For the first time in the South Caucasus, REC Caucasus developed and implemented three pilot projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia within the project “Mainstreaming the Payment for Ecosystem Services for Green growth in South Caucasus”.
The pilot projects on PES are focused on fostering incentives for private sector contribution to green growth and is good opportunity for the provision of such goods, thereby changing individual or collective behavior that otherwise would lead to excessive deterioration of ecosystems and natural resources. Therefore, pilot projects defended as a transfer of resources between social actors, which aims to create incentives to align individual and/or collective land use decisions with the social interest in the management of natural resources and example of the payment of ecosystem services.
The pilot projects demonstrating clearly how economic incentives for both ecosystem service buyers and sellers can be used to achieve significant improvements in natural resources management. The overall approach of pilot projects is one that can serve as a model for elsewhere in any of South Caucasus or development countries contexts, where conservation of soil, water and biodiversity must be seen to be delivering tangible livelihood benefits.
One (1) pilot project providing income generation opportunities through ecologically friendly resource use practices designed and implemented in each countries, thereby helping to reduce pressure on fragile ecosystems and promoting the sustainable land-use likely to secure ecosystem services. The alternative livelihood activities comprised: (i) improved agricultural techniques; (ii) agro-forestry and agro-biodiversity conservation; (iii) collection and processing of medical plants, wild fruits, and non-timber resources (iv) establishment of sustainable hunting areas, (v) establishment of aquaculture.
The following results have been achieved:
- Three pilot projects demonstrating benefits of PES in three South Caucasus countries implemented successfully, 3 PES contracts signed first time in the South Caucasus Region.
- Decision makers, key stakeholders, local population was visually demonstrated how economic incentives for both ecosystem service buyers and sellers can be used to achieve significant improvements in natural resources management.
The projects for granting were selected based on competition as RECC rules and regulations, and also based on project requirements. The pilot projects implementation were monitored and expertise and supervision of PES application from the project team for ensuring successful and sustainable results provided.