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The working for water programme: Evolution of a payments for ecosystem services mechanism that addresses both poverty and ecosystem service delivery in South Africa

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Author Info

  • Turpie, J.K.
  • Marais, C.
  • Blignaut, J.N.

Abstract

A payments for ecosystem services (PES) system came about in South Africa with the establishment of the government-funded Working for Water (WfW) programme that clears mountain catchments and riparian zones of invasive alien plants to restore natural fire regimes, the productive potential of land, biodiversity, and hydrological functioning. The success of the programme is largely attributed to it being mainly funded as a poverty-relief initiative, although water users also contribute through their water fees. Nevertheless, as the hydrological benefits have become apparent, water utilities and municipalities have begun to contract WfW to restore catchments that affect their water supplies. This emerging PES system differs from others in that the service providers are previously unemployed individuals that tender for contracts to restore public or private lands, rather than the landowners themselves. The model has since expanded into other types of ecosystem restoration and these have the potential to merge into a general programme of ecosystem service provision within a broader public works programme. There is a strong case for concentrating on the most valuable services provided by ecosystems, such as water supply, carbon sequestration, and fire protection, and using these as 'umbrella services' to achieve a range of conservation goals. The future prospects for expansion of PES for hydrological services are further strengthened by the legal requirement that Catchment Management Agencies be established. These authorities will have an incentive to purchase hydrological services through organisations such as WfW so as to be able to supply more water to their users.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 788-798

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:4:p:788-798

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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References

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  1. B.W. van Wilgen & D.M. Richardson & D.C. Le Maitre & C. Marais & D. Magadlela, 2001. "The Economic Consequences of Alien Plant Invasions: Examples of Impacts and Approaches to Sustainable Management in South Africa," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 145-168, June.
  2. Turpie, Jane K., 2003. "The existence value of biodiversity in South Africa: how interest, experience, knowledge, income and perceived level of threat influence local willingness to pay," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 199-216, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kemkes, Robin J. & Farley, Joshua & Koliba, Christopher J., 2010. "Determining when payments are an effective policy approach to ecosystem service provision," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2069-2074, September.
  2. Blackman, Allen & Woodward, Richard T., 2009. "User Financing in a National Payments for Environmental Services Program: Costa Rican Hydropower," Discussion Papers dp-09-04, Resources For the Future.
  3. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
  4. Pascual, Unai & Muradian, Roldan & Rodríguez, Luis C. & Duraiappah, Anantha, 2010. "Exploring the links between equity and efficiency in payments for environmental services: A conceptual approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1237-1244, April.
  5. Blignaut, James & Mander, Myles & Schulze, Roland & Horan, Mark & Dickens, Chris & Pringle, Catherine & Mavundla, Khulile & Mahlangu, Isaiah & Wilson, Adrian & McKenzie, Margaret & McKean, Steve, 2010. "Restoring and managing natural capital towards fostering economic development: Evidence from the Drakensberg, South Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1313-1323, April.
  6. Leander Raes & Nikolay Aguirre & Marijke D’Haese & Guido Huylenbroeck, 2014. "Analysis of the cost-effectiveness for ecosystem service provision and rural income generation: a comparison of three different programs in Southern Ecuador," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 471-498, June.
  7. Pagiola, Stefano & Zhang, Wei & Colom, Ale, 2009. "Can payments for watershed services help save biodiversity? A spatial analysis of highland Guatemala," MPRA Paper 13728, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Reynolds, Travis W. & Farley, Joshua & Huber, Candice, 2010. "Investing in human and natural capital: An alternative paradigm for sustainable development in Awassa, Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2140-2150, September.
  9. Chisholm, Ryan A., 2010. "Trade-offs between ecosystem services: Water and carbon in a biodiversity hotspot," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1973-1987, August.
  10. Sonja S. Teelucksingh & Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, 2010. "Biodiversity Valuation in Developing Countries: A Focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)," Working Papers 2010.111, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Wolff, Hendrik, 2014. "Payment for Ecosystem Services from Forests," IZA Discussion Papers 8179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: An overview of the issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 663-674, May.
  13. World Agroforestry centre, 2010. "Pro-poor compensation and rewards for environmental services in the tropics: saving the commons in Asia, Africa and Latin America?," Working Papers b16863, World Agroforestry Centre, Library Department.
  14. Wünscher, Tobias & Engel, Stefanie & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Spatial targeting of payments for environmental services: A tool for boosting conservation benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 822-833, May.
  15. Song, Conghe & Zhang, Yulong & Mei, Ying & Liu, Hua & Zhang, Zhiqiang & Zhang, Quanfa & Zha, Tonggang & Zhang, Kerong & Huang, Chenglin & Xu, Xiaoniu & Jagger, Pamela & Chen, Xiaodong & Bilsborrow, Ri, 2014. "Sustainability of Forests Created by China's Sloping Land Conversion Program: A comparison among three sites in Anhui, Hubei and Shanxi," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 161-167.
  16. Gull, Katie, 2009. "The Economics Of A Payment For Watershed Services In The Western Baivaanskloof," Honours Students' Projects 2009 98757, Rhodes University, Department of Economics and Economic History.
  17. Ina, Porras & Bruce, Alyward & Jeff, Dengel, 2013. "Monitoring payments for watershed services schemes in developing countries," MPRA Paper 47185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Swallow, Brent & Leimona, Beria & Yatich, Thomas & Velarde, Sandra J., 2010. "The conditions for functional mechanisms of compensation and reward for environmental services," MPRA Paper 26308, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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