April 2007


Dear Tropical America Katoomba Members–

It has been a busy two months for PES in Tropical America!

In this edition, we summarize the three initiatives guiding the work of the TAKG following the recent steering committee meeting. We also highlight the launch of the new PES Learning Tools page of the Katoomba Group website at With your help, we have started to fill it with tools related to the design and execution of PES projects.

We also report outcomes of meetings Katoomba members have participated in recently, link to new tools and update you on the most recent news and announcements in the world of PES.

Suggestions, opinions and questions over your projects and the work of the network are always welcome at TA-Katoomba@forest-trends.org.

-Carina Bracer
Regional Coordinator
Tropical America Katoomba Group

*Please send any materials/documents, notes and announcements over your activities to be included in future newsletters to rmiller@forest-trends.org.

* The Katoomba Group newsletter seeks to bring you up to date information from a variety of sources. We are not responsible for the content of the publications and articles in this newsletter.

* To be removed from this list, please see the UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of this page. To be added to this list, please contact TA-katoomba@forest-trends.org.





PES Learning Tools page launched on the Katoomba Group website

The webpage details the necessary steps for the design and implementation of PES by directly reflecting the steps of An Introductory Primer: Getting Started with PES, the first International Katoomba Group publication. This manual is being finalized with many of your contributions and will be available in its entirety shortly. We are currently using this web space to collect resources and tools. There are already many tools on the page for you to use, but please continue to share tools with the network.

>>Uploading is easy – click on the hammer icon on the left of the PES Learning Tools page, fill out information about your tool, and click submit!
>>Visit PES Learning Tools page

TAKG Steering Committee Meeting, February 20, 2007

Katoomba membership: uniform required?

Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia on February 20, 2007, they discussed and refined the strategic focus for the network. Through these discussions, the group decided to focus on three initiatives for 2007: summaries follow. We have included a brief plan for the development of the initiative during 2007.

Each area of work is designed to benefit the practice of PES and you, the organizations that work in PES. All of the work of Katoomba is collaborative and we ask that you are in contact with us to give ideas and participate in the areas of work that interest you.

1) Strengthen the network infrastructure
A broad initiative that focuses on capacity building and creating an enabling environment so that resources, tools, information and technical assistance are available for those engaged or seeking to engage in PES. We ask Katoomba members to join us in this effort by contributing individual documentation related to PES activities and projects. Concretely, we seek organizations based in Latin America to do PES inventories, like those that exist for Africa: http://www.katoombagroup.org/africa/pes.htm.

>>Email TA-Katoomba@forest-trends.org if you would like to carry out an inventory for your country.

One key component of this initiative is the development of Rapid Response Teams (RRT), to direct expertise and share knowledge from the network to projects of other network members. Interactions will be facilitated, accompanied and documented by Katoomba coordination to share knowledge with the broader network. Requests for help should be made with the understanding that RRT interactions are reciprocal, and requestors should be willing to contribute in return. The specific components (costs/time required/on site or virtual) of each exchange will be agreed upon by the participants.

>> If you are seeking any type of specific help for your project or initiative, please communicate with Carina Bracer at cbracer@forest-trends.org.  

2) Avoided Deforestation or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (and Degradation)
This initiative focuses on using the knowledge of concrete PES experiences to inform issues under debate on the inclusion of a compensation mechanism for developing countries that demonstrate a reduction of deforestation in their territories, to obtain credits of regulated carbon in the international market. With much interest expressed by participants of TAKG, we have decided that a concrete form of contributing knowledge from a large group such as Katoomba is that the TAKG will develop issue briefs on critical themes under debate for use in the negotiations. The first review was done during the Winrock/ERT/Katoomba symposium in Cartagena (February 2007) on the issue of “Alternative reference emissions scenarios methodologies (or baselines)”. This document, produced in collaboration with nine Katoomba Group members, was shared in the workshop in Cairns of SBSTA of the UNFCCC.

