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Katoomba XI: Catalyzing Payments for Ecosystem Services in Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

In Africa, there is growing potential for markets and payments for the ecosystem services (PES), including deals related to carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation and watershed protection. These emerging markets and payments have the potential to encourage sustainable land management, conserve biodiversity and improve rural livelihoods throughout the continent.

Today, however, PES in Africa occurs on an ad hoc basis and primarily as small-scale pilot projects. Information gaps, lack of capacity to design and manage projects and the absence of institutions to support on-the-ground implementation have largely hindered efforts to scale up.

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Groups regional conference aims to address these impediments by providing a forum to deepen and develop a shared understanding of PES in the region. The gathering also seeks to strengthen Governments role as supporters of PES and creators of an enabling environment for private sector investment in PES. In addition, the meeting will launch the East & Southern Africa Katoomba Group Network, with a view to stimulating and nurturing the development of markets for environmental services through ongoing information exchange and capacity building.

The conference builds on a similar gathering held in Uganda in September 2005 which brought together more than 70 experts from eastern and southern Africa, Europe, North America and Australia. The meeting in Uganda demonstrated that African countries have become increasingly interested in market-based conservation strategies such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) over recent years and a number of projects have emerged.

The 2006 meeting will be the second gathering of the Katoomba Group in the East and Southern African region. This event will bring together representatives from African and international NGOs, private business and industry associations, the rural development community, as well as political leaders interested in spurring the growth of environmental markets. During the meeting, participants will be exposed to and informed about some of the challenges and lessons learned from examples of environmental markets around the world and in Africa. While the focus is on East and Southern Africa, examples and speakers will be drawn from international and national initiatives.

We look forward to a fruitful discussion on how to scale up PES in East and Southern Africa and how to shape a vibrant regional Katoomba Group network.


This conference is co-hosted by The Katoomba Group, Forest Trends, The South Africa National Biodiversity Institute, The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, MINTEK, The Cape Action for People and the Environment, The Botanical Society of South Africa and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

The Katoomba Group is an international working group composed of innovators and leading experts from forest and energy industries, research institutions, the financial world, and environmental NGOs, dedicated to facilitating strategic partnerships to launch market-based mechanisms that enhance and conserve ecosystem services. The Katoomba Group has explored and incubated Ecosystem Service Payment schemes with diverse stakeholders as a means of preserving forested landscapes since its first meeting in Katoomba , Australia in 2000. (

Forest Trends, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, promotes market-based approaches to conserving forests outside of protected areas, by moving beyond an exclusive focus on lumber and fiber to a broader range of products and services. Forest Trends brings together leading agents in industry and finance with representatives from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advance markets for forest ecosystem services, markets for sustainable forest products as well as investments and markets that bolster the livelihoods of forest-based communities. (

The South African Biodiversity Institute was established in 2004 through the signing into force of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 by President Thabo Mbeki. The Act expanded the mandate of SANBI’s forerunner, the National Botanical Institute to include responsibilities relating to the full diversity of South Africa ‘s fauna and flora, and built on the internationally respected programmes in conservation, research, education and visitor services developed over the past century.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is one of the leading scientific and industrial research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. The organisation undertakes and applies directed innovative research in science and technology to improve the quality of life of the citizens of South Africa and southern African countries. Building measurable value into its work through local and international partnerships remains a key component of CSIR’s endeavours to provide world-class technological and scientific solutions to environmental, social and economic issues.

The Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E) is a programme of the South African Government, with support from international donors, to protect the rich biological heritage of the Cape Floristic Region. C.A.P.E seeks to unleash the economic potential of land and marine resources through focused investment in the development of key resources, while conserving nature and ensuring that all people benefit.

MINTEK provides programmes in human resource development for the broader mining industry. They also investigate regional strategies for minerals-based development. Ensuring long-term economic sustainability through mineral wealth is a significant key to the growth of the less-developed regions of Africa. The establishment of a prosperous continental mining industry, and the associated capital goods and consumer markets, continues to highlight how important mining and the extractive industries are to the African economy and to the development of its people.

