change andEcosystems.The GLOBE International Commission on Land UseChange and Ecosystems is supported by the GlobalEnvironment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations (UNEP).Environment Programme (UNEP).This report was prepared by Natasha Pauli (ZSL), ChrisStephens (GLOBE), Alejandro Litovsky (Volans), AnishaGrover (ZSL), Beth Gardiner-Smith (GLOBE), ElizabethClark (ZSL) and Stephanie Reading (GLOBE).For further information, please contact:Natasha Pauli, Scientific Advisor, Zoological Society ofLondon (natasha.pauli@zsl.org)Chris Stephens, Director, GLOBE InternationalCommission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems(chris.stephens@globeinternational.org)All figures quoted in this report are in US dollarsunless otherwise noted.October 2010GLOBE International Secretariat11 Dartmouth StreetWestminsterSW1H 9BNLondon, UKFront cover images:GLOBE Parliamentarians at the GLOBE Forum inCopenhagen, October 2008 © GLOBE International.Rain forest canopy at the Forestry Research InstituteMalaysia. © Mike Norton 2008
  3. 3. Table of contentsForeword.............................................................Foreword ............................................................. ii ................................ The Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE), founded (GLOBE) in 1989, facilitates high level negotiated policySummary of key messages .................................1 messages ................................. positions from leading legislators from across the imperative...... ......2Natural capital: The new political imperative ......2 G8+5 parliaments and from regional dialogues whichWhat is natural capital? ................................................ 2 are informed by business leaders and key international experts. GLOBEs objective is to support nature...... ......4Achieving public policy goals through nature ......4 ambitious political leadership on issues of climate andJobs and the economy .................................................. 4 energy security, land-use change and ecosystems andAgriculture, forests and fisheries.................................. 4 economic and population growth.Energy security .............................................................. 5Defence and security .................................................... 5 www.globeinternational.orgClimate change and water............................................ 5Health and well-being.................................................... 6 The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) a charity (ZSL), world................... ...................7Case studies from around the world ...................7 founded in 1826, is a world renowned centre ofAustralia: Managing the Great Barrier Reef................. 8 excellence for conservation science and appliedBrazil: Tax revenue and ecological criteria.................10 conservation. ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieveCameroon: Restoration for rural livelihoods ..............12 the worldwide conservation of animals and theirChina: Government incentives at scale......................14 habitats. This is realised by carrying out fieldDenmark: From farmland to National Park................16 conservation and research in 50 countries across theEurope: Managing coastal zones ...............................18 globe and through education and awareness at ourIndonesia: Reducing carbon emissions .....................20 two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.Japan: Legislation on restoration ...............................22Mexico: National payments for ecosystem services..24 www.zsl.orgSouth Africa: Poverty alleviation through restoration 26USA: Marine and coastal restoration at scale............28Insights for legislators on natural capital......... 30 capital......... Volans is part think-tank, part consultancy, part brokerInclude natural capital in national accounts..............30 and part incubator. Based in London and Singapore,Evaluate economic benefits .......................................30 Volans works globally with entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and governments to develop and scaleMobilize political support for natural capital .............30 innovative solutions to financial, social andInvolve local communities ..........................................30 environmental challenges. Our Innovation Lab bringsInvest in green jobs and infrastructure ......................31 together cross-sector partnerships to identify, mapBuild on existing models and mechanisms ...............31 and remove barriers that slow the scaling ofAdvocate for integrated regional planning.................31 innovative solutions to governance, economic, socialUse natural capital for future challenges...................31 and environmental challenges. ......................................................References ...................................................... 32 www.volans.com studies.............Websites and reports on case studies............. 36Acknowledgements..........................................Acknowledgements.......................................... 37 ................................ i
  4. 4. ForewordIn 2010, we celebrate the International Year of Examples of successful policies must be addedBiodiversity, culminating in the tenth Conference to this evidence base. This report aims to fill thisof the Parties to the United Nations Convention gap by profiling a set of policies, programmeson Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. Almost and legislation from around the world where thetwenty years after the importance of ecosystems value of natural capital has been incorporatedand biodiversity was recognised at the Earth into decision making. The examples have beenSummit in Rio de Janeiro, we are still losing put forward by legislators from the GLOBEspecies of plants and animals to extinction faster International network, and range from large-than ever before. As we lose species, the scale ‘payment for ecosystem services’integrity of the ecosystems on which we all programmes in Mexico and China, todepend becomes ever more threatened. Today, incentivising conservation through tax revenuesmore than ever, our leaders and in Brazil, to increasing the flow of ecosystemparliamentarians must find new ways to value, services through land restoration in Denmarkrestore, conserve and manage our natural and South Africa, and recognising the economicenvironment, before our very way of life is also contribution of protected areas in Australia.under threat. Each of these examples builds upon a criticalGovernments have begun to realise that the message: environmental policies can helpconservation and restoration of the natural deliver positive benefits to the economy andenvironment can help to achieve major public society, and help achieve short-term,policy goals. The relationship between nature mainstream public policy goals. Byand the economy is now better understood, and demonstrating that economic growth, jobit has been shown that economic growth and creation, energy and food security, healthsustainable environmental management can go benefits, climate change objectives andhand-in-hand. A central aspect in these recent sustainable resource management can bedevelopments is the valuation of natural capital achieved through innovative means that involveand ecosystem services, or in more simple terms, the natural world, this report provides uniqueputting an economic value on the natural insight from GLOBE’s network of legislators onenvironment and the services that nature how to win political support for policies thatprovides to the economy and society. deliver long-term environmental goals.Despite these timely advances, the true value of Currently, the policies profiled in this report arenatural capital is rarely integrated into policy seen as progressive due to their recognition ofmaking processes across government the true value of ecosystem services. We need todepartments. Public works programmes ensure move towards a world where these approachesthat built capital and infrastructure are are second nature to policymakers and wheremaintained and restored at regular intervals to the value of natural capital is recognisedprevent service deterioration and cost blow-outs. throughout decision-making processes.We must now do the same with natural capitaland ecosystem services. Until this happens, thegrowing body of scientific and economicevidence supporting the natural capitalapproach will not achieve the required results ofhalting the degradation of critical ecosystem The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Debenservices and global biodiversity loss. President, GLOBE International ii
