Resources Magazine: Mapping the Value of Ecosystem Services in Latin America and the Caribbean

Targeting ecosystems services for conservation reveals broader gains than a traditional focus on biodiversity might, according to work by RFF’s Juha Siikamäki, Peter Vail, Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, and Francisco Santiago-Ávila. In Latin America and the Caribbean, biodiversity and ecosystems are among the region’s most valuable assets and of strategic importance for attaining long-term sustainable development. But […]

How Should the World Bank Estimate Air Pollution Damages?

One of the indicators the World Bank uses to measure the sustainability of a country’s growth is adjusted net savings (ANS), which includes an estimate of the costs of health damages from exposure to outdoor air pollution. This pollution damage indicator is published annually in the World Development Indicators, together with estimates of annual average […]

Taking Steps toward Green Growth in China

For decades, China’s government has focused on economic growth and has paid less attention to the associated environmental consequences. But today, the need for environmental regulation is more widely recognized as a critical ingredient for continued, sustainable growth in the world’s most populous country. In a new RFF discussion paper, Green Growth (for China): A Literature […]

A Tale of Two Parks (In One)

Without intending to, the team of civil servants that in 1990 created Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) launched a forest conservation policy experiment. In an ecologically rich region where ranchers and farmers were illegally clearing forests at an astounding clip, they established a huge (two million hectare) protected area with two distinct management regimes—a core […]

Climate-Ready Coastal Development? A Model from Pelican Bay, Florida

Americans love the coast.  We live there.  We vacation there.  Coastal areas generate substantial economic activity.  But building on the coast is risky—storms and sea level rise threaten coastal development.  Is there a model of development that allows us to enjoy all the ocean has to offer and yet reduces the risks from these hazards? […]

Paying Ecuador to Protect the Rainforest

A recent episode of NPR’s Planet Money discussed Ecuador’s proposed solution to a national dilemma: the fact that a massive oil discovery and a national park happen to be in the same place. Ecuador’s proposal is to forswear drilling – but only if other countries donate half the value of the oil in aid (about $3.6 […]

Does Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

RFF Senior Fellow Allen Blackman and his colleagues present some of the first evidence that eco-certification programs in developing countries can have positive impacts for both the economy and environment. To read this piece in its entirety, click here.

RFF Policy Commentary: Population and Sustainability: The View from 2012

This week, Warren C. Robinson reflects on a changing world population. He concludes that world population is still a very important issue, but perhaps not quite in the way it appeared to be 20 years ago in Rio at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Read the Commentary here. Comments about it are welcome on […]

Eco-certification: Making (organic) apples to (conventional) apples comparisons

The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin had a piece this week on concerns that the sustainably harvested fish you’ve been paying extra for may not be so sustainable after all. A new study published online that will appear in the journal Marine Policy finds 31% of fisheries certifiied as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) remain subject to […]

VIDEO: How Communities And Countries Can Adapt To Climate Change

We’ve previously talked about Resources for the Future’s two-year research project on climate change adaptation in the United States, Reforming Institutions and Managing Extremes. However, while the U.S. is facing the effects of climate change, developing countries are more at risk. For a perspective on what is needed to address global climate adaptation, RFF Center […]