Payments for peatland ecosystem services in the Natural Environment White Paper

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Talk by Helen Dunn from DEFRA at VNN peatland workshop, Leeds 18th January 2012

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Payments for peatland ecosystem services in the Natural Environment White Paper

  1. 1. Payments for peatland ecosystemservices in the Natural Environment White Paper VNN Workshop: Assessing and valuing peatlandecosystem services for sustainable management, 18th January 2012 Helen Dunn, Senior Economic Adviser, Defra
  2. 2. Policy background: a greater role for payments for ecosystem services?• UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) demonstrates significance of values of ecosystem services• Natural Environment White Paper published June 2011. Key overarching message of mainstreaming value of nature in decision-making at all levels.• 4 themes: Protecting and improving our natural environment; Growing a green economy; Reconnecting people and nature and International and EU leadership• Particular focus on developing a green economy. Leveraging wider sources of finance - new commitments on encouraging and facilitating payments for ecosystem services
  3. 3. PES - Why are we interested? Buildson NEA, TEEB and valuing ecosystem services work in Defra – want to ensure values are realised Provide opportunities for linking more directly those who benefit to those who deliver and in potentially cost effective ways Understanding opportunities for new financing streams Growing number of innovative schemes emerging (e.g. SCaMP, WATER, NE pilots)
  4. 4. Work programme in Defra on payments for ecosystem services Developing the evidence base on PES - recent Defra publication of 2 papers Commitments under NEWP are focusing increasingly on actions to support PES in practice:  Publish best practice guide to PES  Develop an action plan to review barriers and challenges and recommendations for actions  New PES research fund to support early stage pilots of PES
  5. 5. Key principles of PES Definition of PES: payments to land managers and others to undertake actions that increase the quantity and quality of desired ecosystem services.There is a close link between the payment and the delivery ofecosystem services: the “directness” of payment.There is a voluntary nature to the transaction, i.e. not becausethey are forced to trade by regulation or in order to meet amandatory cap.PES should recognise only the “additional” benefits fromecosystem service delivery that arise, above and beyond landusers meeting their statutory requirements.Many “PES-like” schemes, i.e. those that fulfil most but not allcriteria .
  6. 6. Locating PES within broader suite of marketbased instrumentsSource: URS/Scott Wilson report
  7. 7. Characteristics of PESTypes of PES can vary according to:provision of ecosystem service one specific servicebundles of ecosystem servicesfinancingGovernment purchasing on behalf of a large number ofbeneficiariesprivate companies and individuals, for example, downstreamwater users paying for watershed management on upstreamlandpayment approachesoutput-based payments (payments for results) input-based payments for adoption of particular land uses ormanagement practices
  8. 8. Opportunities for PES• In terms of opportunities identified in URS Scott Wilson report:• Promise for new PES schemes appears greatest in water quality, water resources and flood risk management.• Nevertheless, other opportunities in relation to: • carbon sequestration (from woodlands and peatland restoration) • cultural services and wild species diversity (e.g user fees or visitor payback schemes) • better targeting of public payments to farmers and woodland managers
  9. 9. MMH make major contribution to certain ecosystem services (e.g. drinking water). Emerging opportunities for watershed payment schemes. Potential opportunities to expand the r Opportunities for PES in peatland/upland areasUpland habitats make major contribution to certainecosystem services (e.g. drinking water). Emergingopportunities for watershed payment schemes.Potential opportunities to expand the range of servicestargeted under upland agri-environment schemes and toelicit private sector support as well.Restoration of habitats has potential for multiplebenefits - potential for packaging PES for water, carbonand biodiversity together. BRE (2009) estimates demand from companies andindividuals to support land based carbon reductionprojects on a voluntary basis. A number of companieswilling to pay a premium for UK based projects.Growing number of “visitor payback” schemes.
  10. 10. Barriers to PESBarriers to PES – URS Scott Wilson concluded that none of the barriers identified were necessarily insurmountable• Informational• Technical• Spatial• Temporal• Financial• Institutional• Legal• Cultural• Equity considerationsSource: URS Scott Wilson
  11. 11. Next steps in Defra work  Commissioned URS Scott Wilson to develop a best practice guide to PES - expected completion summer 2012  New PES research fund to support early stage pilots of PES – in process of commissioning round 1 of projects but will have round 2 in early summer.  Develop an action plan to review barriers and challenges and recommendations for actions - to be published by end 2012

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