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Investigating the feasibility of instituting payment for environmental services (PES) scheme in Ghana: The Weija watershed case study

Peprah-Asante, Gladys (2009) Investigating the feasibility of instituting payment for environmental services (PES) scheme in Ghana: The Weija watershed case study.

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Abstract:Access to sufficient clean water is essential to everyone’s survival; however, without investments, specific watershed services that are beneficial to downstream users are likely to be degraded. There has been increased recognition that economic factors are behind many activities that cause declines in habitats and species. Payments for environmental services (PES)’s basic idea is that those who “provide” environmental services by conserving natural ecosystems should be compensated by beneficiaries of the service. This has received substantial interest as a way of creating incentive measures for managing natural resources, addressing livelihood issues for the rural poor, and providing sustainable financing for protected areas. The focus of this research is to assess the feasibility to institute payment for environmental services with emphasis on watershed services. In spite of numerous government policy attempts to address the several watershed problems none have given due recognition of incorporating and adopting PES in the management of catchments areas among a number of options. In addition, not much scientific studies have been done in Ghana to investigate the possibility of implementing PES at the catchments level. The objectives of the research are to: assess changes in land use/cover types from 1990 – 2007, assess the institutional feasibility for designing PES mechanism for watershed services and conduct contingent valuation method to determine willingness to pay of beneficiaries. Remotely sensed data were used to identify changes in land use/cover changes types from 1990 and 2007. Water provision was selected as key ecosystem service and thus formed the basis for assessment. A feasibility study of PES design and implementation including a review and description of existing frameworks and guidelines of conditions and factors that have been proposed by expects in the field as crucial for the design of a PES scheme for local watershed was conducted. Institutional feasibility of PES scheme and government’s policy on water and natural resources in Ghana and stakeholder analysis were also done. Interviews and questionnaire administration were used to elicit market and non-market values of watershed services from stakeholders using the contingent valuation method. Seven (7) dominant land use / cover types namely, riverline, dense active, shrub herbaceous, grass herbaceous, built up/bare, water and swampy exist in the study area. Riverline and dense active vegetation covers decreased whereas built up/bare, grass and shrub herbaceous cover areas increased during the period studied. Dense active vegetation and built up/bare areas experienced the most negative and positive changes respectively. Shrub herbaceous cover increased by about 10% of the total area from 1990 – 2007. Built up/ bare area increased from 4% to 17% of the total area during the period. A total of 2197 ha of riverline vegetation was lost from 1990 – 2007. Total WTP bid for watershed services is ¢ 512 per month representing 15.95% of WTP/income ratio were recorded. Mean WTP per month was recorded as 5.8%. With regards to feasibility, Ghana has the potential for a successful PES design and implementation. Policy wise, the country has wide range of policies and regulations on water and natural resources which provide the institutional and political structures in place for PES design a way of complimenting environmental and economic policies, considering the role PES can play in preserving healthy ecosystem whiles providing an economic stimulus for local livelihood. Keywords: Payment for environmental services, Land use/cover change, Willingness - to - pay
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:38 earth sciences
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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