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POLICY BRIEF: Establishing reciprocal agreements for water and biodiversity conservation through a social marketing campaign in Quanda Watershed, Peru

In the high Andean landscapes of northern Peru’s Cajamarca San Ignacio province, Rare and Cáritas-Peru together launched a social marketing ‘Pride’ campaign, targeted at upstream farmers and downstream water users, to re-align upstream and downstream incentives and create a locally-governed water institution with directives to protect upstream forests. These institutions, locally called Reciprocal Water Agreements, are based heavily on local norms of reciprocity, whereby downstream users compensate upstream farmers for setting aside riparian forests for conservation and thereby protecting local species and environmental quality. Upstream farmers are compensated in the form of in-kind payments—a combination of economic alternatives such as provision of beekeeping equipment or fencing to keep cattle from encroaching riverbanks.

This brief, Establishing reciprocal agreements for water and biodiversity conservation through a social marketing campaign in Quanda Watershed, Peru, looks at how the Pride campaign, based on Rare’s methods, was established to generate local buy-in and accelerate the process of institution-building and adoption of Reciprocal Water Agreements. Cáritas-Peru and Rare staff collaborated to construct a theory of change and a series of methods have been employed to measure progress and impact. This campaign has led to the signing of 25 Reciprocal Water Agreement contracts, securing the protection of more than 360 hectares of forest.

The paper is part of the CDKN-funded project, Payments for environmental services as a driver of climate compatible development, which aspires to identify the components of national and local level payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes that have been successful and the factors underpinning success, in order to aid the design of more robust PES systems that can be efficient promoters and catalysts of climate compatible development.

Further reading:

Project homepage: Payments for environmental services as a driver of climate compatible development
Project details: Payments for Environmental Services as a driver of CCD: what works and why?
Research paper: Driving adoption of payments for ecosystem services through social marketing, Veracruz, Mexico

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