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Environmental Stewardship– the urgent need for South Asia. Prof. Haripriya Gundimeda Associate Professor Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Powai, Mumbai – 400076 [email protected] Population growth rate.

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environmental stewardship the urgent need for south asia

Environmental Stewardship– the urgent need for South Asia

Prof. Haripriya Gundimeda

Associate Professor

Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Powai, Mumbai – 400076

[email protected]

unifying environmental problems
Unifying environmental problems
  • 1.1 billion do not have access to safe drinking water
  • South Asian Regions have huge water stress
  • Air pollution
  • Deforestation major cause of habitat loss
  • 75% of natural species predicted to be lost in the region by 2050
  • Solid water and Hazardous waste
  • E-waste
why are benefits not explicitly recognized
Why are benefits not explicitly recognized?
  • Development strategies focus on economic growth
  • Services that nature provides are often not visible
  • Competing demands on nature.
  • Time lags.
  • Poor understanding of natural cause and effect.
  • Public versus private benefits.
  • Fragmented decision making
the problem
$$$The problem



Interactions with Humanity

Money : today‘s Yardstick

Photo: C.Neßhöver, UFZ

the problem1
No Value =

No Counterweight ...

? ? ?


The problem


Photo: C.Neßhöver, UFZ

… We forget that nature is a necessary for local well-being:

“GDP of the Poor” is the most seriously hit by ecosystem losses




Ecosystem services dependence

Ecosystem services as a Percentage of classical GDP

Ecosystem services as a percentage of “GDP of the Poor”

99 million

352 million

20 million

Ecosystem services

Source: Gundimeda and Sukhdev, TEEB for National Policy



how to mainstream nature s values applying teeb s approach






How to mainstream nature’s values - Applying TEEB’s Approach …

Norms, Regulations

& Policies

Regional Planning




PA Evaluation




Private Profits, Public Losses…

NPV over 9 yrs

(10% discount rate)


in 1996

Most “trade-offs” go only as far as measuring private profits……

Shrimp Farm





After adding public benefits from mangroves





private profits

private profits less




Net of public costs of restoration after 5 years


Source: Hanley and Barbier 2009

If public wealth is included, the “trade-off” choice changes completely…..

- $9,318ha

Measuring Benefits of Ecosystem services

Answers are needed at all levels

Non-Specified Benefits

Increasing up the benefits


Monetary: eg avoided water purification costs, avoided flood damage, tourist value, value of medicines / pharmaceuticals from natural products

Monetary Value

Quantitative: eg level of service, number people benefiting from wood from forests, # of avoided health impacts; number of visitors

The Benefits


Quantitative Review of Effects

Type of benefits; health benefits from clean air, social benefits from recreation, income from products, security, wellbeing.

Qualitative Review

Knowledge gaps

The “known-unknowns” and “unknown-unknowns”

Full range of ecosystem services from biodiversity

Source: P. ten Brink: presentation at March 2008 workshop Review of Economics of Biodiversity Loss, Brussels

leuser national park on sumatra indonesia distribution of ecosystem benefits
Leuser National Park on Sumatra, IndonesiaDistribution of ecosystem benefits

What is “best” depends on who you are – understanding who wins and who stands to lose in decisions is paramount.

Local community “best option”

Logging industry “best option”

Sources: van Beukering, P.J.H., H.S.J. Cesar, M.A. Janssen (2003). Economic valuation of the Leuser National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia. Ecological Economics 44, pp 43-62. and van Beukering, P.J.H., H.S.J. Cesar, M.A. Janssen (2002). Economic valuation of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra. In: Conservation Dividents? ASEAN Biodiversity Vol 2. Nr. 2, 17-24.

environmental tools
Environmental tools
  • Indicators
  • Green public procurement
  • Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans
  • Planning
  • Strategic environmental assessments and
  • Environmental impact assessments and so on.
  • These tools have specific purposes and can be coordinated through an environmental management system.
Examples : ‘Satoyama’ Landscapes