  5. 5. Summary of key messagesParliamentarians can help develop and guide Messages for legislators on natural capitalpolicies that will ensure better management ofour ecosystems and species. In many cases, Nature is a form of capital that provides tangibleimproved environmental management can also goods and services that benefit people. The realdeliver tangible economic, social and political economic and social value of natural capital isbenefits, as well as meet key public policy goals. ignored or underestimated, resulting in ecosystem degradation and loss of valuableThis report showcases examples from around services (pp. 2-3).the world where legislators have been activelyinvolved in developing and implementing Better management of natural capital can buyprojects and legislation that have demonstrated, political capital given the level of community capital,quantifiable benefits for the environment, the interest in environmental issues, and theeconomy, and society. Examples are drawn from multiple benefits that can be delivered (pp. 2-3).Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Denmark,Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Long-term goals for managing natural capital ong-the UK and USA, as nominated by members of can be balanced with short-term policy goals in short-the GLOBE International legislators’ network. key areas such as jobs, health, agriculture, defence, energy and water (pp. 4-6).Parliamentarians and key experts have addedtheir political insights to these case studies, to meet All countries can use natural capital to meetdemonstrate how these innovative and economic, social and environment objectives, objectivesprogressive ideas were developed and through restoration, conservation, and improvedimplemented. In many cases, difficulties were management, if initiatives are well-designed andencountered along the way that had to be thoroughly implemented (pp. 7-29).overcome. In a way, this report could beconsidered as the parliamentarians’ ‘response toTEEB’ (the study on The Economics of political Strong political leadership by individuals andEcosystems and Biodiversity). parties is crucial to the success of the natural capital approach. In many of the case studies, legislators acted to promote, negotiate andThis document is an ‘interim’ report. It will be champion legislation, with strong involvementpresented to and discussed by parliamentarians from the public sector and civil society (p. 30).at the Parliamentarians and Biodiversity Forumon October 25-26, to be held in parallel withnegotiations at CBD COP10, in Nagoya, Japan. At Policies on natural capital are most likely tothis meeting, legislators will add their insights succeed if aligned with other political priorities if priorities,and ideas to those collected here. The final and if they are based on sound scientific andreport, incorporating these additions, will then be economic evidence, developed through widereleased in late 2010. consultation, and regularly reviewed and updated (pp. 30-31).We hope that this report will demonstrate thatlegislators are making a difference towards a Community involvement is a key factor innew, more sustainable world order, and act as successful environmental management. Many ofinspiration for new initiatives. Here, we provide a the case studies involved extensive communityshort summary of some of the key messages involvement, which often helped to increasecontained within this report. participation and political support, allay negative reactions, scale up initiatives, and maximise beneficial outcomes for local people (p. 30). 1
  6. 6. Natural capital: The new political imperativeLegislators have the unique responsibility of What is natural capital?looking after the national interest byrepresenting their nation’s people and holding We don’t often think of nature as a form oftheir government to account. As the impacts of capital. However, biodiversity and naturalclimate change begin to hit home, and with the ecosystems provide key goods and services thatloss of species and ecosystem degradation sustain our economy, and the value of theseoccurring at an unprecedented rate, it has services has often been taken for granted.become ever more obvious that sustainable ‘Natural capital’ provides a flow of services thatenvironmental management is a key part of are considered valuable to human society.securing every nation’s future. Legislators have aduty to show the political leadership that is Healthy wetlands, for example, provide a naturalrequired to address ecological crises in a water purification service, as well as floodcoordinated and timely manner. protection, carbon sequestration, food products, and much more. The disappearance of a wetlandThe global economy now consumes the means that these services would need to beequivalent resources of 1.4 planets, and we are replaced by man-made capital - like a waternow drawing down on our natural capital 1. As treatment plant. The value of the ‘ecosystemnational economies surpass what are considered service’ provided, and the value of replacing thisto be ‘safe’ boundaries in the stability of the service through man-made infrastructure, givesEarth’s natural cycles, we are reminded of our economists and policy-makers a rough idea ofcritical dependence on nature. the value of the natural capital that surrounds us.Across most industries, the private sector and Although financial values cannot be attached tofinancial markets are fundamentally challenged all ecosystem services, economic valuationto rethink their impact on the natural world. The frameworks exist for many of them. For example,task for governments, political leaders and the ecosystem services provided by coral reefslegislators around the world is even more have an estimated value of $172-375 billion perchallenging: to ensure that their country’s annum 2-5. These services include fisheries, rawecological systems can continue to meet the materials, raw materials, storm protectionneeds of their populations for shelter, food, climate regulation, and tourism.water, health and well-being in a rapidlychanging future landscape. A nation’s economy and wellbeing depends on the services provided by nature. And yet,This report highlights the role of legislators as insufficient political attention is given to ensuringstewards of natural capital. Here, we detail that we are not depleting our natural capital,political insights from initiatives in 12 countries even though, ironically, its degradation implieswhere legislators have been directly involved in that governments will have to spend more‘investing’ in natural capital, through innovative money in the future to ensure that ecosystemapproaches to ecological restoration, services are sustained. The hardships faced byconservation, sustainable management, and the communities living around the shrinking Aralfinancing for nature. We hope that the political Sea, who once relied on a healthy freshwatermessages from these examples will help ecosystem for their livelihoods, bear testimony tolegislators engage effectively with a new agenda the social, economic and health problems thatfor change, which will help to shift economies can ensue if we continue to deplete our naturaland societies towards a healthier balance with capital 6.the natural systems that underpin them. 2
  7. 7. If our legislators and policy makers had clearer Ecological restoration, innovative legislation oninformation on how improved management of environmental management, and novel ways ofnatural capital could deliver benefits in key incorporating nature into decisions on waterareas of public policy, better decisions would be management and agricultural productivity aremade. Agriculture, fisheries, forestry, health, and just a few of methods that can have positivewater provision are all intricately linked with the returns on financial investment over the longstate of our natural capital. term, given the right conditions 7.Part of the difficulty with dealing with these Governments have a critical role to play inissues is related to the short-term nature of ensuring that such investments are drivenpolitical terms, compared with the long-term forward. Indeed, given the level of interest in theapproaches that are needed to properly manage environment in the community, governmentsour natural capital. Therefore, it is critical to that demonstrate forward-thinking, long-termdemonstrate that environmental policies that management of natural capital are likely toachieve long-term sustainability can also deliver accumulate substantial political capital. We hopeshort-term, mainstream policy goals. that this report provides inspiring examples of innovative ways that legislators are becoming involved in improving management of ourToday, there are many examples of how natural capital, and at the same time deliveringlegislators, community leaders and economic and social benefits to localentrepreneurs are working in or with communities.governments to create new investment andgovernance systems that can preserve naturalcapital as a form of national wealth.“It is essential that we begin to integrate the true value of naturalcapital and ecosystem services into policy making processes acrossgovernment departments. Otherwise, we risk further deteriorationthat will result in greater cost to our economies.”Zac Goldsmith MP, UK member for Richmond Park and North Kingston. 3
