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

Ms. Nelly-Diane Alemfack Efozo Young Volunteers for Environment, Cameroon

CED (Centre for Development and Environment) is a Cameroonian NGO engaged in environmental advocacy. It implements a project of "payment for services Systemic eco community" in two community forests with a learning by doing approach. The objectives of this project (supported by the Rainforest Foundation UK) are the following:
• Protect, restore and sustainably manage forests, while improving
Living conditions of local populations (poverty reduction)
• Improve and strengthen the management of community forests by the villagers by developing their knowledge and capacity building,
• Develop local capacity to cope with institutional change,
economic and environmental issues;
• Learn practical lessons for future initiatives with community based
forest on REDD + to power and communicate processes
at the regional political / international level.
The partners in this project are the Communities Bio Climate Research and Development (BR & D) and Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK).
The project is part of trials to contribute to the definition of a model for the implementation of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Central Africa. The goal is to find ways for PES can promote sustainable livelihoods in forest communities. To achieve this, the project has adopted a strategy, the system level vivo. The communities are located in the villages in the district Nomedjoh Lomié Haut Nyong, Eastern Region and in the borough of Nkolenyeng Djoum Dja and Lobo, South Region. Cameroon was chosen for the pilot because it is the Congo Basin country which has a policy of recognition of community forests since over a decade. In addition, Cameroon appears as a laboratory for reforms in the forestry sector in Central Africa.

Despite the sucess of this projet, major constraints and challenges of the implementation of the PES remain to be improved. At the national level, legislation is particularly complex and cumbersome for community forestry as far adapted and flexible regulations that require a gait Forestry social actors could adopt. Moreover, it does not provide new features related to "Payment for Environmental Services" (PES carbon, watershed protection, maintenance of soil fertility, biodiversity) as they come in basically an economic income drill can produce.
At local level, the implementation of a PES requires the field to find an institution or organization that is able to credibly engage in such a contract. Hence the institution must have a legitimate authority in the eyes of people. This raises the question of what the community (social entity created by colonization and they equate to a village). While the village brings together families and lineages that are real institutions regulating access to and use of land. Community institutions are then fully develop wide decision if they are to have a real impact on the users of the resource. because families are often flexible to incorporate people from outside the community but are assimilated by the granting of such land.