Conclusions of the Interreg CPES project

There is general recognition of the increasingly urgent need to address the issues of water quality, water quantity and associated environmental eco systems. 

  • We have demonstrable evidence from the CPES pilot case studies that sustainable PES is achievable, both in France and in the UK. The scale of implementation in La Vigne and in Tremblay Ormonville is very significant and has required engagement from the majority of catchment farmers. It has required the development of a wide ranging and innovative toolbox of commercial, legal and intervention resources. resources.

  • We have undertaken an extensive set of trials on a variety of farming practice interventions that together, will not only improve water quality but also have sustainable impact on bio diversity, soil health, carbon sequestration and sustainable food production.

  • We have commitment from water companies to continue promoting PES schemes; from Eau de Paris and Seine Normandie in France and from Portsmouth Water and Southern Water in the UK. All of these commitments recognise the value of upstream thinking.

  • PES schemes are particularly effective interventions because they are local and community oriented initiatives that engage a variety of different stakeholders. They make a direct connection between community engagement, commercial agreement and measurable outcomes that affect society as a whole.

  • The New CAP still does not appear to completely recognise PES as a tool to support improvements in Agri Environment Measures. It also probably does not go far enough in promoting the necessary improvements in water quality. However, in France, there may be further opportunity to request specific dispensation for public private sector PES agreements from the EU.

  • Although PES schemes are relatively straight forward to achieve where there is a single large buyer (E.g. a water company), even this relationship can be commercially fragile. In this case and when there is no single large buyer, there is an opportunity to pursue an integrated approach covering multiple eco systems and multiple public and private buyers. Achieving this will require the development of relevant legal and financial agreements. These do not exist at this time.

  • It is likely that such complex arrangements will require some form of market or not for profit intermediation/ brokering. Whilst there are models for this in the UK, such activity is only just beginning in France. There may be an opportunity to learn from UK experiences. experiences.

The CPES programme has already explored many of the issues discussed and identified by speakers during the day. In many cases, the tools needed and performance measures demanded have already been achieved through the project, especially in Normandie. It is recommended that delegates further explore the CPES website and make direct contact with partners responsible for its successes. successes.

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