Rewards for environmental services in the Philippines uplands: Constraints and opportunities for institutional reform
Type of Document:
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Date of Publication:
Place of Publication:
Summary: This study examined the policy context and institutional arrangements guiding the payment of rewards and incentives for environmental services (ES) in the Philippines. The review covered three General legislations that provide the over-all policy framework on natural resources use, access and control, that define institutional arrangements within the environment sector, and a minimum of 15 specific issuances, either officially adopted or still in draft form, which deal with on-the-ground implementation or enforcement.
The study identified a healthy community of stakeholders in environmental services. Institutional players in ES include the Philippine State as primary stakeholder, local economic interest groups, external economic interest groups, internal state mediators, external state mediators, civil society mediators, and the donor community.
The pressure to look into conditions that would guarantee more equitable sharing of costs and benefits through the development of new markets for environmental is a long-recognized concern in the environment sector. The institutional analysis revealed that there are sufficient laws to guide the provision of environmental services, their harnessing, the protection of source areas, and the extension of benefits to communities in the source areas (ultimately the providers, if they maintain good conservation techniques, but also free riders or source of destruction).
The identified policy gaps (at the implementation level) and institutional constraints, as the study shows, can be addressed by an agenda that promotes (a) policy enhancement and re-appreciation to recognize the requisites of commons management and benefit sharing, not an all-out reformulation process; (b) capacity and capability building in ES negotiation, valuation, and protection; and (c) research and advocacy on ES management and benefit sharing.