Methodological proposal for Payments for Environmental Services (PES) aiming to produce clean water in springs
Keywords:Land use policy, Soil and water conservation and management, Agroecosystem
The Payment for Environmental Services (PES) instrument aims to quantify an Ecosystem Service (ES), so that its production is valued and based on a socioeconomic financial system for conservation. The land use on the terrain and the environmental attributes of a watershed directly interfere in the capacity to store water in the system of a functional unit and can be transformed into an Environmental Service. The proposed methodology aims to determine environmental indicators that can support the valuation of the production of water of better quality. The environmental attributes of geology, soil, slope and land use land cover are measured and analyzed. The zoning of the most vulnerable rural areas was determined for possible implementation of PES programs and valuation of spring water in proportion to the contribution of their water production area in the sub-basin. The methodology has proven to be efficient in determining the most environmentally vulnerable areas, in order to classify water production by sub-basins, and it suggests a market form for financing ecosystem conservation that considers the principles of the provider-receiver (which contribute to the generation of environmental service –water and soil quality) and user-payer (who benefit from and pay for it). The financial incentive to rural producers in watershed areas is only provided when management and conservation practices are carried out through activities of plant and animal production on a sustainable land use.
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