Présentations Colloques

    Oral Presentation
    Session 5.05: Groundwater and Ecosystems – Hydrological role of forests and wetlands
    Lafforgue Michel
    Economic issues of the protection of water resources by forests
    Forests have a global positive impact on water quality (concerning suspended solids, toxicants, organic matters, phosphorus, pathogens…). As a consequence, forests play a protective role for various functions and uses of the forested watersheds. It is for instance the case for environment and biodiversity protection, it improves touristic and leisure activities, but it is even more interesting for protecting drinking water resource intakes. **However, the adoption of best management practices for these aims can lead to an increase of the forestry costs. Even if additional costs for protecting forested watersheds are less than the extra-cost of drinking water treatment of low quality raw water (it is the case in cities such as Lausanne (Switzerland) and New York City (USA)), to be economically optimal is not sufficient. Indeed, except in the case of cities that own the forests from which they extract their drinking water, there is generally no true payment for the services provided by foresters. It is the central issue to solve, and the solution is the Payment for Environmental Services (PES) that can provide a lot of positive effects. Costa Rica is a true example of such direct and indirect economic and social impacts. **But in order to provide PES, it is first necessary that people delivering these services and the beneficiaries paying for these services are well defined. It is also essential that the users are organized in structured communities with clear and legally established rights (it is generally not the case in France due to parceling of properties). Other key issues are the origin of the funding, and the monitoring. **It is then crucial to help both parties to structure and build their contractual arrangements in order all of these aspects being solved and managed at a local scale.**


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