The Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Two River Basins (E2RB) Project, a cooperation between Deutsche Gesellschaft Internationale für Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – River Basin Control Office (DENR-RBCO), recently concluded a series of policy workshops-fora on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) on Water Use in River Basins and Watersheds in Cebu City on 28-29 November, Davao City on 01-02 December, and San Mateo, Rizal on 06-07 December 2022. The workshops were designed to elicit inputs from stakeholders to ensure transparency in the revision and refinement of the draft PES policy guidelines and toolkit. The draft guidelines and toolkit aim to encourage PES initiatives as financing mechanisms for river basins and watershed management.
Leading the discussions on PES implementation experiences in both the international and local contexts were Ms. Marion Daclan of GIZ-PH, who discussed the international PES initiatives from Costa Rica and Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO); Ms. Minda Odsey of the DENR's Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), who reported on the case study of estimating water user fees in Busol Forest Reserve; Mr. John Nagael (joined online by Dr. Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit) of the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council, who shared the process of their implementation; and Mr. Vicente Mesias of Bago City Environment and Natural Resources Office, who recounted PES application in his city while emphasizing the importance of enforcement.
The multi-sectoral and multi-institutional composition of attendance differed for each cluster, prompting a broad and in-depth discussion that offered a spectrum of wide-ranging perspectives during the fora and presentation of outputs. These were used as inputs in the subsequent workshop, which was held in Lubao, Pampanga in December 2022. (GIZ/ Mylene Grace Velasquez)