First Evaluation Report on CAFTA-DR Environmental Cooperation.

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Legal Institutional Frameworks for Payment for Ecosystem Services: Eight Country Analysis (Spanish Only)

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Environmental Sustainability in the Americas

► Ever since the Bruntland Commission introduced the concept of Sustainable Development in its seminal report, Our Common Future, Governments and their development partners at the national, regional and international level have struggled to operationalize the concept in development policies, programs and plans. Part of the reason for this struggle is because sustainability is a highly complex concept that over time has come to mean different things to different people.

Despite these differences in opinion, there is broad consensus that the earth's resources are being consumed at a faster rate than the rate at which they are being replenished. This realization has led to a growing appreciation of the importance of ensuring that the contribution that natural resources make to the development process is sustained over time. Encouraging progress has been made in developing "smart" indicators to alert natural resource users to instances when resource thresholds are being exceeded and when remedial action is required. Governments are now armed with a wide array of policies, laws and strategies to bring about some degree of equilibrium between resource use and replenishment. The growing participation of the private sector and civil society organizations in the quest for sustainability is noteworthy. Throughout the hemisphere, there are signs that voluntary compliance with and monitoring of environmental and trade laws are increasing.

Still, numerous challenges remain in promoting access to water and land; in managing climate related risks and generally in improving environmental governance. This policy brief examines some of these challenges and proposes some policy responses. Also, the Brief examines the implications of a worsening global financial crisis for efforts at improving environmental sustainability.

Binational Master Plan for Integral Development of the Lake Titicaca, Desaguadero River, Poopó, Coipasa Salt Marsh System (TDPS System)
Executive Summary in English (1996)

The TDPS region is characterized by overlapping cultural and economic systems in which a vast agrarian subsistence economy exists side by side with agricultural sectors directed at regional and national markets and with a mining industry looking abroad. The impact on natural resources has varied, but in every case their consumption and depletion are not included in the costs of production. The ancestral values based on respect for "Mother Earth" have largely died out, and nature is perceived as an inexhaustible fount of resources and a waste dump. The widespread poverty and low levels of education prevent the population from developing an awareness of the limits on their resources, and only in the wake of major natural catastrophes such as droughts and floods have some sectors of the society begun to think about the cause-and-effect relationship between the use and management of natural resources and those catastrophes.

A change in behavior toward the natural environment, especially on the part of those sectors causing it the most harm (mining, mining-based industry, urban concentration) requires a change in attitude based on an understanding of, and respect for, the region's physical and biological processes, its natural and cultural-anthropological values, and the right of its indigenous peoples to emerge from poverty by receiving a growing share of the return on the development of its resources. This change in outlook requires more effective action by the state, with a comprehensive policy including the creation and enforcement of legal, institutional and fiscal mechanisms and economic incentives and resources designed to further sustainable development in the region. Real participation by the local communities in administering the areas within their jurisdiction is also needed.

The present environmental assessment is an important step toward those ends.

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Binational Programs for Border Cooperation - A Model for the Development of the Amazon Region (1993)

The document summarizes the objectives, methodological approach, and principal conclusions and recommendations of the binational plans, programs, and projects being executed by the Amazonian countries with the cooperation of the General Secretariat of the OAS.

The general purpose of the border plans and programs is to create conditions for sustainable development. The plans also seek to explore the development potential of the border areas in terms of population, ecosystems, and natural resources, with a view to incorporating these areas into the countries' economies. They are intended not only to deal with the specific problems of each border area, but also to serve as models for extending environmentally sound development planning to other parts of the Amazon region.

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Binational Projects - Colombia-Peru --- Brazil-Peru In April of 1988, the Presidents of Colombia and Peru met in the town of San Antonio, on the Amazon River, and signed a Joint Declaration agreeing to a Bilateral Action Plan to carry out the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin, to be executed within the framework of the Joint Committee for the Colombian-Peruvian Amazon Cooperation Treaty. Their ministries of foreign affairs were asked to jointly negotiate financial support from international organizations, especially the Organization of American States. The first meeting of the Joint Committee took place in August 1988 in Leticia, Colombia, capital of Amazonas Department. In this meeting, the terms of reference for the drafting of the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin (PPCP) were approved.

