Israel’s agriculture is unique amongst developed countries in that land and water resources are nearly all state-owned and that agricultural production is dominated by co-operative communities. Israel is a world leader in agricultural technology, particularly in farming in arid conditions. This Review measures support provided to Israeli agriculture and evaluates the effectiveness of current agricultural policy measures. Israel has made progress in removing policies that distort trade, and resource allocation and support to agriculture is lower than the OECD average. However, the government still plays an important role. The report suggests further agricultural policy reforms to reduce costs for consumers and taxpayers and to improve the efficiency of current policy measures.
A special focus of the report is the environmental performance of Israeli agriculture. This is already an issue with scarce land and water resources, accentuated by the overarching issue of climate change. The Review examines agriculture’s performance with respect to water resources and pollution, soils, biodiversity, air emissions and climate change. It concludes that strengthening policy coherence, especially in improving the management of water resources in agriculture, is important.
This brochure is published within the framework of the Scheme for the Application of International Standards for Fruit and Vegetables established by OECD in 1962. It comprises explanatory notes and illustrations to facilitate the common interpretation of the apricots standard in force. This updated brochure illustrates the revised standard text and new trends in the international trade of apricots. It demonstrates the quality parameters on high quality photographs. Thus it is a valuable tool for the inspection authorities, professional bodies and traders interested in the international trade in apricots. The brochure also includes a USB key with the electronic version of this publication.
Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority in OECD and many non-OECD countries. This will be of increasing concern in the future given the pressure to feed a growing world population with scarce land and water resources. Policy has an important role to play where markets for many of the environmental outcomes from agriculture are absent or poorly functioning.
This study focuses on the design and implementation of environmental standards and regulations, taxes, payments and tradable permit schemes to address agri-environmental issues. It deals with the choice of policy instruments and the design of specific instruments, with the aim of identifying those that are most cost-effective in very different situations across OECD countries.
Key conclusions from the study are that: there is no unique instrument that promises to achieve all agri-environmental policy goals; the cost effectiveness of payments systems could be improved by using performance-based measures; and policy mixes need to combine policy instruments that complement and not conflict with each other.
This Review of Venice, Italy, offers a comprehensive assessment of the city-region’s economy and the extent to which its land use, labour market and environmental policies embrace a metropolitan vision. A new understanding of the provinces of Padua, Treviso and Venice as an interconnected city-region of 2.6 million people guides this study. Venice ranks as among the most dynamic and productive city-regions in the OECD, with high employment levels and growth rates. Though it has thrived on a model of small firms and industrial clusters, it is undergoing a deep economic transformation. Venice confronts growing environmental challenges as a result of rising traffic congestion and costly infrastructure pressures, exacerbated by sprawl. Demographics are also changing, due to ageing inhabitants, immigrant settlement and the rapid depopulation of the historic city of Venice.
This report offers a comparative analysis of these issues, utilising the OECD’s metropolitan database to benchmark productivity and growth. It draws on regional economics, urban planning, transportation studies and hydrology to throw light on the changes within the city-region. In light of planned inter-city rail extensions, the Review calls for programmes to increase economic synergies between Venice and its neighbours. It evaluates key tools for promoting economic growth and metropolitan governance and proposes enhanced co-ordination of land use policies, additional business development services for small and medium-sized businesses, and the enlargement of university-linked innovation. Given frequent flooding, the report appraises the quality of metropolitan water governance and Venice’s potential to become a powerful reference for climate change adaptation.
Climate change is likely to have significant impacts on the agricultural sector to which farmers will have to adapt. While agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a source of carbon storage in soils. This report examines the economic and policy issues related to the impacts of climate change on agriculture and adaptation responses and to the mitigation of greenhouse gases from agriculture. It outlines research undertaken and underway in other national and international research agencies. It also highlights some of the knowledge gaps on the impacts of climate change on food production and the uncertainties of those impacts in a global context that warrant further research efforts. In particular, the report analyses marginal abatement cost curves, which show the relative costs of achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emission through the implementation of different actions in the agricultural sector. The aim of the report is to help guide policy makers in the design of policies to address climate change issues in agriculture.
Almost one quarter of global electricity could be generated from nuclear power by 2050, making a major contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This is the central finding of the Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap, published today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). Such an expansion will require nuclear generating capacity to more than triple over the next 40 years, a target the roadmap describes as ambitious but achievable.
Well-timed and targeted innovation boosts productivity, increases economic growth and helps solve societal problems. But how can governments encourage more people to innovate more of the time? And how can government itself be more innovative?
The OECD Innovation Strategy provides a set of principles for fostering innovation in people (workers and consumers), in firms and in government. It takes an in-depth look at the scope of innovation and how it is changing, as well as where and how it is occurring. The result is the formulation of far-reaching policies for innovation using recent research and data.
For more information about the OECD Innovation Strategy, see www.oecd.org/innovation/strategy.
"a thoughtful new report on how governments can do better at spurring and measuring innovation." -The Economist
Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective presents new measures and new ways of looking at traditional indicators. It builds on 50 years of indicator development by OECD and goes beyond R&D to describe the broader context in which innovation occurs. It includes some experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest. It highlights measurement gaps and proposes directions for advancing the measurement agenda.
This publication begins by describing innovation today. It looks at what is driving innovation in firms, and how the scientific and research landscape is being reconfigured by convergence, interdisciplinarity and the new geography of innovation hot spots. It presents broader measures of innovation, for example using new indicators of investment in intangible assets and trademarks.
Human capital is the basic input of innovation, and a series of indicators looks at how well education systems are contributing to the knowledge and research bases. Further series examine how firms transform skills and knowledge, and shed light on the different roles of public and private investment in fostering innovation and reaping its rewards, with concrete examples from major global challenges such as health and climate change.
Measuring Innovation is a major step towards evidence-based innovation policy making. It complements traditional “positioning”-type indicators with ones that show how innovation is, or could be, linked to policy. It also recognises that much more remains to be done, and points to the measurement challenges statisticians, researchers and policy makers alike need to address.
OECD countries have made significant reform progress in recent decades, in fields as diverse as competition policy, health care and the environment. How have they done it? And why have reforms advanced in some places and stalled in others? This collection of essays analyses the reform experiences of the 30 OECD countries in nine major policy domains in order to identify lessons, pitfalls and strategies that may help foster policy reform in the future. While taking full account of the tremendous differences in the political and institutional settings in which these reforms were undertaken, the authors highlight a number of common challenges and potential solutions that hold good across both countries and issue areas. They show that the scope for cross-national policy learning is enormous.
The importance of such reform lessons is all the greater in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis. As OECD governments confront the challenge of trying to restore public finances to health without undermining the recovery, they will need to pursue a careful mix of fiscal policies and growth-enhancing structural reforms. Designing, adopting and implementing such a policy mix will require the crafting of effective reforms and effective strategies for implementing them.