The Mediterranean region is currently suffering a variety of growing environmental problems including soil degradation, water scarcity, water pollution and biodiversity loss. Traditional command and control approaches to deterring environmental degradation and associated environmental services loss have proven to be effective under given circumstances, but often existing legislation is unenforceable. This progressive deterioration represents a threat for human wellbeing, implying that decision makers and land managers need to find innovative solutions to avoid further environmental degradation. Market-based instruments and incentives schemes, particularly payments for environmental services (PES), are increasingly being proposed as a promising approach to address these problems. PES are not intended to replace command and control measures but to complement them. Furthermore, PES might be more flexible, help land owners to comply with existing regulations and raise additional funding.
In this course participants will be introduced to ways in which PES can be designed and implemented by taking into account the specific characteristics of the Mediterranean region. The course will provide state of the art practical knowledge needed to employ PES for the sustainable utilization and conservation of key natural resources including water, forest and biodiversity across spatial scales. Emphasis is placed on accessible methods and tools needed to set up PES schemes including: (i) ways to identify opportunities for PES; (ii) mechanism design and implementation processes; and (iii) the use of suitable indicators as well as low cost monitoring and verification approaches.
By the end of the course participants will: