What’s water security worth, and how much are we willing to pay for it given competing demands and constrained public budgets? asks Simon Upton, Environment Director at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
When you think of biodiversity conservation, you probably think of the classic images: the polar bear, the lion, the elephant, the giraffe. The ecological community likes to call them charismatic megafauna, with only a hint of satire.
An ecosystem assessment is a social process through which the findings of science concerning the causes of ecosystem change, their consequences for human well-bring, and the management and policy options are evaluated. The main objective of the paper is to draw insights from experience in the UK, Japan, Spain and Portugal of the added value to policy making of undertaking national level ecosystem assessments.
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Biodiversity loss is a major environmental challenge facing humankind. Biodiversity - and associated ecosystems - provide a range of invaluable services to society that underpin human health, well-being and economic growth. These include food, clean water, flood protection and climate regulation.
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This brochure provides an overview of recent and ongoing OECD work on biodiversity. Biodiversity is fundamental to sustaining life and providing critical ecosystem services such as food provisioning, water purification, flood and drought control, nutrient cycling, and climate regulation, amongst many others.
This year the United Nations has officially declared 19 November World Toilet Day to raise awareness of the sanitation crisis faced by millions every day. Similarly, the OECD places great importance on the issue of water and sanitation. It has undertaken significant work on the issue to help promote global awareness, encourage action and propose viable solutions.
The workshop brought together government, the private sector, IGO's, NGO’s and other experts and practitioners, so as to exchange experience and lessons learned on the key opportunities and challenges associated with biodiversity offset schemes.
The Government of Israel and the OECD co-organised an international conference on "Joining Forces to Develop Smart, Cost-Effective Urban Water Utilities: Policy, Economics, Environment, Regulation and Technologies" on 23 October 2013, in Tel Aviv.
The OECD participated in this annual event held in Stockholm (1-5 September 2013) where two major reports "Water Security for Better Lives" and "Water and Climate Change Adaptation: Policies to Navigate Uncharted Waters" were launched by the OECD's Secretary-General, Angel Gurría.
This report sets out the challenge for freshwater in a changing climate and provides policy guidance on how to navigate this new “waterscape”. It highlights the range of expected changes in the water cycle and the challenge of making practical, on-site adaptation decisions for water. It offers policymakers a risk-based approach to better “know”, “target” and “manage” water risks and proposes policy guidelines to prioritise action and improve the efficiency, timeliness and equity of adaptation responses.
The report also highlights general trends and good practices drawn from the OECD Survey of Policies on Water and Climate Change Adaptation, covering all 34 member countries and the European Commission. Individual country profiles are available, which provide a snapshot of the challenges posed by climate change for freshwater and the emerging policy responses (on-line only).
Finally, the report highlights the benefits of well-designed economic instruments (e.g. insurance schemes, water trading, water pricing), ecosystem-based approaches and ‘real options’ approaches to financing. These approaches can improve the flexibility of water policy and investment, reducing the cost of adjusting to changing conditions.