>>Read the document on alternatives to calculate national baselines  (English)

Future topics and reviews will be based on lessons and experiences from Katoomba member PES projects.  If you have followed the discussion on avoided deforestation and would like to work on other ways to contribute our knowledge to the inclusion of REDD in the Kyoto Protocol, decide on critical future topics by contributing relevant lessons from your project, please contact Carina Bracer at cbracer@forest-trends.org. If you would like to contribute to the discussion of the second issue brief with the theme: “Financial transfers from the central government to transactions in the field”, please be in touch with Carina Bracer at cbracer@forest-trends.org.

3) Development of a Fund for Ecosystem Services for Tropical America
The work seeks to facilitate the development of a fund for ecosystem services to attract private and public investors. In the process, TAKG will evaluate methodologies and quantification and certification standards for projects, define the institutional structure and financial mechanisms of the fund, and finally, will select ecosystem services projects to sell to the fund. It is expected that the ground work for this initiative will take place through the year directed by Ecodecisión and the Katoomba Group with members of the financing sector. If you have experience developing private capital funds, and are interested in this initiative, please contact Marta Echavarria at mechavarria@interactive.net.ec.



During the past two months, several important meetings related to ecosystem services and the further development and strengthening of PES took place throughout Latin America and other parts of the world. Katoomba members who participated in or organized these meetings have reported back to the TAKG on the outcomes. It is exciting to see many groups designing PES strategies and practices. We hope to continue the high level of cooperation in this space to compile ideas, learn together and provide foundations for the exchange of the Rapid Response Teams.

National Plan for PES in Colombia, February 14-16, 2007

From February 14-17, 2007, the national workshop on PES took place in Cartagena, Colombia. The Ministry of Environment, Territorial Development and Housing, the Special Administrative Unit of the National Parks System, the Association of Regional Autonomous Corporations and Sustainable Development (ASOCARS), the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and the Nature Conservancy, came together with a large number of individuals from various sectors to launch the effort and collect contributions for the design of the national strategy for PES in Colombia.
The meeting finished with the following results:
-the definition of a strategy to develop the focus of ecosystem services in Colombia
-the identification of possible pilot projects with the theme of recognition of ecosystem services
-the establishment of contact with international collaborators interested in developing the topic in the country
-the generation of connections and networks of experts in the subject at a national and international level
Many organizations and several members from TAKG and the Ecosystem Marketplace attended to contribute to the discussions.


Symposium on “Leveraging Environmental Markets in Latin America,” February 18-19, 2007
Cartagena, Colombia

Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), Winrock International and the Tropical America Katoomba Group, convened a symposium entitled “Leveraging multiple environmental markets to support conservation projects in Latin America.” The meeting focused on strategies for institutional reforms and practical activities to promote tools for multiple services supporting forest conservation. Participants formed three groups focused on: i) designing projects, ii) operationalizing projects, and iii) policy frameworks that leverage multiple environmental markets.

Major themes and suggested initiatives that emerged from the meeting include:
-the need for standard methodologies/mechanisms for monitoring, reporting, quantification, verification and documentation of projects
-the creation of a fund for ecosystem services to attract private resources
-on avoided deforestation: actual status of critical areas of debate, including development of national baselines, market structure and accounting frameworks

>>Click here for more information, including a full agenda, presentations, and working group reports  (English)

Payment for Ecosystem Services: From Local to Global – Costa Rica Atelier, March 8-16, 2007

From participant Rosimeiry Portela:

The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics organized the conference and atelier “Payment for Ecosystem Services: From Local to Global” in Costa Rica from March 8-9, 2007. The main purpose was to bring together those who wish to implement Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanisms with those who have knowledge of ecosystem services and those who have implemented PES systems elsewhere.

The atelier that followed the conference from March 12-16, 2007 allowed participants to learn from real case studies from Costa Rica, Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Colombia, among other countries, where theory and practice provide recommendations for future interventions and are applied as solutions to problems. These case studies are being documented in a series of journal articles that will be published as a special issue of Ecological Economics in March 2008.

