Main content area

Payments for Watershed Services Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Development in Tanzania

Branca, Giacomo, Lipper, Leslie, Neves, Bernardete, Lopa, Dosteus, Mwanyoka, Iddi
case studies, ecosystem services, farmers, funding, issues and policy, managers, production technology, risk, sustainable agriculture, sustainable land management, water pollution, water quality, water use efficiency, watershed management, watersheds, Tanzania
Agriculture affects both quantity and quality of water available for other uses and under current production systems, the impact is often negative. Adopting sustainable land management (SLM) practices can foster more efficient water use and increase agricultural productivity, while reducing environmental risks from water pollution and regulating flows serving downstream communities. However, farmers face barriers to adoption of such practices, especially lack of technical capacity and high upfront costs associated with SLM implementation, which is particularly important where land managers are poor. Drawing on a case study from Tanzania, this article discusses how an emerging policy tool—Payments for Environmental Services (PES)—can bridge this gap by providing technical assistance and financial support, thereby lowering the SLM adoption barriers and investing in an appropriate legal and institutional framework for long-term financing and expansion of SLM to improve watershed management.