Over the past six months we continued to work with our partners at local and national level to promote PES as a powerful economic instrument for the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems and their services.
In April, the WWF DCP team hosted in Bucharest European colleagues and representatives of institutions from Romania and Bulgaria to share experience in assessing and valuing ecosystem services, and in PES. Within the WWF network, there are many initiatives at European and international level, and WWF DCPO is seen to be at the forefront of these developments.
At the workshop, participants concluded that we need to improve our work with national institutions and facilitate coordination in relation to mapping and assessment of ecosystem services at national level. We built on this by organising a round table in Bulgaria and by developing a common proposal on mapping, assessment and valuation of ecosystem services in Romania.
Our Project Manager, Maya Todorova, was invited by FAO to share our experience of PES at a closing workshop of a GEF-funded project on Transitional Agriculture Reform in Serbia. The aim of the project was to enhance the competitiveness of Serbian agriculture, and PES were presented as one of the opportunities to sustain the services from nature after the end of the project.
In June, WWF DCP organized a high-level conference “Saving resources: Moving towards a resource-efficient, green economy in the Danube Region” in Sofia.The European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik, President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, and Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director, Conservation of WWF International delivered the keynote speeches, emphasizing the need to recognize and protect the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
At local level, the work on our model PES schemes continued. The Persina pilot scheme finally received the much needed funding for the investment costs. In Russenski Lom and Maramures, the communications materials were distributed and new partners have stepped forward, some of them international.
We also have the pleasure of announcing that we have started working with Dr Julio Tresierra, an experienced expert in PES, who will review the technical feasibility of the schemes we developed and will advise the team on how to improve them.
I hope you enjoy this newsletter. As always, we will be happy to get your feeback and comments.
Irene Lucius, Project Director