In recent years, markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES), such as carbon sequestration, watershed protection and biodiversity conservation, have emerged in several African nations as a viable method for maintaining ecosystems and rewarding responsible environmental management. These mechanisms are generally appearing on an ad hoc basis, however, and little strategic dialogue has occurred to harmonize efforts to achieve broader economic and environmental objectives. In response, Forest Trends and the Katoomba Group are organizing the workshop, "Building Foundations for Pro-Poor Ecosystem Services in Africa," 19-22 September, 2005 in Uganda.
The objectives of this workshop are to strengthen the capacity for individuals to create PES mechanisms, to assess the current state of PES in Africa, to share information about past PES schemes in other regions of the world and to plan the systematic establishment of pro-poor PES schemes in East and Southern Africa. A diverse group of leaders from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and South Africa are involved with private business, policy making, community leadership, NGOs and academia are scheduled to attend, ensuring the integral players needed to establish PES (buyers, sellers, intermediaries, etc) will be represented.