At the atelier, participants developed the Heredia Declaration, a document recommending principles that must be taken into account in the development/implementation of PES systems. The recommendations are based on a thorough review and synthesis of available information and are directed at a broad audience: from academia to governments to other stakeholders involved in PES schemes.

>>Read the Heredia Declaration (English)
>>More information on the meeting (English)

Bellagio Meeting - Payments for Watershed Services: Building on pilot experiences to lay the foundation for a tool for conservation and sustainable development, March 12-17, 2007

Twenty-four participants from both developing and developed countries met from 12-17 March at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy to discuss payments for environmental services (PES) watershed protection schemes. The workshop was organized jointly by Fundación Natura Bolivia, CIFOR, IIED, and the EcoFund Foundation Ecuador. The group of participants included a rich blend of PES practitioners, analysts, financial sector and multilateral specialists, as well as NGO, government and grassroots organization representatives. In particular, there was an ample participation of people based in Latin America, indicating the pioneering role this region has had in watershed PES development: Mexico (3), Costa Rica (2), Bolivia (2), Ecuador (2), and Brazil (1).

The main purpose of the workshop was to discuss eight different topics regarded as "hot issues" in the watershed PES debate: i) the role of legal framework, ii) research needs prior to implementation, iii) ‘bundling' of services, iv) how to stimulate service users' willingness to pay, v) poverty aspects, vi) contract design, vii) transaction costs, and viii) scaling up of initiatives. Also, they developed some elements for a decision-support system of when to use PES and when not. For each of these themes, a short discussion paper had been prepared in advance. After discussing these in plenary and in focus groups, two-page synthesis papers were produced for each issue, which, after further revisions, will be joined in a single executive-style paper; Nigel Asquith of Natura Bolivia and the EcoFund, and Peter Frost of CIFOR will act as the main editors. This paper will eventually be widely distributed, including by the Katoomba Group, and on the websites of Fundación Natura (www.naturabolivia.org) and CIFOR (www.cifor.cgiar.org/pes).  For more information, please contact Nigel Asquith at nigelasquith@naturabolivia.org.

>> We will make links to these tools in An Introductory Primer: Getting Started with PES and on the PES Learning Tools tab of the Katoomba Group website.

>>More information can be found on the event website (English)

Andean Development Corporation Workshop – Conserving ecosystem services for people and nature, March 27-28, 2007
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

The Andean Development Corporation (ADC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) joined forces to host the Regional Andean Workshop entitled "Conserving Natural Resources for People and Nature," with participation from environmental authorities, mayors, regional governement representatives, specialists and national and international NGO representatives from five countries in the Andean region: Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela, with the objective to identify an agenda to promote investment in conservation of ecosystem services, to generate wealth and contribute to the reduction of poverty in these countries. Participants showed great interest in helping the formation of PES work in the region.

Carina Bracer, TAKG Coordinator, made a presentation on nine recently finished studies on the theme of Poverty Alleviation and Compensation for Ecosystem Services (CES), (from the Global Scoping Study on CES, which will soon be published in the ICRAF Working Paper Series), resulting lessons and global experiences with CES. Joerg Siefert Granzín made a presentation on economic and environmental efficiency, using the experience from the Noel Kempff Mercado Park scheme. Doris Cordero synthesized lessons derived from projects of the German Cooperation GTZ, in the Andean region. Dr. Edwin Aguilera, Prefect of Santa Cruz presented how the Department is utilizing the focus of ecosystem services to maintain its competitiveness and environmental sustainability in its ecotourism, agricultural and livestock activities. Barry Brosi, of the Natural Capital project presented scientific baselines for quantification and evaluation of biodiversity and discussed tools and mechanisms that would sufficiently raise the the topic to have ample impact.

