Monitoring of payments initiatives for environmental services in Brazil: comparative diagnosis and future perspectives.
Payment for water environmental services (PES) is a mechanism to stimulate conservation practices in rural areas aiming to improve water resources. Several water PSA projects have been developed in Brazil. However, the monitoring of the impacts of these actions has presented limitations and has not responded clearly to the effectiveness of these actions. In order to obtain a more detailed diagnosis of the Brazilian water PSA monitoring experiments, 6 projects were implemented more than 2 years ago. The objectives, indicators, methods and frequency of monitoring of these experiences were identified to carry out a comparative analysis. The search identified large gaps and limitations regarding the availability of data on the monitoring of the water PSA surveyed. The biggest gap identified is that of socioeconomic monitoring, which does not exist in the evaluated experiences. Another limitation observed is that the environmental monitoring of the evaluated projects that is conducted through different indicators, and the frequency is extremely varied between the monitoring of the PSAs, indicating that these were based on standard methods, which makes it difficult to compare the data. The establishment of a standard for the monitoring of water selection of key indicators that are representative of the space achieved by these initiatives can be a step forward. In addition, the development of more participatory monitoring methods can also be a key element in the process of enhancing the beneficial impacts of a PES.