The authors contend that payments for watershed ecosystem services are frequently based of generalizations that may not be true in the watersheds where the program operates. Through tackling common myths about watershed management and looking at the need for monitoring and information collection, good science and institutional arrangements are encouraged to assure the intended results are produced from payment programs.
A presentation to workshop on "Reconciling Rural Poverty Reduction and Resource Conservation: Identifying Relationships and Remedies" at Cornell University, Ithica, NY.
This presentation given at the 2003 Katoomba Group meeting in Switzerland outlines a project by WWF in Central America to develop a Water Fund that would engage willing and financially able water users to pay for water related ecosystem services from the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. The presentation outlines the steps to create a financial linkage between ecosystem services and the benefits to downstream users, as well as the watershed management opportunities to sustain and enhance these ecosystem services. The presentation concludes with an important set of considerations for anyone attempting to establish a market system for ecosystem services.
In recent years, a number of initiatives around the world have sought to create markets for ecosystem services, some dependent on government intervention and some entirely private ventures. This paper and presentation will review the status of these projects, discuss their challenges and successes, and reflect on Jim Salzman's recent experience with establishing a market for water quality in Australia.
This progress report describes the experiences of the NSW Environmental Services Scheme as of 2003. The primary aim of the Environmental Services Scheme is to look at some of the practical issues that will arise in the development of a market to support the environmental services produced on-farm. These include the costs associated with including environmental services within rural production, how to define and create ownership of the services produced, and the types of financial, contractual and incentive arrangements necessary. So far, the reception from implementing agencies, landholders and the rural community, has been very positive.
The dominant forestry models are increasingly inappropriate… A fundamental re-assessment of the role of forests in rural development, and the role of local people in forest conservation, is urgently needed. The authors of this title lay out a set of strategies to promote forest market development in ways that positively contribute to local livelihoods and community development in low- and middle-income countries.
In 1996 Costa Rica implemented an innovative programme of Payments for Environmental Services (PES). Through this programme, forest and plantation owners are financially and legally acknowledged for the environmental services their forests provide to the community, both nationally and globally. By means of a case study of the Virilla watershed in Costa Rica, and using as a basis for analysis the Sustainable Livelihoods framework, this report examines the impacts the PES programme has on financial, human, social, physical and environmental capital.
The use of markets and payments for environmental services is a topic gaining interest among policy-makers and practitioners worldwide. In the developing world, Costa Rica has led efforts to experiment with the application of these mechanisms. This paper examines the literature regarding the Costa Rica experience to see what we are learning – how technical, scientific and economic information on environmental services has fed into these initiatives, and to what extent these experiences are being monitored and evaluated. The principal objective of the literature review is to identify and review material that addresses inter alia the local origins and development of the concept of payments and markets for environmental services, the types of existing initiatives and who is participating in them, the knowledge base underpinning market development, the monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives to date and to what extent the literature assesses these initiatives in terms of economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, and social equity and/or poverty reduction.
This study reviews the various initiatives in the Philippines to develop markets for different types of environmental service, and also discusses the institutional support mechanisms that have emerged. It identifies a number of market initiatives already in operation, mostly in the form of entrance fees to national parks, but shows that for other types of environmental service, much preparatory work for market development has been done, including valuation studies and proposals for payment mechanisms. Government involvement has been key to market development in the Philippines but there have also been some community based initiatives. The study tests a framework for evaluating and monitoring markets for environmental services in two cases: a protected area and a Department of Energy reforestation and environmental management fund. The conclusion drawn is that environmental investments are unlikely to be made unless the basic social needs of communities are met.
This case study "reviews the form of incentives or rewards that have been provided to upland communities in a number of sites under different management leadership in the Philippines. It also discusses what the upland farmers have to do in return for these rewards. The goal of such a review is to evaluate what elements are present in these communities that will support an environmental reward system and in the process, assess the potential of the case study sites for inclusion in RUPES."
Speakers' Abstracts for Yale International Society for Tropical Foresters (ISTF) Conference 2003: Ecosystem Services in the Tropics: Challenges to Marketing Forest Function.
Two environmental economists with the International Institute for Environment and Development and Pagiola (an environmental economist with the World Bank) are the editors and among the authors of this collection of 15 essays in this book. The papers present case studies of the application of market-based mechanisms for watershed management, biodiversity, forest carbon, and other resources, in countries that include the US, Canada, Australia, India, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, Panama, and Brazil. The book demonstrates how payment systems can be established in practice, their effectiveness and their implications for the poor.
The New York City watershed protection program may be the most well known example of economics driving a decision to invest in water based ecosystem services. In this narrative the Albert Appleton, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Director of the New York City Water and Sewer system, during the creation of the program steps through the social and political process of developing this program. He gives insights in to the difficulty of breaking with status quo policy approaches and the benefits for following instinct allowing for innovation and cooperation that resulted in saving New York City billions of dollars and protecting their environment.
