Rapid hydrological analysis of the Los Negros watershed in support of a Payments-for-Environmental Services (PES) mechanism
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Hydrological research is expensive and time consuming. If Payments for Environmental Services (PES) systems are really to integrate forest conservation and sustainable development in the world’s poorest and most biodiverse watersheds, the forestry research community needs to find a quick and easy way of undertaking a sufficient level of hydrological analysis that while providing data of sufficient accuracy to guide the development of PES systems, can be collected cheaply and rapidly by local institutions. Currently, most PES schemes are based on the untested assumption of a direct relationship between forest cover and water.
With support from the Centre for International Forestry Research, Natura Bolivia is undertaking a Rapid Hydrological Analysis of the Los Negros Watershed. Not only will this study provide hydrological data for Natura s incipient Los Negros Valley PES system, but it will also provide guidance to the forestry research community, CIFOR, and practitioners on whether it is possible to undertake rapid, inexpensive hydrological analyses that can provide a reasonably robust scientific basis for PES systems.
(Excerpts from report)