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Benefit sharing in the Andes

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Miguel Saravia

on 28 June 2016

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Transcript of Benefit sharing in the Andes

Benefit sharing: Learnings from the Andes
What Benefit sharing is in the Andean context?
Processes of collective action, through fair and equitative negotiations and agreements between stakeholders of a catchment, in search of satisfying common needs around water productivity preserving base resources, and in search of quality of life
León, J., Lavado, A., Perdomo, D., Carvajal, B., Rubiano, J. 2011. Proyecto COMPANDES. Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Palmira, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, CONDESAN, CGIAR.
The Andes is the continental longest mountain range in the world and the highest outside Asia. It extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina with an oveall population of over 100 million people. The Altiplano plateau is the world's second-highest after the Tibetan plateau and it host the highest sailable lake in the world: Titicaca.
Andean context
Water in the Andes
Learnings from Andes experience on BSM
BS is not just a nicer way to talk about PES
People and Water: the central elements
Context matter: One size doesn’t fit all.
Not just the benefit but the cost to be shared: agreement and negotiation
For fair and equitable BSM better information is required
Regulatory framework is not indispensable but recommended.
BSM must respond to the demand of
and be designed within the local social and hydrological context:
the basin
But the design needs to be continually revised to respond to the ever-changing environment and stakeholders needs. It requires engagement with existing social platforms.
Focus on the benefits and the costs of it, but moving out of the economic valuation of the benefit and reinforcing the political dimension of it: emphasis on negotiation and agreement are key.
Fair and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms are designed and implemented when all stakeholders are provided with all necessary information.

There is the need to balance the power difference between the stakeholders through a hydro-literacy process (to address information asymmetry).
People in the Andean region are facing many challenges that actualize the need to share water and land resources more equitably. Globalization of trade, changes in food consumption patterns, ecosystem degradation caused by agriculture, pollution caused by mining, climate change, and urbanization is leading to competition and conflicts between water and land users.
In the Andes, many different groups of stakeholders rely on access to water resources, including farming communities, urban populations, and hydropower companies.
While Andean region is rich in water, the hydrology in the Andes is extremely variable. It is also very vulnerable to climate change and local degradation. Andean region has an average availability of 53,000 m3 of water per inhabitant however it is heavly concentrated in some part of the Andes.
Andean indigenous peoples conceive water as a living being, as a divine being, creator and transformer of the world. It is not a "resource".
Benefit-sharing mechanism schemes can flourish
without supporting regulatory frameworks, however thoughtfully designed regulations can greatly assist the design and implementation of a benefit-sharing mechanism.
Benefit-sharing mechanisms help create a virtuous circle between the welfare of people and the ecosystems they live in.
Andean region
The Andes
Moving beyond Payment for Ecosystem Services
PES was insufficent to address the problem of equitative and fair distribution of benefits. A new win-win aproach was required.
“A voluntary transaction for an environmental service, in which at least one buyer and one seller participate; the environmental service is well defined, and the provider of the service ensures its provision” (Wunder, 1996)

It was assumed there was a big market for PES.
But “PES” schemes in the Andes, are not the result of market forces, but of negotiation and cooperation among different stakeholders.
“PES” schemes rooted in market are less likely to include equity and fight against poverty.
Water is considered a human right in many countries, should include strong social and cultural provisions.
Pay for what? Not for water, nor for the service itself, but for the activity that improves the service (important for not to delay payments)
Who receives? Issues on land ownership.
How to pay for intangible service? Issues on attribution of benefits. Amounts mostly determined by negotiations, not by valuation of the service.
Additionality, baseline and monitoring
How to pay? Cash vs in kind: compensation rather than payment.
Equity vs efficiency: “environmental criminal” gets paid, the “saint” does not get anything.
Is born from a need of watershed stakeholders.  
Under mutual and voluntary commitment of watershed stakeholders.  
Equitative and fair for everybody. Equity has a lot to do with access to information.
Improves environmental and socioeconomical conditions in the watershed.  
Is legal and legitimite.  
Participative: all stakeholders involved during each of the steps of the development of mechanism.
In view of scarcity of information, adaptively managed.
Benefit sharing
Typically, a benefit-sharing mechanism is a series of agreements on how to use land and water in ways that protect the environment, are sustainable, and account for climate change. The agreements also outline how downstream water beneficiaries can provide financial and other benefits—including schools and health care—to the upstream communities that safeguard the environmental health of the basin.
Valuation of price of service is just a part of the negotiation.  
Allow for in kind compensation.  
Policies should be more about awareness and incentives, than about regulation. Water is always of public interest, legal framework helps to eliminate uncertainty.
BSM want to recognize people that are doing “good”, but always recognize water property is from the state.  
Compromise between equity and efficiency: eliminate barriers for the less empowered to participate.
Hydropower sector in the Andes... and BS
Benefit Sharing in the Hydropower sector?
Hydropower sector is not yet on board in BSM:
Their entry point is still energy no water.
Not really long term thinking (useful life of investment)
No basin approach (but old linkages with irrigation)
Engagement seen only as business strategy
It is important to verify hypothesis on benefits with them. Some surprises might be:
Sediment really a problem?
Interest only in generating power during peak hours 6-10pm
In the Andes it’s not all about dams! Many options to make hydropower more sustainable
The Andean region has 267,000 MW of hydropower potential available. This is about 9% of global hydropower potential.
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