  8. 8. Achieving public policy goals through natureIncreasingly, governments and businesses are These considerations are as relevant to OECDrealising that using nature, biodiversity and countries as they are to the developing world.ecological processes in creative and innovative Improving the management of natural capital canways can help achieve major public policy and have a direct financial impact on local incomefinancial goals. These can range from increasing through payments for ecosystem services,agricultural output and food security, to providing employment income, and the proceeds ofjobs and a healthier future for communities. tourism. Other economic benefits includeBelow, we present some examples of how increased availability of natural resources suchinvesting in and improving the management of as fish and non-timber forest products, greaternatural capital can have positive impacts on six availability of water, increased agriculturalkey public policy areas. productivity, and higher property prices.Governments and businesses can choose to In South Africa, the large-scale Working for Water‘invest’ in natural capital in many different ways. programme (see page 26) to remove invasiveThis could include spending money on ecological species has provided jobs and training for up torestoration programmes, ‘green infrastructure’, 30,000 people over 15 years. In Namibia, locally-promoting sustainable agriculture and forestry, managed, government-sanctioned wildlifeand the management of protected areas. ‘Green conservancies provided over 500 full time andinfrastructure’ refers to the use of natural assets, 3000 part-time jobs between 1998 and 2005,such as mangroves, reed banks, river beds and with substantial economic benefits to localforests, to fulfil functions that might otherwise by people 8. Government payments for ecosystemdealt with through more expensive built services (also known as ‘PES’) schemes haveinfrastructure, such as storm walls and water had positive effects on income in parts of ruralpurification plants. China 9 and Mexico 10.As we realise the enormous impact of the loss of Agriculture, forests and fisheriesbiodiversity on our forests, fisheries, farmlands,waterways and urban areas, programmes that Improving environmental management hasmaintain and restore natural capital and obvious benefits for the agriculture, forests andecosystem services will advance up the list of fisheries sectors. The use of sustainable farminggovernment spending priorities. practices on agricultural lands can mitigate against the effects of land degradation, and increase productivity. Australia’s LandcareJobs and the economy movement has demonstrated that such practices, such as adopting conservative stocking rates,Under the right conditions, investing in natural planting trees, protecting remnant vegetationcapital can provide jobs, promote economic and rotating crops, can lead to more profitabledevelopment, and ‘capture’ the financial value of farming, and help guard against the worst effectsecosystem services. of severe droughts 11.“Public budgets can be used more efficiently ifgovernments improve how they ‘work with nature’ toadvance economic priorities.”Patrick ten Brink, Coordinator of the TEEB report for policy-makers. 4
  9. 9. Over the short term, it might seem more Other natural assets can provide sources of low-profitable to convert forests to other land uses. carbon energy, such as wind, wave, tidal andHowever, over the longer term, the loss of forests geothermal energy. In coastal and marine areas,can lead to a lack timber, fuel-wood and other if the generation of offshore energy is carefullyforest products, as well as depletion of planned and included within integrated coastalecosystem services such as erosion control and zone management, this can provide a relativelyflood protection. Investing in forest restoration low-environmental impact method of boostingand sustainable forest management can help to energy security.restore some of the economic benefits of forests,if well-designed and well-managed 12. Thesuccess of community-based forest management Defence and securityin the Petén region of Guatemala has shown how Scarcity of food and water due to environmentalsustainable management can provide multiple mismanagement can amplify conflict andeconomic, social and environmental benefits 13. contribute to instability, although natural resource scarcity is very rarely the sole cause ofAlthough it may at first seem counterintuitive, conflict. Desperation on the part of localinvesting in the creation and management of fisherman in the face of illegal foreign fishing andmarine protected areas is increasingly being toxic waste dumping is thought to haveconsidered as an important tool in marine contributed to the rise of piracy in Somali watersfisheries management 14. Marine protected areas 20-21. Shortages of farmland and land degradationcan allow fish populations to recover from may have contributed to tensions in Rwanda inexploitation 15. The overflow effect means that as the 1990s 22. More sustainable and equitableadult fish leave the protected area, there is a management of natural resources could help todirect benefit to neighbouring fisheries 16. address the roots of conflict, and offset fundsGlobally, the additional catch from restoring fish spent on peacekeeping and humanitarianstocks to health through better management of relief 23.fishing activity could avert undernourishment andhunger for 20 million people 17. As water resources becoming increasingly scarce, the potential for conflict over the distribution ofEnergy security water resources along transboundary rivers has been raised as a potential political issue.Given the finite reserves of oil and natural gas, However, co-operative water management acrossand the need for countries to reduce their carbon borders can build trust among neighbouringemissions under international law, natural and countries, and prevent conflict 24. Instances ofagricultural ecosystems will need to provide an cooperation among countries that share a riverincreasing proportion of energy supplies. Biofuels outnumber instances of conflict by about two toand biogas could provide part of the answer to one 25.this problem, although strict regulations must beenacted to ensure that the expansion of crops forbiofuels does not lead to losses of biodiversity, Climate change and waterfood insecurity, and a net carbon debt 18-19. Mitigating and adapting to the effects of climateInvesting in genuinely sustainable biofuel and change will be one of the biggest challenges forbiogas production (such as using waste materials the 21st century. Natural capital and ecosystemsthat would otherwise remain unused) can be part will play a key role in both of these tasks. Theof an overall package for achieving energy loss and degradation of tropical forests accountssecurity. for 18 to 25% of global greenhouse emissions 26. ‘REDD+’ refers to strategies to reduce emissions 5
  10. 10. from deforestation and forest degradation, where land degradation, and pollution of thecombined with enhancement of forest carbon atmosphere and water supplies have hadstocks, sustainable management of forests and adverse health effects.onservation. REDD+ strategies are a key part ofthe transition to a low-carbon economy 27, and Watershed management and restoration ofare being negotiated under the international wetland areas can reduce pollution loads and theclimate change convention. incidence of water-borne diseases, which can lead to significant cost savings on expensive‘Ecosystem-based adaptation’ centres on water treatment plants. This idea has beenmaintaining ecological functions across a famously illustrated by the City of New York’s uselandscape in the face of climate change, and it of the Catskills Mountains watershed as acan be a cost-effective method for adaptation 28- ‘natural’ water treatment facility 32.29. Strategies can include developing alternativelivelihoods and food sources for fishing There are significant benefits to health and well-communities that are reliant on coral reefs, being that can be gained through access towhich are threatened by climate change. Another natural areas. A recent study found thatexample is increasing agricultural resilience residents in the British city of Bristol were 24%through the use of soil and crop management more likely to be physically active if they hadtechniques that make the most of reduced good access to green space. By extrapolation, if itrainfall. Investing in sustainable ecosystem- were possible for all households in the UK tobased management that explicitly considers the have access to green space, this would save anlocal effects of global climate change will soon estimated £2.1 billion per year from the healthbecome central to effective resource budget 33.management. Running down natural capital can have direSecuring sufficient reserves of high quality water consequences for human health and well-being,will become increasingly challenging under many particularly in the face of devastating naturalof the projected scenarios for climate change. disasters. A study including over 50 developingAlready, between 5 to 25% of global freshwater countries showed that the area of forest cover isuse currently exceeds renewable supply 30, and if negatively correlated with flood frequency 34.no new policies on water management are Following the devastating 2004 Boxing Dayintroduced, by 2030 nearly half the world’s tsunami in south-east Asia, some governmentspopulation could be living with severe water are re-establishing mangrove forests that havestress 31. Government-led initiatives on water the potential to act as a barrier to storm surge 35.trading, water law reform, water use efficiency inagriculture and watershed management will beimportant to ensure continued water availability.Health and well-beingThe links between a healthy natural environmentand healthy human populations are clear,through the provision of safe drinking water,absence of harmful pollutants, and productivefarmlands and fisheries. The condition of thenatural environment should be considered aspart of the overall health policy, particularly 6
  11. 11. Case studies from around the worldThe following sections of the report profile a GLOBE focal points in ten countries and therange of responses that legislators have taken to European Union were asked to nominate projectsincrease investment in natural capital. The or pieces of legislation that embodied theapproaches range from making payments to principles of investing in natural capital (seecommunities to manage forested watersheds in Figure 1). To be considered for inclusion in thisMexico, to incentivising conservation through the report, the case studies had to demonstratetaxation system in Brazil, initiating large-scale evidence of the environmental, economic andrestoration to combat land degradation in China social benefits associated with the project orand Indonesia, and formulating integrated legislation, and that there was potential for thelegislative responses to environmental principles of the approach to be applied in othermanagement in Europe. geographic areas. GLOBE members and experts associated with each of the case studies were asked to provide political insight into the factorsThe case studies in this report were selected with that enabled each approach to succeed.the involvement of parliamentarians from theGlobal Legislators Organisation, known morecommonly as GLOBE. GLOBE consists of senior Most of the case studies focus on ecologicalcross-party members of parliament, drawn restoration, ecosystem-based management,primarily from the G20 countries. Membership of payments for ecosystem services, andGLOBE is open to members of parliament from conservation initiatives. The kinds of policies thatany country. Recently, GLOBE has expanded are described in the following pages might bebeyond its historical emphasis on climate change seen currently as ‘progressive’, but once theand energy security to policies related to land value of natural capital is fully integrated intouse change, marine ecosystem management, the decision making, these types of approachesprovision of ecosystem services and biodiversity could become second nature to policy makers.conservation.Figure 1: Map showing the countries from which the cases studies are drawn. drawn. 7
  12. 12. Australia: Managing the Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established in 1975. Following the implementation ofan ambitious re-zoning plan in 2004, all resource extraction, including fishing, was prohibitedacross one-third of the park. Evidence suggests that the rezoning has resulted in betterprotection for a wide range of species and habitats, including more abundant fish populations,a reduction in invasive species, coral recovery and enhanced support for tourism, andcommercial and recreational fishing industries. The planning process and successful outcomeof the rezoning have influenced marine conservation efforts around the world.Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest Building political support was crucial to thetropical coral reef system in the world (Figure 2). rezoning programme. This process was greatlyThe Great Barrier Reef Marine Park supports a aided by the fact that head of the GBRMPA atwide range of uses, including marine tourism, the time, the late Hon. Virginia Chadwick, was aindigenous traditional uses, fishing, ports and former New South Wales Cabinet Minister andshipping, and recreation, that together support skilled political negotiator.more than 50,000 jobs and contribute over$5 billion to the Australian economy every year. When asked to comment on the complexities of the negotiations, Professor Kemp said, “AsIn 1999, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Minister for the Environment I sought toAuthority (GBRMPA) embarked on a process to establish good working relationships with thedevelop a new zoning plan, in response to various industries, and to assure them that theirconcerns over biodiversity and habitat protection. genuine interests would be taken into account.Scientists advised that unless at least 20 per The tourism industry was highly supportive of thecent of each habitat could be properly protected, rezoning, as the ecological health of the reef wasthe ability of the ecosystem to remain healthy critical to their future. Coastal communities wereand productive would be seriously compromised. also generally positive, as they were aware of theAt the time, highly protected no-take zones value of the Marine Park to their prosperity. Theoccupied less than five per cent of the total area trawling industry presented the most difficultof the park. issues because of the size of their capital investment and wide community hostility to the by-catch problems that the industry was seekingThe Hon. Professor David Kemp was the to address”.Australian federal Minister for Environment andHeritage who authorized the commencement of Professor Kemp added the following insights onthe public process and had the new Zoning Plan the benefits of rezoning: “The main benefit of thepassed through the Parliament in 2003. rezoning has been the improvement in theReflecting on his experiences, Professor Kemp ecological health of the Great Barrier Reef. Fishsaid, “The rezoning was a complex political task populations have increased in the protectedbecause of the number of industries and zones, and there is recent scientific evidencecommunities that could be affected, and the demonstrating that fisheries benefits are alsoadverse impact of the rezoning on access to a occurring in the adjacent fished areas throughsignificant portion of the reef for exploitative the spillover of adult fish as well as larvalpurposes.”“Many industries rely on the continued health of the Great Barrier Reefecosystem, which underpins a significant and growing proportion ofQueensland’s regional economy.”The Hon. David Kemp, former Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage (2001-2004) 8
  13. 13. movement from the adjoining protected areas.Outbreaks of the invasive ‘Crown of Thorns’starfish plagues have lessened, and theecological resilience of the area to cope withother pressures has also been increased.Further time is needed to determine the fullextent to which the increasing fish populationswill provide substantial benefits to thecommercial and recreational fishing industries.So far, the results fully justify the rezoning.”Professor Kemp’s comments are supported by arecent scientific analysis of data on fishpopulations, which also indicated thatexpenditure on management and maintenanceof the park represents only a tiny fraction of thetotal revenue generated by reef-basedactivities 36.The role of community involvement in therezoning and management of the Great BarrierReef provides interesting insights for legislators.Over 31,000 public submissions were received, © NASAmaking it the most comprehensive process ofcommunity involvement in any environmental Figure 2: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.issue in Australia. The timetable for public The Great Barrier Reef is a complex system thatconsultation was specifically designed to be able extends for 2,000 kilometres along the northeasternto manage intense community interest. Amongst coast of Australia. The condition of the reef ecosystem is influenced by human activities on land and at sea.the broader community, there was strong This picture, from NASA’s ‘Earth Observatory’, showssupport for increasing the level of protection for part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to thethe Great Barrier Reef 37. central Queensland coast. earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=1337Ongoing engagement with the community is keyto implementing and enforcing the amendedmanagement rules from the new zoning plan.Education is viewed by the GBRMPA as one ofthe most effective strategies to encouragecompliance with the management objectives ofthe Marine Park, according to Professor Kemp.He added. “Effective protection for the GreatBarrier Reef Marine Park requires the support ofthe community, and can only be sustained if ithas political support”. 9
