Learning from 20 years of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES) programme has become something of an icon in the world of PES. Its hitches and successes provide a valuable source of information and inspiration for other countries interested in exploring ‘policymixes’ of economic and regulatory instruments to promote ecosystems conservation and regeneration. In this paper we explore how the governance of the PES programme has evolved over time, how the context in which it sits has changed, and how it prepares to face future challenges by incorporating new tools and strengthening its alliances with other institutions. We discuss the policies used by the programme to affect the way forests are managed and the reported outcomes on the ecosystem services they are expected to provide. Since PES is for society as much as the environment, we also look in detail at the impacts on those directly receiving PES, and what policies and personal characteristics may affect how PES funding seeps into rural economies. Also published in Spanish, this paper is aimed at local practitioners, international researchers and donors interested in the Costa Rican experience and the lessons that emerge from it. The success of the PES scheme in Costa Rica ultimately depends on its ability to guarantee the provision and protection of ecosystem services. This requires a greater application of technical and scientific knowledge, while balancing on the tightrope of a limited budget. A healthier ecosystem will benefit all of society; rich and poor, directly and indirectly. But the social and environmental objectives of the scheme must be targeted accurately, and renewed efforts are needed to guarantee that the programme delivers.
Food security in the context of Vietnam’s rural â€“ urban linkages and climate change
Despite its modest contribution to climate change, Vietnam is expected to be heavily affected by its impacts. Although at the national level the country is self-sufficient in rice, the main staple, and one of its main global exporters, environmental change has a disproportionate impact on the food security of the most vulnerable groups, thus slowing Vietnam’s progress in poverty reduction. Environmental conditions have also become an important contributing factor in migration. Stronger rural-urban links, including the development of small town that ensure access to urban markets, often through small-scale traders, and remittances from migrants to the cities, contribute to food security by supporting both production and access. However, high food prices have affected the growing number of net food buyers in both rural and urban areas, and the financial crisis has reduced migrants’ ability to send money home. This suggests that food security in Vietnam should be seen as a key element of development and adaptation to climate change.
Managing the Boom and Bust: Supporting Climate Resilient Livelihoods in the Sahel
For decades the Sahel has been presented as suffering from irreversible degradation, leading to desert advancement and the impoverishment of the population. This issue paper develops an alternative profile and identifies the considerable potential of the Sahel’s dryland ecosystems. It explores the inherent resilience within existing crop and livestock production systems based on exploiting climatic variability; systems which local people in the Sahel have used to establish successful local and national economies. This new profile can help re-define development interventions and promote a more climate resilient future.
An approach to designing energy delivery models that work for people living in poverty
Access to modern, safe, affordable and sustainable energy is increasingly recognised as crucial for development. Designing the delivery of energy services that can meet the needs and wants of end-users, in particular those of men and women living in poverty, is a complex task that requires a range of skills (technical, managerial and financial) and cooperation between multiple stakeholders. Equally, successful scaling requires adapting delivery models to different local contexts rather than simple replication. This joint publication from IIED and CAFOD outlines an approach to designing sustainable energy services for people living in poverty. It provides guidelines for participatory analysis to identify the potential actors in the energy supply chain, using innovative visualisation tools to build a ‘delivery model’ that has a greater chance of being socially, financially and environmentally sustainable. A crucial starting point is to understand the context for intervention: this includes the local socio-cultural context, the enabling environment and the supporting services that will influence its viability. It also involves understanding in depth what the demands are for an energy service, and the value it can deliver with respect to broader needs and wants of the end-users.
Reconfiguring Urban Adaptation Finance
There is an urgent need to review and improve the means for funding adaptation to climate change in urban areas. This paper examines international, national and municipal mechanisms for financing adaptation, and reveals the systemic barriers that prevent money being channelled into the hands of low-income and highly vulnerable urban residents in low- and middle-income countries, and hinder effective urban adaptation. At the same time, a number of highly organised, pro-poor, locally managed funds are being pioneered across a number of cities in low- and middle-income countries. Bottom-up planning and decision-making is emerging as a potential complement to the ineffective top-down financing models, and offers a viable approach to bridge the gap between low-income urban residents and the agencies that claim to support them.
