Started in December 2017, the INTERREG CPES project aims to improve water quality by setting up Payments for Ecosystem Services in 6 pilot watersheds in France and England. This cooperation project, carried out within the framework of the Interreg VA France (Channel) England program, brings together 14 partners around this common goal: to improve and protect coastal ecosystems and those of transitional waters. Located in the south of England and the northern part of France, the actors encourage favorable practices on land use through the establishment of economically sustainable PES at the hydrographic basin scale.
Due to the seasonal nature of the project the impact of these delays is far-reaching
The impact of COVID19 on the project has been significant, making it extremely difficult to work with actors on the ground: farmers, elected officials, and companies. This is particularly important for case studies where private buyers are sought in non-drinking water production areas. For many companies working in areas like agro-food, construction or transport, the onset of the Coronavirus crisis has created a situation of extreme difficulty where companies are less focused on financing PES. Many of the activities related to the development of a sustainable PES scheme have been delayed and the project was seeking to extend the time available to ensure the work is carried out to its fullest extent.
And we have a good news…
In order to achieve the objectives of the project, a one-year extension was granted, allowing the partners to finalize the research into PES tools, including: working with landowners, leaseholders and tenants, developing tools to support economic incentives, and to develop a legal framework for PES.