In working groups, the group explored themes such as: What can be hoped for from a tool such as PES/CES? What applications of PES have already taken place in distinct parts of the region? From what sources will financing come? Even with the same region, each Andean country has differing structures, governance and relevant legal contexts defining the space for PES contracts,  and each instance the use of this tool needs to follow a process of consulting national actors, the community base and, when involving government, including Ministers that typically do not design environmental policies, such as those from finance. Despite the differences, emphasis on the importance of consolidating exchanges and amplifying the knowledge of successful (and unsuccessful) cases in the area, particularly with the local authorities, who are a critical actor in the development of C/PES. Next steps identified will be oriented to  help C/PES schemes already in progress, shaping and creating a learning network, and identifying how to attract greater financing for sustainable activities through C/PES.     

>>For more information on the workshop, please contact Gonzalo Mérida gmérida@caf.com, Aurelio Ramos aramos@tnc.org, Alfonso Blanco ablanco@tnc.org, or Carina Bracer al cbracer@forest-trends.org.




East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group talks PES with Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources

On February 27th, 2007, the National Environment Management Authority invited the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group (ESAKG) coordinator, Alice Ruhweza, to speak to the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources. The coordinator of ESAKG talked about the role of government in creating an enabling environment for markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). Ms. Ruhweza told the members of Parliament that in order to scale up PES in Uganda, the government needs to formulate pro-PES policies and legislation and develop a code of conduct for PES. She stressed that without government support the deals will remain small and ad hoc, and may not be considered legitimate enough to entice the private sector to invest in PES. Ms. Ruhweza also called on government to build supporting institutions for PES in order to reduce the transaction costs. She also saw the role of government to include monitoring performance of the ecosystems to ensure that they are improving over time and that payments are reaching all stakeholders. For more information, contact Alice Ruhweza at aruhweza@forest-trends.org.

"Costing for Environmental Services: Implications to Policies" Forum
Quezon City, Philippines, March 9, 2007
From RUPES E-News Issue 5, March 2007:

A National Payment for Environmental Services (PES) Policy Forum on "Costing for Environmental Services: Implications to Policies" was held at Seameo-Innotech in Quezon City March 9, 2007. Attending were 107 participants from government agencies, international organizations, non-government organizations, and private firms. The event was spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and co-financed by the WWF-Philippines and RUPES.

Among the main outcomes were an inventory and analysis of various policies and laws in relation to payments for environmental services (PES), the identification of issues and concerns that may harness positive impacts both in terms of environmental and socio-economic outcomes; and proposed policy recommendations to make PES functional and to ensure it assists the poor. Policy agendas were identified for each environmental service. Among these were mechanisms for implementation and the need for monitoring by responsible agencies or institutions. The event is one of the main activities of the PES Technical Committee (PES-TEC), which is currently developing a policy and advocacy agenda to ensure the implementation of PES in the Philippines, specifically targeting policy and decision makers. In this forum, the participants
suggested the formalization of the PES-TEC.

Contact person: Grace A. Villamor - gvillamor@cgiar.org


Communities and Markets

The Communities and Markets program has formed the Executive Committee of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) to be the key group of advisors for the Communities and Markets program. The current advisory focus is on the development of the Community Portal, which will be launched on the Ecosystem Marketplace to provide communities and those working with them with high quality information and resources targeted to this audience on environmental services. Please contact Beto Borges (bborges@forest-trends.org) for more information.

The Communities and Markets program recently developed a proposal and was accepted to present a panel at the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples meeting entitled “Weaving a New Path for Philanthropy” in May 2007 in San Francisco, California. The panel is entitled: PES: A Tool for Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Protecting the Environment, and will include Kenyan Maasai community member Ole Petenya Yusuf, a representative from the Moore foundation and an NGO representative focusing on the opportunities for conservation and livelihood improvement that PES offers.  