Views and preferences for compensation under REDD+ in Tanzania: Kilosa pilot project case study
Since 2008, Tanzania has been working to create a national REDD+ strategy. Nine REDD pilot projects have been put in place in different areas of the country, with the main aim being to gain experience and learn more about what constitutes good practice for REDD+, in order to influence Tanzania’s national REDD strategy (URT 2013). In 2012, a report describing the experiences and lessons of (equitable) benefit-sharing from these pilot projects was published (Campese 2012). This is one of the pilot projects for the Poverty and sustainable development impacts of REDD architecture: options for equity growth and the environment project, and is being carried out by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) in collaboration with the Tanzania Community Forest Network (Mtandao wa Jamii wa Usimamizi wa Misitu Tanzania, or MJUMITA) in Kilosa (and Lindi) districts (TFCG and MJUMITA 2009). One of the project aims is to look at pro-poor REDD architecture. As such, the Kilosa pilot site is now the focus for exploring local people’s perceptions of different payment formats, their views on benefit sharing, and their understanding of terms such as sustainability. This will contribute to the discussion around costs and benefits of REDD+ activities and especially on how to design a pro-poor payment system in Tanzania. The information presented in this report was gathered by carrying out a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) in four selected REDD pilot villages in Kilosa District in December 2012. The information gathered in the FGDs also fed into a choice experiment on the same topics. The choice experiment was conducted at a later stage and the results are presented in a separate report.
Scoping a green economy: a brief guide to dialogues and diagnostics for developing countries
This guide aims to encourage early dialogue and diagnosis in and by developing countries on what a green economy would mean for their country. Green economy and green growth are hot topics. Definitions, evidence, debates and increasingly, policies, have tended to be dominated by powerful countries and international groups. Several intergovernmental organisations are making it a priority and are announcing policies and programmes; but they each have different approaches. This proliferating work on the international scene provides rich material which can be highly influential in developing countries. However, there are risks of considerable bias if the concepts are not first explored by stakeholders in-country. As the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development concluded, green economies should take very different forms according to a country’s diverse capital endowments and needs. As such, green economic policy and investments need to be tailored at both national and local levels. Space is needed within developing countries to bring together credible information and opinion from stakeholders, explore progress, barriers and prospects, and decide on green economy approaches that will work at national and local levels. This preparation will enable developing countries to proceed confidently to designing specific technical and investment options, and to attract the right kinds of international partnerships.
Urban Climate Resilience: A review of the methodologies adopted under the ACCCRN initiative in Indian cities
Cities across the world have started recognising the need to address urban climate vulnerabilities. In Asia, the role of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), a nine-year initiative (2008-2017) supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, has been significant. Over the years, ACCCRN has worked in ten cities in four Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam) on developing and demonstrating effective processes and practices for addressing urban climate vulnerabilities. This Working Paper aims to document and analyse the several methodologies adopted in the seven Indian ACCCRN cities: Surat, Indore, Gorakhpur, Shimla, Bhubaneswar, Mysore, Guwahati. The paper analyses these methodologies and the overall process adopted in each of these cities for its potential for replication in other cities in India, and brings out the inherent challenges, gaps and opportunities in achieving this. The study indicates that the overall process adopted was unique in each of the cities and that differences in the methodologies have arisen due to a number of contextual factors in each of the cities, including existing governance structures, industrial makeup, population and demographic conditions, as well as the implementing partners’ prior experience and level of comfort with quantitative and qualitative assessments. Data availability and inter-departmental coordination were quoted as some of the key challenges experienced by the implementing partners. In addition, lack of implementation support in terms of policy mandates, financial support, capacity building were cited as key challenges by the city level stakeholders involved throughout this process. Drawing from these experiences, and with the aim of overcoming these challenges, this paper contributes recommendations on various stages of resilience planning exercises which would be beneficial to cities that plan to undertake such planning in the future. These recommendations will guide cities on how to use the processes and methodologies developed as part of ACCCRN.
Sharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa
Over 150 large dams have been built in West Africa over the last 50 years. Many more are in the planning stages to meet the region’s demands for energy, water and food and their reservoirs will displace many thousands of local people. Success in resettling affected people and in rebuilding their livelihoods has been mixed in the region. This publication reviews detailed experience from six dams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal through the lens of “benefit sharing” with local populations, which asks to what extent the affected communities have indeed benefited from the dam and how the multiple positive consequences from water use have been shared between different actors. The lessons learned from these experiences can guide future decision making.
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