Integrating the Resource Nexus in Payments for Watershed Ecosystem Services: Conception and Application

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    Shanali Fernando

    Climate change and land-use change are two primary causes for hydro-meteorological extremes (e.g., droughts and floods), resulting in declining freshwater quantity and quality. As a result, conflicts between the consumer and supply sectors have been an emerging challenge for most of the developing countries. A need for linking supplier/upstream and consumers/downstream counterbalancing environmental or eco-system requirements has emerged over the past decades. Incentive-driven payments for ecosystem services (PES) have been identified as one of the most effective policy instruments in watershed management to sustain the provision of varied benefits to humans (i.e., ecosystem services). However, the design of effective PES is complex and requires the consideration of socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, and political contexts, which could affect the outcomes of PES schemes significantly.

    Existing schemes mostly focus on one specific sector or resource issue, which eventually might unintentionally cause negative impacts on other sectors or resources in the same watershed. Therefore, there is a high necessity to integrate the Resource Nexus (i.e., cross-sectoral interlinkages) in PES schemes to minimize tradeoffs and to ensure sustainable flows of ecosystem services. The main objective of the project is to define a scientifically rational, technologically advanced, economically feasible, and a socially acceptable PES scheme with sound scientific methodologies. The methodological knowledge gained shall be transferable to other regions. Moreover, the research findings would contribute to advancing the application of the Resource Nexus through integrative soil, water, and vegetation management and climate change adaptation, that determine flows of ecosystem services. 

    This project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

    • Shanali Fernando Shanali Fernando Doctoral Researcher
      Project Manager
    • Lulu Zhang Lulu Zhang Associate Programme Officer | Focal Point for Agri-food and Forest Systems & Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation