Project Title

Assessing the Economic Value of Green Infrastructure in Coastal Ecosystems to Disaster Risk Reduction and Response and Coastal Resilience in the APEC Region 

Project Year

2014   

Project Number

OFWG 03 2014A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

OFWG 03 2014A 

Project Title

Assessing the Economic Value of Green Infrastructure in Coastal Ecosystems to Disaster Risk Reduction and Response and Coastal Resilience in the APEC Region 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Health and Emergency Preparedness 

Project Year

2014 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

50,000 

Co-funding Amount

100,000 

Total Project Value

150,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) 

Topics

Fisheries; Marine Conservation; Oceans 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

China; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Russia; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2015 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2015 

Project Proponent Name 1

Nadira Mailewa (wef 18 January 2018) 

Job Title 1

Economic and Human Security Specialist 

Organization 1

US-APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration 

Postal Address 1

c/o APEC Secretariat, 35 Heng Mui Keng Terrace 

Telephone 1

Not Applicable 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

nmailewa@nathaninc.com; nm15@apec.org 

Project Proponent Name 2

Heather Coll (wef from 18 January 2018) 

Job Title 2

International Affairs Specialist 

Organization 2

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

Postal Address 2

Office of International Affairs 

Telephone 2

1-202 4825233 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

heather.coll@noaa.gov 

Declaration

Nadira Mailewa and Heather Coll 

Project Summary

Coastal zones provide a multitude of services to APEC economies. Many APEC economies are trying to assess the economic values of these coastal services because it is difficult to directly compare intrinsic values of these resources to other services that have market values attached to them. The economic value of goods and services from the world’s coastal ecosystems by some estimates is around USD25 Trillion annually.  However, it is difficult for decision makers to distill global numbers into information on specific sectors that can be useful for policy and management decisions, particularly those decisions related to disaster risk reduction and response, coastal resilience, and the economic benefits of coastal ecosystems on regional, national, and local levels.  The outcome of this study will be an assessment of the economic value that green infrastructure in coastal ecosystems provides for disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience in the APEC region.

Relevance

Coastal ecosystems, including those in the APEC region, are experiencing numerous and increasing stressors (climate change, extreme natural events, land and resource use, pollution), which threaten the economic livelihoods of coastal residents and broader societies that depend on coastal goods and services.  The APEC region depends on ocean and coastal resources to support key industries and economic sectors, including fisheries and coastal tourism.  The APEC region also is particularly vulnerable to impacts of natural disasters, which can have devastating effects and incur large economic costs to respond and rebuild.  Some of these impacts and costs may be avoided or reduced through science-based management of ocean and coastal ecosystems and informed decisions on green infrastructure management and development.  Green infrastructure refers to a strategically planned and managed network of natural lands and landscapes that conserves ecosystem values and functions, including flood storage, erosion control, storm impact buffers, water quality maintenance, and the ability to adapt to disturbance.  While there is recognition within APEC that green infrastructure and/or a combination of green and traditional grey/built infrastructure (known as “hybrind” approaches) provide some level of protection against disasters and that ecosystem services can help in restoration efforts after disasters, the economic value of those services is not clear enough to help policy leaders make informed decisions based on the value and benefit of ecosystem services.  This project will help to provide clearer information to inform sound policy decisions to the long-term benefit of all APEC economies.  Having a better understanding of the value of green and hybrid infrastructure approaches in the APEC region will allow decision makers to better evaluate the potential economic impacts of management of natural coastal resources, green infrastructure development/management, and the development of disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resiliency strategies (i.e., approaches to enhance a community’s ability to rebound and recover from the impacts of coastal hazards and reduce the ecological and socioeconomic risks of those hazards). 

This project addresses the following Rank One priority: “Mainstreaming ocean-related issues for economic growth, including blue economy, conservation and sustainable development of coastal and marine resources.”  An understanding of the economic value of green infrastructure in coastal ecosystems will support economic growth in various sectors such as tourism sustainable development, and resilience in the face of natural disasters throughout the region.

Objectives

Key objectives:

(1) Through a literature search and survey sent through APEC working groups, identify knowledge gaps related to the economic value of coastal green infrastructure benefits and services for disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience in the APEC region, as well as the related regulatory barriers and;

(2) Provide an initial assessment of the economic value of the benefits and services provided by green infrastructure in coastal ecosystems for the purposes of disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience in the APEC region, based on regional existing data sources, such as satellite data, focused on filling critical knowledge gaps and addressing barriers to use of the information.

Alignment

This project supports APEC’s 2014 priority of ‘Mainstreaming ocean-related issues for economic growth, including the blue economy, conservation and sustainable development of coastal and marine resources.’  The project also addresses the APEC 2014 priority for ‘Emergency preparedness, resiliency and disaster management.’ 

