Payments for Watershed Protection Services: Emerging Lessons from the Philippines

Daniel Gaitán Cremaschi, Rodel D. Lasco, Rafaela Jane P. Delfino


There is growing interest on payments for ecosystem services (PES) in developing countries including the Philippines. Watersheds have been degraded through deforestation and subsequent conversion to other land cover, principally for agriculture. In the last decade, several Payments for Watershed Services schemes have been implemented and this paper is an attempt to assess the form of incentives or rewards that have been provided to upland communities in a number of sites under different management leadership in the Philippines. We reviewed four cases specifically related to watershed services in the: 1) Bakun Watershed, 2) Maasin Watershed, 3) Sibuyan Watershed, and 4) Baticulan Watershed. The case studies of varying stages of implementation has shown that the chances of success of PES schemes in promoting watershed conservation and rehabilitation as well as in improving the livelihoods of upland communities is constrained by incomplete information and knowledge about the interaction between ecosystem properties and provision of services, and the difficulty in establishing voluntary participation and conditionality of payments. In this paper, we argued that institutions may enable or hinder the successful implementation of PES. The role of the local government as intermediaries is crucial in the process of establishing PES more particularly in the information dissemination and education of the key stakeholders. The case studies also showed how PES programs are reinforced by the presence of non-government organizations.

Full Text:



Copyright (c)

Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.