About this good practice
The practice is framed within the EU H2020 funded project Spurring INnovations for forest eCosystem sERvices in Europe (SINCERE).
The innovation case in the Catalan Region aims at strengthening the link between forests and water with the overall aim of diversifying financing sources for forest management by integrating ecosystem service provision into the economic balance sheet. The instrument chosen to frame this joint strategic planning was the “Urbanistic Masterplan of the water reservoir (PDU)” . It is an urbanistic regulation instrument can include incentives for the economic development of the area.
The aim of this practice is to reach a written recognition in a legal document of the role of forestry in water and landscape conservation, and the recognition of forestry as a potentially relevant economic activity in the area that can be promoted along with the tourism.
In parallel to the production of the PDU, a real Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanism has also been designed and begun to be implemented in the area, as a suggestion raised in the first multifactor group meeting: voluntary fund for forests and water (Fund). The Fund will be based on the diagnosis, priorities and recommendations included in the PDU. It will be local for the 6 municipalities affected by the Rialb reservoir and will only invest on its watershed (aprox. 35.000 hectares)
The project has a budget of 103.000 euros for 4 years. 60 % of which included personnel costs to the facilitation and energization of all stakeholders, the organization of meetings, the preparation of all technical, and planning documents required, as well as the communication activities.
Evidence of success
Official recognition of forestry in the Masterplan of the Rialb water reservoir (2019) as a key economic activity to foster in the area as it provides benefits for the society, and to the provision of good quality water.
The activation of a participative process to co-design together with a PES scheme in the area, including stakeholders from the water and the forest sectors.
First steps taken for the establishment of the co-created PES scheme in relation to forests and water in the area.
Potential for learning or transfer
The assessment of the suitability of a payment for ecosystem services scheme to forestry in relation to water is an innovative and potentially useful tool that can be easily transferred to similar regions (forested catchments) in other parts of Europe.
Belonging to an international European project provides transference and communication tools in order to be implemented in other potential areas.