The Botanical Society of South Africa is the oldest and largest membership based organization in South Africa . The society’s mission is to engender an appreciation for, and active protection of, South Africa ‘s remarkable flora. The society has a conservation unit dedicated to professional, proactive engagement in biodiversity issues such as, promoting the use of biodiversity-informed land use planning and mainstreaming biodiversity issues in environmental assessment and decision making at all levels.

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is the custodian of South Africa ‘s water and forestry resources. It is primarily responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy governing these two sectors. While striving to ensure that all South Africans gain access to clean water and safe sanitation, the water sector also promotes effective and efficient water resources management to ensure sustainable economic and social development. The forestry programme promotes the sustainable management of the country’s natural forest resources and commercial forestry for the lasting benefit of the nation.


The National Museums of Kenya is a leading centre of excellence, housing the finest museum collections and exhibits in the world. Its principal mission is to collect, document, preserve and enhance knowledge, appreciation, management and use of these resources for the benefit of Kenya and the World.

The National Environment Management Authority ( Uganda ) is in charge of supervising, monitoring and coordinating all activities in the field of environment in Uganda . While NEMA has relied mostly on command and control approaches in addressing some of Uganda’s environmental management objectives, NEMA has recognized the need for and is pursuing the use of economic instruments (such as payments/incentives for ecosystem services) to encourage biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management.

Nature Harness Initiatives (NAHI) is a Ugandan †not †for profit organization that aims at promoting enhanced capacity of the people to utilize nature for the sustainable livelihoods and income. Nature Harness Initiatives was born out of a realization that the African continent is endowed with natural resources yet its peoples remain poor because the resources have not been harnessed to their full potential. Therefore NAHI was created as a vehicle to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods and income through efficient and strategic utilization of nature’s gifts.

Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) is an international non-profit organisation with a fast growing network of 1600 leaders in more than 80 countries. Its mission is to inspire leadership for a sustainable world. By searching worldwide for outstanding people, developing their leadership potential through our innovative training programmes and working with them to mobilise others to make a real difference to the future of this planet. The International Institute of Environment and Development is an international policy research institute and non governmental body working for more sustainable and equitable global development.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks. These activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in sustainable interaction on both a local and a global scale. WCS is committed to this work because we believe it essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – Established in 1961, WWF operates in more than 100 countries working for a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world’s biological diversity; ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Proceedings & Agenda


This conference is sponsored by Ecoagriculture Partners, Forest Trends, the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), TerrAfrica and The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The South African Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s mission is to lead sustainable development of South Africa’s environment and tourism for a better life for all, by: creating conditions for sustainable tourism growth and development; promoting the sustainable development and conservation of natural resources; protecting and improving the quality and safety of the environment; and promoting a global sustainable development agenda.

Ecoagriculture Partners is an international non-profit organization that works with farmers, conservationists, researchers, leaders in rural development, entrepreneurs and policymakers around the world to sustain, develop and promote ecoagriculture.

Forest Trends promotes market-based approaches to conserving forests outside of protected areas, by moving beyond an exclusive focus on lumber and fiber to a broader range of products and services. Forest Trends brings together leading agents in industry and finance with representatives from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advance markets for forest ecosystem services, markets for sustainable forest products and investments and markets that bolster the livelihoods of forest-based communities.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty. The Fund ensures that there is broad consensus on the centrality of rural poverty in overall poverty-alleviation efforts; that the poor have a role as protagonists in the formulation and implementation of poverty-reduction programmes; and the forging of a broad-based coalition for that purpose among all sectors of society.

TerrAfrica, a multi-partner initiative, aims to increase the scale, efficiency and effectiveness of investments towards sustainable land management (SLM) in sub-Saharan Africa. TerrAfrica partners include African governments, NEPAD, regional and sub-regional organizations, the UNCCD Secretariat, the UNCCD Global Mechanism (GM), the World Bank, GEF, IFAD, FAO, UNDP, UNEP, AfDB as well as multilateral organizations including the European Commission, bilateral donors, civil society and scientific organizations including FARA and CGIAR centers.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) aims to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.