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Forest and Water week

4 - 8 July 2011

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)

What role for a green economy?

Concept, Approaches and Case Studies

An event of the UNECE Forest and Water Week, 4-8 July 2011 

UNECE and FAO in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment BAFU and the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE organized a workshop on 4-5 July 2011 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva followed by Field Trip on 6 July 2011 in France with the support of the French Ministry for agriculture, food, fisheries, rural affairs and land management.


The workshop addressed issues linked to payments for different ecosystem services to help governments and stakeholders share experiences and understand which policies and incentives have been and could be most effective in implementing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes. With a focus on forest and water related ecosystem services, its aimed at explaining the sectoral relevance of environmental research linked to the valuation and payment of ecosystem service e.g. through the recent publication on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity" and the "Millennium Ecosystem Assessment". On the basis of experiences throughout the UNECE region, the workshop tried to assess the contribution PES schemes can make to facilitating the transition towards a green economy.

The outcome of this workshop will feed into an Action Plan on Forests and the Green Economy which will be discussed at the joint session of the UNECE Timber Committee and FAO European Forestry Commission on 10-14 October 2011 in Antalya, Turkey and presented as a sectoral contribution at the Rio+20 summit in 2012.


The following issues have be addressed during the workshop:

  • concept of ecosystems and ecosystem services
  • methods for valuing ecosystem services
  • payment schemes and case studies throughout the UNECE region, ranging from North America to Western and Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia
  • enabling conditions for putting in place effective PES schemes
  • the role which PES can pay for facilitating the transition to a green economy.


The final programme is available here. 

Target Audience

The workshop is addressed to all those who are responsible for, or involved in the process of developing and/or implementing PES schemes, at the national, regional and transboundary levels: first and foremost national policy makers responsible for forestry, water and related ecosystems, but also local authorities, landowners and managers, practioners, PES negotiators and representatives of academia, research institutes, non-governmental and other international organizations.

Workshop presentations

All presentations are available here.

Background information 

A Background paper is available here.

Information for participants

Field trip


UNECE Workshop on Forest and Water in Low-Forest Cover Countries (7-8 July)