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Re: Payments for environmental services (PES) in theory and practice: Lessons learned and way forward

Prof. Rogerio Mauricio Universidade Federal de São João Del-Rei, Brazil
11.03.2013
Rogerio
Our group would like to fulfil 2 points raised for discussion on the FSN Forum on the topic ‘’What are the lessons learned from PES in developed and developing countries?’’
 
i- Challenges & opportunities – from my view the biggest challenge to promote ecosystem conservation is to convince farmers that without “conservation”, “production system” will fail in a matter of time. Even though money is going to the farmer’s pocket now a days, in the future, the negative impact on the environment/landscape will heavily compromise the economical viability of the system. Therefore, the evident world ecosystem disorder generated by agriculture and livestock sector is the most important opportunity for implementation of PES, especially considering the additional negative effect of climate changes. In addition, if products price are the same for both, sustainable and unsustainable farmer as it is for milk or meat at the moment in Brazil, the only way to convince the unsustainable farmer to change the rural practices is paying for ecosystem services for the other. It is important to conciliate production and conservation otherwise agriculture and livestock production systems will not feed the world.  
 
ii- Lesson
Brazil – An incentive for farmers to maintain and increase water availability in the farm was implemented in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The project distributed material freely for farmers to build fences (wood sticks, barbed wire) around the water spring. Keeping animal out of the springs the natural regeneration of shrubs/graminaceous process started and contributed for water production in the farm. The main factor of the success of this project were concentrated on free help from the government, otherwise small farmers could not do the work.  
 
 
Thanks for the opportunity and congratulation for the initiative.
 
Prof. Rogerio M Mauricio 
Leonardo Calsavara e Rafael Sandin Ribeiro (MSc. students)