• English


The Seminar on environmental services and financing for the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems took place on 10-11 October 2005, at the invitation of the Government of Switzerland. It was prepared by the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, the UNECE secretariat of the Water Convention, in close cooperation with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the secretariat of the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Cooperation has also been sought with the UNECE Timber Committee, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE).

The Seminar brought together policy and decision makers, lawyers, economists, managers, technical experts, representatives from the private sector and NGOs, specialized in water management, forestry, landscape and nature conservation (see list of participants).

The Seminar proposed three follow-up activities:


The preparation of a draft code of conduct on the integration of ecosystems in water management and the payment for ecosystem services. The code of conduct should be adopted by the Parties to the Water Convention at their fourth meeting in October 2006;


The development of proposals for capacity building activities related to the payment for ecosystem services, to be included in the 2006-2009 work programme of the Water Convention;


The development of project proposals for implementation of payment of ecosystem services in one or more river basins, possibly at the transboundary level, to be carried out under the 2006-2009 work programme of the Water Convention.

The above-mentioned proposals will be further discussed and finalized at the second meeting of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management (April 2006). Seminar's participants and interested partners were invited to submit their suggestions to the secretariat.

The Seminar was a follow-up to the Seminar on the role of ecosystems as water suppliers (Geneva, 13-14 December 2004), where governmental officials, experts from international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector highlighted the role of water-related ecosystems (wetlands and forests) in water management and made recommendations for an effective implementation of the ecosystem approach. The utmost importance of mechanisms to finance the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems was particularly underlined at that first Seminar.

The Seminar was organized around three major themes: valuing ecosystem services, legal and contractual aspects and challenges for implementation. Each theme was introduced by one or more keynote lectures.

Valuing ecosystem services

Determining factors for using payment for ecosystems services (PES) (e.g. legislative aspects, lack of funding, water-quality and/or water-quantity problems, offer and demand);
Characteristics of river basins or ecosystems favorable to establishing PES; Measuring ecosystem services;
Social and economic aspects (e.g. social and equity aspects, health related aspects, economic valuation of ecosystem services);
Cost-benefit analysis of land use alternatives and their impact on ecosystem services.

Legal and contractual aspects

Legal and regulatory frameworks that can help establish payments for ecosystem services (e.g. national legislation, bilateral and multilateral agreements including ecosystem services, definition of payment and methods of payment, sources of funding, management of the payment scheme);
Contractual arrangements (e.g. types of contracts including self organized deals, trading schemes and public payment schemes, specifying duration and involvement of stakeholders in the design and operation of the schemes); and
Socio-economic and environmental impacts of PES.

Challenges for implementation

Challenges for the establishment of PES (e.g. triggers to establish payment schemes, approaches to involve or jointly act with the private sector, obstacles to implement payments);
Challenges for the dissemination of good practice (e.g. awareness and public information campaigns, availability and exchange of information, the role of civil society);
Challenges for the private sector (e.g. private sector experience in financing payments for environmental services, public/private partnerships); and
Challenges for research and capacity-building initiatives.
Document Title ENG
Opening statement by Mr. Kaj Brlund, Director, Environment and Human Settlements Division, UNECE PDF
Outcome of the Seminar on the role of ecosystems as water suppliers, Mr. Rainer Enderlein, UNECE PDF (3.7 MB)
Valuing ecosystems services - advantages and disadvantages of different existing methodologies from IUCN practical experience, Ms. Danièle Perrot-Maître, World Conservation Union (IUCN) PPT (6 MB)
Developing payments for ecosystem services in Latin America: the potential for combining carbon sequestration with watershed management, Mr. Jan Fehse, EcoSecurities Ltd. PPT (1.4 MB)
Central Asian mountain ecosystem assessment, Ms. Elena Kreuzberg-Mukhina, Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia. PDF (9.9 MB)
Financial and Contractual Frameworks for the New York City Watershed Protection Program, Mr. Michael A. Principe, Deputy Commissioner and Director, Bureau of Water Supply of the City of New York, Department of Environmental Protection PPT (5 MB)
Issues and examples of environmental services and financing for the protection and sustainable use of water-related ecosystems in the Netherlands, Ms. Andrea Almaši, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality PPT (1.2 MB)
Financial mechanism for natural resources management - learning from FAO experience, Mr. Gerardo E. van Halsema, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations PDF
Fostering and promoting payments for environmental services in the Danube River basin, Mr. Andreas Beckmann, WWF International PDF (3.7 MB)
Challenges and opportunities for payments and markets for ecosystem services based on multilateral environmental agreements and pro-poor approach, Mr. Jerry Velasquez, UNEP PPT (120 KB)
Lessons learned from country reports and Seminar’s contributions, Ms. Francesca Bernardini, UNECE PPT (110 KB)
Draft code of conduct PPT (100 KB

