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News A new Code of Conduct on the PES in IWRM was prepared

The work-plan 2003-2006 under the Convention had a major focus onecosystems services. A first seminar on the role of ecosystems as watersuppliers was organized in December 2004 (see: &
At this first seminar, the role of economics and the importance of mechanisms to finance the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems wasparticularly stressed.
A second seminar on environmental services and financing for the protectionand sustainable use of ecosystems took place in October 2005 (see &
To formalize the best practices, lessons-learned and recommendations ofthese two seminars, a Code of Conduct on the Payments for EcosystemsServices (PES) in Integrated Water Resources Management was prepared. The Code assists decision makers in finding the most efficient solution toaddress water management problems taking into account environmental,economic and social concerns. It indicates the measures to apply tointegrate in development policies the value of services provided by waterrelated ecosystems e.g. forests and wetlands and to provide acompensation for such services. These services include flood prevention,control and mitigation, regulation of water supply; improvement of thequality of surface waters and groundwaters; and erosion control; inaddition to the aesthetic and recreational roles of forests, wetlands andother natural ecosystems. The Code reflects good practices and lessons-learned in the implementationof payments for such services. It recommends the steps to be taken toestablish and implement the payments: from how to identify the value of theecosystem services, to the legal and institutional requirements, the needof stakeholder participation and public awareness, as well as monitoringand research.The Code is a pioneering policy instrument as it the first example ofinternational guidance for the establishment of PES, not only at the localand national levels, but also at the transboundary one. A draft version of the Code of Conduct is available at, while its technical annexes can be downloaded from
Even if it is not a legally binding instrument, the Code of Conduct (whichfinal name could still be changed) will be submitted for adoption to theParties to the Water Convention at their fourth meeting in November 2006. The Code of Conduct was prepared by the Swiss Federal Office for theEnvironment, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands, theUNECE Timber Committee secretariat; UNEP, FAO, the Ramsar Conventionsecretariat, IUCN, the Liaison Unit of the Ministerial Conference on theProtection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), the Regional Environmental Centrefor Central Asia (CAREC), WWF and the UNECE Water Convention's secretariat. For further information on this activity and its follow-up in the work plan2006-2009, contact Francesca Bernardini.

Contact information Francesca Bernardini (email:
Phone: +41-(0)22-9172463
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information UNECE
Keyword(s) Integrated Water Resources Management
Geographical coverage Finland
News date 07/08/2006
Working language(s) ENGLISH