Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES): Babagon Dam Pilot Project

By Cassandra Albanus, 18 December 2016

It was a slightly wet Sunday morning on the 6th of November when a team of FS coordinators made our way up to Kampung Babagon Toki. It was a good thing we brought our sturdy 4x4s as parts of the road were unsealed and it had been raining all morning, but in the end we made it to a cosy Dewan.

57% of Kota Kinabalu city’s water supply comes from the Babagon Dam. (Picture taken from Kampung Babagon Toki)

We met with the communities from the villages of Kampung Babagon Toki, Kampung Kolosunan and Kampung Tampasak to present, and seek consent and input for a potential Babagon Dam Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) pilot project. These villages are the closest to Babagon Dam, which provides 57% of Kota Kinabalu city’s water supply.

Linggit explaining the good and bad of PES. All voices are heard and all questions are answered.

There was much to discuss during the day long gather – what activities do the communities want to run? Who is going to be in charge? How will we execute them together? Is everyone willing to work hard? And the burning question – can and will everyone work together?

We are always multitasking. Who says you can’t present and eat at the same time?

In additon, we took time to listen to the communities so they could ask questions, share their concerns and make recommendations. Throughout the discussion, it was clear that the project would be challenging, but after four intense hours (with the support of a lot of good food and coffee), all three communities agreed to participate and asked FS to begin the process of preparing a project concept paper.

6pm and everyone is still smiling!

Since then, we have met with the communities from the three villages again to present the draft of the PES concept paper to further incorporate their input. We will keep you posted on the outcome of this pilot project through our Facebook page and website. If you’d like to know more about our work, do message us on Facebook.

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