Payments for ecosystem services: a new way of doing forest conservation
Wunder, S. and Wertz-Kanounnikoff, S. 2008.
Journal of Sustainable Forestry
The concept of payments for ecosystem services (PES) is probably the most
promising innovation in conservation since Rio 1992, slowly but certainly to
expand in the tropics. In a global context of stagnating or even decreasing
public funding for biodiversity conservation, PES have the potential both to
raise some new funds, and to absorb some more efficiently money previously spent
otherwise. The most novel and persuasive feature of PES lies in its
“business-like” conditional payment form, which differs from traditional
conservation projects. The most promising entry point for international PES
transfers for biodiversity interests seems to be to piggy-back on the currently
revived debate on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD)..
The novel idea would here be to make agreements at the nation-state level,
either bilaterally or multilaterally, and either within or outside the Kyoto
framework. However, to take advantage of this opportunity, biodiversity
conservation and forest stakeholders would need to be more pro-active in the
REDD debate than we have seen so far.
Keywords: payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity, forest conservation.
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