  14. 14. Brazil: Tax revenue and ecological criteriaSince 1992, a number of Brazilian states have redistributed some of the revenue raisedthrough value-added tax to municipalities according to environmental indicators. This practicewas originally intended as a means of compensating municipalities for maintaining protectedareas within their territories, rather than as a tool for improving environmental management.However, evidence suggests that the practice has acted as an incentive to set aside newareas for conservation, and improve management of existing protected areas.One of the biggest challenges to achieving good Protected areas deliver numerous economicallystewardship of natural capital is the valuable environmental services, as well asdevelopment of fiscal instruments that can strong social benefits for indigenous peoplesencourage conservation and reward sound who are able to maintain their identity andenvironmental management. A number of culture through close association with their lands.Brazilian states have done just that by However, there are also opportunity costsdistributing a portion of revenue from value- associated with not developing the land.added tax (known in Brazil as the ICMS orImposto sobre Circulação de Mercardorias e Following the implementation of stricterServiços) revenue to local municipalities, based environmental legislation in the 1980s, someon environmental criteria. municipalities in the state of Paraná felt disadvantaged after the area available toThe ICMS tax constitutes approximately 90% of agricultural expansion was restricted. Theyoverall state tax revenues. One quarter of the exerted pressure on the state legislature andrevenue raised by the ICMS must be allocated by government agencies for financial compensation.states to local governments. Of this 25%, three- Subsequently, the ICMS-E was developed to givequarters must be distributed in accordance with financial compensation to municipalities for thethe share of state ICMS collected from that existence of protected areas and othermunicipality. States that have an ‘ecological ecological services.ICMS’ (often referred to as ICMS-E) redistributesome of the remaining ICMS revenue according Paraná began operating the ICMS-E in 1992.to environmental indicators, such as the area of Other states have since adopted a similarthe municipality occupied by protected areas. system, including: Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Amapá, Rondônia, Rio Grande do Sul, MatoBrazil has some of the largest protected areas in Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins,the world. Protected areas in Brazil include Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro. Santa Catarina,Indigenous Territories and Conservation Units. Espírito Santo and Goiás have drafted ICMS-EBetween 2003 and 2009, Brazil was responsible legislation; and Amazonas, Bahia and Cearáfor establishing nearly three-quarters of all have submitted ICMS-E legislation to theirprotected areas declared across the globe respective state legislatures. See Figure 3 for aduring this period 38. map of states currently with and without ICMS-E.“Services rendered by natural ecosystems are numberless, includingthe maintenance of the hydrological cycle, soil regeneration andprotection, nutrient recycling, and the preservation of species thatare critical to food security, medicine and industry.”Representative Rebecca Garcia, member of the Brazilian Federal Parliament. 10
  15. 15. Each state decides on the ecological indicatorsto be used, as well as the overall proportion thatshould be distributed. There are no limits placedon how municipalities use the ICMS-E, which ishanded over as a ‘lump sum’. For example, inthe municipality of Ilha Grande, in Paraná, ICMS-E resources are used for numerous activities inthe community, including drilling of wells fordrinking water, maintenance of seedlingnurseries, cleaning and landscaping of urbanareas, construction of industrial facilities, States with ICMS-Egarbage collection, landfills, environmental States with draft ICMS-Eeducation, enforcement of land use controls, legislationand all the costs required to maintain Ilha States that have submitted ICMS-EGrande National Park 39. legislation to legislatures States without ICMS-EAlthough it was not originally designed as a toolfor improving environmental management of Figure 3: Uptake of ICMS-E in Brazilprotected areas, evidence suggests that the The popularity of ICMS-E has been gathering withinICMS-E has acted in many cases as an incentive Brazil since Paraná became the first state to adoptto establish new protected areas, and improve ICMS-E legislation in 1992. Source: Ring (2008).management of existing protected areas. Thereis also evidence to suggest that the introductionof ICMS-E has changed the way land managers It should be noted that it is not only the ICMS-Eview protected areas 40-41. Instead of seeing that is related to an increase in protected areas;protected areas as an obstacle to development, other government policies are also at play.they are now seen as an opportunity to generate Further, not all municipalities with conservationrevenue 41. areas benefit equally from ICMS-E 39. In Rondônia, for example, the ICMS-E did not have such strong positive effects. Due to the way thatIn the state of Paraná for example, the area of revenues were distributed, it adversely affectedconservation units grew by 165% in the nine poorer municipalities without conservation units,years following the introduction of ICMS-E in or with only small protected areas 42.1992 39. In 2000 alone, over one millionhectares of land were declared as newconservation units in Paraná 39, an area slightly The ICMS-E is strongly supported by Brazil’ssmaller than the island of Jamaica. Federal Environmental Ministry. One of the key advantages for implementation of the ICMS-E is that it has very low transaction costs. It has beenRepresentative Rebecca Garcia, Member of the designed to build on an existing mechanism forFederal Parliament of Brazil, said, “The success transferring money between states and localachieved with ICMS-E in the state of Paraná, municipalities 41. Brazil’s ICMS-E has beenmeasured by the increase in protected areas profiled in many international fora. It has evenand increased income in municipalities with been advanced as a blueprint for distributingextended protected areas, has definitely funds to developing countries the world over forinfluenced other states to adopt similar efforts to conserve biodiversity and ecosystemmechanisms”. services 43. 11
  16. 16. Cameroon: Restoration for rural livelihoodsMore than 200,000 people use the resources of the Waza Logone floodplain in northernCameroon for fishing, dry season grazing and agriculture. Since the early 1990s, theGovernment of Cameroon has been working to reverse the adverse impacts of the Maga Dam,constructed across the floodplain in 1979. Cost-benefit analyses show that ecosystemrestoration, if delivered at a large scale, would have multiple long-term economic and socialbenefits, as well as benefits for wildlife and wetlands. However, securing funding to expandthe restoration programme has proven extremely challenging.Covering an area of approximately 8,000 km2, and resolve some of the conflicts over access tothe Waza Logone floodplain is one of the largest resources. The intention of the project was not towetlands in the West African Sahel, and forms restore the floodplain to its original state, butpart of the Lake Chad Basin. The high rather to try and strike a better balance betweenproductivity of the floodplain relies on seasonal environment and development.flooding following wet season rains. The water-soaked soil allows grasses to grow well into the Trial releases of dammed water to recreatedry season, forming an important source of feed seasonal floods were a key part of the Wazafor graziers, and inundated areas provide fish Logone project. Results from 1994 and 1997and other food items. indicated improvements in perennial grass cover, wild herbivore populations, fishing yields andThe Waza Logone region faces serious problems livestock production 44. Based on the trials, threeof food security. The Maga Dam was built to possible options for large-scale water releaseincrease food security by providing water for were developed 45. Cost-benefit analysesirrigated rice cultivation and year-round fishing. indicated that implementation of any of the threeHowever, dam construction was carried out options would lead to significant net economicwithout considering environmental impacts. A benefits for local people, as recently highlightedperiod of dry years, exacerbated by the presence in the TEEB study 35.of the dam, reduced the flow of water to thefloodplain, with negative consequences for thepeople living downstream. Many difficultiesarose among local communities over sharingaccess to the limited water and other resourcesof the floodplain. Those affected by the altered 5 yearshydrology of the floodplain include some of the The time that it would take to recoup thepoorest and most vulnerable people in the initial costs of restoring the floodingregion 35. regime in the Waza Logone regionWhen the Government of Cameroon becameaware of the ecological, hydrological and social US$2.3 millionimpacts of the irrigation project, it “understood The annual net livelihood benefits forthe necessity of being aware of environmental local people in the Waza Logone regionaspects in investing in development”, said Hon. from floodplain restoration activitiesAmadou Adji, a Cameroonian legislator from the 46 35region. This led to the Waza Logone Project, a Source: Loth (2004) . TEEB (2009)collaborative effort undertaken with theInternational Union for the Conservation ofNature (IUCN) and other partners, to restore thehydrological regime on which the region depends, 12