The project will contribute to meeting the following objective of the OFWG Strategic Plan 2013 – 2015: “Improve APEC economies’ understanding of the ocean and its economic and social value.”  The OFWG hopes to achieve this through increased “scientific collaboration, transparency, and sharing of knowledge relative to the economic and social value of fisheries, aquaculture, and ocean ecosystem resources and the services they provide, including climate change mitigation and adaptation.”  This project will also contribute to implementing the OFWG 2014 Work Plan, which states that the group will ‘Promote comprehensive Asia-Pacific connectivity to strengthen economic, social and local resilience by improving understanding of the potential impacts of disasters and of climate change on oceans and coasts by identifying and sharing possible methods and economic benefits of natural coastal protection for disaster risk reduction.’ 

The project is also in alignment with the priorities outlined in the 2014 Xiamen Declaration, particularly the priorities (1) Coastal and marine ecosystem conservation and disaster resilience; (2) The role of the ocean on food security and food-related trade; and (3) Blue Economy.

TILF/ASF Justification

The assessment project stands to benefit all APEC economies, as the information will be equally available to all, but will have particular value to developing economies whose economies can be more heavily disrupted by disasters.  This assessment can give disaster management officials in developing economies additional tools for decision making and will be a resource to inform targeted capacity building and outreach for developing economies.  Further, the methodologies used will be made available so that APEC experts can replicate and advance the research when capacity is available.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:  

A literature study and online survey will determine the critical knowledge gaps and regulatory barriers of valuing the ecosystem services that green infrastructure in coastal ecosystems provides in the APEC region, with a particular lens towards those services that facilitate disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience.  Once gaps are identified, an assessment will be conducted of the economic value of coastal ecosystem services, and specifically the green infrastructure found in coastal ecosystems and its contribution to resiliency in the face of storms and flooding.  Methods used will be based on existing, peer-reviewed methodology for valuing ecosystem services on a national and regional scale using existing data, such as satellite data.  Assessments will focus domestically, with a particular focus on developing economies, but combined will provide a regional picture.  Results will be broadly distributed, with a special focus on ensuring that results are received and understood by disaster risk managers and other decision makers in developing economies through virtual means. 

Phase 1 (Gap Analysis): Estimated start date January 2015; estimated completion by May 2015

Phase 2 (Valuation Study): Estimated start date June 2015; estimated completion by October 2015

Phase 3 (Dissemination of report/materials): November 2015 

Outcomes:  

Indicators of success will include: the filling of gaps in current knowledge about the value of coastal ecosystems and green infrastructure to disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience in the face of flooding, storms and other natural disasters; addressing of barriers at various scales (local, by economy, regional); the completion of a report which provides economies with an understanding of the value of coastal ecosystem services to the resilience of their economy; number of communities that use the report for local decision making; the citation or use of the report in economy level or regional policy decision making processes and investment decisions; and possibly other success indicators to be determined in the course of the project. 

Beneficiaries:  

APEC member economies are linked by the Pacific Ocean and the region is vulnerable to natural disasters, so the value of green infrastructure for disaster risk reduction and response efforts and coastal resilience are relevant to all APEC member economies.  Project results will be directed to those with official decision-making power for disaster risk reduction management and policy in coastal communities, both at the local (town/city/village) and economy-level scale, such as coastal resource managers, disaster response officials, law makers, and other influential political leaders in economies with coastal communities from ministries or local government agencies dealing with disaster risk reduction and response, coastal resource management, and land-use and development.  Those targeted will gain improved metrics to quantify the economic importance of green infrastructure in coastal areas, which can inform the development of economically robust disaster risk reduction and response and resiliency strategies for coastal areas and inform other decisions related to management of coastal ecosystems—a benefit for all regardless of gender, social status, etc.  Donor agencies and groups will also find this information beneficial as both the gap analysis and valuation study can inform planning and direct assistance efforts. 

Expertise and review of the study will be sought from all APEC member economies and several APEC fora,with effort made to balance gender participation (see item 9 below).  The compilation and analysis of the data will be completed by an external contractor.

Dissemination

The OFWG will share, electronically and through presentations, project outcomes with other APEC sub-fora and officials and with policy makers in their respective capitals.  In addition to sending the final product to APEC representatives in APEC sub-fora, the OFWG will send the report to key individuals identified by APEC representatives to various working groups as part of the survey sent to working groups in Phase 1 (see further details in question 10 below). Institutions outside of APEC will also be an important audience of the outcomes, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank who work with some member economies on coastal resilience and coastal ecosystem conservation. Of the organizations/instituations outside of APEC that receive the report, we will identify and send at least ten organizations at the local level in developing economies and at least five organizations/institutions focusing on women’s issues. 

