Over one hundred and twenty people from the local government, local, national and international NGOs, and communities, convened in Iquitos, Peru from October 2-4, 2007 at a meeting hosted by the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP), the Tropical America Katoomba Group (TAKG), the Government of Loreto and the Servicio Holandés de Cooperación al Desarrollo (SNV). The meeting was a space for actors to gather and create a network of people, institutions, and organizations with interest and ongoing work on PES in Peru, opening doors for greater understanding from the institutional side, while underscoring the needs of community actors.
The opening day focused on bringing the latest international knowledge of PES, and introducing participants to the concept of PES with specific information on water, carbon and biodiversity markets. Perspectives of the potential for PES from the private-sector/government and communities were presented. The group divided into parallel sessions on day two to gain specific knowledge related to governmental or community concerns. The community workshop focused on strategies for building community capacity for participation in these markets, and learning about structuring PES agreements from an experienced NGO working with communities in Mexico and experiences with Peruvian communities in PES. The governmental workshop discussed the Peruvian context, the fundamentals of organization and governance related to PES, and the status of the Colombia National plan for PES, which is currently under development. The afternoon was used to highlight the critical issue of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), specifically focusing on identifying governmental and institutional roles and the engagement of local communities.
The final day was as a project clinic where five projects proponents worked directly with experts on topics including quantification of the ecosystem service, governance, community concerns, and investment potentials, defining needed information and ways to move forward. The participating projects included: Ecosystem and Water Resource Conservation in Watersheds in Alto Mayo, Department of San Martin – PEAM and GTZ; REDD & Aguajales in Loreto – WWF Peru and IIAP; Brazil Nuts and REDD Proposals in Madre de Dios – ACCA & ASCART; Conservation Fund for Biodiversity for Agroforestry Use in Madre de Dios – Municipality of Tambopata & CI; Ecosystem Services in Madre de Dios – FONDAM [please see agenda for more information]. The workshop brought to light the operation of the new Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator, to forge direct exchanges between projects and experts. (Find out more about the Incubator on the Tropical America Katoomba Group Regional Portal of our website)
The meeting underscored the opportunities and challenges of PES, creating a space for dialogue and interaction between various stakeholders, and showing the large amount of interest and commitment from government institutions, NGOs and communities to further develop and work on PES themes in Peru. This interest is strong for voluntary arrangements in PES, not only in regulatory markets. Participants noted the value of bringing together various government entities with varied roles in environmental work, making key connections and forging a Peruvian network. Improving coordination and clarity among these institutions and developing concrete next actions were noted as benefits of the gathering. Participation in INRENA’s – the National Institute for Natural Resources – PES working group on ecosystem services was broadened to attendees of the meeting. Analyzing legal questions from projects in the clinic enabled project developers and government organizations to understand each others needs better.
From a community and NGO perspective, the meeting built on existing fundamental knowledge of PES and worked to address key questions regarding community involvement in the Peruvian context. Additional needs include – enhancing capacity building, the need for more secure financing structures, and support in quantification of ecosystem services. The importance of furthering and utilizing local technologies and continuing to work to engage communities in indigenous areas will be critical to the success of PES in Peru from the community perspective.