Testing Payments for Ecosystem
Services (PES):
Experience of the Conservation
and Sustainable Development
Fund (CSDF) in M...
How ecotourism can benefit both local communities
and Protected Areas (PA)?
In fact, balancing conservation and developmen...
Why beyond Business As Usual,
and is PES the answer?

Social
Capital

Finance
Capital
Finance

Capital
Natural
Capital

So...
PES principles
Economic incentives based on voluntary transactions, which:
1.
Aim at conserving benefits from ecosystems
B...
Study case

Testing PES in Maramures

Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
Study case

Mara-Cosau-Creasta Cocosului

Understand first what is the
Understand first what is the
problem!
problem!
7 PA...
High Nature Value
Farmlands

High Conservation
Value Forests
Wooden
Handicrafts

Wooden
architecture
Study case

Ecosystems situational analysis

Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
Study case

Ecosystem
typology
(level 1)
Terrestrial

Ecosystem
typology (level 2)

Habitat

Pressures from
human activity...
Study case

The conclusion is…

Understand first what is the
Understand first what is the
problem!
problem!

Biodiversity ...
Study case

Ecosystem values
These are the main
benefits to human wellbeing!
Poor data
approximation and
availability
Al...
Study case

The CSDF
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Local Partnership for the promotion of the ecotourism destination Mara - Cosau...
How ecotourism can benefit both local
communities and Protected Areas (PA)?

Conclusions
1. PES as finance mechanism work ...
Thank you!
Monia Martini
mmartini@wwfdcp.ro
www.wwf.ro
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/black_sea_
basin/danu...
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Testing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES): Experience of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Fund (CSDF) in Maramures

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Author: Monia Martini (WWF Romania)
Presentation for Topic 3: Practical Tools for conservation and local development
2nd European Ecotourism Conference
23-25 October 2013, Romania

