Payment for environmental services: learn from practice
New learning community on PES should contribute to Brazilian know-how. Main challenges for the country include gaining scale and monitoring the results
The Learning Community on PES, fostered by the Environmental Ministry and coordinated by Vitae Civilis, seeks to strengthen existing initiatives and to replicate the mechanism in other parts of the country. The methodology consists in a collective learning process. All actors engaged or interested in PSE are invited to join and exchange experiences within the community.
The mains platform is, naturally, the internet. The website aprendizagempsa.org.br will gather a virtual library, an online forum and a data base with PSE projects registered from all over the country. Alongside with distance learning courses, the organizer will be scheduling local workshops and seminars, based on participant’s demands.
In Brazil, the first projects started out in the early 2000’s and the experience already shows signs of progress. Carlos Krieck, Vitae Civilis specialist in environmental services and secretary executive of the learning community, remembers how challenging it was to calculate the adequate payment for each service, as well as to establish legal basis. Nowadays, he says, there are recognizable valuation methods and many references as to how to elaborate PSE laws and policies.
For Krieck, the present difficulties rely on gaining scale and monitoring the results. The majority of Brazilian PSE projects are local and low scaled, with very few exceptions. Krieck hopes the National Policy on Payment for Enviromental Services, currently under analysis in Congress, can help buster the mechanism. Moreover, monitoring the results should be more than calculating acres and financial counterpart.
“PSE projects must measure their direct impacts, socially and environmentally. Is the investment actually making a difference for conservation, reforestation and local development? How much does the payment impact the beneficiary’s family? Where does this money go to? There aren’t many initiatives with good monitoring methods in Brazil. We would like to contribute with that”, says Krieck.