This study will provide information that will allow them to evaluate the economic value and potential impact of investments in the conservation and sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.  This study also would be useful for ongoing efforts to value oceans under TEEB:  http://teeboceans.org. 

There is no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

The project itself will use information from and be disseminated to APEC economies and there will be no gender discrimination in the collection of materials.  By providing an additional tool to disaster management officials, hopefully decisions are made that reduce the impact of natural disasters, who according to a 2007 study conducted by London School of Economic shows indicated that natural disasters and their subsequent impact, on average, kill more women than men or kill women at an earlier age than men related to women’s lower socio-economic status (Neumayer and Plümper, 2007). 

To ensure thoughtful engagement of both genders, the project coordinators will work with member economies to create a gender-balanced panel of experts to review and approve the project methodology (see further information on expert panel in Phase 2 below).

Work Plan

Phase 1 (Gap Analysis): Estimated start date January 2015; estimated completion by March 2015 

In Phase 1, a contractor will do a gap analysis via literature search and an online survey of APEC economies, distributed through relevant working groups.  A literature study will determine the critical knowledge gaps of valuing the ecosystem services that green infrastructure in coastal ecosystems provides in the APEC region, with a particular lens towards those services that facilitate disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience.  They will also identify regulatory barriers that impact the valuation and use of green infrastructure in coastal areas. Through a survey, the contractor will engage the OFWG, as well as other related APEC working groups such as the EPWG, TWG, EWG, and TELWG, to solicit additional information or resources that member economies may wish to include so that the study is as comprehensive as possible and builds on existing knowledge of economies, as well as identify individuals within APEC economies who should receive the study results directly during Phase 3.  The results of the literature search and survey will both inform a single output, the gap analysis. 

Phase 2 (Valuation Study): Estimated start date April 2015; estimated completion by October 2015 

In Phase 2, a contractor will build upon Phase 1 and complete a valuation study.  The study will focus on filling in the knowledge gaps in Phase 1.  The assessment will be conducted of the economic value of coastal ecosystem services, and specifically the green infrastructure found in coastal ecosystems and its contribution to resiliency in the face of storms and flooding.  Methods used will be based on existing, peer-reviewed methodology for valuing ecosystem services on a by economy and regional scale, such as the 2008 study by Barbier et al on the value of coastal wetlands for storm protection services in the United States and the 2013 paper by Saudamini and Crepin on the protection that mangroves provide against wind damage during storms.  Like other regional valuation studies of a variety of ecosystem resources, the study will be based on existing data sources, such as satellite data, valuation studies of other resources or coastal ecosystems in other parts of the world, and costs of past disaster response and rebuilding in the region.  Assessments will focus domestically, with a particular focus on developing economies, but combined will provide a regional picture.  

APEC member economies, including the public and private sectors, will have an opportunity to put forward experts or information for use in this assessment.  Experts will have the opportunity to review the methodology for Phase 2 prior to beginning the phase to provide suggestions.  Every effort will be made to ensure an equal gender balance of the expert panel. 

Phase 3 (Dissemination of report/materials): October-November 2015 

After the first two phases are complete, a contractor will compile the results of both phases for electronic dissemination.  This will include the development of a one-page summary report as well as a more detailed report of the findings.  This report will be circulated to the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group and other key APEC fora for review and potential endorsement prior by Leader’s Week 2015.  After review and circulation by APEC members, the final report will be made available online and sent electronically directly to key international and regional organizations (see information in item 8 above) with interest in the topic.  Options for peer reviewed publication of the outcomes or a select sub-set of the outcomes will also be explored.

Risks

Perhaps the largest risk in the project is delays which would shift the timeline and potentially threaten the budget given the involvement of contractors.  We believe the timeline presented (~11 months) is reasonable, but we understand that we are asking for a significant assessment.  This can potentially be managed by asking that the contractor completing the study be paid by milestones rather than hours or by asking economies to provide in-kind support of experts or analysts to assist in timely completion of the project. 

Another risk is that the outcomes of the study will not be used or referenced.  This can be managed through active promotion of the study outcomes and reports, both within multiple APEC fora and with external partners, such as the World Bank and regional development banks.  In addition to electronically disseminating materials, a webinar or other form of web-based presentation can be developed to further elaborate on the study outcomes with a particular lens towards developing economies. 

In addition to lack of awareness, the methodology of the study could be called into question and thus not used.  While no study on such qualitative measures will ever have a universal agreement on the methodology, to address this, methodology used will be based on peer-reviewed regional valuation studies (both of coastal ecosystems and other natural resources) and reviewed by the APEC-member expert panel outlined above.  This will help to provide both legitimacy and support to the methods used and the results.  In the future, formal peer reviewed publication may be sought to further validate methods and results.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Given that this is an assessment, most indicators of success will be delayed.  One immediate measure of success will be whether or not we met the timeline—simply, was each phase completed in the time allotted.  Another immediate measure is a list of APEC member economy experts engaged in the process, which can also help determine some of the gender impacts and identify economies where further outreach is needed on the topic.  For the initial survey (Phase 1), we will seek a response rate of 66.6% of member economies, with at least two responses from each of the relevant APEC sub-fora the survey has been distributed to.  During the methodology review, we will aim for expert participation from at least 14 member economies, with a 50/50 gender balance. 

