Tuesday, 22. July 2014

Six years in the making, Peru's new Ecosystem Services Law has just been passed, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the sticky issue of PES. It is one of the most advanced pieces of legislation of its type, but had been stuck in committee for five years. Here is the latest from Lima.

The same week that US President Barack Obama unveiled a national climate action plan that opens the door to cap-and-trade in the power sector, Peru's National Congress passed the country's ground-breaking Payments for Ecosystem Services Law (Ley de Mecanismos de Retribución por Servicios Ecosistémicos), according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Environment (MINAM) .

The law passed on Thursday 5 June with 83 votes in favor and none against, and no abstentions, the release said. Here is a rough translation of the release, which is available in Spanish here, followed by earlier Ecosystem Marketplace coverage of the act.

Adopted on World Environment Day, this law will give an adequate legal framework to those voluntary agreements that have already been registered among citizens, to ensure the provision of goods and services that nature provides us. Roger Loyola, director of Evaluation, Assessment and Financing of Natural Heritage for MINAM, said this law will promote recognition actions of both parties involved: one that helps maintain ecosystems through conservation, recovery and sustainable use, and one that receives the benefit of this work.

"The first ecosystem service that MINAM are working on is water resources, working with the watershed between highlands and lowlands, for the mutual benefit of both. We are also looking at forest carbon," said Loyola. In other cases, there are communities that have called for the creation of a control forest to receive a benefit to avoid land use and deforestation.

This type of PES has already been carried out not only abroad, in Costa Rica and Ecuador, but also in Peru itself.

"What we propose is the measurement and regulation of voluntary human actions. This does not mean that the established environmental obligations are maintained, for any person, firm or entity of the state to fulfill its duties are not exempt " Loyola said.

Article 12 of the law states that the MINAM support regional and local governments through the Incubator Compensation Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services, whose main function is to support these processes.

Source: Ecosystem Marketplace team