Category: Latin America

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa 2/18/2021

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith, Sebnem Duzgun, Strategy and Operations Manager Greg Clough, William Soud, and Katy Seguin have received an NSF award for their research on “Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks (D-ISN)” that will enhance national health, prosperity and welfare by contributing to a better understanding of illicit supply chains and the ability to detect, disrupt, and disable them. The project involves an examination and comparison of key convergence nodes in the global supply chains for illicit gold and mercury in Latin America and Africa. It specifically focuses on Peru and Kenya because of the similar characteristics they share on their respective continents as important trading hubs to other regional markets via both air and maritime transport, as well as acting as trading hubs for other illicit commodities and goods.  February 18, 2021.

Peru’s Environmental and Social Management in the Gold Mining Sector in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic 12/9/2020

Peru’s Environmental and Social Management in the Gold Mining Sector in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Nicole Smith, Kristi Disney Bruckner, Ashley Smith-Roberts, Verónica Morelli Bellido, Hugo Frías Ossandón, Meera Nyak, and Linda Jaramillo Urrego write a case study on how Peru is a leading source of gold in the world and is the top producer of gold in Latin America. The country’s legal framework for environmental and social management of the mining sector, including both the large-scale mining sector and the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, is often presented as good practice. However, implementation of the legal framework has been challenging due to lack of resources, complexity of the framework, lack of alignment across national frameworks, lack of ongoing collaboration across ministries, remoteness of mining areas, and other factors. December 9, 2020.
Spanish Version

A MILLION HECTARES BURNED IN BOLIVIA 11/24/2020

A MILLION HECTARES BURNED IN BOLIVIA

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle writes about the fire season that has been devastating across the world. Bolivia has reported that 1.4 million hectares of land have been burned from forest fires this year. As of October 8th there are 57 active wildfires in the country. Bolivian officials have opened over 450 cases against individuals accused of starting various fires. 20 of these cases are criminal charges. November 24, 2020.

Local-content rules for renewables projects don’t always work 11/16/2020

Local-content rules for renewables projects don’t always work

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Victoria Cuming, and Thomas Kenyon write about some countries with large renewables markets have sought to create domestic supply chains and jobs by implementing local-content requirements. The focus is on three key renewables markets with local-content requirements – Brazil, India and South Africa – and analyze whether these rules have helped create local manufacturing capacity or benefited local companies.  November 16, 2020.

Chinese Fishing Fleet Threatens Biodiversity in Galapagos 9/29/2020

Chinese Fishing Fleet Threatens Biodiversity in Galapagos

Payne Institute Mines student worker Elijah Mt. Castle worked with the Earth Observation Group utilized VIIRS Nightfire technology to see a a fishing fleet hailing from China that has been forced away from the Galapagos Islands by Ecuador’s navy. In recent years, Chinese fishing vessels have begun fishing for giant squid during the summer near the protected area of the Galapagos islands. This year’s fleet was the largest on record, according to Rear Admiral Daniel Ginez, the Ecuadorian Commander of Naval Operations. September 29, 2020.

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services 8/19/2020

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services

Payne Fellow Todd Moss, Morgan Bazilian, John Ayaburi, and Jacob Kincer write that while the electricity access rate is regularly measured in most countries, there are no routinely tracked metrics that measure reliability. This paper presents a new approach that: (1) aggregates all available country data on reliability; (2) defines a minimum threshold metric for ‘reasonable reliability’; and (3) estimates the number of people without ‘reasonably reliable’ electricity services. We estimate the number of people without access to reliable electricity is approximately 3.5 billion. This new metric provides a more granular view of the enormous energy access gap globally, and insights for future investment and policy decisions.  August 19, 2020.

Global Gas Flaring Jumps to Levels Last Seen in 2009

GLOBAL GAS FLARING JUMPS TO LEVELS LAST SEEN IN 2009

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s research on gas flaring is providing the data for the annual World Bank Global Gas Flaring Report.  Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased, by 3%, to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.  July 21, 2020.

Three Ways Policymakers in Emerging Economies can Encourage Low-Carbon Road Transport Decisions – that Aren’t Subsidies 7/20/2020

THREE WAYS POLICYMAKERS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES CAN ENCOURAGE LOW-CARBON ROAD TRANSPORT DECISIONS – THAT AREN’T SUBSIDIES

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell argues that policymakers must pay more attention to car buyers’ considerations of social status if they wish to address climate change. Given targets for halting global temperature rise to 1.5oC, the forces underlying the decisions of current and prospective car buyers in these nascent markets will be incredibly consequential. COVID-19 may present a rare opportunity for policymakers in emerging economies—where citizens now more clearly value the benefits of a future characterized by clean air and blue skies—to set themselves on a different path from that of the U.S. and other industrialized economies.  July 20, 2020.

ARGENTINA’S POPULAR EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE 7/10/2020

ARGENTINA’S POPULAR EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Willie Helms reviews VIIRS satellite imagery to look at Argentina.  Argentina is a nation with rich, natural squid resources. Its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is one of the best places for squid fishing on Earth. The EEZ, spanning for 200 nautical miles from any point of the Argentinean coast, is home to the Argentine shortfin Squid. Because some of the best areas for squid fishing are just near the EEZ boundary, fishing fleets from other countries try to catch these squid by getting as close as possible to the Argentinean EEZ.  July 10, 2020.