  17. 17. Despite these impressive figures, no furtherlarge-scale donor funding has been forthcoming.In Cameroon, donors tend to fund forest-relatedprojects, and overlook opportunities to fundsustainable development in other ecosystems 47.This is despite the fact that funding restorationprojects could have significant flow-on effects,because it would likely have a positive impact onLake Chad. Water levels in Lake Chad havereached an unprecedented historical low, as acombined result of overgrazing, upstream waterdiversion for dams, water withdrawal andclimatic variation 48 (see Figure 4). The shrinkingof Lake Chad has had serious consequences forthe estimated 22 million people living in thearea 49.Aside from a dearth of funding to continue theWaza Logone project, the continued resilience ofthe region’s ecosystems and agriculturalsystems is threatened by climate change. Sincethe 1970s, there has been a trend towardsreduced annual rainfall across the Sahel 46. Cropproduction in the Waza Logone area is alreadychallenging, with reports that production ofcommon crops may fail once in every three years. © NASAFacilitating adaptation to the effects of climatechange, altered hydrology and reduced rainfall Figure 4: The changing face of Lake Chad.will be crucial to development and agriculture The Waza Logone floodplain region, shown as thestrategies in the area. elongated green area in the lower half of this satellite image, forms part of the Lake Chad basin (in the upper half of the image). The Maga Dam can be seenIn the Waza Logone region, investing in as a small crescent shaped grey patch in the image. Changing climatic conditions, water extraction,ecological restoration and sustainable resource vegetation removal and grazing have changed the sizemanagement is now considered as a central part of Lake Chad over the last fifty years. The lake’sof development planning because it is seen by former extent can be seen by the green areas of vegetation and rippled brown and green areas; openlegislators and community leaders as vital to the water now occupies a small area in the southeastcontinued social and economic development of portion of the lake (visible as grey-green in colour).the area. International donors would do well to earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=1877consider how investing in natural capital canhelp to meet social and economic outcomes.“Investing in this area by taking advantage of the lessons learnt byformer interventions can be a good way to show the internationalcommunity the necessity of maintaining natural capital”.Hon. Amadou Adji, Cameroonian legislator from the Waza region. 13
  18. 18. China: Government incentives at scaleThe Chinese government has initiated some of the largest ecosystem restoration and landrehabilitation programmes in the world. Many of these programmes were developed inresponse to severe impacts on rural and urban dwellers from deforestation, desertification,soil erosion, river sedimentation and flooding. The Sloping Land Conversion Programme is oneof the largest, and has so far enrolled around 23 million hectares of land for afforestation.China’s vast interior has supported productive national, have been involved in designingagriculture for millennia. However, in recent programmes with elements of payments ordecades, expansion and intensification of markets for ecosystem services that suit localagricultural activity has contributed to land needs and draw on various funding sources.degradation and soil erosion, which has affectedcrop yields, water quality, and human well-being. In China, food security is an enormous challenge.For example, the incidence of dust storms Despite this, China has initiated the Naturalincreased from once every three decades before Forest Protection Programme, an element of1949, to almost once per year from 1990 which is the Sloping Land Conversiononwards 50. Severe dust storms can bring Beijing Programme (SLCP), to convert farmland onto a standstill, erode topsoil, and can have sloping land back to forests. The SLCP, alsoserious health impacts. Greater frequency and known as ‘Grain for Green’ is the most wellintensity of dust storms has been partly known of China’s large restoration programmes.attributed to deforestation 50.Over the last two decades, policy makers inChina have taken a lead in developing novelapproaches to environmental policy that canhelp to address the challenges of limitedavailability of arable land, environmental Provinces with Sloping Land Conversiondegradation and rapid economic growth 51. Programme (SLCP) initiativesThese policy approaches have included some of Provinces without SLCP initiativesthe largest land restoration and reforestationprogrammes in the world.Already, China has invested more than $90billion on planned public payment schemes andmarket-based programs for ecosystem services,with rapid growth over the past decade 51. A keyelement that runs through many of the schemesis the use of public money to pay farmers toretire cropland and plant trees and othervegetation. Figure 5: Scale of the Sloping Land ConversionAlmost all of China’s ‘eco-compensation’ Programme in Chinaschemes have been developed and funded The SLCP has a broad geographic reach across China,within China. With the exception of a few operating across 25 Chinese provinces. The provinces where SLCP currently has a presence are marked inprojects, such as the World Bank’s ‘Loess green in the map above. Information from Liu et al.Plateau Rehabilitation Project’, there has been (2008) 52.relatively little international involvement 51. Alllevels of government, from local to provincial to 14
  19. 19. The SLCP is the largest land retirement and Finally, the success of restoration andreforestation programmes in the world, and has reforestation programmes in China has impactsarguably been seen as a blueprint for national- that reach beyond the country’s borders. Aslevel land conversion and payment schemes in vegetation cover increases across China, uptakeChina. It aims to reduce rural poverty by of carbon from the atmosphere is enhanced, andpromoting a shift to sustainable production, there is also a reduction in air-borne dust fromthrough direct payments to rural landowners to the erosion of topsoil 52. These effectsplant trees and grass on farmland located in demonstrate the increasing ‘globalisation’ ofsloping and marginal areas. environmental issues.Originally designed to reduce sediment loads inthe Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, today the SLCPprogramme spans 2,000 counties in 25 Chinese Facts and figures on China’sprovinces (Figure 5). So far, around 23 million Sloping Land Conversion Programmehectares of land have been enrolled forafforestation, involving 32.5 million rural $US 50 billionhouseholds. There is evidence to suggest that Total budget of the programme,the programme has had a positive impact oncropping, livestock assets and total income 52-53. an amount greater than the annualNotable positive environmental outcomes GDP of over 100 countries.include reduced surface runoff and soil erosion,reduced soil nutrient loss and increased 9.3 million hectaresvegetation cover. Total area of cropland enrolled, which would cover all of Portugal.The Sloping Land Conversion Programme hashad a large impact on policy in China since it was 13.6 million hectareslaunched in 1999. The development of this Total area of ‘wasteland’ afforested -programme was strongly rooted in several an area the size of England.successive ecological disasters, which promptedthe government to implement more decisive, 51 Source: Bennett (2009)forceful and far-reaching measures than thosethat had previously been adopted 54.China’s efforts to restore natural capital lostthrough decades of over-use of forests,farmlands and waterways hold many lessons forlegislators from around the world. In China thereis now a vast wealth of knowledge on how todesign and implement large-scale payments forecosystem services, which could be very helpfulfor other countries in similar situations. 15
  20. 20. Denmark: From farmland to National ParkDenmark’s Skjern River valley was extensively drained during the 1960s to reclaim land forfarming. By the 1980s, the Danish Parliament recognised that farming on these lands was amarginal activity, and that the downstream estuarine region was suffering from high nutrientloading and declines of economically-important fish species. Since completion of restorationworks in 2003, a wide variety of economic, social and environmental benefits have beenmeasured. The area was nominated for consideration as a National Park in 2008.The ecosystems of northern Europe have The Hon. Steen Gade MP, Chairman of theundergone significant modification through Environment Committee in the Danishmillennia of human habitation and agricultural Parliament, shared his insights on the legislativedevelopment. Clearing of native vegetation, process for the restoration works. According todraining of wetlands, and straightening of river Steen Gade, the Skjern River restorationcourses have altered natural capital and programme was put forward largely as a naturechanged the flow of environmental services in project, emphasising the need to return the rivermany areas. Many policy makers now realise to its natural state. Additionally, the proponentsthat carefully designed ecological rehabilitation argued that agriculture would not be profitable inprogrammes can restore some of this natural the future, and that river restoration could allowcapital and associated ecosystem services. the development of tourism based on fishing.Danish legislators have long acknowledged the Initially, there was opposition to restoration fromrole of ecosystem restoration in meeting multiple farmers and other groups, just as there hadpolicy goals. Between 1989 and 2004, about been opposition to the original plans to reclaim10,000 ha of wetlands were restored in land for farming in the 1960s. Key issuesDenmark. In 1987, a parliamentary directive was included concerns over an adequate level ofissued with the aim of restoring economically compensation, and concerns over public accessunsustainable marginal agricultural lands back to the restored lands. There was support fromto their natural ecological state. The Skjern River some farmers, who preferred to be compensatedvalley was chosen as the ‘headline’ case 55. by the government earlier, rather than later, after agricultural productivity had irreversibly declined.The lower section of the Skjern River valley wasextensively drained during the 1960s to reclaim “If we had known then what we know todayland for farming. However, by 1983, the Danish about the economic and social benefits thatParliament recognised that the farms of the area restoration of the river would provide, perhaps itwere declining in productivity and would might have been easier for the local communityeventually prove economically unsustainable. to embrace the plans,” commented Steen Gade.Further, the Ringkøbing Fjord was suffering from Meetings with local representatives took placehigh nutrient loading and declines in over several years, during which time communityeconomically important fish species. attitudes towards the plan changed substantially. Eventually, restoration works began in 1998.“We can use natural processes to reduce the amount of nutrients,sediment and pollutants entering our waterways. Conservation andrestoration of natural areas will help us fulfil our obligations underthe Water Framework Directive, and provide benefits for nature.”The Hon. Steen Gade MP, Chairman of the Environment Committee, Danish Parliament 16
  21. 21. Since completion of the restoration works in Lessons from the Skjern River experience have2003 (see Figure 6), a wide variety of economic, been applied throughout Denmark. Follow-upsocial and environmental benefits have been projects have generally been at a much smallermeasured, including saved pumping costs, scale. Securing funding for nature restorationreduced nutrient loading in the estuary, has become difficult in light of changingimproved water quality, re-establishment of bird priorities for governments. However, there hashabitat and fish spawning grounds, increased been much work on freshwater ecosystems inoutdoor recreation and improved land allocation Denmark related to the EU’s Water Framework56-57. The total cost of the restoration programme, Directive (WFD), including the large-scale pilotmuch of which was funded by the Danish study for the Odense River Basin 58.Government, was approximately $42 million,while the total benefits have been estimated at Under the WFD, all EU states must achieve$83 million. ‘good’ ecological and chemical status for surface water systems by 2015. In Denmark, there hasA new process for the area is now underway. been a focus on reducing eutrophication, aBased on successful conservation outcomes, the process that occurs when excess nutrients fromarea was nominated for consideration as a fertilisers and runoff enter waterways, promotingNational Park in 2008. The local community and the growth of algae and phytoplankton, which infarmers are once again involved in discussions turn reduces the amount of oxygen in the waterwith management authorities, local and national column for other forms of life. Naturepoliticians as to how farming activities can be conservation and restoration have a key role toincorporated within and around the proposed play in promoting better water quality inNational Park boundaries. Denmark’s rivers and estuaries. © 2010 Google - Imagery © 2010 TerraMetrics, Map data ©2010 Tele Atlas ©2010 Google - Imagery ©2010 DigitalGlobe, Scankort, GeoEye, COWI A/S, DDO, TerraMetrics, Map data ©2010 Tele AtlasFigure 6: Transformation of the lower Skjern RiverThe satellite images above, both from Google Maps, illustrate how the course of the Skjern River changed followingrestoration works. In the upper photo, the straightened, channelled sections of the waterway are clearly visible. In thelower photo, the straight stretches have been converted back to their natural, meandering state. 17
  22. 22. Europe: Managing coastal zonesOne third of the European Unions population lives along on the coastline, with maritimeregions accounting for over 40% of Europe’s GDP. A large proportion of the European coastalzone is considered at risk from multiple anthropogenic pressures and impacts. The EuropeanParliament and Council Resolution on the implementation of Integrated Coastal ZoneManagement (ICZM) was adopted in 2002, and was intended to guide member states informulating ICZM strategies. The UK and Sweden have now passed legislation on ICZM withinnew national marine policy frameworks.The coastal areas of Europe have come under development. The Statement will provide theenormous pressure from human activities such strategic framework for all future marine plans.as agriculture, fishing, tourism and urbandevelopment (see Figure 7). There have been New marine plans will be developed by the newsuggestions at the highest political level that the Marine Management Organisation, and willchronic degradation of European coastal areas is provide guidelines for industries and developersa direct result of a lack of coherent, co-ordinated about where various activities will be allowed topolicies for coastal activities 59. take place. The new marine planning system is designed to bring together environmental, socialIn 2002, the European Parliament passed a and economic considerations.resolution on Integrated Coastal ZoneManagement (ICZM). The resolution encourages An extensive consultation period has begun onan ecosystem-based approach to coastal the boundaries of marine plan areas and on themanagement that recognises that terrestrial, location of Marine Conservation Zones. Lordcoastal and marine zones are interdependent, Hunt of Chesterton, member of the UK House ofand that natural boundaries do not always Lords, commented that, “Community awarenesscoincide with political boundaries. Above all, it is of and involvement in the planning process, andintended to provide a framework for European in data collection, is important for successfulnations to redesign their coastal policies to take implementation and science-based decision-a broader, cross-sectoral approach to making.” This inclusive approach is alsomanagement. The UK and Sweden are two important in alleviating potential public andcountries that have recently passed legislation commercial opposition to the marine planningclosely tied to the ICZM resolution. proposals under the Act.United Kingdom The new UK marine planning system is not onlyThe UK marine sector represents nearly 7% of expected to provide better environmentalthe whole economy, providing around 890,000 protection, but it is also expected to deliverjobs in areas such as fisheries, aquaculture, substantial economic benefits. An initialshipping, research, oil and gas production, and government impact assessment estimated thatrenewable energy. The UK has 20,000 the annual value of environmental benefitskilometres of coastline, providing habitat for a associated with implementation of the act woulddiverse array of marine species and habitats. be between £749 million to £1.6 billion, for English inshore and UK-wide offshore areas 60.Recognising the need to have a coherentapproach to coastal planning and management,the Marine and Coastal Access Act became lawin 2009. One of the key components of the Act isa Marine Policy Statement, which is currently in 18
  23. 23. kilometres of the coast and coastal tourism accounting for an estimated 71,000 jobs 61, the health and productivity of Sweden’s marine environment is vital to the national economy. The policy is guided by the principle that an ecosystems-based, holistic maritime policy will provide more potential for the sustainable use of the sea, generate synergies between different activities, and reduce conflicts over resources. A new agency has been established for marine © NASA activities, similar to the UK’s MMO. Other key elements of the policy focus on encouragingFigure 7: Europe by night strategic regional and cross-sectoral co-This composite image of Europe by night shows the operation, the development of a sustainableintensity of light emissions from major population fisheries sector, and measures to addresscentres. In many parts of Europe, particularly aroundthe Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, the coastline is coastal pollution.highlighted by a dense line of settlements.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=981 The marine environment is considered to be the highest priority environmental issue, next to climate change, by the Swedish government. TheSweden government’s first step in addressing this issueWith one of the longest coastlines in Europe and was to appropriate new funds for the marinean archipelago of tens of thousands of islands, environment within the budget, making availableSweden has an ancient maritime history. around $190 million for restoration, research,Eutrophication, heavy fishing pressure and and measures for environmental improvementpollution have had a major impact on the Baltic between 2007 and 2012 62.Sea. The current Swedish Environment MinisterAndreas Carlgren noted: “The world’s richest The Coherent Swedish Maritime Policy is verynations should not have one of the world’s most recent and implementation is yet to be fullypolluted inland seas off their coasts”. rolled-out. However, Sweden is already pushing ahead with implementation of the regionalThe Coherent Swedish Maritime Policy, integrated approach through the EU Strategy forestablished in 2009, is intended to provide a the Baltic Sea Region, which outlines a strategypathway for the sustainable development of for regional cooperation on marine resourceSweden’s marine and coastal industries. With issues. Sweden’s new policy will contribute to a40% of the Swedish population living within five more rationalised and sustainable approach to European marine environment policymaking.The Swedish Maritime Policy provides model legislation for other EU nationsto replicate. With almost half of Europes population living within 50 km ofthe coastline it is imperative that a holistic approach is implemented, asdemonstrated by Sweden, incorporating the objectives of sustainableresource use and ecosystem based management to safeguard the futureintegrity and resilience of our marine waters.Sofia Arkelsten MP, Swedish Parliament 19
