Analysis and engagement with partners working on ecosystem services transactions, policies and laws over the past 10 years have demonstrated a clear need to better understand the legal and institutional frameworks that have the potential to promote or hinder the development of payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, as well as the complex legal considerations that affect ecosystem services projects. In response, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre and The Katoomba Group have worked on a joint initiative to analyze the legal and institutional frameworks of water-related PES schemes and projects in four Andean countries: South America (Northeastern)-Brazil; Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It has resulted in this report. Country-based analysts with experience in ecosystem services transactions have developed country and project assessments to define existing and recommend future regulatory and institutional frameworks that enable equitable and long-lasting ecosystem services transactions. Partners from North America (Central America)-Costa Rica; North America-Mexico; Ecuador and the North America-United States provided feedback on the assessments. The country assessments yielded lessons which were used to develop a set of recommendations on legal frameworks, property rights, enabling institutions, PES contracts, and governance issues supporting the future development of PES schemes.