The Value of Forests

Payments for Ecosystem Services for a Green Economy

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Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) describes the situation where the user of an environmental service, such as water purification, pays the landowners who provide that service. For PES to exist, there must be a clearly defined user and supplier, as well as a number of other necessary conditions, which are defined in this document using a summary of current sources. Particular attention is paid to how these conditions currently obtain within the UNECE region. The range of forest environment services is explored through fourteen detailed case studies, which examine best practice in promoting PES. Political and public relations implications of PES are discussed at length, and recommendations include the need for clarity about where PES may be a useful tool in moving towards a green economy and where other methods may be more appropriate.




This paper was drafted originally by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); the UNECE Water Convention; FAO; the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNUINWEH); UNEP and IUCN. The original authors were: Douglas Clark and Franziska Hirsch (UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section); Petteri Vihervaara and Eeva Primmer (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); Arnaud Brizay, Eve Charles and David Ellul (UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section). Paola Deda, Dominique Reeb and Matthew Fonseca (UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section) reviewed the paper together with Ingunn Lindeman and Nicolas Bertrand of UNEP; Lucilla Spini of UNU-INWEH and GECHH; David Huberman of IUCN; Dr. Markus Lehmann of CBD and Sibylle Vermont, of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment BAFU. Jenny Heap, consultant, provided technical and copy editing services.


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