Payments for Ecosystems Services

Nature Rising wants farmers who divest from animal agriculture to be able to receive Payments for Ecosystems Services and Rewilding.

Currently, land owners must show that they are ‘active’ farmers before they can apply for an agri-environment scheme (such as GLAS). This needs to change. Ecosystems Services have an intrinsic value to society in terms of protecting biodiversity and sequestering carbon dioxide, and should therefore be rewarded.

Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES) can be regarded as an agreement between a seller (the land owner) and a buyer (the State) over a well defined environmental area.

Agri-environment schemes in Ireland:

GLAS (Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme) offers payments for applicants who carry out actions to enhance the rural environment.  GLAS offers a maximum payment of €5,000 per year to participants to commit to carrying out a GLAS plan of actions.

R.E.P.S. was the first nationwide scheme to encourage farmers to protect the natural and cultural heritage of Ireland.  Farmers were responsible for creating a plan for environmental protection which had to include pollution control measures over a five year period. 

RBAPS (Results Based Agri-Environmental Payment Scheme) was a three and a half year trial project in Ireland and Spain working with farmers and stakeholders developing ways to reward farmers for delivering biodiversity on their lands.  The key element of results-based methods of delivering payments is that the amount of money paid to the farmer reflects the quality of wildlife and biodiversity that is delivered on their land.