Sustainable Fisheries

Special Collection

Worldwide, small-scale coastal fisheries contribute significantly to providing food, employment, and incomes to many very poor people. But these same fisheries, and the ecosystems upon which they rely, are under increasing threat from a combination of climate change, pollution, over-fishing, and the exploitation of resources.


Fisheries management has been a major component in trying to address some of these issues, but with limited global success. The potential of fisheries, if managed well, is considerable but what form that potential will take will depend on how and why fisheries are managed.


This collection of reports and presentations explores just this question, describing some of the challenges faced by small-scale fisheries worldwide and their efforts to address these challenges and improve the health and well-being of the people who are dependent on these threatened environments.


The collection brings together the "grey literature" of the field, valuable work that is not readily available through academic journals and databases but is instead spread across dozens of organizational websites. This set of reports was initially identified as part of a synthesis review of key lessons commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation's Program on Oceans and Fisheries. We are pleased to make it more easily available for others to use and build on and encourage researchers and practitioners to add relevant work to the collection.

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Payments for Ecosystem Services: Legal and Institutional Frameworks

January 1, 2009

Analysis and engagement with partners working on ecosystem services transactions, policies and laws over the past 10 years have demonstrated a clear need to better understand the legal and institutional frameworks that have the potential to promote or hinder the development of payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, as well as the complex legal considerations that affect ecosystem services projects. In response, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre and The Katoomba Group have worked on a joint initiative to analyze the legal and institutional frameworks of water-related PES schemes and projects in four Andean countries: South America (Northeastern)-Brazil; Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It has resulted in this report. Country-based analysts with experience in ecosystem services transactions have developed country and project assessments to define existing and recommend future regulatory and institutional frameworks that enable equitable and long-lasting ecosystem services transactions. Partners from North America (Central America)-Costa Rica; North America-Mexico; Ecuador and the North America-United States provided feedback on the assessments. The country assessments yielded lessons which were used to develop a set of recommendations on legal frameworks, property rights, enabling institutions, PES contracts, and governance issues supporting the future development of PES schemes.