Successful dissemination is a key to success.  While influence of said dissemination will be difficult to measure using traditional indicators, especially in the short-term, we can monitor the number of organizations, outside of APEC, and individuals within APEC where we have distributed the final product.  We will ask OFWG and other fora representatives to identify relevant individuals to send the final report to during our initial survey in phase 1 (gap analysis).  We will also identify and send the report to 30 relevant outside organizations, of which at least ten will be at the local level in developing economies and at least five will be focused on women’s issues.   A survey will be sent to appropriate management officials and decision makers identified by APEC economies and outside organizations, both immediately after webinars or other web-based presentations and after a year or so to determine their awareness of the material and if it has any impact on their decisions thus far.  Impact will be measured on a scale from 1-5 to provide some quantitative value to the impact and the results can be compared (immediately post-outreach and approximately one year later).

Linkages

APEC is ideally placed to address this topic because of the number of coastal and areas and the increased risk for natural disasters in the region and the ties to economic benefit and development.  Although not duplicative of other APEC projects, this project will build upon previous work and benefit multiple APEC for a.  This project will combine coastal assessment capabilities used for previous APEC projects, disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resiliency assessment capability utilized by the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), and the economic expertise of outside consultants and APEC officials.  This activity will promote cross-fora collaboration with the EPWG on the evaluation of disaster risk reduction and response and coastal resilience.  The study in this project can also aid in understanding coastal ecosystem values to the tourism industry, and this note was shared with Tourism Working Group and supported by Australia, Malaysia, PNG and Thailand, with no objections raised.  It will also allow for collaboration with APEC groups that look at the infrastructure and existence value for tourism that coastal ecosystems protect in the event of a disaster, including transportation infrastructure (Transportation Working Group), power production facilities (Energy Working Group), telecommunications and information infrastructure (Telecommunications and Information Working Group), and coastal tourism infrastructure (Tourism Working Group). 

In addition, this project will be communicated and can benefit several other international and regional organizations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and regional development banks.

Sustainability

The project outcome reports will be a resource for disaster management officials, decision makers, researchers, aid/development organizations, and many others for many years to come.  Although the results of the valuation study will capture a snapshot in time, the results can be used for many years to come and provide a baseline for future valuation studies.  The gap analysis can also help direct research and capacity building towards those geographic or topic areas where the least information is currently available. 

To boost the impact of the study, peer review of the report will be sought, which, if successful, can broaden the distribution and give additional weight to the results.  Regardless peer review, the number of citations provides a soft measure of the progress and impacts of the study. 

Additionally, effort will be made to convey the results to disaster management officials with a specific focus on those in developing economies.  OFWG members, and members of other APEC fora will be strongly encouraged to distribute the information to the appropriate officials and decision makers within their economy.  To further ensure that the results are disseminated we will ask the OFWG and other fora to identify key contacts who should be kept informed of the project outcomes.and send the report to them directly, as well as send the report to 30 relevant outside organizations, of which at least ten will be at the local level in developing economies and at least five will be focused on women’s issues. 

While presentations and discussions in person would be extremely valuable, for the initial stage virtual methods for discussing and disseminating the results will be explored, such as a webinar or other web-based interaction.  This will allow for a broader geographic scope for the initial outreach.  Progress will be measured through the number of virtual participants in these outreach efforts. 

Other next steps could include trainings on how to communicate results to local communities or pilot projects on using such valuation information to inform disaster risk reduction planning or be used during restoration efforts after a disaster event.  Determination of the next steps should be done after the study is complete and disseminated via the virtual method outlined above.  This way common questions, concerns, and feedback on barriers to using the study can inform the next steps.  These questions and this feedback can be collected virtually, both after the web-based outreach and through surveys sent through member economy OFWG representatives.

Project Overseers

Staci Rijal, with the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will be the primary overseer of this project.  She is an International Affairs Specialist whose portfolio covers South and Southeast Asia, including APEC and other organizations in the region.  Ms. Rijal is well-placed to make connections to ongoing work on valuing green infrastructure within NOAA, as well as making key connections to other regional and international organizations working in the region.   She will work closely with Kyle Hathaway, of Nathan and Associates.  Mr. Hathaway will help secure and manage the necessary contracts for this work, as he has done for several other APEC projects.  Mr. Hathaway was a former US representative to the OFWG and is familiar with the work of the working group and the work of APEC at large.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

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