Topic 2: Strategic Use and Conservation of Forest Resources

Well-functioning and managed forests provide important ecosystem services, which have been described in Module 2. This topic highlights strategies for conservation of forest resources and ecosystem services with the main emphasis on payment for ecosystem services (PES). Conservation of forest resources requires proper planning in the long run so that it can be used sustainably for the current and future generations. It is important that the government and policy makers understand the process of developing conservation financing programs in support of sustainable management of forest resources at the national, regional, and global levels. Innovative financing schemes or mechanisms have been initiated by many countries to provide long-term sustainability and improved livelihoods to forest dependent communities and other sectors, such as nature-based recreation, coastal habitats, marine ecosystems, agriculture, and others.

It was reported that many forest ecosystems and the services they provide are under increasing pressure. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) concluded that more than 60% of the world’s ecosystems are being used in ways that cannot be sustained. Several questions were raised: 1) What if there were ways to provide the “right” incentives for encouraging the sustainable use of ecosystem services? 2) What if it were possible to encourage beneficiaries to contribute their fair share to restoring and maintaining the flows of these services? 3) Could such an approach create an incentive for restoration and sustainable use?

Payment for ecosystem services (PES) informs many formal and informal markets now trading in four big areas: watershed protection, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and landscape beauty. It builds based on two simple premises: that ecosystem services have quantifiable economic value, and that this value can be used to entice investment in restoration and maintenance of forest conservation.

Read and understand the following presentation:

Payment for Ecosystem Services.

[SUFES_05_Module III_Slides _2 Payment for Ecosystem Services.pdf to be embedded here]

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Read the following articles:

Bond, I., & Mayers, J. (2010). Fair deals for watershed services: Lessons from a multi-country action-learning project, Natural Resource Issues No. 13. IIED, London.

Costa., P.M., Salmi, J., Markku, S., & Wilson, H. (1999). Financial mechanisms for sustainable forestry. UNDP.

Engela, A., Pagiola, S., & Wunde, S. (2008). Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: an overview of the issues. Ecological Economics, 65, 663-674.

IUCN. (2006). Guidelines for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in tropical timber production Forests. IUCN.

Pagiola, S., Bishop, J., & Landell-Mills, N. (Eds.). (2002). Selling forest environmental services: market-based mechanisms for conservation and development. London: Earthscan Publications Limited. ISBN 1 85383 888 8

Pagiola, S. (2008). Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica. Ecological Economics, 65, 712-724.

Schomers, S., & Matzdorf, B. (2013). Payments for ecosystem services: A review and comparison of developing and industrialized countries. Ecosystem Services, 6, 16-30.

United Nation Environment Program. (2008). Payments for ecosystem services getting started: a primer. Nairobi: Forest Trends, The Katoomba Group, and UNEP.

Wunder, S. (2005). Payments for environmental services: Some nuts and bolts. CIFOR Occasional Paper No. 42. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research.

Wunder, S., Engel, S., & Pagiola, S. (2008). Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries. Ecological Economics, 65, 834-862.

Please answer the following self-reflection questions. After formulating your answers, you may post them online at the Knowledge Café for this course as a way to share your ideas and glean knowledge from other students’ responses.

SrQ#2.1: Can you list some market-based instruments for the conservation of forest resources?

SrQ#2.2: What are the criteria that need to be considered in the implementation of payment for forest ecosystem services?

SrQ#2.3: Compare various payments for ecosystem services that are being implemented in developing countries for biodiversity conservation. What can you conclude from this comparative analysis?

SrQ#2.4: What are the factors needed to ensure successful implementation of payment for ecosystem services in developing countries?