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  • While the main focus of this workshop is “How the benefit brought by ecotourism could be maximised for protected areas and local communities?”, finding a balance between conservation and development needs is in fact a question that interest all economic sectors.
    The study case I will present is indeed about ecotourism but let’s first understand the main paradigm underlying today’s society.
    In order to answer the main question “How the benefit brought by ecotourism could be maximised for protected areas and local communities?’ in my presentation we will address 3 related issues.
    In my presentation I will take you through these 3 issues by sharing with you WWF experience in Maramures under the project “PES Danube” on testing an innovative conservation finance tool called PES, which led to the establishment of the CSDF.
  • We need to acknoledge the limitation of the current development paradigm = subordination to finance capital.
    This has led to increasing degradation of biodiversity and depletion of natural resources as well as to increasing poverty or little/slow growth (depending on whether we talk about less developed/developing countries).
    Global/local efforts to protect ecosystems and their biodiversity from further degradation seem to be insufficient, and we experience win-lose situations towards either one of the capital forms.
    Focusing on stimulating dev/growth leads to marginalization of the poor and to biodiversity degradation.
    Focusing on conservation leads to conflicts with local communities.
    Focusing on poverty alleviation or support/aid logic is not sustainable in the long-term and creates dependencies from external aid/donors.
    Conservation and Development are apparently contradicting paradigms that can be reconciled by going beyond Business As Usual approaches.
  • How to go beyond Business As Usual?
    PES is an innovative financing mechanism for nature conservation that has appeared about 20 years ago and has been widely implemented in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, particularly to address poverty alleviation. Opportunities and applicability in Europe (particularly to address growth/development) are still being explored and WWF is a leading organization on the promotion of this tool.
    Economic incentives based on voluntary transactions, which:
    Aim at conserving benefits from ecosystems
    Example: conservation of grasslands – grazing
    Calculate values of ecosystem benefits hard to quantify in the price of marketable products
    Example: calculate the costs of greenhouse gas reduction from sustainable agriculture in the price of agricultural products
  • Of course PES is NOT “the one solution for all”!
    So, in order to test whether PES can solve the apparent contradiction between conservation and development and under what circumstances, based on the experience of the WWF Programme on Equitable Payments for Watershed Services, in our study area we followed a 3-phased approach:
    Phase I – In the beginning a series of data and information was gathered in order to define the environmental problem representing the focus of the finance mechanism. Potential contributors and beneficiaries of the mechanism (so-called buyers and sellers of ES) were also identified and engaged at this stage;
    Phase II – Financial resources gathered through both the CSDF and complementary funds are allocated for the implementation in selected communities (pilot areas), of practices reflecting changes in the behavior by those with responsability with respect to the environmental problem identified, in order to restore ecosystem integrity and improve local livelihood. The impact of such changes is also monitored and evaluated during this stage;
    Phase III – Ideally, it is the stage when buyers and sellers of the restored ES voluntary sign legally binding contractual agreements. In the study area it is not yet clear whether there will be a phase III in which buyers will pay clearly for the benefit of landscape beauty or the mechanism will continue to be based on contributions to simply maintain the necessary land management practices.
    I would like to draw your attention on the fact that, in order to ensure ownership and mid/long term sustainability of the initiative we took the opportunity offered by the designation of ecotourism destinations in Romania so we signed an MoU … and a Local Partnership Agreement ….
  • We procedeed with an analysis of the area to understand “What is the problem?”. We look at problems/threats to the environment related to human activities because we can deal with those.
    Progressive abandonment of the traditional architecture poses a threat to the continuation of such “wood culture”, forests rich in wood, game, mushrooms, and wild fruits have and still secure the livelihood of a good part of the local population; however, fostering a local economy of value-added timber and non-timber forest products represents the real challenge for a decent living.
    Agriculture in general is also a very common activity: about 4.000 families leave out of farming in the study area, and the average age of farmers is 50 years old. Because of the mountaneous characteristics of the region, collectivization did not succeed in the area and farming continues to be small-scale (60% of farms are below 5 ha – average farm size is 2.15 ha in 3 or 4 parcels – and 70% of farms have less than 5 cows), semi-subsistence and based on traditional practices. Data from the National Rural Development program confirm that forest and extensive grassland systems as well as mosaic mixed farming systems including low-intensity haymeadows, pastures, arable land and traditional orchards are typical in the study area. At the moment, agro-environmental payments represent a key stimulus for the continuation of such practices, and about 90% of eligible grasslands are under Measure 214 – Package 1 or 2.
    Instead, market access opportunitites for local products need to be strengthened, consolidated and integrated throughout the supply chain in order to represent a viable option in the medium and long term. In general, Romania’s 3.9 million holdings can be classified as follows: 89% have less then 5 ha and account for about 37% of Romania’s UAA (Utilized Agriculture Area) – this is probably the result of the land restitution process; 7% have between 5-20 ha and account for 20% of UAA; 2% have between 20-50 ha and accout for 3% of UAA; 2% have more then 50 ha and account for 40% of the UAA. While arable and more intensively farmed areas predominate in the south, the east and the extreme west of the country, livestock farming and permanent grasslands are concentrated in the northern and central areas of Romania. Nevertheless, isolated patches of High Nature Value grasslands are also found scattered across south and east Romania.
    In the whole Maramures County, between 2008 and 2009 there have been 2.550 more applicants for agro-environmental payments (16.609 in 2008 and 19.159 in 2009), with an increase of 11.646 ha in the land surface under committment (66.012,86 ha in 2008 and 77.658,87 ha in 2009).
