Publ:Code of Conduct on the Payments for Ecosystems Services in IWRM


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Publication Title

Code of Conduct on the Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES) in IWRM

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The Code of Conduct was prepared by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands, the UNECE Timber Committee secretariat; UNEP, FAO, the Ramsar Convention secretariat, IUCN, the Liaison Unit of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), WWF and the UNECE Water Convention's secretariat.

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A draft version of the Code of Conduct is available at,

while its technical annexes can be downloaded from paper1.pdf.




The Code assists decision makers in finding the most efficient solution to address water management problems taking into account environmental, economic and social concerns. It indicates the measures to apply to integrate in development policies the value of services provided by water related ecosystems - e.g. forests and wetlands - and to provide a compensation for such services. These services include flood prevention, control and mitigation, regulation of water supply; improvement of the quality of surface waters and groundwaters; and erosion control; in addition to the aesthetic and recreational roles of forests, wetlands and other natural ecosystems.

The Code reflects good practices and lessons-learned in the implementation of payments for such services. It recommends the steps to be taken to establish and implement the payments: from how to identify the value of the ecosystem services, to the legal and institutional requirements, the need of stakeholder participation and public awareness, as well as monitoring and research.

The Code is a pioneering policy instrument as it the first example of international guidance for the establishment of PES, not only at the local and national levels, but also at the transboundary one.

Even if it is not a legally binding instrument, the Code of Conduct (which final name could still be changed) will be submitted for adoption to the Parties to the Water Convention at their fourth meeting in November 2006.



See Also

Valuing wetlands: guidance for valuing the benefits derived from wetland ecosystem services

Valuation of Ecosystem Services

Value - Counting Ecosystems as Water Infrastructure

External Resources


 Code of Conduct Payment Ecosystem Services UNECE-mp.wat.wg.1.2006.3.e.pdf

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