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Conservation of Biodiversity and the New Regional Planning (1995)

This book is a next step in the ongoing characterization of sustainable development. It is a set of conclusions drawn from case descriptions and methods that look at the "why" and "how" of the new regional planning. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 make the case for the importance of both wild and cultured biodiversity; Chapters 5, 6 and 7 give instructions on how attention can be given to special parts of the overall effort; Chapter 8 links the topic to the recently ratified Convention on Biological Diversity; and Chapters 9, 10 and 11 discuss experiences from the well-known cases of La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica and Panama, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in the United States, and CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe as they fit into the parameters of the new regional planning.

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\ Disaster, Planning and Development: Managing Natural Hazards to Reduce Loss (1990)

After seven years of field work it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with natural hazards. The material comes with a broad set of objectives, a reflection of the breadth of the issues involved in hazard mitigation. At the policy level, it is hoped that national planning ministries, development agencies, and international financing institutions will be encouraged to systematically include analyses of natural hazards in their economic development programs.

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development of the San Juan River Basin
Executive Summary in English (1997)

In October of 1994, UNEP and GS/OAS signed an Agreement in which both organizations agreed to support Costa Rica and Nicaragua the two countries in carrying out this Project. The project's main objectives were defined as those relating to human development and the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems. The following aspects were given priority: (a)Management and preservation of shared basins and water resources; (b)Management of protected areas and preservation of biodiversity; (c) Incentives for the development of sustainable economic activities; (d) Overcoming the population's conditions of poverty, and attention to indigenous groups; and (e) Institutional strengthening and legislation which would reconcile key issues at the border and Central American level.

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Environmental Quality and River Basin Development: A Model for Integrated Analysis and Planning (1978)

This document is the result of nearly two years of work by the staff of the Program of Regional Development, Argentine coworkers, and several international consultants (Appendix A). Every effort has been made to make the content and prose applicable to the needs of project directors and field staff working in the planning of river basin development. Consequently, scientific and specialized terminology have been kept to a minimum and the recommendations have been made in full consideration of the realities of developing countries. The document has been purposefully kept short to give it the character of a guidebook rather than that of an exhaustive treatise on the subject of environment and development. Although the methodology has been designed to guide the early planning stages of river basin development in semiarid regions of the developing world, much of it is applicable to regional and sectoral planning efforts in the more humid regions. Similarly, it should find use as a text and reference material in those training centers and institutions that relate to development planning.

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Evaluation of the Potential Industrial Environmental Impacts of the FTAA Brazil Case Study

This assessment focused on the industrial sector and indicated that the main environmental changes with the possible implementation of FTAA could include water contamination and detriment in air quality due to outdoor air pollution. However, the assessment highlights that those industries that could affect air quality in Brazil use environmentally friendly technologies in order to meet sustainability and market access requirements of the export markets. Additionally, this assessment examines the Brazilian legal-institutional frameworks and the internalization of environmental cost by industry, concluding that these costs do not affect competitiveness. Finally, this assessment includes some recommendations for regulating entities in terms of promoting efficiency and competitiveness of the Brazilian industrial sector.

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Improving Collaboration Between the World Bank and the Organization of American States on Environmental Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean (1999)

The paper proposes specific institutional measures to foster a more active partnership between the World Bank Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Development Sector Management Unit (IBRD/LCSES) and the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment of the OAS (OAS/DSD), key international NGOs, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It explores the constraints to collaboration, analyzes trends in development assistance, and sketches a general framework for strengthening levels of collaboration among technical assistance and donor organizations active in natural resource management issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Biodiversity, water resources, and disaster reduction proposals and projects are suggested as examples of how an improved collaborative framework between the Bank, the OAS, and cooperating institutions can be implemented. Improving the climate for donor coordination is in the best interest of both client nations and the assistance community.

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Integrated Land Development - The Case of the Mabouya Valley in Saint Lucia (1991)

A critical problem facing agricultural development in the Eastern Caribbean is the acute scarcity of arable land. Concentrated ownership of best lands compounds this scarcity. The majority of the rural population is left to farm small holdings on unsuitable hillsides. In turn, this intensive cultivation of hillsides triggers a complex process of soil erosion and environmental degradation of entire watersheds. Isolated soil-conservation efforts have at best been palliative. The roots of the problem remain in land scarcity.

