Two sides of a coin: Analyzing benefits and limitations of payment for water ecosystem services in Lima´s water fund
Abstract: Payment for water ecosystem services has been gaining attention in Latin America because of the direct response for environmental conservation through economic mechanisms. By connecting nature services with people who benefit from them, it creates a sustainable intervention for the ecosystem’s management while enhancing human well-being according to policy implementers. Nevertheless, these initiatives face obstacles to fulfill sustainable development characteristics. Using the case of the water fund in Lima as an example of PWS for watershed preservation, this research analyzes the sustainability scope of this market-based solution for protecting water ecosystems and the services they bring. For that purpose, the case study is based on newsletters, strategic plans, websites’ information, regulation documents, utility’s master plan, and water tariff’s study. The data collected is combined with a sustainable development theory analysis to provide a discussion that focuses on the benefits of having PWS as an environmental conservation response and the critiques that arise when trying to reach sustainable development features including a social, economic and environmental perspective. I found that not all of the benefits are included when using these mechanisms while some of the disadvantages are overcome through efforts already generated between stakeholders. Therefore, the market instrument could be considered a sustainable answer for governments, communities and private actors related directly or not with the ecosystem’s conservation; however, there is room for improvement to achieve a closer sustainable development.
AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)