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About Katoomba China

This is the seventh in a series of stories offering coverage leading up to and during Katoomba XVIII: Forest, Water and People to take place in Beijing, China. The public meeting takes place on May 16, and the private meeting takes place on May 17. The meeting will gather leading experts, practitioners, policymakers, and investors from China and abroad to advance nature-based solutions to the water crisis for an urbanizing world.

Part One China Uses Market-Like Mechanisms To Promote Reforestation Of Sloping Lands examines China’s innovative eco-compensation program, which represents more than 90% of the worlds investments in watershed services.

Part Two China: The Unappreciated Ecosystem Entrepreneur?, provides a broader overview of China’s innovative responses to its environmental challenges.

Part Three From Kenya To China: The Spread Of Innovative Water Solutions examines the role South-South learning can play at the Katoomba meeting-particularly looking at China, Peru and Ghana.

Part Four Katoomba 18 Brings Water-Energy Nexus To Beijing focuses on how the Katoomba meeting will offer solutions to the global water challenge.

Part Five A Critical Time To Harness Green Infrastructure To Secure Clean Water discusses the importance of investing in natural ecosystems-a focus point of Katoomba China.

Part Six ADB Water Boss Courts Private Buyers For Chinese Water Markets examines the role of the private sector in Chinese eco-compensation.

Part Seven China Aims For Scale, Scope, And Reach In Payments For Ecosystem Services summarizes the first day’s proceedings.

Part Eight Can Katoomba 18 Help The Miyun Reservoir? focuses on the participants visit to China’s troubled Miyun Reservoir.

Part Nine K-18 Videoblog: Making PWS That Are Financially Viable, Environmentally Effective And People Friendly examines the similar water challenges nations around the world are facing.

China Aims For Scale, Scope, And Reach
In Payments For Ecosystem Services

Genevieve Bennett

China’s eco-compensation programs are among the most comprehensive payments for ecosystem services on the planet, but delegates to the 18th Katoomba Meeting in Beijing say they must reach more people in more segments if they are to deliver lasting environmental benefits.

 

China’s eco-compensation programs are among the most comprehensive payments for ecosystem services on the planet, but delegates to the 18th Katoomba Meeting in Beijing say they must reach more people in more segments if they are to deliver lasting environmental benefits.

Click to hear closing remarks from Katoomba XVIII.

16 May 2013 | BEIJING | People’s Republic of China | The hardest part about dealing with externalities isn’t where they begin, but where they end – as Niu Chonguan pointed out at the public segment of Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People, which took place here on Thursday.

“Everyone agrees that the beneficiary pays,” said Niu, who is Deputy Director General of the Department of Soil and Water Conservation at the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources. “But beneficiaries are not just downstream users. They’re also those benefiting from reduced flood risks or reduced disasters from sandstorms.”

Moving forward, he said, the question is whether these groups should be enticed to pay as well and how we might quantify the relative share of benefits of each. It’s a question that cut to the heart of the whopping 25 first-day presentations, because eco-compensation levels for soil & water conservation payments are supposed to be set based on valuation of ecosystem services and resulting ecological and downstream improvements, instead of on the cost of intervention, which is how most watershed investments tracked by Ecosystem Marketplace are calculated.

The same day, Zhang Qingfeng of the Asian Development Bank highlighted the need to bring in more private-sector investment, while several presenters highlighted the need to spread the concept institutionally.

“We’ve been talking about many of the ways to scale up – but we’re just not looking at it clearly,” said Forest Trends CEO Michael Jenkins as the day would to a close. “One of the ways is we have to get away from our own institutional silos. If we don’t collaborate, we’re still going to talking about scaling up twenty years from now.”

He echoed the sentiments of Zhang and Niu, calling for the inclusion of new beneficiaries and also of more segments of society.
 
“To me, it’s not just a scaling up but a scaling out,” he said. “So when we look at the whole suite of panelists that we have here – government representatives, some private sector folks, NGOs, academics, we should have had more community representatives but there are some obviously in the audience.”

The private meeting begins on Friday, and will involve smaller workshops geared towards generating specific outcomes.

 

 

 
Genevieve Bennett is a research analyst at Ecosystem Marketplace. She can be reached at gbennett@ecosystemmarketplace.com.

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