Markets working to support sustainable development

Forestry

Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard

The AWS Standard is an international, market-based standard that is designed to guide, incentivise and differentiate responsible water users.

The Standard is designed to achieve four water stewardship outcomes: good water governance, sustainable water balance, good water quality status and healthy status of important water-related areas. In order to achieve these, water stewards - those that implement the Standard - must follow a six-step continual improvement framework. The steps are:

REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES)

The REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES) are designed to build support for policies and measures implemented by government-led REDD+ programmes and can be applied to all forms of fund-based or market-based financing, so long as the programme also contributes to positive social and environmental outcomes. 

The Standards seek to:

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Biodiversity offsets (Conservation Banking)

Biodiversity offsets are a form of conditional environmental financing. Like their more well-known cousin, carbon offsets, various parties (e.g. governments, companies or individuals) look to compensate the damage they cause in one location by benefitting bidoversity somewhere else. 

REDD+ Partnership

Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) is a policy measure for mitigating climate change caused by loss of carbon in forest ecosystems. It uses a carbon emissions-offsetting structure that places an economic value on the safeguarding of forest carbon stocks and provides an incentive for investment in sustainabiity. 

About REDD+

At the UNFCCC conference in Poznan, Poland, negotiators reached a consensus that REDD activities should be broadened. The original two aims were to:

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Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is an initiative hosted by the World Bank and designed to assist ‘tropical and subtropical forest countries develop the systems and policies for REDD+’. REDD is an innovative market-based instrument designed to place value on standing forests and so reduce emissions from forest destruction and deforestation.

The FCPF has two main components:

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REDD+

Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) is a measure for mitigating climate change caused by loss of carbon in forest ecosystems. It uses a carbon emissions-offsetting structure that places an economic value on the safeguarding of forest carbon stocks and provides an incentive for investment in sustainabiity. REDD has the potential to be an important mechanisms for climate change mitigation. The IPCC estimates that 17% of total greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation.

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Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Certification

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal appears on products if the producers have complied with the standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). These standards are predominantly environmental, however they also include social and economic aspects.

The SAN standards are guided by 10 principles, outlined below:

ISO 14064-9 Standards

The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.

The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:

WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) aggreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) seeks to ensure that member-states do not implement food safety policies and health measures that create obstacles for free trade. 

The agreement looks to reconcile two positions:

WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.

The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may  include:

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