From the Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace

Check out the Katoomba Group's Ecosystem Marketplace for the latest PES news and most recent newsletters from the Ecosystem Marketplace:
-The Community Forum
-Mitigation Mail

-Seeding Supply for Forestry Offsets in China
by Hayet Sellami 

-Environmentalists Clash over Carbon Offsets by Alice Kenny

You are always invited to contribute opinion pieces you have written relating to PES and recommendations of people for the Ecosystem Marketplace to profile. Please send your articles in English, Spanish or Portuguese, to Rachel Miller at rmiller@forest-trends.org.

State and Trends of the Voluntary Carbon Market Report: Ecosystem Marketplace
The Ecosystem Marketplace is teaming up with New Carbon Finance to product the world’s first State and Trends of the Voluntary Carbon Market report, which will provide quantitative data on prices and volumes traded and an analysis of buyer trends. The Ecosystem Marketplace is striving to include the range of institutional buyers and sellers around the world shaping these markets.

>>If your organization is a buyer or seller of offsets or credits from offsets and you would like to learn more about the report or are willing to complete our report survey, please contact our Carbon Program Manager, Katherine Hamilton, atkhamilton@ecosystemmarketplace.com.     


Landmark Certification of Forestry Projects that Combat Climate Change
First Two Projects Approved using ‘CCB Standards’ Demonstrate Holistic Approach Towards Benefiting Global Climate, Local Communities and Biodiversity

“Panama & China – February 26th, 2007 –  The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) today announced the first two forestry projects to be certified under its Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards (www.climate-standards.org).  These projects, in Panama and China, go beyond the Kyoto Protocol requirements and demonstrate how well-designed land-management projects can deliver compelling environmental and sustainable development benefits in addition to combating climate change...”

>>Continue reading the article (English)
>>Read the Press Release from Futuro Florestal/CO2OL, the Panamanian project certified under CCB (English)

Costa Rica announces intent to become first carbon neutral country

In February, Costa Rica announced its decision to become the first carbon neutral country. An important decision by the government, this will require the implementation of laws, incentives and taxes to ensure actions to protect the environment are made to compensate for gases released into the atmosphere. One key component of the strategy is the C-Neutral label, a certification system including a comprehensive voluntary tax set to ensure that tourist and business activities offset the whole of their carbon emissions.  

>>Read the full article at La Nación (Spanish)



New Publications

Investing in the Future: An Assessment of Private Sector Demand for Engaging in Markets & Payments for Ecosystem Services
Sissel Waage, February 2007, Forest Trends

This report, based predominantly on Forest Trends research in 2005, describes the current status of private sector interest in, and engagement with, payments for ecosystem services. It offers a point of view on current private sector demand and willingness to pay for ecosystem services in the present and projecting into the future. Specifically, the findings are based on Forest Trends’ research conducted in 2005 by Ivo Mulder, Kerry ten Kate, and Sara Scherr, as well as 2005 research by Sissel Waage and 2006 analyses by Jackie Prince Roberts. The primary research focused primarily on documenting non-carbon cases of private sector engagement with PES.

>>Read the full report (English)


Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group II Contribution, April 2007

This section of the Climate Change Report uses current knowledge on climate change to discuss future impacts from climate change on various systems, sectors and regions. The discussion on ecosystems notes impact of terrestrial ecosystems on net carbon uptake, while the regional section on Latin America highlights anticipated landscape level changes and loss of critical biodiversity. Following the assessments on climate change, the report discusses adaptations and responses to these changes, noting that some Latin American countries have proactively made efforts to adapt to climate change through various strategies including ecosystem conservation and management.  

>>Read the Climate Change Report Working Group II Policy Makers Brief (full synthesis report due out later in 2007) [English]


State of the World’s Forests 2007
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The FAO recently published its biennial report State of the World’s Forests that gives a global perspective on the forest sector for 2007. This year’s report specifically examines the progress towards sustainable forest management from both regional and global levels. The report cites Latin America and the Caribbean as a global leader in payments for environmental services and in the formation of networks addressing forestry issues.

