Nile Basin ecosystems, their services and conservation: A working paper on instruments and practices for Conservation of ecosystem services.

Instruments and practices for Conservation of ecosystem services: The purpose of this paper was to study the instruments and best practices for ecosystem management in the basin and elsewhere and recommend to NBI, those that can be promoted in NBI and Member States for the conservation of critical ecosystems in the Nile Basin. The paper provides an overview of the ecosystems in the Nile Basin, the services they provide, the current instruments and practices for conserving biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems and recommends instruments/practices that have worked elsewhere that NBI could promote in the basin. The paper recommends involving urban communities in ecosystem Conservation since they too are beneficiaries of ecosystem services – water, recreation; or as polluters by discharging domestic and/or industrial waste into the environment.  Urban communities would contribute to activities that ensure ecosystem health through application of the Polluter Pays Principle and/or imposition of Ecosystem Levies. These  approaches are based on the thesis that if people understand that their quality of life is dependent upon the health of their natural environment, and that they have a direct stake as beneficiaries of ecosystem services, they will willingly contribute to the conservation and sustainable use  (or cleaning up) of the ecosystems in question.