75 - 100% reduction in pesticides, traditional winter flooding rice farming adopted, & White Stork rice & other certified products sold at a “premium”

Konotori no Mai / Flying Oriental White Stork


2003 - 2007: farmers paid 40,000 JYen per 1,000m2

of rice paddies .Currently granted 7,000 JYen per

1,000m2 by Toyo-oka City


Rice sold at 23 % higher rate for reduced pesticide use, and 54 % more for organic farming

  • White Stork habitat increased from 0.7 ha in 2003 to 212.3 ha
  • Extinct in 1971, now has over 40 breeding pairs
  • 1 billion JPY annually in tourism, & municipal income raised by 1.4 %
financing biodiversity conservation through sale of high value forest products
Financing biodiversity conservation through sale of high value forest products
  • Humla region in Northwest Nepal
  • A complex ecosystem and a highly contested area of natural products.
  • Land was awarded to the local community to produce high value essential oils and sales are negotiated by organisations in the partnership, thus disincentivising the use of low value raw produce such as fuel wood.
  • The essential component of this is community members working together with the enterprise organizationsto learn skills, help develop plans and take up formal tenure.
innovative financing to save elephants in srilanka
Innovative financing to save Elephants in Srilanka

elephants consume 150kg of food every day: crop raiding is a serious problem in densely inhabited areas – defences cause injuries, etc..

a survey of impacts on 480 local households and of their willingness to accept compensation.

a second survey among Colombo city residents: their willingness to pay for the conservation of elephants exceeds the funding needed for compensating rural elephant damage.

in 2007, Ceylinco Insurance presented a new scheme, partly CSR and partly profit driven: Ceylinco proposed a a small charge addition to the premium payments of life/vehicle policy holders. This feeds a trust for compensations payments.

non declining natural capital stock approaches
Non-declining natural capital stock approaches
  • Nature provides non-substitutable services
  • Maintaining ecosystem services in a functioning states is a priority
  • Preserve critical natural capital
  • Holding constant the natural capital stock – one of the rules for Sustainable Development
adopt precautionary principle
Adopt precautionary principle
  • Prevent reductions in the natural capital stock below the safe minimum standard identified for each component of this stock unless the social opportunity costs of doing so are ‘unacceptably’ large.
daly s operational principles
Daly’s operational principles
  • Op1: Renewable resources: set all harvest levels at less than or equal to the population growth rate for some predetermined population size
  • OP2: Pollution: For degradable pollutants, establish assimilative capacities for receiving ecosystems and maintain waste discharge below these levels. For cumulative pollutants the discharge should be set equal to zero.
  • OP3: Non-renewable resources: Receipts from non-renewable extraction should be divided into an income stream and an investment stream. The investment stream should be invested in renewable substitutes, such that by the time period when the non-renewable resource reaches the end of its economic extraction, and identical level of consumption is available from the renewable substitute
understanding and responding to the values of nature
http://hattoriforth.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83549e5d069e20120a6ebb5b0970b-800wiUnderstanding and responding to the values of nature

More steps are needed to appreciate and respond to the value of nature

The whole picture of benefits and costs need to be appreciated – the here and now, the over there and over time, the private and public

…is this enough to work out what to do?

…always better to look at the whole board

tools for an alternative development path
tools for an alternative development path

Opportunities/benefits of ESS

Investment in natural capital +ve change

Past loss/ degradation

Halting Environmental degradation



Better governance

Economic signals :

PES, REDD, ABS (to reward benefits)

Charges, taxes, fines (to avoid degradation/damage:

Subsidy reform (right signals for policy)

Alternative natural capital

Development path

Sustainable consumption (eg reduced meat) Markets, certification/logos & GPP

Agricultural innovation

Investment in natural capital:

green infrastructure

Predicted future loss of natural capital (schematic) – with no additional policy action




Need a portfolio of instruments, need engagement by all stakeholders; need good governance, “joined-up-thinking”