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Managing water quality using markets

Wednesday, 04 April 2012, 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Dr Suzi Kerr - Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Where: Old Government House, Women’s Federation room, cnr Princes Street & Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland. 
When: Wednesday 4th April, 12.30-2pm

This seminar is free and anyone is welcome to come. 

Abstract
New Zealand sells itself as clean and green, yet that reputation is threatened by deteriorating water quality. Addressing water quality effectively requires good science, economic efficiency, community support and cultural change. Motu, along with NIWA and a broad team of researchers and stakeholders, have run an integrated five-year programme focusing on a subset of these issues within the Lake Rotorua catchment. Water quality in Lake Rotorua has been declining for at least 30 years as increased levels of nutrients have entered the lake. Despite significant effort and expenditure, the level of nutrients entering the lake still exceeds desired levels. Suzi will present a prototype nutrient trading scheme for Lake Rotorua that was developed with local stakeholders and builds on the Lake Taupo experience. The trading scheme aims to meet the community’s environmental goals in a certain and cost-effective way, maximise participant flexibility and distribute costs fairly. We are synthesising general lessons from this programme that are now being used by Regional Councils around New Zealand and in processes such as the Land and Water Forum. Suzi will discuss how markets might be used more widely and present some key lessons from Rotorua for New Zealand.


Biography
Suzi is currently a senior fellow at Motu. From 1998 to 2009 she was Director and Senior Fellow at Motu. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics. From 1995 through 1998, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park. She has been a visiting professor at Stanford University in California, a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future (USA), Victoria University and, from January to August 2001, at the Joint Center for the Science and Policy of Global Change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During 2006, she took a sabbatical combined with maternity leave in the south of Chile.
Her current research work empirically and theoretically investigates domestic and international emissions trading issues with special emphasis on land use and climate change in both the tropics and New Zealand, domestic carbon permit market design, and nutrient trading in Lake Rotorua. Her work involves theoretical analysis, simulation modelling, econometric analysis and policy design. She has run three policy dialogue processes, one in the lead up to the establishment of New Zealand’s emissions trading system, another recently completed on managing water quality, and a current process that will run for 18 months on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.