UNDP Enhances the Management Techniques of Chishui City Officials with Training on Payment for Ecosystem ServicesApr 9, 2015
Guizhou Province, 9 April 2015-- the first provincial Project Steering Committee meeting and orientation workshop was held today to enhance local project officers’ understanding of management regulations as they discussed the 2015 work plan for UNDP’s Chishui conservation project. ‘Payment for the Watershed Services in the Chishui River Basin for the Conservation of Globally Significant Biodiversity’ is a joint initiative by the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
With only 9 percent of the world’s arable land and 6 percent of its freshwater, China is able to feed 22 percent of earth’s population. However, this puts enormous pressure on the environment. Chishui River, one of the most important streams of upper Yangtze River, is seriously threatened by pollution. The unsustainable use of resources has negatively affected local residents, and biodiversity in the region.
Formulated under UNDP’s partnership with the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and implemented by Environmental Protection Department of Guizhou Province, this project advises a complementary approach to combine China’s exploration of eco-compensation policies with existing practices.
By promoting the development and demonstration of payment for ecosystem services, the project will help mainstream a market-based system for Payment for Eco-Service/Payment for Watershed Service (PES/PWS) within China’s existing eco-compensation policies. PES is an approach in which incentives are offered to local communities exchange for ecologically managing their land. This will help lower two existing barriers to the successful promotion of PES/PWS in China. First, the lack of favorable conditions and institutional capacity to implement and scale up the PES/PWS scheme; and second the lack of knowledge about establishing and implementing viable PES/PWS mechanism for biodiversity conservation. Overcoming these will protect the biodiversity and ecological stability that are part of Chishui’s national economic development process.
During the meeting, Mr. Ma Chaode, UNDP Programme Manager emphasised the importance of effective communication and coordination mechanisms among key stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the project. “We should try to localise international experience, and effectively deliver project results. It is important to actively engage the private sector to participate in the project and form successful public-private partnerships.”
Later in the session representatives from academia, research institutions and civil society organisations including the Worldwide Fund for Nature and The Nature Conservancy shared their experiences in conducting research and running projects on payment for ecosystem services and nature conservation. The experiences and lessons learned will serve as helpful references for the project in the future.