PES in Mediterranean Forests and the Role of Property Rights
Property rights over natural resources are a crucial and sensitive issue requiring special analysis, particularly when designing economic policy instruments.
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) can modify the right of access to forests, harvested forest products and general management. Through PES, forest beneficiaries usually become financially accountable for the Ecosystem Services supply, while natural resource managers can be rewarded for the production of externalities. A new publication1 features the role of property rights in relation to PES, analysing the difference in forest land ownership and other dimensions of property rights in Mediterranean countries, which are often not well defined, incomplete or not-enforced.
Journeying from Portugal to Greece or from southern France to Morocco reveals many diverse approaches to mature forests’ conservation, fire prevention, watershed management or forest regeneration consolidation. A variety of economic arrangements emerge in each region. These can be at local level, such as municipal mushroom picking permits, or on a larger scale, as in national forest funds. Public administrations play a key role in setting the legal framework and mixed and pure private schemes also have a significant place.
This overview of the state of the art in PES in the Mediterranean is now available as part of the publication Agriculture and Forestry: Property rights, economy and environment which compiles papers presented at the 2012 International Center for Research on Environmental Issues (ICREI) “Agriculture and Forestry. Property rights, economy and environment”. This international conference is held biennially to discuss property rights regarding the environment.
Elena Górriz (CTFC/EFIMED) participated in the 2012 edition which took place in Aix-en-Provence, France, where a selection of PES cases from Mediterranean forests were presented, including pilot studies implemented within the SylvaMed project and analysed through the Newforex project. The resulting publication presents findings on property rights in agriculture and land use, economic instruments for water or carbon, environmental servitudes and legal features, as well as several papers on PES and includes articles in English and French.
More information and purchase
1“Payments for Environment Services in Mediterranean forests and the role of property rights” Gorriz.E, Prokofieva.I, 2014. Agriculture and Forestry: Property rights, economy and environment
Photos: Carlos Gracia and Elena Górriz
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