International Forum on Payments for Environmental Services of Tropical Forests
The Forum will be structured around four main thematic areas. Each theme will commence with a keynote presentation introducing the issue followed by a series of panel presentations that will provide case studies of particular aspects including from different countries and on different PES schemes related to, inter alia, existing and emerging carbon markets for A/R CDM and REDD+; biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; watershed management; and community based ecotourism/landscape management. The short presentations by the panelists will be analytic rather than descriptive, focusing on issues and challenges and lessons learned. The presentations will be followed by facilitated discussions to encourage inputs by all participants.
The four thematic areas are:
Theme 1: PES for sustainable forest management
Payments for environmental services of tropical forests should contribute to sustainable social and economic development, while protecting forest resources. This theme will discuss options that promote sustainable utilization of tropical forests and recognize positive externalities of forests, including landscape approaches to PES that take into account other productive land uses in forested landscapes and their relationship with forests.
Theme 2: Developing innovative financing mechanisms
PES require innovative financing mechanisms. Under this theme different mechanisms, and the challenges and opportunities they present will be discussed including: public schemes such as eco-taxes, ear-marked budgets, local bodies; public-private partnerships; private schemes including CSR, carbon neutrality, green economy principles; tax-sharing and international sources/mechanisms and instruments such as REDD+ and GEF.
Theme 3: Ensuring benefits for local communities
In view of the increasing proportion of forests managed by local communities, PES schemes should be designed in ways that ensure communities can benefit from them. Discussions under this theme will revolve around property rights and access (including that of carbon); defining beneficiaries, developing effective and innovative benefit sharing and distribution models and ensuring effective participation of communities, farmers and other local stakeholders. Experiences with community based, decentralized, pro-poor management approaches will be presented.
Theme 4: Establishing robust governance and institutional arrangements
The development of PES schemes needs to go hand in hand with strengthening institutional capacities, developing appropriate policy/legal frameworks and increasing synergies with policies and programmes of other sectors to enhance the competitiveness of tropical forests with other land uses. This theme will discuss different approaches, lessons learned and challenges encountered.
Based on the outcomes of the discussions under the four themes and a field visit, recommendations will be proposed on how to increase the effectiveness of current PES schemes for tropical forests and how to engage more countries in developing such schemes.