This study demonstrates the use of TARGET (software) trade-offs analysis for prioritizing environmental service payments (PSA or ‘Pagos por Servicios Ambientales' in Spanish) to private land-owners in the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA), Costa Rica. The paper answers a number of research questions of direct management relevance in ACOSA and general relevance to biodiversity conservation planning in the region. The analyses for the ACOSA area conclude that the 1999-2001 selection of areas to receive environmental service payments for forest protection, forest management, and reforestation was not cost-efficient, in the sense of maximizing biodiversity protection on private land outside existing national parks, while also minimizing the opportunity costs to agriculture and commercial forestry. The study goes on to show how TARGET methodology may be used to rank PSA candidate areas by their cost-efficiency in representing complementary biodiversity at lowest cost at regional level (ACOSA).
Developed countries have already established a number of mechanisms to implement environmental transfers either within their own country, or towards other countries, including developing nations. This review looks at a number such of mechanisms with a common matrix of analysis and tries to draw lessons for the design of RUPES mechanisms in Asia. All these mechanisms have been designed to provide reward to farmers for environmental services, and this report focuses on the ones which were clearly targeting upland farmers.
This case study details the access and benefit-sharing deal set up in the late 1980's between the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) of Kerala, southern India, and the Kani Tribe. The Kanis introduced TBGRI to a medicinal plant in thier forest from which a drug named 'jeevani' was isolated and commercialized.
This book probes the social and environmental concequences of market-linked nature conservation schemes. Rather than supporting a new anti-market orthodoxy, Charles Zerner and colleagues assert that there is no universal entity, "the market." Analysis and remedies must be based on broader considerations of history, culture, and geography in order to establish meaningful and lasting changes in policy and practice. Original case studies from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the South Pacific focus on topics as diverse as ecotourism, bioprospecting, oil extraction, cyanide fishing, timber extraction, and property rights. The cases position concerns about biodiversity conservation and resource management within social justice and legal perspectives.
This article provides a snapshot of a fascinating, rapidly evolving experiment in progress: markets for the environmental benefits of forests. Costa Rica is blazing a trail into a previously undisturbed jungle of policy issues. This paper describes the practical issues that Costa Rica has faced, the nuts and bolts mechanics of how it has approached those issues, and the challenges that remain, both for Costa Rica and for would-be emulators.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology has teamed up with American Rivers to produce The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing its Economic, Environmental, and Social Benefits. The guide explains what ‘green infrastructure’ means and why we need more of it, especially in the urban context. Green infrastructure is first and foremost a set of water management practices, helping to limit stormwater runoff, increase infiltration, and protect nearby waterways – but it also delivers surprising benefits for energy conservation, air quality, and community livability. The guide walks decision-makers through the process of assessing what investing in green infrastructure can do for their community.?
How can smallholder farmers participate and benefit from the growing carbon market? A new report by the WorldAgrofrestry Center (ICRAF) shows that through a SMART-CDM approach, farmers can engage in specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and tangible practices to qualify access to carbon markets. The report documents a project called Taking the Heat Out of Farming whereby through cooperation with livelihood programmes, smallholder farmers work together to implement 40 possible activities designed to reduce emissions or sequester carbon through tree-planting, agriculture, and energy consumption reduction activities.
Agroforestry and other tree-based systems (wood lots, afforestation) can contribute to REDD+ in two ways: 1) as part of REDD+ under certain forest definitions; and/or 2) as part of a strategy for achieving REDD+ in landscapes. In the context of REDD+, agroforestry has the potential for reducing degradation by supplying timber and fuelwood that would otherwise be sourced from adjacent or distant forests. In fact, agroforestry has been used in several protected area landscape buffer zones and within conservation as one way of alleviating pressure on forests, thereby reducing deforestation. However, enabling market infrastructure, policies on tree rights and ownership and safeguards would be necessary for agroforestry and other tree-based systems in the landscape to effectively contribute to the goals of REDD+ and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).
On-farm trees in West and Central Africa are increasingly recognized as an important source of timber with tremendous opportunities for enhancing livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, contributing to reducing forest degradation and other functions. This policy brief highlights key findings and issues from research in Cameroon and Ghana – especially as it relates to REDD+ and sustainable land management.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) should focus on places where such emissions occur. Protected Areas (PAs) are, in theory, protected and hence, should have no emissions associated with land use/land cover change. In practice protection is incomplete. Can PAs be included in REDD schemes? Can ‘paper parks’ be included that exist on paper rather than in reality? How concrete should threats be before we call carbon (C) protection ‘additional’? The dilemma may be more manageable if protected areas are included in a broader landscape approach to REDD. Some REDD project proponents currently focus on ‘buffer zones’ where protection is incomplete, but biodiversity co-benefits of additional C protection can be large. The results of a REDD feasibility appraisal in an area surrounding the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia’s REDD pilot province illustrate the challenges of finding synergies between sustaining livelihoods for local communities, protecting orangutans and globally appropriate mitigation actions.
