South-South Learning: From Payments for Environmental Services to REDD+ in Latin America
Governments are increasingly aware that REDD+ frameworks will need to include benefit sharing mechanisms that promote social and environmental safeguards while seeking full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities (as stated in UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16 adopted at COP16 in Cancun in December 2010). How to design and establish REDD+ frameworks and policies in countries while guaranteeing equitable benefit sharing mechanisms and adequate incentives for REDD+ purposes, however, is less clear and a significant challenge for countries trying to get ready for REDD.
The experience of payments for environmental services (PES) systems set up in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Ecuador in the last decade provide valuable inputs for shaping REDD+ strategies in participating countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Costa Rica has implemented a nationwide PES program since 1997; Mexico since 2003; Ecuador since 2008. Between them, these programs are currently helping to conserve over 3 million hectares of forests. Their experience shows how to make PES work, but also -- problems to avoid.
This activity supported by PROFOR will help share technical lessons from PES for REDD+ within the context of a South-South learning exchange initially limited to the REDD+ countries in the region.
Although the challenges related to the appropriate design and implementation of REDD+ go beyond those of PES schemes, the PES experience in these three countries could provide insights on many of the core elements of a future REDD+ strategy. The lessons fall into five areas:
1. Participation agreements
2. Equity or social objectives
3. Trade-offs and synergies between multiple (ecosystem) benefits
4. Measuring, reporting and verification (MRV)
5. Sustainable finance and administrative costs
Lessons were shared at a workshop held in Durban, South Africa, on Dec. 3, 2011 in parallel with the UNFCCC COP 17 (Lessons Learned for REDD+ from PES and Conservation Incentive Programs. A South-South Initiative from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Ecuador.)World Bank Environment Director Mary Barton-Dock gave opening remarks at the event. We have posted the presentations made by the three countries and a policy brief (based on the three national experiences and the wider PES literature) in English and Spanish. See event's full agenda.
The full report is now available in English. We will post it in Spanish when it becomes available.