Below are made available the official seminar documents.

Document Title ENG RUS FRE
MP.WAT/SEM.5/2005/1 Information notice PDF PDF PDF
MP.WAT/SEM.5/2005/2 Programme PDF only
MP.WAT/SEM.5/2005/4 Water-related ecosystems for water management: environmental services and financing for the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems PDF PDF  

Letter sent by Mr. P. Roch inviting UNECE countries to submit national report on the practical experience of valuation and payment for ecosystems services (including report outline).



To facilitate the sharing of experience and good practices, Mr. Philippe Roch, State Secretary, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, addressed a letter (see above) to Ministers of Environment, Ministers of Forestry and Ministers of Agriculture inviting Governments to prepare national reports. Thus countries' representatives and representatives of international governmental and non-governmental organizations are invited to submit national reports and discussion papers, respectively, on experience and practical measures to integrate forests, wetlands and agro-ecosystems in water management through payments for the ecosystem services they provide.

Below are made available the national reports as submitted to the UNECE secretariat.

Document Title ENG RUS
Armenia PDF
Austria PDF
Azerbaijan PDF
Belarus PDF
Bosnia and Herzegovina PDF
Czech Republic PDF
Estonia PDF
Georgia PDF
Greece PDF
Kyrgyzstan PDF
Latvia PDF
The Netherlands, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality PDF
Poland PDF
Romania PDF
Serbia and Montenegro PDF
Switzerland PDF
Tajikistan PDF
Turkmenistan PDF
Uzbekistan PDF

Below are made available the discussion papers as submitted to the UNECE secretariat.

Document Title ENG RUS
Economic assessment of the value of drinking water management in Denmark by groundwater protection and purification of polluted groundwater
National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark, Department of Policy Analysis,
Integrated water resources management in Israel
Nir Kedmi, Economics and Standard Division, Ministry of the Environment of Israek
Payment schemes for water-related environmental services: a financial mechanism for natural resources management experiences from Latin America and the Caribbean
Gerardo Van Halsema, Land & Water Development Division, FAO
Management issues of ecosystems, land and water resources in Central Asia countries
Prof. Victor Dukhovny, Dinara Ziganshina, Scientific-Information Centre of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination
The mountain ecosystems assessment as a mechanism in the development of sustainable use of water resources and rational management of biodiversity in Central Asia
Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia


Environmental capital as a moving component in transfer to the ecosystem management in the Ili-Balkhash basin
Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia

Financing of the decision of water problems of Russia: between command approach, market-based approach and ethical traditions
Olga Podosenova, Ural Ecological Union
State of environmental services in Azerbaijan
Rafig Verdiyev, ECORES NGO
Economic value of the ecosystems in Kazakhstan - The Kazakhstan experience related to economic value of the role of ecosystems in water management
Evgeny Tyrtyshny, Kazakhstan Water Partnership
Water markets in Central Asia as an instrument to protect ecosystems: structure and functions
Yusup Kamalov, Union for Defense the Aral Sea and Amudarya
Payments for environmental services in watersheds: insights from a comparative study of two cases in Central America
Autonomous University of Barcelona and Tilburg University
Getting started before you begin: experiences from environmental service benefit transfer schemes in Indonesia
BERIA Leimona, ICRAF Southeast Asia Regional Office and Joko PRIHATNO, Directorate General of Environmental Services and Ecotourism Planning, Ministry of Forestry of