Spanish Journal of Rural Development

The Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD) is a quarterly scientific journal published by the Galician Association of Researchers for Rural Development Asociación Gallega de Investigadores para el Desarrollo Rural (AGAIDERU).

Span. j. rural dev. is a multidisciplinary journal which publishes original research articles of practical application in the fields of forestry, agronomy, the environment, rural planning, international cooperation and socioeconomic issues. The overall focus is on the sustainable rural development of local populations, within identified Priority Lines

The journal also applies a policy of exchange with various scientific journals, at both national and international levels, and it is indexed in important scientific databases.

Journal

  • Introduction

    Editor SJRD

    On behalf of the Editorial Board, I present a new issue of  “Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD)”, in this case, corresponds to the special issue 1 of Volume II. This actually means something important to us because, first, is that SJRD slowly begins to establish itself as an international scientific journal and on the other hand, we proceed with the project of publishing special issues already started in the volume I.

    In this case, this issue is composed of a total of 11 articles, carefully selected through a peer review, of all papers presented at “International Congress: Payments for environmental services, tools for managing and conserving the natural heritage” organized by the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia, the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs, the Department of Environment and Housing, and REDIPASA, and held in Solsona, from 5 to 7 October 2010.

    And we go forward,..., with new ideas, and the future publication of monograph issues, we are currently working on a monograph on “Trends and opportunities in the marketing of wine” in collaboration with the Juana de Vega Foundation. All this has meant that SJRD go breaking through with an ambitious aim, but very clear from the beginning for us, as it is, occupy a prominent place within the international literature on Rural Development. Perhaps we have already ceased to be a group of “adventurers” that one day, almost two years ago, we launched this project and, thank God, we go forward, despite all the difficulties we have had to deal; as Don Quijote told him of his humble squire Sancho Panza: “Trust in time, which often times a lot of bitter sweet difficulties”.

  • Prologue

    Pablo Martínez de Anguita, Evelyn Chaves

    Políticas de pagos por servicios ambientales. Una tendencia global.

    Los sistemas de pago por servicios ambientales (PSA) han sido definidos como una transacción voluntaria en la que un servicio ambiental bien definido es ‘comprado’ por un comprador de servicios ambientales a un proveedor de dicho servicio si y sólo si, éste suministra continuamente dicho servicio. Este concepto surgido como una transacción entre particulares alcanza hoy, sin embargo, su mayor desarrollo en aquellos países en los que el comprador está siendo el propio Estado. Tanto en Latinoamérica como en Europa y algunos países asiáticos, el desarrollo de sistemas locales de PSA ha ido creando una conciencia global sobre el atractivo de este mecanismo. Fruto de ello ha sido su evolución hacia la aparición de sistemas nacionales de PSA donde todos los servicios son en mayor o menor medida contemplados y “comprados” por el Estado.

    En España, por ejemplo, tanto la Ley 42/2007 de Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad a través de su artículo 74 sobre la valorización y promoción de las funciones ecológicas, sociales y culturales de los espacios forestales, como la Ley 43/2003 de Montes en su artículo 65 relativo a incentivos por las externalidades ambientales, contemplan la posibilidad de desarrollar pagos públicos por servicios ambientales. Por otra parte la Ley 45/2007 para el desarrollo sostenible del medio rural así como el Plan de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible (PDRS) 2010-2014 que surge de dicha ley proponen la figura del “contrato territorial” como cauce para redefinir la política actual de subvenciones agrarias planteándose en algunos casos sustituir dichas ayudas por PSAs. Estos “supply side models” requieren cada vez más un marco político y legal adecuado desde el cual los agentes privados de la economía puedan ser también estimulados a participar como compradores.

    Por otra parte, esta tendencia hacia la creación de estrategias nacionales de PSA está siendo impulsada desde el Convenio de Naciones Unidas para el Cambio Climático (UNFCCC). La implantación de un mecanismo global de compensación de servicios ambientales centrado en las emisiones de carbono o REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) genera nuevas expectativas para países que aun no han desarrollado un marco de pago por servicios ambientales. Los países tropicales son hoy conscientes de que deben construir su arquitectura REDD+ basada en políticas y acciones, pero también en PSAs si no quieren quedarse atrás en este gran mercado potencial de emisiones de carbono reducidas procedentes de la deforestación y la degradación forestal. En todos estos casos parece que la evolución de los mecanismos de PSA supera el ámbito de lo particular y entra en el espacio público, favoreciendo que tanto los países tropicales con capacidad para reducir su deforestación como desarrollados con fuertes políticas agrarias se planteen como establecer políticas y marcos nacionales de PSA.

