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Building Economics Skills to Sustain Conservation in the Southern Tropical Andes

Fostering local talent in Conservation Economics is a key piece in the puzzle of protecting the rich biodiversity of the tropical Andes region. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and others, CSF is delivering an integrated training package to address this need. The project began in 2009 with Conservation Economics instruction for decision-makers and young economists. It has continued with a competitive program of research grants for economists interested in working on conservation themes in the rain forest regions of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

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.

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.

http://www.conservation-strategy.org/hydrocalculator-analyses

Photos of Madden Dam in Panama

HydroCalculator Tool

The HydroCalculator Tool empowers citizens to analyze the ecological, social, and financial impacts of hydroelectric dams. Click through below to see how you can analyze a hydro project online or see if someone else has already posted an analysis of the project in which you have an interest.

http://www.conservation-strategy.org/hydrocalculator-analyses

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.

Changuinola-Teribe Dams in Panama

We analyzed four hydroelectric projects planed in Panama’s Bocas del Toro Province. All four projects would be located in the Changuinola-Teribe watershed, within the limits of the Palo Seco Protected Forest (known by the Spanish acronym BPPS). Three of these projects would be built on the Changuinola River, with the fourth on the Bonyic River. Both rivers have their headwaters within the Amistad International Park (PILA). The dams’ combined installed capacity would be 446 megawatts, equivalent to 30 percent of Panama’s total capacity at the end of 2004. Our analysis suggests that the projects would most likely be both economically and financially feasible.

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