This volume, designed as a follow-up to the original report, addresses the Morne Panache Pilot Project, the LRTP, and the Mabouya Valley Development Project. Together, the results of these projects illustrate the importance of an integrated approach to land issues, an approach that deals not only with the consequences of problems, but also with causes. The Department of Regional Development and Environment at the OAS is pleased to have cooperated with the Government of St. Lucia in this effort and believes that the following account may be helpful to other governments faced with similar development challenges.

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Integrated Regional Development Planning: Guidelines and Case Studies from OAS Experience (1984)

Reviewing 20 years of experience with integrated regional development planning is a humbling exercise. Mistakes and failed plans stand out clearly with the perspective of time, but so do the occasional successfully implemented projects that flowed from the plans. Less obvious but perhaps equally satisfying are the mistakes avoided because of the plans. DRD draws here exclusively on its own field experience in Latin America, leaving it to other technical assistance agencies to catalog theirs. Accordingly, the emphasis in this book is on the development of natural resources, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry, human settlements, and social services. In these accounts, we believe, are information and ideas of use to developing-country governments from the local to the national levels, sectoral agencies, river basin authorities, regional development corporations, other technical assistance groups, and - most of all - field study managers.

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Inter-American Strategy for the Promotion of Public Participation in Decision-Making for Sustainable Development (2001)

The formulation of this innovative strategy is a prompt response to a mandate entrusted to the OAS by the 1996 Bolivia Summit Conference on Sustainable Development. For almost three years, the DSD led an open and participatory process to give shape to the ISP, working with public sector and civil society organizations in the 34 member states in conducting technical studies, seminars, and extensive consultations. This broad consultation process gave governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders in the Americas the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions regarding the recommendations and principles to be taken into account in the design, implementation, and evaluation of participatory projects, policies, or programs. As a result, the ISP contains principles and policy recommendations aimed at achieving greater involvement of all sectors of society in the making of decisions on sustainable development and environment.

Minimum Conflict: Guidelines for Planning the Use of American Humid Tropic Environments (1987)

This document represents the Phase I report of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Peru sponsored project: "Case Study of Environmental Management: Integrated Development of An Area in the Humid Tropics - The Selva Central of Peru." To a large degree this effort is a follow-up of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Argentina study of the Upper Bermejo River Basin of Argentina in 1975-1977 which sought to develop a planning methodology for river basins in semiarid areas. The results of this early study were published in 1978 as a small book, Environmental Quality and River Basin Development: A Model for Integrated Analysis and Planning. Both of these studies have their basis in Resolution 61 of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Action Plan, which requests that research be undertaken to design practical planning methodologies for distinct categories of development activity in specific individual biomes and which would include "concern for the environment" as an integral part of development planning.

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Natural Resource and Environmental Accounts for Development Policy (1994)

In recent years, a fundamental change has taken place in the way national governments and the international community measure and think about countries' economic performance. Leading economists now agree that national income accounting should treat natural resources as it does other tangible economic assets. Standard-setting agencies, such as the United Nations Statistical Office, have formulated new methodological guidelines. More and more industrialized and developing countries are constructing revised resource and environmental accounts in order to make them more relevant to sound environmental management and sustainable development. In our own hemisphere, while Canada and the United States have taken the lead in this initiative, other countries are also taking steps to initiate the process of revision. In serving as host of the seminar reported on in this document, the OAS is pleased to have provided, through a joint effort with the World Resources Institute, a pioneering hemispheric forum for discussion of the issues arising from its member countries' new and incipient accounting experiences.

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Peru - Bolivia Integrated Action Program (PAIPB), Summary in English

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Physical Planning and Management Plan for the San Miguel and Putumayo River Basins (PSP), Executive Summary in English (1987)

Under the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, the governments of Colombia and Ecuador signed a cooperation agreement in 1979 to promote and oversee the two countries' bilateral activities in the Amazonian region. In 1985, both governments reaffirmed the need to encourage sectoral activities in the border region and decided to begin to draw up a binational action plan to steer regional development towards sustainable development objectives that were compatible with their fragile ecological systems. Thus, in 1986, the Physical Planning and Management Plan for the San Miguel and Putumayo River Basins (PSP) was approved and initiated.

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Plan and Policy for a System of National Parks and Protected Areas

Grenada is in the process of better defining its land use policy. The national parks and protected areas program is an important step towards viewing the finite resource of land in a multiple use context. Grenada's actions in the protection of the upper watersheds and important ecosystems, promotion of cultural and natural attractions, and the development of educational and tourism programs are noteworthy in this respect.

