Developing markets for watershed services
The services that watersheds provide - such as quantity and quality of water - are decreasing, yet demand for these services is increasing. Can market mechanisms help to increase these services by offering incentives for improved land use in catchment areas? Can mechanisms also bring benefits to poor people living in those catchments such that their livelihoods are enhanced? This project addresses some of these critical questions.
Our overall aim is to better understand the role of market mechanisms in providing watershed services and improving livelihoods in developing countries. This aim is being achieved through three complementary actions:
- action learning in five countries (Saint Lucia and Jamaica in the Caribbean, India, Indonesia and South Africa)
- diagnostics in a further two countries wishing to adopt market mechanisms for watershed protection (Bolivia and China)
- networking and development of guidance material for dissemination to other countries and institutions to improve knowledge of market mechanisms.
Within each of the countries involved, the project has made a major contribution to the debate on the potential and limits of payments for watershed services (PWS) to contribute to changes in land use, land management and livelihoods.
PWS have been directly facilitated by the project in three sites in Indonesia and ongoing PWS mechanisms have been strengthened at a further site in Bolivia. In Bolivia and China, the project has played an important role in influencing policy makers and plans. In the Caribbean, this initiative has helped create a highly successful regional action learning group, which has prepared the ground for a unified government council to integrate environment and natural resource issues.
An independent evaluation concluded that: ‘The project has been effective in addressing an important set of issues at a time when decisions were being made both nationally and internationally on PES/PWS type mechanisms. IIED’s work has provided a lot of the substantive input to an international debate where untested hypotheses and speculation were dominant. The project has made major contributions to understanding of PWS issues in all of its partner countries.’ (Sayer, 2005)
www.watershedmarkets.org was created as part of this project to provide free online access to payments for environmental services case studies across the world.
For details of other publications by IIED on watershed management please search our online publications database
Reports and papers
IIED commissioned a range of case-specific studies for this project:
- Challenges to establishing markets for watershed services: Learning from country diagnostics
- The Plan Vivo experience with carbon service provision and the potential lessons for watershed services
- The Vittel payments for ecosystem services: A 'perfect' PES case?
- A study of policies and legislation affecting payments for watershed services in China
- Impacts of China's agricultural policies on payment for watershed services
- The impact of globalisation on land use and payments for watershed services in China
- Cost pricing for water production and water protection services in Jamaica: a situational analysis
- Cost pricing for water production and water protection services in St Lucia
- Economic valuation study: action learning project on incentives for improved water services in the Buff Bay/Pencar watershed
- A hydrolgical assessment and watershed management plan for the Talvan water catchment, St. Lucia
- Linking tourism to watersheds and people: A preliminary analysis of the potential of the tourism sector to contribute to PWS in Dunn's River, Jamaica and Speyside, Tobago
- Water, watersheds, forests and poverty reduction: a Caribbean perspective
- Hydrology and land use in the Ga-Selati catchment
- Can payments be used to manage South African watersheds sustainably and fairly? A legal review
- An analysis of the livelihoods of communities of the upper Selati catchment, South Africa
- A framework for decision-making using a cost-effectiveness approach: a case study of the Ga-Selati River
- Communications strategy for supporting wetland-friendly management practice in the Bhoj wetlands, India
- Cartoon booklet to explain and inform communities of PES schemes in Mexico
Incentives for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods in India: a review of the legal and policy framework
A review of payments for watershed services
Shed Loads - paying to protect watersheds
This 26 minute documentary looks at the potential and problems for payments for watershed services in Africa, Asia and The Americas. Available in English and Spanish.
Bolivia Fundacion Natura Bolivia
Caribbean Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
China Centre for Humanities and Development
Ina Porras Ina.Porras@iied.org