Current drought conditions underscore Espirito Santo state’s support for intensive restoration assessments to help structure a landscape-level incentives programme for improving the watershed.
The state is taking landscape-level action to support the watershed through forest landscape restoration (FLR) with the view that a healthier watershed is a more resilient one. A new IUCN forest brief introduces a pioneering payment for ecosystem services (PES) programme in Brazil’s Espirito Santo state that uses landscape assessment tools to determine landowner compensation for conserving standing forests and initiating FLR interventions on their land.
The PES programme also offers a mechanism for producers to provide the financing inputs needed for FLR activities. These incentives are granted via PES contracts for the maintenance of environmental services rendered by the land. The programme, called Reflorestar, is coordinated by the State Secretary of Environment and Water Resources of Espirito Santo and its main goal is to expand the Atlantic forest area in Espirito Santo by 80,000 hectares by 2018.
Supported by IUCN, state agencies and other key stakeholders have conducted a sub-national assessment of restoration potential using the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) designed by IUCN and the World Resources Institute (WRI).
ROAM has helped structure a landscape-level strategy for the PES programme by using a cost-benefit analysis that incorporates ecosystem services to identify priority areas. The analysis provided different scenarios for resource allocation in different watersheds and built an evidence base for the effectiveness of forest restoration. By helping to scale-up the programme, ROAM is ensuring that the state achieves its restoration targets. Achieving these targets will enhance Espirito Santo’s ability to weather such droughts in the future.