PES – Payment of Ecosystem Services
Our projects are based on an integrated sustainability approach focused on geographical areas where water-bodies and water systems are (being) degraded. Strong local demand and support in the remediation and regeneration of these areas creates a context conducive to sustainable economic development and growth. PES can secure the required economic continuity for environmental regeneration and conservation as well as the economic self-reliance of these areas’ local communities. PES is a mechanism that pays or rewards those who preserve nature. It is a means of pricing environmental assets, goods and services incentivizing conservation and regeneration of the natural environments’ quality and integrity. Within PES,environmental services are expressed in payments, that is, the costs of regenerating, maintaining and increasing environmental quality and integrity through both natural and artificial means. PES can be translated into sellable units (PES credits and PES certificates), representing a monetary value. As such, PES constitutes a market for offsetting environmental degradation as a result of industrial, commercial and infrastructural activity. PES also serves for the rational financing of a guaranteed and continued supply of the natural resources extracted from the natural environment for (industrial) processing.
TUPIX – An Automated Platform for Trading PES
The industry, commerce and public sector in our target countries are not obligated to compensate their GHG emissions – as is the case in most of Europe - but rather compensate through having to counter an incurred socio-environmental debt. This debt, under varying forms of regulation is generally effectuated through payments in the form of taxes, fines, fees for dispensations, environmental licensing etc. to state agencies and NGO’s who, in turn, through many steps, funnel through funds to the end-beneficiaries of PES. In 2015, Biosfera started developing TUPIX as a conceptual framework that addresses the heterogeneity of the current mechanisms to quantify PES into monetary values. TUPIX also streamlines the many steps involving the certification and accreditation of PES certificates. As every step in the PES certification process costs money, a large part of the budget (sometimes up to 65%) is lost to intermediate agencies and ‘middlemen’. TUPIX functions according to the demand for, and the supply of PES certificates and significantly reduces the intermediate steps through the automation of PES calculi and algorithms into a software-and web-based platform: TUPIX can facilitate the direct trade in PES certificates and credits without the intervention of 3rd party assessors. With TUPIX, a larger volume of PES certificates is generated for trading at the same level of financing, when compared with the mechanisms currently used by the public sector in our target countries to fund PES.
TUPIX: Environmental Technology & Local Compensation
The need and will to compensate becomes stronger and more concrete, the more this compensation is allowed to take place ‘close to home’. The connection and involvement with one’s own living environment is inherently stronger than with far away places: Compensating locally improves one’s quality of life in a direct manner and increases one’s connection with the natural environment one is inserted in: the biosphere.