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

Hans-Joerg Lehmann FOAG, Switzerland
14.03.2013
Hans-Joerg

Dear colleagues, I hope to serve you with some feedback. Don’t hesitate to contact me again.

What are the lessons learned from PES in developed and developing countries

In the past 1970 - 1993 many individual PES project were in place. Since 1993 and certainly after 2000 a process started to integrate PES more and more into the general agriculture policy. (agriculture policy in our country includes food production, rural development, safeguard marginal agriculture areas, livelihood aspects, providing services such as contribution to biodiversity, soil conservation, food security etc.). This integrated system is more comprehensible for farmers, easier manageable for the public authorities,  more effective and efficient and has a  much better visibility to taxpayer and consumer.

On the farmlevel as well as on the execution level the knowledge-demand increased very fast and is high => a longterm  advisory service is very important as well as research of new  technics,  production methodes, recycling, ressource efficency. 

The system is based on a farm level approach, not on individual surfaces. It means that on the whole farm (crop, pasture, animal etc) basic rules have to be fulfilled regarding statutory provisions (environmental-low, water protection, animal well fare, etc). In addition to that, farmers who participate in such a program follow further rules like integrated pest, soil and fertilizer management. The execution is in partnership with Cantons, CSO and private sector. In the following link you will find more in detail further information . http://www.blw.admin.ch/dokumentation/00018/00498/index.html?lang=en&download=NHzLpZeg7t,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ad1IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCDe316gmym162epYbg2c_JjKbNoKSn6A-- Page 185 ff

To what extent is it justified to abandon the ‘polluter pays’ principle of PES to increase agricultural productivity and reduce poverty in developing countries? Or should we use other tools to tackle these objectives separately?

There is no way to abandon PPP  and there are possibilities to manage such a provision. If PPP is not applied, very difficult execution problems occur. Very, very important is to fix the minimum standard from the beginning on and to have a scheme how farmers can achieve in a certain time (2 years)  this levels. Maybe additional support (e.g. how to collect and store the manure;  education how to use pesticide or adaption of pasture management, etc) is needed in a transitional period.