Turasha Watershed in Naivasha. PHOTO: E. Obwocha
As economic growth and human population increases the higher the demand for water services, and increased pressure on the ecosystems that provide watershed services (Porras et. al, 2008). This therefore implies that, hydrological watershed services are ‘ideally’ suited to PES markets because there are direct and obvious users of water in a watershed (Robinson & Venema, 2006).
Lake Naivasha is an inland freshwater lake of great economic importance in Kenya but it has been faced with many challenges which include: poor land use practices within the watershed, unregulated and excessive water abstraction for domestic and agricultural/ horticultural use, weak policy enforcement, population increase, water pollution and climate variability.
By Nyongesa M Josephat (edited by Judith Nzyoka)
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Kenya Country office) in partnership with CARE – Kenya has been implementing the phased Equitable Payment for Watershed Services (EPWS) scheme in within Naivasha where the third payment was done on June 21, 2012.
The project in the Lake Naivasha basin has been in operation in Kenya since 2006 with the implementation phase commencing in 2008. Its goal is to improve the livelihoods of Targeted households in the Malewa Catchment area by introducing Payment for Watershed Service. The PES design involves two Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) representing sellers located in the Turasha and Wanjohi sub-catchments of the Malewa River at the western foothills of the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya. (more…)
The one of representative from Pro-poor Rewards for Environmental Service in Africa (PRESA) was given a chance to show the programme’s initiative as part of RIO+20 negotiations focused on how to shift to a sustainable, green economy.
One way of shifting to a green economy is to “ place an economic value on environmental goods and services and encourage a shift towards more sustainable activities by paying or rewarding those who practice good stewardship. In the agricultural sector, this means paying or rewarding farmers who adopt good practices. Payment for Ecosystem Services, or PES, is an innovative market-based approach currently being used around the world to encourage such shifts,” writes Vanessa Meadu of CCAFS.
In a CCAFS blog article, Vanessa writes about Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) as a possible mechanism for encouraging farmers to shift to a green economy with the help of initiatives such as PRESA.
Dr Sara Namirembe explains a point during a PES forum
Dr Sara Namirembe of the World Agroforestry Centre shared about PRESA which brings together people working in several PES projects to share lessons and exchange strategies for successful implementation of PES.
In Vanessa’s article, Sara’s experience of PES is that it is still a major challenge trying to balance fairness and efficiency across different PES programs.
Another common drawback as noted by Sara is that buyers “want proof that they will actually receive what they are paying for”. (more…)
by Michelle Kovacevic of Center of International Forestry Research
Forests have been largely ignored or ambiguously mentioned in the Rio+20 outcome document, yet again postponing progress on integrating forests into sustainable development objectives, said CIFOR scientists at the conclusion of the Rio+20 summit. (more…)
by E Kahurani
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) participated in key events held alongside the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. See ICRAF event list here.
At the agriculture and rural development day held under the theme the ‘land sharing or land sparing’ conundrum, Dr. Sara Namirembe of ICRAF was among panelists who discussed the issue and her presentation titled Sustainable development in Africa requires both sparing and sharing in a multifunctional landscapes was based on ASB Partnership’s research on landscape approaches and a case study of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park.
Dr Sara Namirembe explains a point during a Payment for Ecosystem Services forum
Sara also participated in a round table discussion organized by Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme and Bioversity International. The event sought to highlight successful practical actions that have had an impact at the local level towards food security. (more…)
Unsustainable land use decisions and agricultural practices by landholders are responsible for watershed degradation. However, landholders have little or no incentive to change their ways by adopting sustainable land use practices.
PRESA researchers at Kapingazi during the survey.
That much is already known.
Little is known about landholder attitudes and preferences related to alternative land management schemes. Which practices do landholders prefer, and why? How much of their land can they set aside in a payments for environmental services (PES) scheme?
A recently published journal paper describes how researchers have adopted market research techniques to answer these questions and more.
Strengthening local institutions is key to ensuring the involvement of smallholder farmers in payments for environmental service (PES) deals. PRESA worked with Nature Harness Initiatives (NAHI) in Uganda to prepare local stakeholders for participation in carbon PES along River Wambabya in the Albertine Rift, and watershed PES at the Rushebeya-Kanyabaha wetland.
A wetland in Uganda. PHOTO: NAHI
The work involved cataloguing the potential sellers, intermediaries and private-sector buyers of environmental services in the two landscapes. Awareness creation was conducted among potential sellers at community level. These included existing groups and networks of land owners, forest owners, people engaged in forest and wetland-based enterprises, parish wetland management committees and other users of forest and wetland resources.
The potential buyers included Kisiizi Hospital Power Company (at Rushebeya-Kanyabaha) and British American Tobacco and McLeod Russel Uganda( at Wambabya). Dialogue on PES was initiated among the potential buyers and government institutions. At the Wambabya riverine forest system, the two private sector companies have contributed greatly to ecosystem conservation in their areas of operation.
Who said carbon cannot pay for water? PRESA facilitated the expansion of Ecotrust’s work on Trees for Global benefits to enable farmers growing trees in the River Mobuku watershed in Uganda to access carbon payments. Mobuku River watershed lies at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.
A woodlot of 'Prunus Africana' trees in the Ecotrust Uganda project area. PHOTO: Ecotrust Uganda
Before a carbon project is implemented, a lot of work goes into linking communities with potential carbon buyers. This article is a summary of activities by Ecotrust Uganda and PRESA, in getting farmers into carbon offsetting.
Several strategies were employed including home visits by Ecotrust field staff and meetings with local leaders in the areas targeted for the carbon project. Community-based officers from Ecotrust disseminated information about the project to local leaders and farmers and invited them for training meetings.
There were two induction meetings for farmers from the Ruboni Community Development Organisation in Bugoye sub-country and Mobuku Integrated Farmers’ Association in Maliba sub-county. Farmers from the two organizations were sensitized on the procedures of getting involved in carbon offsets. These meetings are critical because project requirements are explained to all those interested in joining the carbon project.
From the Science for Environment Policy bulletin
Posted in News, participation on Mar 25th, 2011 No Comments »
A recent analysis highlights the difference between the academic concept and the practical concept of ecosystem services. It suggests that academic science aims to discover and apply general and timeless concepts to measure ecosystem services, whereas in practice, stakeholders’ valuations of ecosystem services vary with place and time.
Birds such as the Great Tit pictured here can provide ecosystem services. PHOTO: Luc Viatour
The term ‘ecosystem service’ was first used in the early 1980s to provide a framework for understanding ecosystem processes in terms of their contribution to human well-being.
Since then, a growing body of research has discussed how to value ecosystem services so that these services are acknowledged and the ecosystems that provide them are conserved.
The researchers argue that the academic literature about ecosystem services relies on a conceptual basis that differs dramatically from the kinds of information that stakeholders depend on when evaluating ecosystem services.
By Gerald Kairu
Over 40 farmers in western Uganda are benefiting from a bee-keeping project supported by PRESA and its partner organization. The project enhanced the production and marketing of ecolabelled honey (eco-honey) as an incentive for greater community involvement in managing the River Mobuku watershed.
A training session on bee keeping at Kasese, Uganda. PHOTO: ECOTRUST Uganda
Eco-honey is certified honey that is harvested using environmentally friendly methods. With an ‘Eco’ label, the honey gets better access to global markets and relatively higher prices compared to non-ecolabelled honey.
The Ugandan eco-honey project titled, “Market-based incentives to promote conservation of natural resources in the Albertine Rift, Uganda,” was implemented by the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) in Kasese district within the Albertine Rift.
ECOTRUST is a PRESA partner organization working in this area of great ecological value.