IUCN-GEF IW-Learn workshop examines the mechanics of Payments for Ecosystem Services

22 April 2008 | News story

Are Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) a viable way of financing management of river basins and coastal environments? What steps are needed to develop PES schemes? What experiences and lessons learned have been generated from attempts to develop PES in the real world? These are some of the questions examined at the IUCN-GEF IW-Learn workshop on Designing Payment Schemes for Ecosystem Services held from April 3-5, 2008 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

An increasing number of multilateral development projects have ambitions to develop PES as a mechanism for sustainable financing of natural resource and ecosystem management. These initiatives reflect growing experience from around the globe, which has to date mainly focused on the application of the concept to watershed management.  Interest is now expanding in development of PES schemes for coastal and marine environments, including schemes that link river basins and downstream marine ecosystems.

The workshop looked at a selection of case studies in Asia where PES schemes have been implemented including examples from India, China, the Philippines and three from the host country Vietnam. From the application of user fees in parks or Marine Protected Areas, to payments by hydropower companies to upstream landusers to reduce erosion and implementation of sea-use rights to address excessive use of marine resources, all schemes threw up specific challenges requiring a pragmatic approach, the building of trust and sound monitoring to ensure a constant flow of funds to identified beneficiaries.

The report from the workshop and all presentations from the workshop are listed in the right hand column of this page.

For more information, please contact: james.oliver@iucn.org