[Payment for Environmental Services: Perspectives for the Legal Amazon] Brazil's environmental agenda aims to establish a legal basis for the payment for environmental services (PES) at the national level. Towards this end, the country's Ministry of Environment launched a study (in Portuguese) on the feasibility of PES schemes in the Brazilian Amazon. The study, funded by GTZ, was conducted by researchers of the International Consortium for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in the Amazon (IA, its Portuguese acronym), to which CIFOR, CIAT, and ICRAF belong, with the support of the EMBRAPA Eastern Amazon research center. This effort was closely linked to the search for on-the-ground tools to implement reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), since Brazil is beginning to receive substantial international funding for avoided deforestation. The study accordingly focused on REDD and biodiversity conservation and reviewed current PES experiences worldwide, identifying technical, legal, and institutional opportunities for and constraints to the development of PES schemes in Brazil. To assess the economic feasibility of PES in the Brazilian Amazon, the local opportunity costs of forest conservation in the region were estimated in a spatially explicit manner. The potential for implementing PES in the Legal Amazon was evaluated by analyzing potential supply of environmental services by farmers and forest dwellers as compared with current carbon service demand. The study also discusses land tenure and other contextual factors, which determine the prospects of implementing PES schemes in the short and medium term. 136 p.
Keywords: Amazonia; Tropical forests; Deforestation; Environmental policies; Environmental service payment; Land use; Resource coservation; Biodiversity; Water resources; Carbon sequestration; Environmental impact; Cost benefit analysis; Brazil
Methods of Payment
FloraMap is a software tool for predicting the distribution of plants and other organisms in the wild. The program makes precise, detailed maps that eliminate much of the guesswork from the slow, expensive process of finding and recovering wild species. It takes the absolute minimal data available from germplasm passport data, just latitude and longitude of the collecting site. Elevation is useful if it is available, but the program can fill this in if necessary. The collection sites form a calibration set to construct a climate model. This model is then mapped as a probability surface throughout the world. A cluster algorithm is included in the package to investigate the possibility of subsections of the calibration set having different climatic adaptation. This has proved its worth in the analyses of a number of important species. FloraMap is now into its third edition with more than 500 active users worldwide. It has been used not only on plants, but also on insects, birds, bats, and even freshwater fish. Manual, 102 p. 16 x 22 cm + CD-ROM.
Keywords: Computer software; Plants; Geographical distribution; Geographical information systems
This study aims to determine those areas or municipalities of Honduras that are most vulnerable to natural disasters as well as those sites where interventions could have greater impact, taking into consideration the activities carried out by other cooperation entities. Information on environmental vulnerability, social aspects, population, and infrastructure will be gathered and mapped, and a vulnerability index of Honduran municipalities developed based on this information. Data collected will include frequency, impact, and risk of natural disasters; location of both urban and rural populations; location of the most vulnerable sectors of the population; conditions of infrastructure and accessibility; and areas of action of different initiatives and projects carried out by international and national agencies. The project faces the challenge of demonstrating the applicability of the designed methodology for work with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in countries or areas with ample or limited availability of information.
Keywords: Disasters; Risk; Cyclones; Weather hazards; Environmental impact; Data collection; Data analysis; Planning; Information services; Cartography; Honduras
The Central American Geographic Information Project (PROCIG, its Spanish acronym) promotes the use of geographic information technology in governmental organizations in Central America. Twenty-five organizations from seven countries participate in the Project, including agricultural and environmental ministries, statistical and census institutes, and national geographic institutes.
Geographic information systems (GIS) facilitate data integration, because any information using standard geographic coordinates can be spatially linked to other information using the same coordinate system. Better use of geographic information supports research and development throughout regions such as Central America.
PROCIG activities include capacity building, data product development, and promotion of spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) in Central America. Professionals from participating organizations met in 1999 and again in 2001 for training in the use of geographic information technology. Project partners developed data products at the national level for each country in the region. More specifically, the Project promotes the national development of SDIs, that is, institutional frameworks for managing and disseminating spatial data and related policies, agreements, technologies, standards, delivery mechanisms, and financial and human resources on a national level. The objective of such infrastructures is to promote sharing of data across all levels of government, private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community within the respective countries.
PROCIG is funded by the World Bank's Information for Development Program (infoDev), and receives support from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).
Keywords: Geographical information systems; Regional development; Statistical data; Censuses
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