nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2007‒12‒15
thirteen papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. A comparison of the economic and environmental performances of conventional and organic farming: Evidence from financial statements. By Josep Mª Argilés; Néstor Duch Brown
  2. Ecology and economy in the Arctic. Uncertainty, knowledge and precaution By Iulie Aslaksen, Solveig Glomsrød and Anne Ingeborg Myhr
  3. Climate Policy Versus Development Aid By Richard S. J. Tol
  4. Improving indoor air quality for poor families : a controlled experiment in Bangladesh By Wheeler, David; Khaliquzzaman, M.; Huq, Mainul; Dasgupta, Susmita
  5. EHS Management, sustainability reporting, marketing and Corporate Governance: Inspiring the Metals Recycling Industry By Reniers G.; Poot-Baudier V.; Thomas S.
  6. Implications of the WTO on Indian Marine Industry, Issues and Policy Perspectives By Kamat, Manasvi; Kamat, Manoj
  7. Convergent Validity of Revealed and Stated Recreation Behavior with Quality Change: A Comparison of Multiple and Single Site Demands By John C. Whitehead; Daniel Phaneuf; Christopher F. Dumas; Jim Herstine; Jeffrey Hill; Bob Buerger
  8. A short analysis on the stricter European regulations on tropical hardwood imports and their side effects By Jean-Marc Roda; Eric Aretz; Hin Fui Lim
  9. Top-down/bottom-up approach for developing sustainable development indicators for mining: Application to the Arlit uranium mines (Niger) By Aurélie Chamaret; Martin O'Connor; Gilles Récoché
  11. CRESCIMENTO ECONÔMICO E MEIO AMBIENTE: O QUE ESTÁ FALTANDO PARA ENTENDER O ELO ENTRE ELES? By Fábio Henrique Granja e Barros; Bernardo Mueller; Jorge Madeira Nogueira
  12. Atlas of wooden furniture industry in Jepara, Indonesia By Jean-Marc Roda; Philippe Cadène; Philippe Guizol; Levania Santoso; Achmad Uzair Fauzan

  1. By: Josep Mª Argilés (Universitat de Barcelona (UB)); Néstor Duch Brown (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB); Universitat de Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: While conventional farming systems face serious problems of sustainability, organic agriculture is seen as a more environmentally friendly system as it favours renewable resources, recycles nutrients, uses the environment’s own systems for controlling pests and diseases, sustains ecosystems, protects soils, and reduces pollution. At the same time organic farming promotes animal welfare, the use of natural foodstuffs, product diversity and the avoidance of waste, among other practices. However, the future of organic agriculture will depend on its economic viability and on the determination shown by governments to protect these practices. This paper performs panel regressions with a sample of Catalan farms (Spain) to test the influence of organic farming on farm output, costs and incomes. It analyses the cost structures of both types of farming and comments on their social and environmental performance.
    Keywords: Organic agriculture, conventional agriculture, organic farming, conventional farming, social and environmental performance, financial performance, social and environmental accounting.
    JEL: Q01 Q12 Q51
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Iulie Aslaksen, Solveig Glomsrød and Anne Ingeborg Myhr (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Climate change impacts in the Arctic require that complex relationships between the economy, the environment, and the living conditions of indigenous and local people be taken into account. While traditional approaches to economic valuation may not be sufficient to capture these relationships, the research area of ecological economics suggests broader approaches to environmental uncertainties, taking into account ethical values and conflicts of interest. Increased activity in petroleum exploration, manufacturing, transportation, tourism and other services have the potential to alter the Arctic environment and societies considerably. Application of the precautionary principle is suggested as a way to manage situations with large degrees of environmental uncertainty and potentially irreversible consequences. Precautionary approaches require the development of processes for acknowledgement of uncertainties, facilitation of stakeholder participation, recognition of ethical values, and taking into account the traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous people of the Arctic. Combining traditional and scientific knowledge about nature is an important part of understanding the resilience capacity of ecological and social systems, and of enhancing the potential for sustainable development.
    Keywords: Arctic; Environmental uncertainty; Ecological Economics; Precaution
    JEL: Q54 Q57
    Date: 2007–12
  3. By: Richard S. J. Tol (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))
    Abstract: Rich countries have emitted most of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, while poor countries will suffer most from climate change. Rich countries have therefore committed to help poor countries adapt. However, this is financed from the general development budget, and hence may do more harm than good. Furthermore, development aid also finances emission reduction. These aspects of climate policy need to be overhauled. Development assistance should consider the impact of climate change, and reduce emissions where it can, but this can be achieved by marginal adjustments to current practice.
