The Possibility of Establishing a Scheme for Payments for Ecosystem Services at the Bovilla Watershed (Tirana)


Agricultural University of Tirana, 1029 Kodër-Kamez, Tirana, Albania

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This paper focuses on identifying and evaluating the possibility of establishing schemes for payments for ecosystem services at the Bovilla watershed (Tirane) in order to promote the adoption of sustainable land management practices that will result in improved quality water in this watershed. We selected this watershed as over 5% of its total land area is used for plant cultivation, and that it includes a reservoir that supplies drinking water to Tirana city. As a result of improper land use practices in the watershed, soil erosion has become an inhibiting factor for sustainable development of agriculture and conservation of natural resources including water resources. The aim of this study was to assess the willingness of stakeholdersin the upper and lower parts of Bovilla watershed to be included in an agreed scheme for payments for ecosystem services. Willingness was assessed by site surveys (interviews) conducted with farmers which living in the areas considered as a hotspots and with the personnel staff of the Tirana Water Supply at their central office. The results of the processing of the collected data show that 100% of farmers and 70% of respondents from the Tirana Water Supply Company are ready to sign a negotiated scheme for payments for ecosystem services at Bovilla watershed. To implement a scheme for payments for ecosystem services local farmers need a satisfactory financial compensation, and the Tirana water supply company needed the preparation of a well-defined legal framework for defining responsibilities, the role of public institutions and agencies and governmental in pursuring, implementing and monitoring payments for ecosystem services scheme.

Keywords Ecosystem Services, Payment, Sustainable Land Management Practices, Water Quality.