As a contribution to reduce the loss of biodiversity, which directly impacts on the economy and society, in 2006 we released Oasis, one of the first initiatives of payment for environmental services* (PES) connected to biodiversity and water.
Started more than 10 years ago in the São Paulo Metro Area, the initiative is based on the PES concept that presumes that agents tend to change their behavior through economic incentives on the condition of adopting adequate practices of soil use and preservation of natural areas, thus contributing to the maintenance and improvement of ecosystemic services**.
Present on initiatives in several regions of Brazil, Oasis contributes for PES mechanisms to be better understood and applied, and particularly to encourage investment in wider initiatives, such as strategies for intelligent territory management, ensuring and increasing society's resilience to climate changes and changes in soil use.
Besides promoting the appreciation of natural environments, the goals of the initiative include influencing public policies and private sector strategies for ecosystemic services to be considered and provided for through enduring mechanisms.
The Boticário Group Foundation works through local partnerships, exerting strategic influence, strengthening governance processes, project structures, and PES programs.
Among the key results of projects and programs linked to the Oasis Initiative, through its partnerships, we highlight:
• 7 PES programs structured;
• 19 formal partnerships;
• 50 processes for establishing public PES policies;
• 28 legal PES standards developed and sanctioned;
• 5 thousand hectares of natural areas under PES contracts;
• Over 500 properties under contract;
• Around 8 million people indirectly benefiting.
Since its inception, Oasis has been recognized by the following awards: Von Martius Sustainability, Brasil Ambiental, PLACA Prize, and Expressão Ecologia, among others. Now, the goal is encouraging investment in similar initiatives, increasing actions aimed at nature preservation, aiming for the construction of mechanisms that can work for long periods. These mechanisms should, whenever possible, show that investing in biodiversity preservation can maintain and improve the provision of ecosystemic services and provide socioeconomic returns, with the possibility of being structured as Solutions Based on Nature*** for specific demands of our society.
*Environmental services are individual or collective human activities that directly or indirectly benefit the preservation, protection, conservation, maintenance, recovery, and/or improvement of ecosystemic services.
**Ecosystemic Services are services provided by nature, through ecosystems, to support life on the planet, such as: food production, drinking water, fiber, wood, climate and air quality regulation, carbon trapping and storage, erosion prevention, biological control of disease and pests, nutrient cycling, soil formation, species habitat, and services of recreational, educational, and religious natures.
***Solutions Based on Nature (SBN) are interventions that use nature and the natural functions of healthy ecosystems, also known as natural infrastructure, to meet some of the more urgent challenges of our times, such as the risk of lack of available water in enough quantity and quality for human consumption, as well as vulnerability to extreme climate events (IUCN, 2012).
Sources: Avaliação Ecossistêmica do Milênio (2005)