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Wheeler, David; Khaliquzzaman, M.; Huq, Mainul; Dasgupta, Susmita
    Abstract: The World Health Organization ' s 2004 Global and Regional Burden of Disease Report estimates that acute respiratory infections from indoor air pollution (pollution from burning wood, animal dung, and other bio-fuels) kill a million children annually in developing countries, inflicting a particularly heavy toll on poor families in South Asia and Africa. This paper reports on an experiment that studied the use of construction materials, space configurations, cooking locations, and household ventilation practices (use of doors and windows) as potentially-important determinants of indoor air pollution. Results from controlled experiments in Bangladesh are analyzed to test whether changes in these determinants can have significant effects on indoor air pollution. Analysis of the data shows, for example, that pollution from the cooking area diffuses into living spaces rapidly and completely. Furthermore, it is important to factor in the interaction between outdoor and indoor air pollution. Among fuels, seasonal conditions seem to affect the relative severity of pollution from wood, dung, and other biomass fuels. However, there is no ambiguity about their collective impact. All are far dirtier than clean fuels. The analysis concludes that if cooking with clean fuels is not possible, then building the kitchen with porous construction material and providing proper ventilation in cooking areas will yield a better indoor health environment.
    Keywords: Renewable Energy,Energy Production and Transportation,Air Quality & Clean Air,Pollution Management & Control,Sanitation and Sewerage
    Date: 2007–12–01
  5. By: Reniers G.; Poot-Baudier V.; Thomas S.
    Abstract: Society in general has become more risk adverse and intolerant of the burden, both social and environmental, caused by industrial activities. In response to this novel perception and this changing business environment, governments and organizations are devising ways towards a more socially and ecologically responsible way of doing business that also supports the principle of sustainable development. However, sustainable development in general poses a challenge to the mindset of organizations which came about in the industrialization period of the 20th century: the performance of companies is increasingly judged by stakeholders not only by the services, products and profits they make, but also by the impacts they have on human and social well-being and on the natural environment. An ever growing body of evidence shows that companies which take a more sustainable approach enjoy substantial positive (economic) benefits (Brown, 2005). A competitive industry which is sustainable at the same time should adopt innovative business solutions that help satisfy society’s needs while optimizing the use of resources and ensuring that all steps are taken to prevent harm to human health and the environment. Moreover, it is essential to demonstrate good practice in ethical behavior, to respect the culture and rights of individuals, and to adopt the highest standards of corporate governance and accountability. In this article, we discuss the case of an imaginary company called Infinite Recycling. The company is globally active and is composed of three Business Groups. The core business of Infinite Recycling is recycling metals, metal components and materials in general. The company is committed to adopt and implement the most recent environment, safety and health standards and management systems. We investigate why and how Infinite Recycling might profit from elaborating an annual sustainability report complementary to current environment and safety reporting. The next section depicts Infinite Recycling’s business case of sustainability. Section 3 outlines the advantages for Infinite Recycling and its Business Groups in publishing a sustainability report, and section 4 describes how Infinite Recycling can improve its ecoefficiency management. Section 5 summarizes the possibility of marketing reinforcement in the recycling sector by using sustainability issues while section 6 integrates the previous ones by suggesting a framework for Sustainability Corporate Governance.Section 7 benchmarks the 2006 sustainability reports from 5 leading companies. Finally, our last section draws conclusions by offering a sustainability project fiche for our imaginary company.
    Date: 2007–11
  6. By: Kamat, Manasvi; Kamat, Manoj
    Abstract: The outcomes of WTO negotiations under the Doha round, Hong Kong development round and the changing European Union regulations are likely to place new hurdles on the marine exports emerging from developing economies like India. In the light of the above, we attempt to discuss the impact of WTO-GATS on the Indian Marine Trade and Service industry, analyze the challenges faced by the developing countries, and suggest way-outs to respond them. Many other WTO-GATS related aspects have repercussions on the marine exports from the developing countries in Asia and India in particular; namely the outcomes from the Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM), the relation between trade rules and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Technical Assistance and Capacity Building (TA & CB) and the provisions for Special and Differential Treatment (SDT). The impact of GATS and the implications on Indian marine trade & services are specifically assessed in context of Tariff barriers, Non-tariff measures, Subsidies and Eco-labeling. Relevant policy implications follow the issues discussed.
