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.



PES schemes in the UNECE region

A 2011 literature search focused on the UNECE region, North America, Europe and Central Asia, to identify PES schemes. The search found 78 PES schemes were in operation, with 13 under development (Annex 2). Of these 78 schemes, 37 were focused on forest/biodiversity, 28 were watershed-related, and 13 were water quality trading programmes. The PES schemes in operation or being developed were found from


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