PES Issues

Payment for Ecosystem Services involves some controversial issues, particularly large scale carbon offsetting and the operation of the Clean Development Mechanism.

EAFPES is associated with projects like Mikoko Pamoja, which are small scale, community based, focused on forest conservation and restoration with multiple possible benefits other than carbon and are unlikely to cause significant problems.  On the contrary, they can be seen as experimental models of how to apply these concepts in effective and ethical ways.  

However, it is very important that everyone involved is aware of the debate and works to ensure our projects help to solve the big problem rather than exacerbate it.  If you have a view, you are welcomed to discuss the issues via our Discussions Forum



The UN initiative "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation" (REDD), has inspired many national REDD+ projects, where tonnes of carbon taken out of the atmosphere and locked in plant material are counted as an Ecosystem Service for the world.  The initiative encourages northern nations and organisations to pay for this benefit, so as to support conservation work which could not otherwise be afforded.  However, this too involves some controversial issues, particularly that in order to be effective and efficient, very large schemes are often proposed, sometimes involving artificial planting approaches which may have significant effects on local ecosystems.


National Initiatives: Kenya

Kenya has recognised the national costs threatened by Climate Change and has developed an action plan.  The video report "Securing the Future: Setting the Scene for a Low Carbon Resilient Future" covers the basic issues and some projects, including REDD+, the Mikoko Pamoja project and sustainable eco-tourism in Gazi Bay: on YouTube - Securing the Future
Text Link:


Discussion papers about the issues:

These materials about the arguments concerning PES and Carbon trading schemes do not necessarily represent the views of EAFPES.

Critique of Carbon Offsetting by Carbon Trade Watch, Published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Licence 2009.

Case study: Asorpar Project in Colombia - The first forestry project in South America that completed Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) registration, issuance, Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) validation and verification.