  24. 24. Indonesia: Reducing carbon emissionsThe extensive forest peatlands of central Kalimantan suffered severe degradation in the1990s during the drive to convert these lands for the production of irrigated rice, makingthem highly susceptible to damaging wildfires. Carbon emissions from peatlands are nowthought to contribute up to half of all of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2007,the Indonesian government has been working in partnership with the Australian governmentand others to restore and rehabilitate sections of these peatlands through the KalimantanForests and Climate Partnership.Kalimantan has extensive areas of tropical universities, private sectors and localpeatlands. These unique ecosystems provide a communities to restore and rehabilitate sectionsrange of ecological goods and services, including of these peatlands through the Kalimantanwater catchment for drinking and irrigation, Forests and Climate Partnership. Australia hascarbon sequestration, food, shelter, medicine committed $29 million over four years towardsand cultural values for indigenous communities, the Partnership.and habitat for plants and animals. The aim of the Kalimantan Forests and ClimateThe forest peatlands of central Kalimantan Partnership is to preserve up to 70,000 hectaressuffered severe degradation in the 1990s during of Kalimantan’s peat swamp forests. In addition,the drive to convert these lands for the over the long term it aims to restore 200,000production of irrigated rice, making them highly hectares of degraded peatland through re-susceptible to damaging wildfires. Fires occur flooding and reforestation. To give a sense ofevery year in the dry season, from August to scale, the Mega Rice project involved drainingDecember (Figure 8). These fires are caused around 1.4 million hectares of peatlands.mainly by land-clearing and other agriculturalactivities. Fires can escape control, and burn into The Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnershipadjacent forests and thick layers of peat. Once is one of the first large-scale REDD+alight, peat can smoulder for weeks or even demonstration activities in Indonesia, and themonths at a time, causing severe health first in tropical peatland anywhere in the world 64.problems related to smoke and haze. Subsequently, Indonesia and Australia have signed a second partnership agreement to tackleCarbon emissions from peatlands are now deforestation in Sumatra, under the Sumatrathought to contribute up to half of all of Forest Carbon Partnership.Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Oneanalysis estimated the amount of carbon The lessons learnt through the work of theemitted during the devastating peat and forest Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership willfires across Indonesia during the El Niño event in inform the design of REDD+ programmes1997 was equivalent to 13–40% of the mean elsewhere in Indonesia, as the world preparesannual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels for a future regime of international trading inin that year 63. forest carbon offsets. The Partnership’s activities include developing methodologies for restoration,The Indonesian government has recognised the piloting activities, undertaking carbon stockseriousness of this issue and has taken assessments, improving forest governance andimportant steps to rehabilitate this vital monitoring. There will be opportunities for forest-ecosystem. Since 2007, the Indonesian dependent communities to receive payments forgovernment has been working in partnership maintaining intact forest cover under thewith the Australian government and a national REDD+ system.consortium of non-government organisations, 20
  25. 25. The work of the Partnership also complementsother initiatives by the Indonesian Governmentto protect and rehabilitate the peatlands ofKalimantan. This includes PresidentialInstruction No.2/2007 on rehabilitation of theEx-Mega Rice Project area, and the “Heart ofBorneo” initiative with the Governments ofMalaysia and Brunei Darussalam. In May 2010,Indonesia announced that there would be a two-year moratorium on issuing new permits toconvert natural forests or peatlands to otherland uses. © NASAFigure 8: Fire and haze over KalimantanThis image of fire (red dots) and smoke over the island of Borneo was captured in October 2006. Fires occur every yearin the dry season, from August to December. These fires are caused mainly by land-clearing and other agriculturalactivities. Fires can escape control, and burn into adjacent forests and thick layers of peat. Once alight, peat cansmoulder for weeks or even months at a time, causing severe problems of smoke and haze.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=17363 21
  26. 26. Japan: Legislation on restorationIn Japan, nature restoration is a daunting task because of high human population density,urbanisation and challenging environmental conditions. Despite these challenges, 23,000river restoration projects were completed in Japan between 1990 and 2004. Japan is one ofthe few countries in the world to have introduced legislation on restoration, through the Lawon the Promotion of Natural Restoration. Japan’s work on nature restoration has to datereceived relatively little profile in the international sphere.The Japanese archipelago is recognised as a Today, only 3 out of Japan’s 109 major riverglobal biodiversity hotspot. Because much of systems remain free-flowing. River restoration inJapan is covered in mountains and forests, Japan is related not only to a desire to restorecoastal areas and river valleys have experienced the ecological integrity of river ecosystems, butexperience intense pressure for conversion to also to the strong need to improve water qualityagriculture and urbanisation. Just under half of and protect people and property from floods 65.Japan’s population live on floodplains, whichrepresent 14% of the total land area. Japanese Japans first River Law was passed in 1896, afterrivers have been heavily affected by canalisation, a series of devastating floods propelled floodisolation from floodplains, flow regulation, exotic protection to the forefront of governmentspecies, and urbanisation 65. concerns 66. Between 1945 and the early 1970s, Japans rivers went through a period of intenseAt its widest point, Japan is just 300 kilometres development associated with flood control workswide. Owing to its geological youth, Japan is and rapid urbanisation. As an energy crisis tookendowed with mountains, volcanoes, steep hold in the early 1970s, people began to onceslopes and fertile floodplains. Japan’s unique again to appreciate the value of naturaltopography and monsoon climate with intense landscapes and their role in well-being 66.seasonal rainfall means that many rivers inJapan are short, steep, fast flowing and ‘flashy’. According to the Hon. Shuichi Kato, JapaneseTyphoon damage, mudslides, landslides and MP and Acting Chairman of GLOBE Japan,floods are common. Annual flood damage in another major reason for increased awarenessJapan is amongst the highest in the world. of nature conservation was because the Japanese people faced issues of environmental damage, including four major pollution-related diseases.$US 1.2 billionThe amount spent by Japan’s River In 1990, Japans River Bureau launched anBureau on river conservation and initiative to conserve and restore river corridors,rehabilitation in 2004. which was known as Nature-oriented River Works 66. The number of river restoration programmes climbed steadily, reinforced by an$US 5.4 billion amendment to the River Law in 1997. Under thisThe average annual cost of flood damage amendment, conservation and improvement ofin Japan between 1994 and 2003. the river environment became one of the principal goals of the law 66. Between 1990 and60% 2004, more than 23,000 Nature-oriented River Works were carried out in Japan 66.The proportion of Japan’s wetland areathat has been lost since the MeijiRestoration in 1868. 22

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