    La creación de políticas nacionales de PSA que partan de estrategias basadas en una subsidiaridad ambiental -a través de la cual la sociedad recompensa a quienes cuidando su entorno proveen externalidades positivas-, en una amplia participación de empresas y sociedad en los PSA a distintos niveles, y en una adecuada verificación de la provisión de los servicios, ofrecerán los marcos políticos más sólidos para garantizar la provisión y venta de sus servicios ambientales.

    El congreso internacional “Los pagos por servicios ambientales, herramientas para la gestión y conservación del patrimonio natural” celebrado en el Centro Tecnológico Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC) en Solsona, Catalunya, España, en noviembre de 2010 ha pretendido servir de plataforma para el intercambio de experiencias entre los países Iberoamericanos y mediterráneos con el deseo de avanzar en el desarrollo de ideas que faciliten esta articulación política de los PSA. Los trabajos que se muestran en este número especial del Spanish Journal of Rural Development han pretendido abordar esta cuestión desde tres perspectivas: los PSA como instrumento de gobernanza ambiental, la rentabilidad, sostenibilidad, tendencias y papel del sector privado en los servicios ambientales, y por último el papel de los sistemas de monitoreo y seguimiento de los mecanismos de PSA. Esperamos que estos apartes puedan generar una base de conocimiento amplia sobre la cual integrar los PSA dentro de las políticas ambientales nacionales.

  • The payment for environmental services and its socioeconomical impacts: a case study of the PES program in forest  plantations in Northern Costa Rica

    Rojas, V., Locatelli, B.

    The objective of this study was to assess the socio-economical impacts of the payment for environmental services (PES) program in forest plantation in northern Costa Rica. The research methodology was based on a standard of principles, criteria and indicators (PC&I) in order to characterize the socioeconomic impacts of the program. The standard was the key factor for developing a semi-structured interview, with which the field information was collected. This information was afterwards analyzed quantitatively and statistically to identify the socio-economical impacts on each one of the beneficiaries. The study demonstrated that the PES program did not contribute to increase the economic welfare of the direct beneficiaries, questioning therefore the sustainability of the mechanism over time. Nevertheless, the study showed that the PES program improved the economic welfare of the indirect beneficiaries and related institutions, strengthening the relationships of the direct beneficiaries with financial institutions and forestry sector. Also, the program improved the perception of beneficiaries regarding the sustainable use of natural resources. In conclusion, the mechanism had positive impacts on indirect beneficiaries and related institutions, although it did not improve the socio-economic conditions of the direct beneficiaries, because the forest plantations had to compete with other activities such as agriculture and livestock.

  • Tax for environmental services of forests (Croatia); involvement of society on forest protection and improvement

    Coello, J.

    This work analyzes an innovative model of national forest fund applied in Croatia since 1999. This fund is financed by an income tax amounting 0.07%, which is applied to every economic activity. Hence, the whole of the society is involved in the protection and safeguard of forest services from which it benefits, either directly or indirectly. This fund can only be invested on unprofitable activities defined by law, related with forest protection, restoration and promotion. The fund is managed by the national public forest company. The collection of funds during 1999 to 2004 amounted 30 M€ yearly (6.5 €/inhabitant). The relation of collected funds with GDP was stable, 0.13% yearly. Annual distribution per forest hectare amounted 16.1 €, being higher on those areas where most forest services were produced. This figure represented more than the third part of total public investment on Croatian forests for the period considered. The study analyzes the legal articulation, as well as the collection and distribution of funds through this system, discusses some of its advantages and weaknesses, as well as the theoretical application of a similar figure in Spain.

  • The valuation of hydrological ecosystem as within the frame work of integrated water resource management.

    Hack, J.

