Join us in a series of events in Stockholm World Water Week under the theme "Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse" (27 August - 1 September) to discuss policies to manage water pollution, recent development in financing investment in water security, and further work on water governance.
The OECD has been working on the economies and policies for biodiversity for more than two decades, providing a platform for exchanging knowledge and good practice insights. The OECD is helping countries with analysis for more environmentally-effective, cost-efficient and distributionally-equitable policies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Find out more.
Biodiversity is fundamental to sustaining life, providing critical ecosystem services, such as food security, water purification, nutrient cycling, and climate regulation, that are essential to support human well-being and economic growth.
Intense exploitation of our oceans and seas is degrading marine biodiversity and ecosystems at an alarming rate. This report presents good practice insights for effectively managing marine protected areas (MPAs), one of the policy instruments available for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity and ecosystems. While global coverage of MPAs has been increasing over the past two decades, further efforts are required to meet the target under the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure they are effective.
Drawing on the literature and numerous examples from developed and developing countries, this book highlights how the environmental and cost effectiveness of MPAs can be enhanced. It covers issues including the benefits and costs of MPAs, the need for more strategic siting of MPAs, monitoring and compliance, sustainable finance for MPAs, and the need to embed these in a wider policy mix so as to address the multiple pressures on marine ecosystems.
This report provides insights on the political economy of biodiversity related policy reforms. It draws on existing literature and four new case studies covering the French tax on pesticides, agricultural subsidy reform in Switzerland, EU payments to Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau to finance marine protected areas via conservation trust funds, and individually transferable quotas for fisheries in Iceland. Each case study focusses on the drivers of reform, the types of obstacles encountered, key features of the policy reform, and the lessons learned from the reform experience.
On Thursday 6 April, Hannah Leckie & Xavier Leflaive of the OECD Environment Directorate discussed emerging solutions in OECD countries, that can guide the design and implementation of policies to control diffuse water pollution. Water pollution is on the rise due to indirect ‘diffuse’ sources of pollution from both agricultural and urban environments. Watch the video.
On 22 March each year the world turns its attention to the global water crisis on the occasion of World Water Day. Water policies around the world are in need of urgent reform. Water - an essential natural resource on which all life depends - has become a global garbage can.
After decades of regulation and investment to reduce point source water pollution, OECD countries still face water quality challenges (e.g. eutrophication) from diffuse agricultural and urban sources of pollution, that is disperse pollution from surface runoff, soil filtration and atmospheric deposition. The relative lack of progress reflects the complexities of controlling multiple pollutants from multiple sources, their high spatial and temporal variability, associated transactions costs, and limited political acceptability of regulatory measures. This report outlines the water quality challenges facing OECD countries today, presents a range of policy instruments and innovative case studies of diffuse pollution control, and concludes with an integrated policy framework to tackle diffuse water pollution. An optimal approach will likely entail a mix of policy interventions reflecting the basic OECD principles of water quality management – pollution prevention, treatment at source, the polluter pays and beneficiary pays principles, equity, and policy coherence.
English, PDF, 1,391kb
The world’s oceans, seas and marine resources provide invaluable benefits to our economies and to human wellbeing. The OECD works to provide countries with policy insights and data on a plethora of key issues relevant to Sustainable Development Goal 14: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
In this paper, the term multi-purpose water infrastructure (MPWI) encompasses all man-made water systems, including dams, dykes, reservoirs and associated irrigation canals and water supply networks, which may be used for more than one purpose (for economic, social and environmental activities); it also explores the complexity in designing, financing, regulating and managing MPWI projects.