>>Download the full report (English)
>>Read the section on PES (page 16)
>>Read the section on Latin America and the Caribbean (English)


Can Payments for Avoided Deforestation to tackle Climate Change also benefit the Poor?
Forestry Briefing 12, Overseas Development Institute, November 2006
Leo Peskett, David Brown and Cecilia Luttrell

This policy brief examines the issue of avoided deforestation by addressing issues of national policy and host country perspectives, exploring how incentive schemes might work and analyzing priorities of the forest livelihood dependent poor as elements critical to the successful development of avoided deforestation initiatives.

>>Read the brief (English)


Legal Regulations of Compensation for Ecosystem Services in Latin America
Santiago Vallejo Galárraga, Equinoccio Magazine – Academic Series, 2006, p 105-144

This report provides a collective description of the legal frameworks pertaining to different PES schemes in Latin America, including important information on legal needs of PES projects in Latin America, both past and present. The report is helpful to gain a clear overall picture of legal frameworks of PES in Latin America and can serve as a reference for future implementation of PES in the region.

>>Read the full report (p. 105-144) (Spanish)




Pay – Establishing payments for watershed services
Smith, M., de Groot, D., and Bergkamp, G. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 2006.

This newly released document focuses on how incentive schemes and markets can help achieve sustainable conservation goals, specifically looking at the theme of watersheds. Beyond addressing questions of rationale, this tool gives a framework for designing, implementing and monitoring a payment scheme for watershed services.

>>Download tool (pdf) (English)


Handbook for the Design of Payment for Hydrological Services Mechanisms
National Institute of Ecology, Mexico, 2005

The handbook is aimed at local government leaders taking the reader through four main steps in the design of PHS projects, including:
1)    Key information necessary for identifying opportunities to make a PHS program (pages 12-31)
2)    Guidelines for designing the mechanism (pages 32-54)
3)    Steps for implementation of the design (pages 55-66)
4)    Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms (pages 67-75)

>>Download the manual (English)



Upcoming Events

Second Ibero-American Conference on Sustainable Development, April 24-26, 2007
São Paulo, Brazil

The conference will bring together businesses, academics, specialists, policy makers, and NGOs from Latin America to address the challenges of sustainable development for society, business, and government, and share experiences with sustainable practices.

>>More information (English)


International Conference on Poverty Reduction and Forests: Tenure, Market and Policy Reforms, 3-7 September 2007
Bangkok, Thailand

This conference aims to support discussion and exchange on the critical factors surrounding forests and poverty and current efforts to reduce poverty through forest management and use. It will strengthen existing, and help build new, strategic networks of key stakeholders to advance tenure, market and policy reforms in support of poverty reduction. Based on the evidence and experiences shared at the conference, participants will be invited to craft a common agenda of priorities to strengthen reforms for poverty reduction and forests in Asia.

>> For more information about how to submit abstracts, register for the conference and other conference details see the conference website or contact conference@recoftc.org.



Call for Papers – Water and People

The Guest Editor of Development Vol. 51 No. 1, ‘Water and People,’ Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, fellow at the Australian National University, is requesting contributions from Africa and Latin America  looking at alternative water management practices.

Submission deadlines:
Abstract and brief biopic:  4 May 2007
If selected, full paper (within 3,000 words):  30 October 2007

>>More information  (English)
Contact person: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt - kuntala.lahiri-dutt@anu.edu.au


Is your financial institution doing business in Latin America?
Apply now for this year's second online course on environmental & social risk assessment
7-25 May 2007

Part of  UNEP FI’s Latin American Task Force training program, the course aims to train analysts throughout Latin America on identifying and managing risk in their lending and investment decision making processes.

A joint product of the LATF, the INCAE Business School and InWent, the course provides in-depth and personalized training over a three-week period. Tutors interact with participants on a daily basis, answering questions, facilitating debates, providing guidance and correcting case-study based exercises.

The next course will be running from 7 to 25 May. Places available are limited; candidates are kindly requested to send their applications by 20 April. Cost: $400 / person. Special rates available for UNEP FI Signatories.

>>For full details, please click here
Contact & Applications: latf-online@unepfi.org