Economic Opportunity Cost Model for the Amazon

Solving our global climate crisis hinges on doing a number of things right. One is slowing - eventually stopping - deforestation, which now accounts for 15-20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To do that we need to know how much stopping deforestation costs and where on the Earth's vast tropical belt it can be done most cost-effectively. With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, CSF has designed an "opportunity cost" analysis method that works at the level of individual farms and single land uses, even scalable up to the level of entire regions.

picture of road in Amazon

Roads Filter: A strategic analysis of road projects in the Amazon


p>The Roads Filter is an analysis tool developed by Conservation Strategy Fund to support conservation and sustainable development. The tool uses a comparative index that considers the environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of road construction projects. It can be used throughout the Amazon region to inform decision makers about a project’s risk levels and possible impacts. In 2011, we applied the Roads Filter to 36 proposed roads in the region.

CSF letter published in The Economist

The May 8th - 14th, 2010 edition of The Economist published a letter by President John Reid and CSF course graduate and Fellow Wilson Cabral about the Belo Monte dam. The letter pointed out that the shaky economics of the dam will create pressure for even more dam development upstream of Belo Monte. Construction of the Belo Monte on the Xingu River is rapidly moving forward. But there are positive aspects to this story. A delay in the project of several years, partly due to CSF's 2006 study of the dam, has given time for protected areas and a big new carbon project to be consolidated. This will make it harder for additional big dams, which are the real threat, to be built upstream of Belo Monte on the Xingu.

Paying Parks to Conserve Water: A Proposal for Três Picos

Series number: 

CSF launches HydroCalculator Tool

Photos of Madden Dam in Panama

CSF has just developed an innovative online HydroCalculator Tool that empowers citizens to analyze the ecological, social, and financial impacts of hydroelectric dams.

Economic analysis of a proposal to expand the Panama Canal

Expanding the Panama Canal

CSF helped the Centro de Asistencia Legal Popular (CEALP) analyze plans to expand the Panama Canal. After participating in a CSF training in 1999, CEALP lawyer Erya Harbar proposed a legal and economic analysis of infrastructure that would effect both natural ecosystems and campesino communities. The study examined the economic efficiency and equity of the proposed $8 billion expansion proposed in 1999. The proposal involves three new dams plus aqueducts, transmission lines and roads in a remote 500,000-acre area of forest and small towns. The goal of CSF's work with CEALP was to inform affected rural communities and stimulate consideration of the financial and environmental tradeoffs of canal expansion in the national policy debate on the issue.

Syndicate content