Forest projects around the world are working to confront the practical challenges of reducing emissions and providing local benefits. To facilitate the development of forest projects, we have compiled strategic step-by–step guidance to emerging best practices. Drawing on the experience of the Katoomba Incubator, this series of documents helps project developers understand key technical, social, environmental, and financial issues and points the way to key tools and guidance. Composed of nine volumes, the Building Forest Carbon Projects series is best accessed first through the Step-by-Step Overview and Guide, which outlines the key steps in the project development cycle. This overview is complemented by the eight guidance documents that constitute the meat of the series, with each exploring in detail one critical aspect of forest carbon project development.
- REDD Guidance: Technical Project Design
- AR Guidance: Technical Project Design
- Carbon Stock Assessment Guidance: Inventory and Monitoring Procedures
- Community Engagement Guidance: Good Practice for Forest Carbon Projects
- Legal Guidance: Legal and Contractual Aspects of Forest Carbon Projects
- Business Guidance: Forest Carbon Marketing and Finance
- Social Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects
- Biodiversity Impacts Guidance: Key Assessment Issues for Forest Carbon Projects
Water Funds are governance and financial mechanisms organized around the central principle of watershed conservation.
This document is intended to assist people working on Water Funds to understand their information needs and become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various monitoring approaches. This primer is not intended to make people monitoring experts, but rather to help them become familiar with and conversant in the major issues so they can communicate effectively with experts to design a scientifically defensible monitoring program.
The document highlights the critical information needs common to Water Fund projects and summarizes issues and steps to address in developing a Water Fund monitoring program. It explains key concepts and challenges; suggests monitoring parameters and an array of sampling designs to consider as a starting-point; and provides suggestions for further reading, links to helpful resources, and an annotated bibliography of studies on the impacts that result from activities commonly implemented in Water Fund projects. While this document highlights the importance of setting clear goals and objectives, which will guide a Water Fund and its activities and define what information should be tracked, it does not provide detailed information about how to develop goals and objectives.
For more information on this process, see the Conservancy’s primer on Water Fund creation and design, Water Funds: Conserving green infrastructure: A guide for design, creation and operation.
Policymakers, natural resource managers, researchers, and expert practitioners from 13 Chinese provinces and 15 countries recently convened at Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People in Beijing to advance investments in natural infrastructure for water security in an urbanizing world. The setting reflected China’s global leadership in eco-compensation as well as regional opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in watershed services.
Over the four-day meeting, participants presented and discussed innovative approaches from China and around the world for addressing water risk through investments in natural infrastructure. Sessions focused on innovative financing for natural infrastructure, new approaches by governments and business, managing the water-energy-food-nexus, and urban partnerships for watershed protection. Participants also delved into ongoing investments in Beijing’s watershed, focusing on efforts led by the neighboring Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province. Drawing on insights and observations during the meeting as well as experience from around the world, meeting participants developed recommendations, presented in these documents.
Presently, over 20 Asian countries are engaged in REDD+ readiness activities. Each of these countries is committed to promoting and supporting the ‘Cancun safeguards’ for REDD+ activities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in addition to delivering on national interpretations of the ‘Aichi Targets’ for the Strategic Plan (2011-2020) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Applying and adapting existing multilateral safeguards frameworks to national REDD+ strategies and action plans is one clear and tangible national response to international biodiversity safeguard commitments. This has been the focus of post-Cancun activity on safeguards for national governments and their development partners.
Read more about the brief here.
In the new publication REDD+ and Community Forestry: Lessons Learned from an Exchange of Brazilian Experiences with Africa, experts describe the lessons learned from an initiative by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to share Brazilian experiences with African countries. The initiative was undertaken by World Bank staff with funding from the Global Environment Facility and coordinated by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, with technical support from the Office National des Foríªts International.
- REDD+ initiatives need to be integrated with sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, including forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and environmental policies.
- Support for long-term capacity building and financing are key elements for the success of REDD+ initiatives.
- Community-based forest management plays a very important role in reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
- Forests should managed through participatory processes that empower indigenous peoples and local populations in decision making.
- Measurement, reporting and verification are key elements of REDD+ initiatives, and South-South cooperation plays an important role in increasing their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Cooperation and exchange of experiences with Brazil could provide important support for REDD+ development in Africa.
Read more here
The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of small-scale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that-far from being incompatible- these perspectives serves as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses. In order to better appreciate the diversity in governance contexts for small-scale fisheries it puts forward a simple analytical framework focused on stakeholder representation, distribution of power, and accountability, and then outlines principles for identifying and deliberating reform options among local stakeholders.