ZEF-CIFOR workshop: Payments for environmental services in developed and
The objective of the case studies of payments for environmental services (PES) presented in this workshop was to learn from different existing schemes: what worked and what did not, in terms of reaching specific objectives? What conclusions can be drawn on optimal scheme design under different settings? On an environment-development scale, the primary focus of this workshop was the efficiency of PES instruments in reaching environmental objectives. The secondary focus was on the human welfare aspects of PES, as an instrument to achieve environmental objectives and as an independent side-objective.
II. Case studies - common questions
Case-study authors were asked to address the following common questions, and
discussants were encouraged to work within this guiding structure. Not all
questions were relevant for all case studies, nor was all the required
information relevant for and available in each case. Nevertheless, case-study
authors were asked to stick as closely as possible to this content format,
rather than write about what they personally considered was interesting. Only in
this way could we facilitate the workshop’s overall comparative approach.
We also asked the authors of methods papers to emphasize those methodological
aspects that were particularly relevant to these common questions.
1. Services and actors: Did the initiative for the PES scheme come
from the ES buyers, from the sellers, or from third parties? Was the PES scheme
motivated by one single or by several simultaneously provided environmental
services? Who pays? Is the group of buyers fully over-lapping with the group of
alleged beneficiaries? Do buyers implicitly or explicitly pursue side objectives
(poverty alleviation, regional development, governance, etc.) that influenced
scheme design and targeting? How are the participating sellers selected? Is
government or other third parties acting as brokers mediating between buyers and
sellers? Is compliance defined in terms of service delivery or land- and
resource-use caps? How well documented is the link between the two? How is
compliance monitored? Are sanction mechanisms for non-compliance credible? Is
the scheme truly conditional (quid pro quo)?
2. Implementation: What are the spatial and temporal scales of the
scheme? Did this scheme build on any pre-existing alternative scheme, or was it
built from scratch? Is the payment exclusively in cash, or does it involve other
benefits? Were ES providers’ opportunity costs for PES delivery studied in
advance? How are the payments structured? Does the PES scheme build on/ is it
jointly applied with other management instruments (command-and-control,
integrated projects, other economic incentives, etc.), or does it rather replace
those? Are all parties likely to be better off from the scheme? Have the
economic gains been quantified? Who are likely to be the prime winners? What
proved to be the main obstacles to implementation (financial, institutional,
“trust building”, etc.)? How high are PES transaction costs (start-up, running),
compared to the proper PES transfers?
3. Additionality and baseline establishment: Does the scheme make sure
that environmental services ´bought´ constitute an improvement over the
“business as usual” scenario? What implicit or explicit baseline of service
provision was used to this respect? How much de facto additionality has the
scheme likely provided? Are there any obvious lessons on how PES additionality
alternatively could have been improved?
4. Permanence, accounting and leakage: How have benefits over time
been assessed? Is there any mechanism aimed at ensuring benefits beyond the
duration of the scheme? Does the scheme provide a mechanism to ensure
environmental damages are not transferred to other areas/locations (e.g., people
protecting forests under PES but then shifting pressures to other forest areas)?
If so, was this mechanism effective? Are there suggestions regarding alternative
5. Differentiation: Does the scheme differentiate/ target payments in
space and/or across agents by:
level of opportunity costs,
level of actual environmental services provided,
level of threat of resource degradation, or
by offering a variety of contracts to choose from?
Does the differentiation mechanism appear to be effective, in terms of
increased additionality, permanence, or reduced leakage? Does this targeting
significantly raise administrative/ transaction costs? Are mechanisms
potentially available to keep these costs low?
6. Participation of disadvantaged groups: If the scheme uses
mechanisms to target the participation of small-scale landowners and
impoverished communities, what was the approximate cost of introducing such
targeting mechanisms? Does the scheme run the risk to become a rural welfare
subsidy with low environmental efficiency? Whether the PES is targeted or not,
what has been the likely impact of the scheme on the welfare of disadvantaged
groups, whether these are the scheme’s buyers, sellers or non-participating
groups? Are there side benefits from PES (improved organization, land tenure,
visibility vis-à-vis donors, etc.)?
7. Next steps: Are there plans to expand current PES initiatives --
whether by expanding current programs, replicating them, or using their
principles in new ways? What are the lessons learned as perceived by key
stakeholders? Are there plans to modify current PES programs in light of the
lessons learned to date? Are the main stakeholders happy with how things are
going? What do they, and the author, see as the main problems or challenges?
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a list of papers and presentations