    In recent years tourism has gained the interest of local people; many have seen in it an alternative or a complementary activity to the time and labor-force consuming job of animal husbandry/farming, and have been motivated by public funding available under the National Rural Development Program, Axis 3 – Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of rural economy, Measure 3.1.3 – Encouraging tourism activities.
    However, weak antreprenorial skills and lack of vision are generally observed. Besides, environmental awareness is low; in particular, protected areas values as well as the responsible use of natural resources are not perceived as benefits for their tourism business, mainly because nature has always been there.
  • In my view, it is not the economic crisis which has driven the degradation of nature worldwide. It is in general the strong wish for economic development and the fact that economic performance is measured currently with indicators as GDP, purchase power etc, which do not take notion of the environment. This is a problem because if you cut the forests in one country and sell it as timber or products, this will increase your GDP but it will degrade economic opportunities because of totally used nature resource/ ecosystem. Of course, this is a very extreme example.
    In this sense, economic crisis only aggravates the problem more but the problem of nature degradation exists since the technological revolution and the development of consumerism - too high production volumes, too much wastes.
    In conclusion, the project team recognizes that what happens in the study area is in fact a global trend, namely that biodiversity (including natural resources) is being degraded worldwide because of the economic crisis and the related need to continue to foster growth and development. In this context, protected areas have played a key role so far in preserving important habitats and species and maintaining overall environmental integrity; however specific economic activities (both legal and illegal) are threathening this role. Also in Romania, although protected areas are a national priority, addressing the economic crisis and the country’s development needs comes first in the political agenda. Tourism is one of those activities directly affecting the environment: while protected areas in particular offer abundant natural resources and unique places and landscapes that attract tourists, these are actually threatened by irresponsible tourism behavior.
    Given that protected areas are a priority also for the WWF Danube-Carpathian Program, the project team decided to work in the study area to create public-private partnerships that stimulate the transition towards responsible tourism. On one side, working with tourism stakeholders implies identifying solutions to integrate nature and the environment in general into their tourism business, particularly through ecotourism. On the other side, working with protected area managers is also necessary to strengthen the effectiveness of their management and communication towards relevant stakeholders.
  • In the table below are presented the main benefits derived from ecosystems to human well being identified at the relative beginning of the project in the study area (thus referring specifically to the greenway area) as well as their monetary value in terms of ecosystem services (use value of ecosystem services, mostly direct and to a lesser extent indirect use values), estimated by using different methods. However, it should be noted that comprehensive and correct assessment was very difficult because of poor data approximation and availability. The purpose of this is to make the total economic value of ecosystems (TEV) process at a later stage easier. Therefore, an assessment of the TEV is recommended, but it is not the goal under the Danube PES project.
    In conclusion, environmental values or ES from the study area can be prioritezed according to the analysis of environmental issues presented in the previous chapter, whereas landscape beauty is the most relevant ES for local livelihoods as well as the most targetable through a well-defined finance mechanism. Both High Nature Value Forests and High Nature Value Farmlands provide it.
    Although no data are available for local products, these are clearly the second most relevant ES for local livelihoods, also in terms of applicability through a combination of improved policy and market mechanisms. It is necessary to highlight and integrate the strong connection between addressing the viability of local products and maintaining landscape beauty.
    Although climate regulation stands out as the most significant ES (both in terms of surface covered by related ecosystems and monetary value of the service), property issues  make it difficult for the moment to transform its benefits into tangible ones for individuals or businesses.
    Although for provisioning of wood the amount is very small compared to the services offered by these ecosystems, the fact that the forest can sustainably cover the heating needs of the entire area is undoubtedly important. In particular, this area of forest must be kept intact as a usage category for two very serious reasons: the capacity to seize and store carbon, as well as the capacity to ensure the needs for fuel.
    About the cultural and aesthetic value of wood, although wood has clear superior qualities in comparison with those of masonry, the latter is preferred due to the fact that it is cheaper and the sensation of its durability is higher. Current pressures on the built environment come from the youth working in Western countries who want to ensure their own comfort and, of course, to show their prosperity by replacing traditional constructions with modern ones, which do not match with the area and its values.
    Water regulation services are also key as proved by climate change consequences; however, because of insufficient data it is not possible to say at this stage whether improved land management practices can solve the issue of water quantity.
    Finally, the enjoyment of wildlife is a biodiversity conservation issue that could become a tangible experience for visitors, and an opportunity for local businesses.
  • Established in the form of a bank account in the national currency
    allocates financial resources in equal proportion to nature conservation and to development needs associated with ecotourism.
    The priority is to restore the integrity of landscapes in pilot areas within the selected protected areas with the purpose to deliver the benefit represented by landscape beauty, a key ES for individuals (tourists), businesses (local guesthouses and tour-operators), and local communities.
    Money is collected into the CSDF in the form of:
    annual fixed contributions from local guesthouses and tour-operators.
    Complementary funds from projects or local budgets are armonized within the strategic framework of developing the area Mara - Cosau - Creasta Cocosului into an ecotourism destination, and particularly in order to gather reasonable amounts of resources (both financial and human) necessary to support and stimulate the changes in behavior required from the tourism sector to move towards responsible tourism, especially ecotourism.
  • Testing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES): Experience of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Fund (CSDF) in Maramures

