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.

Project
Contact: 

Ina Porras, Senior researcher

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.

Publications


All that glitters: A review of payments for watershed services in developing countries, Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-​Gran, Nanete Neves (2008), IIED

Fair deals for watersheds services in Bolivia, Maria Teresa Vargas, Nigel Asquith (2007), IIED, Español

Fair deals for watershed services in Indonesia, Munawir, Sonja Vermeulen (2007), IIED

Fair deals for watershed services in the Caribbean, Sarah McIntosh, Nicole Leotaud (2007), IIED

Fair deals for watershed services in India, Chetan Agarwal, Sunandan Tiwari, Mamta Borgoyary, Amitangshu Acharya, Elaine Morrison (2007), IIED

Negotiating watershed services, R A Hope, I Porras, M Borgoyary, M Miranda, C Agarwal, S Tiwari, J M Amezaga (2007), IIED

Silver bullet or fools’ gold? A global review of markets for forest environmental services and their impacts on the poor, Natasha Landell-​Mills, Ina T Porras (2002), IIED, Español

Watershed services: who pays and for what?, Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-​Gran (2007) IIED Opinion Paper

Payments for watershed services: opportunities and realities, Ivan Bond (2007) IIED Opinion Paper

Reports and papers

IIED commissioned a range of case-specific studies for this project:

Policy learning in action: developing markets for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods - Report of an evaluation, Jeffrey Sayer

Resources

All that glitters: A review of payments for watershed services in developing countries, Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-​Gran, Nanete Neves (2008), IIED

Fair deals for watersheds services in Bolivia, Maria Teresa Vargas, Nigel Asquith (2007), IIED, Español

Fair deals for watershed services in Indonesia, Munawir, Sonja Vermeulen (2007), IIED

Fair deals for watershed services in the Caribbean, Sarah McIntosh, Nicole Leotaud (2007), IIED

Fair deals for watershed services in India, Chetan Agarwal, Sunandan Tiwari, Mamta Borgoyary, Amitangshu Acharya, Elaine Morrison (2007), IIED

Negotiating watershed services, R A Hope, I Porras, M Borgoyary, M Miranda, C Agarwal, S Tiwari, J M Amezaga (2007), IIED

Silver bullet or fools’ gold? A global review of markets for forest environmental services and their impacts on the poor, Natasha Landell-​Mills, Ina T Porras (2002), IIED, Español

Watershed services: who pays and for what?, Ina Porras, Maryanne Grieg-​Gran (2007) IIED Opinion Paper

Payments for watershed services: opportunities and realities, Ivan Bond (2007) IIED Opinion Paper

Reports and papers

IIED commissioned a range of case-specific studies for this project:

Policy learning in action: developing markets for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods - Report of an evaluation, Jeffrey Sayer

A review of payments for watershed services, Ivan Bond (2006) (Powerpoint presentation)

Shed Loads - paying to protect watersheds (DVD)
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.

Further case studies:

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

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

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

Donors

Department for International Development

Partners

Bolivia Fundacion Natura Bolivia

Caribbean Caribbean Natural Resources Institute

China Centre for Humanities and Development

India Winrock International India

Indonesia Institute for Social and Economic Research, Education and Information

South Africa Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Environmentek

 

Contact

Ina Porras (Ina.Porras@iied.org), Senior researcher (environmental economics), IIED's Shaping Sustainable Markets research group

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