Mar 8, 2012 by Judith Nzyoka
This week the Ecoagriculture PES Newsletter has featured updates on payment for watershed services initiatives of PRESA’s research of the policy and institutional arrangements necessary to implement PES, and the PRESA policy brief outlining lessons learned.
“With about half of the Sasamua watershed under cultivation, and host to a growing population, the waterways have become polluted through runoff from farms and towns. The Nairobi Water Company already spends over US$200,000 per year on water filtration, and these costs are expected to increase in the coming years. Changing land management practices in the upper catchment has the potential to reduce sedimentation and pollution of waterways and thus the costs of filtration. This dynamic presents an opportunity for downstream water users to support the adoption of better land management practices by upstream farmers through a PES mechanism. To fully address this challenge, the case calls for full watershed scale planning and the coordination of a variety of stakeholders, including water users, farmers, water utility companies, and water resources management organizations. The Pro-poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa (PRESA) program of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has been working in the watershed to research the policy and institutional arrangements necessary to implement PES, and has published a policy brief outlining lessons learned” reads the article.
The writer states that ‘the policy brief begins by introducing the policy and institutional framework already in place for watershed management, including fees extracted from water utilities and highland forest water users to go towards watershed conservation and Kenyan Water Resource Users’ Associations. The authors explore how a payment for ecosystem services program would augment the impacts of a larger catchment management strategy, and coordinate with the private and public sector actors’.
A related online resource is an e-newsletter on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in East and Southern Africa created by Forest Trends, PRESA, the Katoomba Group, and UNDP to offer easy access to new developments on PES in Africa and around the world.