The USAID’s Protect Wildlife project and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) are rallying local partners and communities to establish successful models of payment for ecosystem services (PES), which can contribute to long-term financing of conservation efforts to sustain ecosystem goods and services from ecologically important areas in the province.
In Brooke’s Point municipality, Protect Wildlife and the local government are working together to pursue a PES scheme that will allocate funds and involve indigenous communities in rehabilitating and protecting Tigaplan watershed—one of the major sources of water in Brooke’s Point. In consultations hosted by the project and the local government, indigenous communities in Mainit village agreed to take part in the rehabilitation efforts. The local government will allocate PES funds collected from all water users connected to the waterworks system to provide them with seedlings for planting high-value fruit trees, which can be both a livelihood and watershed protection activity for the communities. The community will also be provided with water supply and other social infrastructure. The Brooke’s Point watershed management council will then endorse the PES-funded rehabilitation plan of community watershed for approval and budget allocation by the local government.
To gain further support from partners in the province in implementing and replicating such PES schemes, Protect Wildlife invited participants from PCSD, national government agencies, local government units, protected area management boards, industries and businesses, and civil society to a PES forum in Puerto Princesa City. Through sharing of successful PES models—including what is being practiced in Brooke’s Point—the forum sought to promote PES to public and private sectors as a viable and sustainable approach to generating funds for conservation activities. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)