Ukrainian experts get up to date on Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes
During the workshop participants also learnt about ways to incorporate PES into policies. Part of the workshop covered the political context of PES, including the EU’s Water Framework Directive, the Danube Strategy as well as land use policies in Ukraine.
“At the workshop we presented our project and the schemes developed so far step-by-step, including issues and problems that we encountered”, said Maya Todorova of WWF, Project Manager of the Danube PES project.
“The discussions resulted in a SWOT analysis of the situation in Ukraine. We talked about needs, possibilities, drivers and obstacles to implement PES in Ukraine”, Todorova said.
“It is clear that we are at the start of implementation of mechanisms for payments for ecosystem services in Ukraine”, said Oleg Rubel, Senior researcher at the Institute of market economics in Odessa.
“At the moment, the Danube river basin has many lakes which are used for irrigation, drinking water and some for fishing activities. However, aquaculture producers pay neither for maintaining of infrastructure which regulates the water regime, nor for water use”, Rubel said.
“Ukraine has a fairly advanced system of environmental charges for special use of natural resources, including water. Therefore, the Danube-Donetsk region is a promising model for the implementation of PES schemes in the municipal and agricultural sectors”, Rubel said.
The project “Promoting Payments for Ecosystem Services & Related Sustainable Financing Schemes in the Danube Basin” promotes and supports land managers who help us sustain the benefits that we all get from nature. The project is implemented by the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme with the financial support of the GEF through UNEP, and of the European Commission.