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Environmental issues from sugarcane plantations in Brazil and how to handle them with market-based instruments

Milton, Freja LU (2019) MVEM12 20191
Studies in Environmental Science
Abstract
This study is a literature review of three market-based instruments used for land management; environmental offsets, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and certification, and how they could be used to mitigate environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivation in Brazil when purchasing biopolymers. The study showed that certification is the most common market-based instrument in Brazil. Offset and PES are yet not common tools but are important for the future.
The effectiveness of the certifications depends on the certification standard. Many available standards lead to confusion and inefficiency. Certifications biggest strength is that it lies close to the company and it is therefore easy to incorporate it in the company’s strategies and... (More)
This study is a literature review of three market-based instruments used for land management; environmental offsets, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and certification, and how they could be used to mitigate environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivation in Brazil when purchasing biopolymers. The study showed that certification is the most common market-based instrument in Brazil. Offset and PES are yet not common tools but are important for the future.
The effectiveness of the certifications depends on the certification standard. Many available standards lead to confusion and inefficiency. Certifications biggest strength is that it lies close to the company and it is therefore easy to incorporate it in the company’s strategies and to communicate with the customers.
The biggest strength with environmental offset is that it allowed exploitation of sensitive areas if its compensated and no net loss is achieved. The biggest challenges with this tool are to reduce the uncertainties and achieve a no net loss in value.
PES efficiency depends on the design of the scheme. If the provider of the ecosystem service benefits from managing the ecosystem service, it usually becomes more successful. The biggest drawback with PES is that it is often carried out in areas where the price for land is lower and under less threat. The monitoring of the PES is often insufficient and long-running projects are missing which makes it hard to evaluate the effectiveness of PES.
When it comes to impact on nature, it is crucial what land management has occurred on the spot earlier. If sugarcane expands on native vegetation it will have an irreversible effect on carbon stock and soil quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. If sugarcane expands on degraded pasture or annual crops it will slightly increase the soil quality, carbon stock and lead to less greenhouse gas emission. (Less)
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Market-based instruments as a solution to the sustainable production of bioplastics

There has never been a bigger interest within society to find alternative material from renewable sources to mitigate their negative impact on global warming and CO2 emissions than today. Plastics are often made from fossil feedstocks, but it is becoming more common to make plastics from biological feedstocks. One common feedstock used to produce bioplastics is sugarcane. The production of sugarcane has increased globally over the past years and the world’s biggest producer of sugarcane is Brazil. But even if the sugarcane is renewable there are many sustainable issues connected with the cultivation such as; decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem... (More)
Market-based instruments as a solution to the sustainable production of bioplastics

There has never been a bigger interest within society to find alternative material from renewable sources to mitigate their negative impact on global warming and CO2 emissions than today. Plastics are often made from fossil feedstocks, but it is becoming more common to make plastics from biological feedstocks. One common feedstock used to produce bioplastics is sugarcane. The production of sugarcane has increased globally over the past years and the world’s biggest producer of sugarcane is Brazil. But even if the sugarcane is renewable there are many sustainable issues connected with the cultivation such as; decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem services, pollution of soil and water and decrease in soil quality and carbon stock. To handle the environmental impacts, the different market-based instrument can be used to increase the sustainability of the sugarcane production.

This study has looked closer to three market-based instruments used for land management; environmental offsets, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and certification, and how they could be used to mitigate environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivation in Brazil when purchasing biopolymers used to produce bioplastics. The study showed that certification is the most common market-based instrument in Brazil. Environmental offset and PES are yet not common tools but are important for the future. If PES and environmental offset schemes are well designed, they can create added value. For example, when carbon sequestration is benefited by creating a wetland, biodiversity and water purification is often improved.

There are also big social benefits with using market-based tools, as environmental offsets and PES. By paying farmers for adopting a more environmentally friendly agriculture practice, companies could start to have a positive influence at local areas. Companies can create job opportunity to maintain nature conservation and improve agriculture techniques, which benefits the local inhabitants and at the same time contributes to purchasing more sustainable feedstock. Well-designed PES and environmental offsets could even help people out of poverty by providing a cash income in a rural area where poverty might be concentrated. Local communities can benefit from the environmental offsets and PES-schemes by gaining increased knowledge of sustainable agriculture practice from technical assistance and training which then could spread like rings on the water to create an overall more sustainable agriculture.

Market-based instruments could play a central role in the development of sustainable sugarcane production in the future. But to become efficient, many of the market-based instruments need to become more transparent, better monitored and followed up. In the future, the tools can be used as a complement to laws and regulations to rise the performance level of sugarcane cultivation and achieve a more sustainable sugarcane production. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Milton, Freja LU
supervisor
organization
course
MVEM12 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Market-based instruments, environmental offsets, Payments for ecosystem services, PES, Brazil, bioplastic, biopolymer, sugarcane, certification, environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivations.
language
English
id
8986659
date added to LUP
2019-07-02 09:36:45
date last changed
2019-07-02 09:36:45
@misc{8986659,
  abstract     = {This study is a literature review of three market-based instruments used for land management; environmental offsets, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and certification, and how they could be used to mitigate environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivation in Brazil when purchasing biopolymers. The study showed that certification is the most common market-based instrument in Brazil. Offset and PES are yet not common tools but are important for the future.
The effectiveness of the certifications depends on the certification standard. Many available standards lead to confusion and inefficiency. Certifications biggest strength is that it lies close to the company and it is therefore easy to incorporate it in the company’s strategies and to communicate with the customers.
The biggest strength with environmental offset is that it allowed exploitation of sensitive areas if its compensated and no net loss is achieved. The biggest challenges with this tool are to reduce the uncertainties and achieve a no net loss in value.
PES efficiency depends on the design of the scheme. If the provider of the ecosystem service benefits from managing the ecosystem service, it usually becomes more successful. The biggest drawback with PES is that it is often carried out in areas where the price for land is lower and under less threat. The monitoring of the PES is often insufficient and long-running projects are missing which makes it hard to evaluate the effectiveness of PES.
When it comes to impact on nature, it is crucial what land management has occurred on the spot earlier. If sugarcane expands on native vegetation it will have an irreversible effect on carbon stock and soil quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. If sugarcane expands on degraded pasture or annual crops it will slightly increase the soil quality, carbon stock and lead to less greenhouse gas emission.},
  author       = {Milton, Freja},
  keyword      = {Market-based instruments,environmental offsets,Payments for ecosystem services,PES,Brazil,bioplastic,biopolymer,sugarcane,certification,environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivations.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Environmental issues from sugarcane plantations in Brazil and how to handle them with market-based instruments},
  year         = {2019},
}