    1. 1. Testing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES): Experience of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Fund (CSDF) in Maramures Monia Martini Romania Green Economy Projects Manager WWF-Romania 2nd European Ecotourism Conference Poiana Brasov, 23 October 2013
    2. 2. How ecotourism can benefit both local communities and Protected Areas (PA)? In fact, balancing conservation and development is a cross sectoral issue: 1.Why beyond Business As Usual, and is PES the answer? 2.Study case: Establishment of the CSDF in Maramures under the project "Promoting PES and related Sustainable Financing Schemes in the Danube Basin”, implemented by the WWF-DCP Programme Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    3. 3. Why beyond Business As Usual, and is PES the answer? Social Capital Finance Capital Finance Capital Natural Capital Social Capital Equity Principle Social and Natural Capital subordinated to the requirements of Finance Capital Natural (Market Economies) Capital WIN – WIN SITUATIONS WIN – LOSE SITUATIONS APPARENTLY CONTRADICTING PARADIGMS reconciliation by going beyond Business As Usual Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    4. 4. PES principles Economic incentives based on voluntary transactions, which: 1. Aim at conserving benefits from ecosystems Beneficiaries, 2. Calculate values of ecosystem benefits hard to buyers and/or users quantify in the price of marketable products of ecosystem services: Pay the Payment services that they get Landholders Landholders protect ecosystems, natural resources Beneficiaries Services Ecosystem services are provided by the landholder of the natural resource under the form of land use practices protecting the ecosystem or habitat
    5. 5. Study case Testing PES in Maramures Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    6. 6. Study case Mara-Cosau-Creasta Cocosului Understand first what is the Understand first what is the problem! problem! 7 PAs 2 Natura 2000 sites = SPA Muntii Gutâi (ROSPA0134) – 28.406 ha 5 communes = 462,72 km2 about 17.880 inhabitants Upper Tiza hydrological basin Local livelihood: •Wood processing and animal breeding are the main economic activities •Agriculture •Tourism Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    7. 7. High Nature Value Farmlands High Conservation Value Forests
    8. 8. Wooden Handicrafts Wooden architecture
    9. 9. Study case Ecosystems situational analysis Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    10. 10. Study case Ecosystem typology (level 1) Terrestrial Ecosystem typology (level 2) Habitat Pressures from human activity Woodland and forests Freshwater Sparsely or unvegetated land (sand, rocks, land fills) Rivers and lakes Meadows Overgrazing Mountain pastures Grasslands Intervention area (ha) Land abandonment Forests Abusive fires places, and urban waste from tourists caused by irresponsible camping Urban waste from locals and tourists Fire Andesitic rock formations Alpinism, rock climbing Natural springs Increasing water use caused by tourism sector (guesthouses) development and irresponsible use Pressure from human activity Habitat loss and fragmentation caused by urban development Specie Brown bear Effects from pressures In proximity of villages Rooster’s Peak reserve, buffer area and next to it Habitats loss and changes in traditional landscape features Craiasca Forest (44) Rooster’s Peak reserve (62 ha) Reduced landscape value Loss of juniper forest habitat Rooster’s Peak natural monument (3,2) Rooster’s Peak reserve – buffer area Intervention area (ha) Rooster’s Peak reserve (in proximity of Cavnic), and in the directon Calinesti-Barsana Reduced landscape value Reduced landscape value Accelerated erosion Reduced landscape value Reduced capacity of natural springs to recharge Effects from pressures Species loss Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    11. 11. Study case The conclusion is… Understand first what is the Understand first what is the problem! problem! Biodiversity (including natural resources) is being degraded worldwide because of the economic crisis and the related need to continue to foster growth and development. Protected areas have played a key role so far in preserving important habitats and species and maintaining overall environmental integrity However specific economic activities are threatening this role. In our study area tourism is one of those activities directly affecting the environment: while protected areas in particular offer abundant natural resources and unique places and landscapes that attract tourists, these are actually threatened by irresponsible tourism behavior. To create public-private partnerships To create public-private partnerships that stimulate the transition towards responsible tourism, that stimulate the transition towards responsible tourism, working with tourism stakeholders as well as with protected area managers working with tourism stakeholders as well as with protected area managers Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    12. 12. Study case Ecosystem values These are the main benefits to human wellbeing! Poor data approximation and availability Also better solutions provided by education, legislation, and access to market Priority on landscape beauty confirmed with possible layering/bundling of ES in the future Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    13. 13. Study case The CSDF CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE Local Partnership for the promotion of the ecotourism destination Mara - Cosau - Creasta Cocosului Objectives: 1. To create a network of quality services in the tourism sector; 2. To develop sustainably and promote the area Mara - Cosau - Creasta Cocosului as ecotourism destination model; 3. To build members' capacity to administer and promote the destination as well as the tourism services; 4. To create a visual identity for the destination and implement a coherent external communication strategy; 5. To conserve and build the value of natural protected areas as well as of the traditional landscape; 6. To implement a model finance mechanism for nature conservation; 7. To improve tourism related infrastracture at destination level; 8. To preserve and build the value of the traditional architectural heritage. ES buye rs: 1. Local guesthouses 2. Tour-operators Other contributors: • Local producers • Mid-size producers • Local handicraftsmen • Tourists ES sellers: Protected Areas administrators Conservation and Sustainable Development Fund ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE Ecosystem Se rvice: LANDSCAPE BEAUTY (aesthetic/cultural) Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    14. 14. How ecotourism can benefit both local communities and Protected Areas (PA)? Conclusions 1. PES as finance mechanism work under certain circumstances and/or in combination with other solutions like policies, legislation, infrastructure. 1. The Business Case must be identified for both parties, namely tourism businesses and PA managers. 2. PA values must become tangible for the ecotourism activity, and the finance mechanism in place must link the ecotourism activity directly with the promotion of PA values. 3. The ecotourism market must be there (already or under development). Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures
    15. 15. Thank you! Monia Martini mmartini@wwfdcp.ro www.wwf.ro http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/black_sea_ basin/danube_carpathian/our_solutions/green_public_funds /pes/the_danube_pes_project/ www.ecomaramures.com Testing PES: Experience of the CSDF in Maramures

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