Determinants of the environmental conservation and poverty alleviation objectives of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs

Oreoluwa Ola, Luisa Menapace, Emmanuel Benjamin, Hannes Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Observed trade-offs between environmental conservation and poverty alleviation objectives continue to divide scholars on the ability of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs to simultaneously meet both objectives. The success of some PES programs shows it can attain “win-win” outcomes. Combining quantitative regression tools and narrative reviews, we synthesize the outcomes of 56 PES programs found in 69 studies conducted in 3 different continents to identify key factors that inform the “win-win” performance of PES programs. In addition to investigating PES in a “win-win” context, combining quantitative and qualitative methods underlines the novelty of our paper. We discovered that monitoring of program activities to ensure ecosystem services are supplied, and providing sufficient payments to ecosystem services providers enhance the performance of PES programs. Furthermore, programs become less effective with age, raising concerns about the long-term viability of PES programs. Our results underscore the need for payment incentives that covers costs and address location-specific constraints. The main lesson from our review is the importance of ex-ante assessments of prospective PES locations and the prior engagement with ES providers. This allows program developers to identify the interest of participating stakeholders in order to design cost-effective programs that capture local needs and interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalEcosystem Services
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Cost control
  • Ex-ante assessment
  • Monitoring
  • Payment for ecosystem services
  • “win-win” outcomes

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