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When it comes to protecting our planet’s biodiversity, we can’t afford to not have a plan – especially where environmental impacts are inevitable.
In conservation, the “last resort” option is an approach known as biodiversity offsets. It involves preserving habitat in one area to compensate for unavoidable environmental damage elsewhere, usually as a result of large projects, such as those involving mining or oil and gas development.
“Offsets are based on the ‘mitigation hierarchy’ approach to environmental damage,” explained World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist Douglas J. Graham. “...
By Werner Kornexl
The more we know about our rapidly changing environment, climate, and demographics, the more we learn about how critical forests are for our resilience, overall wellbeing, livelihoods, and economies. Unfortunately, in a world of budgetary constraints and competing interests, governments face increasingly complex decisions when it comes to supporting different sector priorities. The solution is to move away from the traditional approach of sectors...
Q: What's better than having accurate, detailed and widely representative data?
A: Data that is accurate, detailed, widely representative - and frequent.
In fact, frequent data allows us to create not just a snapshot of our world, but to tease out complex patterns developing over time, and to make predictions into the future. This kind of information has never been more important for forests, which are at the heart of many sustainable development efforts, from the Paris Climate Agreement to the Sustainable Development Goals.
We know that forest resources are crucial to some...
Imagine that you’re standing in a forest. Far below your feet, there could be valuable oil or mineral deposits that are probably owned by a national government. The soil that you’re standing on belongs to whoever holds a title to that land – an individual, a corporation, a community, or a local or federal authority. But who owns the trees?
In Latin America the answer to that question is, increasingly, indigenous peoples and local communities. “There was a spike in the trend of transferring access and control of forest resources from governments to indigenous communities,” said Gerardo Segura...
This story was originally posted by the World Bank.
In West Africa, cocoa has been identified as a major driver of deforestation which has led to serious soil degradation, water insecurity and crop failures in the region.
To address these issues, governments and the private sector are becoming increasingly active on sustainability in the cocoa industry.
A new report describes overarching principles and key strategies that these...
It isn’t just our technology that cries out for “smart” solutions. The development challenges of an increasingly connected world demand ever more comprehensive answers – and forests are no exception. The risks to forested lands stem from multiple sources, from the development of mining and road infrastructure, to expanding agricultural production, to the growing demand for woodfuels. To address these challenges in a sustainable manner, we need to partner with leaders and stakeholders in other sectors to develop solutions that minimize or avoid damaging effects and enhance forests’...
More wood is consumed in Africa than in any other region – about 700 million cubic meters’ worth, most of which is supplied through unsustainable harvesting. While the largest demand is for fuel wood for heating and cooking, demand for timber products like furniture, doors and construction materials is also on the rise.
The countries of the Congo Basin are no exception to these trends. Unfortunately, these developments are placing increasing pressure on the region’s natural resources – including the world’s second largest...
Submitted by Paola Agostini, Lead Environmental Economist, and Werner Kornexl, Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist
Vibrant landscapes are not just beautiful to look at, they are productive and resilient. They provide the natural resources and ecosystem services that underpin economic activities like agriculture, mining, and energy, and are thus vital to national economies and the jobs and wellbeing of billions of people. However, in many areas across the globe, economic activities are being carried out at an unsustainable level, undermining the very landscapes on which we depend....
Submitted by Gregor Wolf, Program Leader, and Werner Kornexl, Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist
Cattle ranching and agriculture have been key drivers of deforestation and land degradation in Brazil, with land use practices that come at the expense of the environment and cause water scarcity, biodiversity loss and persistent poverty.
There’s no doubt that land and forest restoration to repair ecosystems is urgently needed in Brazil. This is especially evident in the State of São Paulo, where water scarcity from a combination of an extended drought and degraded watersheds is...