    Keywords: WTO; GATS; India; Marine Industry; Fisheries; Trade and Non-trade Barriers; NAMA; Implications; Policy Suggestions
    JEL: P5 F2 F1 L7
    Date: 2007–06–21
  7. By: John C. Whitehead; Daniel Phaneuf; Christopher F. Dumas; Jim Herstine; Jeffrey Hill; Bob Buerger
    Abstract: We consider the convergent validity of several demand models using beach recreation data. Two models employ multiple site data, the linked site-selection and trip frequency demand model and the Kuhn-Tucker demand system model. We exploit the effect of the existing variation in beach width on trip choices to analyze a 100 foot increase in beach width. We compare these models to a single site model where we jointly estimate revealed and stated preference data focusing on a hypothetical scenario that directly considers a 100 foot increase in beach width. In each case we develop estimates of the increased number of beach trips with an increase in beach width and the value of beach width. The trip estimates from each of the three models are similar and convergent valid. The convergent validity statistical test on willingness to pay suggests that the estimates converge between these models. However, the difference in magnitude is large. Key Words: Recreation Demand, Travel Cost Method, Convergent Validity
    JEL: Q51
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Jean-Marc Roda (Bois tropicaux - Production et valorisation des bois tropicaux - CIRAD : UPR40); Eric Aretz (Alterra - Centre for Ecosystem studies, - Wageningen University and Research Centre); Hin Fui Lim (FRIM - Forest Research Institute of Malaysia - FRIM)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the side effects of the stricter regulation on tropical hardwood or timber imports. It considers the place of Europe within the global timber market, where Europe accounts only for a very limited share. It also explains the high selectivity of European markets, with its consequences. While tropical wooden furniture and other secondary processed products are not considered as timber here, their question is also discussed. The number of empirical studies specifically dealing with the side effects of EU regulations is limited, but the results are converging, showing that these regulations have a general adverse effect, contrary to the initial aim of promoting the sustainability of tropical timbers. These side effects are essentially to divert the trade towards countries with lower standards, and to add a burden on most of the producing countries which have already a set of comparative disadvantages for the production of legal or sustainable timber. The effects are positive on a limited number of companies which markets are very dependent of Europe. The question is then analysed from a broader perspective, replacing the effects of the EU regulations as an incidental factor compared to the increasing consumption of tropical timber by the three developing giants: Brazil, India and China.
    Keywords: timber trade; trade regulation; environmental regulation, Europe; tropical timber; tropical hardwwod; side effect; adverse effect
    Date: 2007–03–01
  9. By: Aurélie Chamaret (C3ED - Centre d'économie et d'éthique pour l'environnement et le développement - IRD : UR063 - Université de Versailles-Saint Quentin en Yvelines); Martin O'Connor (C3ED - Centre d'économie et d'éthique pour l'environnement et le développement - IRD : UR063 - Université de Versailles-Saint Quentin en Yvelines); Gilles Récoché (Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières - BRGM)
    Abstract: Minerals extraction is related to complex sustainable-development issues that are subject to international and local controversies. Debates and decisions need to be based on objective and comparative elements. Defining strong indicators for assessing impacts and performances of mining sites thus appears necessary to inform and support the decision-making process for stakeholders. In recent years, many indicator sets have been developed on an international level based on top-down approaches. But they commonly lack legitimacy for stakeholders and adequacy to specific site issues. They thus need to be complemented by the consultation of local actors concerned by such mining activity, in order to define indicators that are closer to the needs and contexts of the specific sites. This is the goal of the work reported in this paper, undertaken at the Arlit uranium mines in Niger. Our objective was to define indicators that are understood and accepted by all actors, as a basis for robust and transparent assessment of the impacts and performances of mining sites across the four sustainable development dimensions, and at local, regional and national scales.
    Keywords: Deliberation; Evaluation; Indicators; Mining; Multi-criteria; Niger; Stakeholders; Stewardship; Sustainable development; Top-down/bottom-up; Uranium
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Bernardo Mueller; Lee J. Alston
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Fábio Henrique Granja e Barros; Bernardo Mueller; Jorge Madeira Nogueira
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Jean-Marc Roda (Bois tropicaux - Production et valorisation des bois tropicaux - CIRAD : UPR40); Philippe Cadène (SDEDT - Sociétés en developpement dans l'espace et dans le temps - CNRS : UMR7135 - Université Denis Diderot - Paris VII); Philippe Guizol (Bois tropicaux - Production et valorisation des bois tropicaux - CIRAD : UPR40); Levania Santoso (CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR); Achmad Uzair Fauzan (CIFOR - CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR)
    Abstract: In this document, we study the industrial district of Jepara, Indonesia. It is specialised in furniture production, for Indonesian consumption as well as for worldwide exports. We summarize the main features of the dynamics of the firms involved in the Jepara industrial complex with a quantitative analysis of flows among them, and between them and markets elsewhere. A specific method of spatial analysis was designed, and merged with existing methods for the analysis of forest production networks and social networks. This method allows to take into account and to accurately assess the number of very small workshops that cannot be evaluated by classical methods. We demonstrate that both the official statistics and the existing literature about Jepara considerably underestimate the extent of the wood industry and its activities. We present the results through synthesis maps. A total of 15 271 units of production have been identified, employing approximately 170 000 workers in Jepara. The activity generates considerable revenue: between 11 900 and 12 300 billion Rp/year of added value (about 1 billion euros/year), that is to say between 70 and 78 million Rp/worker/year. The district of Jepara consumes between 1.5 and 2.2 million m3/year of roundwood, and in other words, we found that the use of around 9 m3 of roundwood sustains one full-time employee for a year. The organisation of the production is typical of an industrial district, featuring a high level of intertwined relationships and subcontracting among highly specialised production units and a prevalence of small and very small units in various steps of the production rather than bigger, integrated units.
    Keywords: Indonesia; Java, furniture; timber; industrial district; production network; manufacturing cluster; flexible specialisation; SME; teak; trade
    Date: 2007–10–01
  13. By: Cassandro Maria da Veiga Mendes; Luciano M. B. Sampaio; Paulo Amilton Maia Leite Filho
    Date: 2007

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