    As a result of intensive anthropogenic intervention, the sub-catchment of the Gil González River today is confronted with serious problems as soil degradation, deforestation and water contamination. These environmental impacts have provoked water scarcity and deterioration of water quality along the river and its tributaries which affects agricultural production as well as water-dependent ecosystems. Recognizing these problems, the municipality administration of Belén put priority on the sub-catchment area. Due to this a process of mutual negotiation with participation of all local actors of the Gil González sub-catchment was promoted with the aim to define areas of conservation, natural regeneration and for the formation of sustainable agricultural production systems. As a financial incentive mechanism the project of Payments for hydrological ecosystem services started in 2007 in the sub-catchment of the Gil González River forming part of the program “Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Formation of entrepreneurial Capacities” of the German agency for technical development cooperation (GIZ GmbH) in Nicaragua. The general research questions are related to the application of the concept of Payments for Hydrological Ecosystem as a tool within an integrated water resource management. Apart from this general question this investigation intends to verify specifically the effectiveness of the implementation of the Project of Payments for Hydrological Ecosystem in the Gil González sub-catchment as a case study.

  • Actors and processes of the Payment for Service Environmental Hydrological of the State of Mexico.

    Alberto-Villavicencio, A.

    This paper identifies the actors and explains, through a socio-economic point of view, the processes generated by the Payment for Environmental Hydrological Services Program of the State of Mexico which was established as an environmental policy to guarantee the water supply to the population, through the payment of environmental services to landowners and forest holders. The positive aspects of the program are discussed and the lines of attention to complement it are defined. The methodological procedure consisted of a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the characteristics and results of the program. The processes were identified through semi structured interviews and participant observation. Of the identified relations among those actors involved and the processes that arose in the course of the development of the program, we conclude that it is fundamental to consider cultural and socioeconomic aspects, as well as the degree of interaction between forest holders, public administrators and other actors involved such as private technical consultants, in addition to the legal base, a methodological procedure, technology and technical and scientific instruments and financial resources as elements that a priori support the operation of a payment scheme for environmental services.

  • Payment for Environmental Hydrological services Program of State of Mexico.

    Rescala, J., Beltrán S.A.

    To curb the effects of climate change the Estado de México has implemented a mechanism to preserve and increase the forest cover, creating by water environmental services payment program by decree in 2007, with a 2,3 millions of dollars, encourage other sources of funding as it is the collection of 3.5% seed capital to end users of water, through policies made law. The amount of compensation is an annual payment to owners and possessors of 115 dollars per hectare that promotes the conservation of forest focused to recharge the aquifers of forests. The implementation of the programme is carried out by a technical committee and its operation corresponds to a specialized operational technical area of the Estado de México forest protection. From 2007 to 2009 have been adopting 653 requests covering 63969 hectares and 12.1 millions dollars with 70851 beneficiaries. The compensation received by the owners of forests is beginning to translate into action for the conservation of forest areas.

  • Payments for Ecosystem Services experiences: a comparative study in south-eastern Mexico.

    Ruíz-Mallén, I., Porter-Bolland, L., Boada, M, Chablé, E, Fernández-Tarrio, R., Fuentes, K., Medinaceli, A., Méndez, E., Sánchez-González, M.C., Camacho-Benavides, C.I., Equipo Conservcom, Reyes-García, V.

    Since 2003, in Mexico, mega-diverse country, programmes of Payments for Environmental Services are being implemented. These programmes consist of an economic compensation received by private and community’s owners for maintaining ecosystem services in their lands. In the case of peasant and indigenous communities it is expected these payments improve local livelihoods and increase the value of rural areas. However, researchers argue that there is a lack of comparative, social-ecological studies assessing their effectiveness. In this paper we describe four case studies of rural and indigenous communities that have had or are having Payments for Ecosystem Services. We are evaluating: 1) types and levels of local participation in decision making and management, 2) land use/land cover change, 3) vital capitals assessment, and 4) local environmental knowledge, perceptions, and values. By analysing our preliminary results we expect to identify the opportunities and risks of Payments for Ecosystem Services in order to promote local participation processes addressed improve conservation. We also expect to generate new knowledge that helps in assessing the effectiveness of these programmes as tools of biocultural conservation.

  • Profitability of a payment for environmental services mixed system in an Argentine a hydrological basin.

    Sarniento, M.

