Rivers Trusts have been delivering catchment scale restoration with self-assembled community groups for many years. They have used a variety of funding methods and delivered most of their work on a shoestring and yet still been identified as one of the leading global examples of the successful implementation of the Ecosystem Approach by the Secretariat for the CBD.
We feel that identifying current ecosystem service (ES) delivery via an agreed methodology will identify spatial conflicts in ES delivery and catchment groups can work out how to adapt land use through incentivisation to deliver an optimised plan for ES delivery. We feel that this could be achieved through spatial planning so that suitable activities are incentivised in suitable areas without a large scale changes in the provision any particular service, unless desired. Incentives would be oriented towards this spatial plan and locally administered. Incentive tools could include: Water Company funds, overarching food quality assurance schemes, local visitor payback, development mitigation funds and green taxes; this (re)focussing will need some government sanction and support. There would be a need for other catchment management tools, such as standard regulation and cross compliance, to operate more effectively alongside this suite of incentives. Government administered funds such as CAP subsidy could also need to be oriented towards this incentivising this locally agreed plan.