Policy learning in action. Developing markets for watershed protection services and improved livelihoods
Watersheds cover almost half of the developing world land mass and
provide services of decreasing quality a nd quantity despite increasing demand. They are potentially the world’s largest asset class after real estate, if markets can be developed around them. As markets for these services emerge from pilot to scale they have the potential to impact on poor people for good or for bad.
Policy Learning in Action: Developing Markets for Watershed
Protection Services and Improved Livelihoods (Implementation phase), is a multi-donor learning initiative that engages in across-country and acrossregion policy learning in the Caribbean, India, Indonesia, South Africa and two further countries to be finalised.
The goal is to promote the maintenance of watershed services that
support local livelihoods. The purpose is to increase understanding of the potential role of market mechanisms in promoting the provision of watershed services for improving livelihoods in developing countries.
Implementation follows a complex multi-partner, multi-country 18 month inception phase that ended March 2003.
The evidence and lessons that this focused initiative provides across a few countries will challenge the international debate at a key moment and move it away from simplistic regulatory or market “magic” solutions towards development of market mechanisms implemented by effective institutions delivering sustainable and equitable benefits. The Katoomba Group and key international water policy dialogues linked to the Millennium Development Goals, into which evidence will feed, provide windows of opportunity to use
lessons to influence international fora that bring together major donors, private sector, governments and NGOs.