Payments for Ecological Services and Strengthening Memberships

Symposium: 4th - 9th October 2009, Brazil

Background and previous Symposia

In September 2006 World Land Trust and IUCN-Netherlands held a Symposium in Amsterdam, inviting key decision makers from both organisations’ project partners to share their experiences relating to the various issues surrounding land purchase for the purpose of conservation. The first Symposium entitled “Land Purchase as an intervention strategy for biodiversity conservation” proved to be very successful and stimulated lively discussion of the many issues facing project partners involved in land purchase, particularly on subjects such as fundraising and sustainable finance.

All participants agreed that this was a new and welcome approach to transfer of information and experiences and were keen that a follow up meeting take place. The second symposium was held in Belize in May 2008 was hosted by Programme for Belize and was convened under the same general heading: “Land Purchase as an intervention strategy for biodiversity conservation”, this time with a particular focus on ‘Financial sustainability for Private Protected Areas”. Links to the Proceedings from both symposia can be found here in both English and Spanish.

Proceedings of Symposia 2006 / 2008 (English (pdf - 9.23MB)

Proceedings of Symposia 2006 / 2008 (Spanish) (pdf - 18.2MB)

Upcoming Symposium October 2009

The third Symposium will take place in October, in Brazil, hosted by Fundação O Boticário, and will focus predominantly on “Payments for Ecological Services and Strengthening Memberships”.  Participants will be from project partners of the Small Grants for the Purchase of Nature Programme (SPN) within the IUCN National Committee for the Netherlands, and UK-based organisation, the World Land Trust; the group will be made up of senior managers from conservation organisations in Central and South America, Africa and Asia.

The four-day symposium will facilitate discussion and encourage sharing of knowledge and experiences relating to payments for ecological services, as well as covering other issues including how to build successful memberships, taking into account a variety of different approaches and project-specific examples. The sessions will begin with an introduction by the new participating organisations describing their background followed by a range of workshops focusing on the following suggestions for achieving financial sustainability:

  • Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
  • Carbon issues
  • Payments for Ecological services; Hydrology, Biodiversity, Soil
  • Role of authorities in PES programmes and promotion of these programmes
  • Economic valuation of ecological services
  • Strengthening memberships

For each workshop a participant will present a case study to demonstrate their own experience in this area, which will act as a catalyst for further discussion. As well as these specific workshops, there will also be a series of open sessions for participants to discuss issues they feel are relevant or that have transpired from previous sessions. A report will be published to document major issues covered during discussion and will include: opportunities, difficulties and solutions, details of represented organizations, and specific case studies provided by participants. This information will be freely available to those interested in the subject, and will be published online.