Expert Workshop on Payment for Ecosystem Services in Miyun Watershed

16 July 2009 | News story

On 11 June 2009, IUCN China hosted “Expert Workshop on Payment for Ecosystem Services in Miyun Watershed” to gather many relevant stakeholders to share information on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES).

Protecting Miyun Watershed, which is hosted by both Beijing’s Miyun County and Hebei Province, is integral to restoring the quality and quantity of Beijing’s water supply. Through its Landscape and Livelihood Strategy (LLS) programme, IUCN China has been working with government bureaus and Miyun’s local community to better manage the forests since 2007. Currently, the work and support to restoring the forests of Miyun Watershed come from governmental bureaus and other organizations. The next step is to make the watershed more economically independent. PES is a scheme that would allow forests to become environmentally sustainable by requiring users to pay for ecological services.

Representatives from Beijing government bureaus such as Beijing Water Bureau and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Forestry and Parks; research institutes such as Beijing Forestry University; and Hebei Province convened for the workshop. In addition to presentation to PES scheme by Ms. Lucy Emerton, formerly of IUCN’s Global Economics and the Environment Programme, the other representatives presented either their bureau’s project pertaining to Miyun Watershed, or policy and scientific research regarding the landscape and people who make up Miyun Watershed’s surrounding areas.

The lack of water is not a problem indigenous only to Beijing, but to many parts of the world as well. Andrew Ingles, Head of Livelihood and Landscape Strategy in Asia, in his presentation talked about LLS being a global programme initiated by IUCN. Another theme of Mr. Ingles’s presentation is how LLS aims at not only improving the landscape, but the Millennium Goal of alleviating poverty around the world.

At the workshop, lively discussions were held among the participants regarding the day’s presentations, with each trying to grasp how to establish PES schemes and how the results from the scientific studies could be used to improve local livelihood and landscape.

Overall, the meeting was very productive. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Zhi Xin, the moderator said that he hopes “the dialogue is the beginning, not the end.”

For more information, please contact the IUCN China Forest Programme Officer Ms. Li Jia (lijia@iucn.org.cn).