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First Course on Payment for Environmental Services in Brazil’s Northeastern Biodiversity Corridor


This four-day workshop was designed to provide a basic introduction to compensation and payments for environmental services for landholders and government officials in the state of Pernambuco, which is located in the Northeastern Biodiversity Corridor of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. This portion of the Atlantic Forest is the most fragmented and degraded in the region and contains only a scattering of forest fragments spread throughout a sea of sugarcane plantations. The goal of this course was to examine if Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) is a viable strategy to encourage and enable landholders that live within the region to protect, manage, and restore remaining tropical forests. Through a series of lectures, case study presentations, and a field trip, participants learned the basics about PES initiatives in order to explore the possibility of developing PES programs in the region. Several of the course participants were government representatives and members of local NGOs who were involved with the development of a state-level law to combat climate change (No. 14.090) who, after completing the course, decided to incorporate PES into the law as a form of compensation for forest restoration and conservation.


Day 1

  • Module 1: Forest conservation and restoration in fragmented landscapes
  • Module 2: What are environmental services?
  • Module 3: Payments for ecosystem services (PES): concepts and origin
  • Module 3: Why development and implement a PES program?
  • Module 4: How are PES programs designed and structured?

Day 2

  • Module 5: Economic principles of PES programs
  • Module 6: Financial aspects of PES initiatives
  • Module 7: The politics of PES: what works and what does not?
  • Module 8: The social aspects of PES programs
  • Module 9: The status of PES legislation in Brazil
  • Module 10: The political environment for PES legislation in Pernambuco

Day 3

  • Module 11: A review of forest carbon projects worldwide and in Brazil
  • Case Study 1: Program in Avoided Deforestation – Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental – SPVS)
  • Case Study 2: Projeto Fogões Eficientes no Recôncavo Baiano (Instituto Perene)
  • Case Study 3: ICMS Socioambiental (CPRH – Agência Estadual de Meio Ambiente)
  • Module 12: A review of PES programs for water conservation in Brazil and worldwide
  • Case Study 4: Projecto Conservador das Águas (Cepan – UFPE)
  • Case Study 5: ProductorES de Água (Instituto BioAtlântica)
  • Case Study 6: Fundo de Boas Prácticas Socioambientais em Microbacias (FUNBOAS)

Day 4

  • Field Trip: Parque Estaudal Dois Irmãos, Recife
  • Project Development Exercise: Conceptualizing PES programs and legislation in the region