The IUCN Thailand Programme has released a report on ‘The Relevance of Tenure and Forest Governance for Incentive-Based Mechanisms: Implementing Payments for Ecosystem Services in Doi Mae Salong’. Authored by Eliana Fischman, the report explores forest governance and the existing tenure framework at Doi Mae Salong, offering preliminary recommendations for implementing a PES scheme.
The report aims to contribute to the establishment of a PES scheme that promotes sound environmental management, contributes to poverty reduction and tenure security, and taps into payments for carbon sequestration.
IUCN’s work on PES at Doi Mae Salong builds on the achievements of the Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy (LLS) between 2007 and 2010, and its successor, the Poverty Reduction in Doi Mae Salong initiative (PRDMS), launched in April 2010. The PRDMS recognizes that the population of the area lives in significant poverty and is extremely reliant on the health and productivity of the landscape. Hence it is highly susceptible to unpredictable risks such as economic shocks and climate variations.
The goal of PRDMS is to support poverty reduction through livelihood improvement in seven of the villages targeted by LLS, and to contribute to the improvement of watershed functions in northern Thailand. Although poverty is a multi-dimensional concept, the project aims to alleviate poverty in the DMS landscape by improving the economic situation at the village and household level through the promotion of income generation and household expenditure reduction options. These could potentially include PES schemes, though, as the report points outs, land and forest rights need to be clarified first, and the process of allocating land reform areas closely monitored. Thailand’s community forest scheme offers a possible vehicle for a PES scheme in the Doi Mae Salong landscape, provided the necessary support is in place for enhancing forest management regimes, embedding them within the wider landscape context, and ensuring that their benefits are shared equitably.