    The Payment schemes for Environmental Services (PES) support positive environmental externalities by transferring financial resources from the beneficiaries of such environmental services to those who supply or manage them. The objective is to analyze the economical and financial profitability of implementing two schemes of PES with a 10 year horizon each in the hydrological watershed of Los Pericos-Manantiales in Jujuy, Argentina using the Net Present Value (NPV) and the Cost-Benefit Relationship (CBR). The water supply service for farmers and drinking-water consumers, an electricity generating plant, and the scenery beauty service provided by Los Diques area to the basin were analyzed. The environmental services, their beneficiaries and providers were all identified. Both pre-feasibility and feasibility studies on three different scenarios of fund flows that the system might generate were carried out by means of economical and financial analyses. The following are the figures obtained at a 3% discount rate in dollars at an exchange rate of U$S 1 = $ 3.90: NPV(EI)= –3,080,546; NPV(E2)= –178,291; NPV(E3)= 1,684,555 while those for CBR at the same discount rate were: CBR(EI) 0.53; CBR(E2) 0.94; CBR(E3) 2.96.

  • Analysis of three economic incentives for the provision of forest goods and services in Catalonia (Spain).

    Gorriz, E., Prokofieva, I.

    The provision of forest goods and services is determined by their management practices. The European-Mediterranean forests face a double situation of lacking mature forests due to historical high human pressure and the generalized presence of young, low quality stands resulting from the progressive abandonment of traditional activities in the last decades. The analysis in this paper focuses on three types of economic incentives addressing these challenges in Catalonia (Spain) – the Mature Forest Reserves (MFR), the Land Stewardship (LS) and the grants for Forest Defence Groups (FDG). These instruments are assessed based on the evaluation criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, conditionality, flexibility, acceptance and equity. Assessment is based on the quantitative and qualitative information obtained from the interviews of experts and involved stakeholders. Our results show that the implementation of these instruments is in overall perceived as positive, although there is space for improvement, especially in the effectiveness dimensions. In the cases of LS and FDG the economic incentive supposes a multiplier effect of the potential impacts achieved without the instrument. Efficiency adjustments are applied once the initiative becomes consolidated in the territory. The existing governance system allows for an adequate conditionality of public schemes. Flexibility, equity and acceptance of the instruments have been attained by adapting their design and are not found problematic in the case study area.

  • Payment for Ecosystems Services in Catalonia, Spain. A review of experience and potential applications.

    Russi, D., Corbera, E., Puig-Ventosa, I., Cazorla-Clariso, X.

    Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are an innovative environmental policy instrument that aims to reward natural resource managers in return for maintaining or improving the provision of ecosystem services. A wide variety of PES projects and programmes have been implemented in recent years, mostly in developing countries, and the possibility of extending the application of this instrument in Europe is increasingly considered. In this paper, we discuss the key definitional and operational principles of PES and present two initiatives developed in Catalonia that can be partially characterised as PES, namely private forest reserves and land stewardship agreements. They are financed by the public administration and environmental foundations, and allow the conservation of mature forests and valuable ecosystems. We also discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in developing new PES schemes focused on the prevention of forest fires through extensive cattle grazing and the development of small-scale watershed schemes involving private water bottling companies. We conclude that PES is a promising environmental policy instrument because it allows mobilising additional resources for environmental protection by involving private companies and foundations whilst raising environmental awareness.

  • Towards a public-private system of payment for ecosystem services in Spain.

    Martínez de Anguita, P., Flores, P.

    The current article proposes a strategy to develop a public-private mechanism of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in Spain. To do that PES system are firstly described. The article differentiates between public and private PES mechanisms, and proposes general methodologies for both of these systems. The article proposes to develop a join public-private mechanism to Spain combining both methodologies. Finally, subsidiarity and decentralization are presented as the key issues that could maximize the capture of externalities coming from ecosystem values of a private-public system such as the proposed one in Spain.

  • Principle, criteria, indicators and verifiers for evaluation of systems of payment for ecosystems services.

    Espinal de Cavo, F.M., Martínez de Anguita, P.

    Despite the number of implemented systems of Payment for Environmental Services (PES), a mechanism that measures the impact these systems have on nature conservancy or socioeconomic impact they have on the populations involved does not exist yet. This paper presents a system of ecological, economic, social, political and legal principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers pertaining to the assessment of Payment for Environmental Services systems, built upon discussions with researchers, experts and practioners involved in the topic through a Delphi method.