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New Tools for Old Problems: Can Payments for Watershed Services Support Sustainable Agricultural Development in Africa?








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    Land-water linkages in rural watersheds 2002
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    It is often assumed that upstream land use practices have important impacts on water resources and affect the downstream users at a watershed scale. Payments by downstream users to upstream users for "environmental services" such as good water quality, less sediments or more regular water flow are widely discussed. However, much controversy exists about the direction and magnitude of such impacts, how they influence the relationships between upstream and downstream users, and which mechanisms al low for a sharing of resulting benefits and costs by all resource users in a watershed context. To address these issues, the FAO Land and Water Development Dicvision organized the electronic workshop "Lan-Water Linkages in Rural Watersheds" from 18 September to 27 October 2000. The present publication contains the proceedings of the workshop and two papers that set the stage for the workshop discussions. The complete workshop documentation, including discussion archive, background papers and cas e studies, is included on the CD-ROM that accompanies the document.
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    Payment schemes for environmental services in watersheds 2004
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    Payment schemes for environmental services (PES) are innovative instruments for natural resources management which are increasingly being applied in Latin America. In a watershed context, PES schemes generally involve the implementation of market mechanisms to compensate upstream landowners in order to maintain or modify a particular land use that is affecting the availability and/or quality of the water resources for downstream users. The Regional Forum on Payment Schemes for Environmental Serv ices in Watersheds was held during the Third Latin American Congress on Watershed Management (Arequipa, Peru, 9–13 June 2003) to exchange experiences with these schemes in Latin America and to formulate recommendations for the economic valuation of water-related services, as well as the design and execution of PES schemes in watersheds. This report summarizes the lessons and recommendations of the forum. The complete documentation, including 19 papers, 22 presentations and case studies, is inclu ded on the CD-ROM that accompanies this publication.
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    Policy Brief 8. Payment for environmental services
    Policy Briefs on the management of natural resources and institutional strengthening for disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change
    2010
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    Two institutional mechanisms for managing watersheds have been increasingly adopted worldwide: Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and Compensation for Environmental Services (CES). Their adoption is based on the increasing awareness that upstream activities determine the quality and quantity of the environment downstream. Their rationale is the need to provide incentives to help guarantee the provision of these services. The creation of such incentives needs, however, to avoid the risk of transforming them, and water in particular into a commodity, to the point where emerging private rights may be detrimental to the basic rights and livelihood opportunities of the rural populations. On the contrary, these financial schemes could play a leading role in the improvement of livelihoods of upstream smallholders, whenever they attract financial resources for an appropriate management of local watershed resources. In the tropical Andes, for centuries, the farmers have developed their o wn adaptive strategies to climate variability, thus making valuable contributions to the sustainable management of natural resources. Recognizing these contributions, some of these modern financial schemes prefer to be casted as “compensations” instead of “payments”.

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