Without new policies, by 2050, freshwater availability will be further strained and 3.9 billion people will be living in river basins experiencing severe water stress. The OECD work on water analyses how water management can contribute to sustainable growth and development, with a focus on financing water services and infrastructure, managing water related risks (including scarcity and pollution), and urban water management.
Water is linked to many economic activities, and there are complex channels through which water affects economic growth. The purpose of this report is to provide background information useful for a quantitative global assessment of the impact of water scarcity on growth using a multi-region, recursive-dynamic, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model.
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.
The theme of Biodiversity Day this year is “Mainstreaming biodiversity; sustaining people and their livelihoods”. According to World Bank figures, “natural capital accounts for an estimated 30% of total wealth in low income countries compared to only 2% in OECD countries”.
This paper provides an in-depth review of experiences and insights from mainstreaming biodiversity and development in South Africa. More specifically, it describes how biodiversity considerations have been mainstreamed in five key sectors/areas, namely: land use planning, mining, water, infrastructure, and the agricultural sector.
The natural environment provides crucial inputs and services for economic development, but its role for productivity growth is insufficiently explored. Environmental scarcities can pose a drag on productivity growth and a risk for its sustainability.
“If He holds back the waters, there is drought; if He lets them loose, they devastate the land”. To be fair, that was in the days before governments played “a key role in developing targeted policy responses to market failures that impede the mitigation and allocation of drought and flood risks”, as the OECD report on Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture puts it.
The topic of biodiversity loss has been the subject of a vast and growing scientific and economic literature. Species are estimated to be going extinct at rates 100 to 1000 times faster than in geological times. Globally, terrestrial biodiversity is projected to decrease by a further 10% by 2050.
Nitrogen run-off from farming and other land uses was threatening to undermine the pristine waters of Lake Taupo – New Zealand’s largest and most iconic lake – and to damage a range of economic and cultural activities. In 2011, the regional government introduced a water quality policy package. This bold policy experiment is unique: it is the only trading programme or market where diffuse sources of pollution operate under a cap.
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This brochure provides an overview of OECD work on water. Water policies around the world are in urgent need of reform. OECD work identifies the priority areas where governments need to focus their reform efforts.