The methodology for the establishment and management of a system of national parks and protected areas was developed by a team of national and international specialists working together under the direction of the Ministry of Agriculture. The inventory of the natural and cultural resource base relied on an interdisciplinary team made up of fisheries, forestry, land use, extension, and physical planning personnel as well as first-hand information of local hikers, naturalists and historians.

In conjunction with this report, and as part of the Government of Grenada/OAS Integrated Development Project, land policy and infrastructure development guidelines have also been defined. A zoning map has been generated to identify productive agricultural and grazing lands, especially in the southeast section of the island of Grenada where development pressures are most intense. The goal of these efforts is to protect and develop the natural resources of Grenada and Carriacou.

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Plan for Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin
Executive Summary in English (1993)

In concurrence with the objectives, policies and strategies specified in each country's Amazonian Development Plan, the overall PPCP goals can be summarized as follows: (a) To promote the harmonious and sustained development of the area; (b) To integrate the area with the rest of the territory by constructing roads and other transportation facilities and establishing communication links, as well as through political, cultural, social and economic inter-action; (c) To improve the population's standard of living; (d) To concentrate, in the native communities, on substantially improving the handling of territorial issues, and the provision of basic social and health services, including the conservation of areas traditionally inhabited by such communities while protecting the fundamental rights of those communities, and, in particular, their social and cultural integrity; (e) To promote research and the compilation of information on the area.

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Primer on Natural Hazard Management in Integrated Regional Development Planning (1991)

Following the El Niño occurrence of 1982-83, the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed the need for technical cooperation in natural hazard management. In response, the Department of Regional Development and Environment (DRDE) initiated the Natural Hazard Project with support from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID).

The need for this book became clear through field work and discussions with planning agency counterparts and representatives of other development assistance agencies. Great strides were made in the past two decades in emergency preparedness and response, but up to now insufficient attention has been paid to reducing the vulnerability of existing and planned development. After seven years of field work, it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with this neglected subject.

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Program for Development of the Peruvian-Brazilian Border Communities
Executive Summary in English (1992)

In accordance with the objectives, policies, and strategies contained in the development plans for the Amazon region in both countries, the general objectives for the development of the border communities are as follows: a) improvement of the living standards of the population; b) determination of the appropriate use of the areas natural resources, with a view toward sustainable development; c) binational integration of the area into the remainder of the territory of the two countries, through the efficient use of their natural resources and the fostering of effective occupation of the border areas.

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Report of the Secretary General on Bolivia Summit Implementation (1998)

In the context of the institutional arrangements set up in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the Secretary General of the Organization American States was given the mandate to submit a report on progress attained in the implementation of the initiatives of the Plan of Action on Sustainable Development. The report, to be made available prior to the 1998 Summit of the Americas, was intended as a follow-up on the commitments entered into in Bolivia. This paper is in compliance with the coordinating and follow-up roles entrusted to the OAS.

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Saint Lucia Natural Resources and Agricultural Development Project - Studies and Proposals for the Implementation of a Land Registration Programme (1986)

The unique land tenure problems inherited by Saint Lucia have represented a major constraint for the development of the agricultural sector. They are one of the most important factors preventing the farming community from diversifying production and increasing productivity. Conscious of the complexity of the problem, and cognizant of the far-reaching social and economic impact that possible solutions could have, the Government of Saint Lucia requested technical cooperation from the Organization of American States. This cooperation had two objectives: to undertake the studies required to design feasible technical alternatives and to identify complementary actions capable of taking full advantage of the solution of land tenure problems.

The present report synthesizes the technical studies undertaken during 1981 by a team of national and international specialists working with the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Sustainable Agriculture, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & The Private Sector of the "Financial Services Industry

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Uruguay - National Environmental Study - Executive Summary (1992)

On May 4, 1989, the Government of Uruguay and the Inter-American Development Bank signed a technical cooperation agreement to finance a national study that would help incorporate the environmental dimension into the development process of Uruguay.

This document synthesizes the findings of the study and provides an action plan to implement the strategy, projects and programs that are based on these findings. In summary, the study established that a formal environmental policy was needed to meet the national objectives of improved quality of life for the people of Uruguay.

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