Payment for environmental services

Revaluing Ecosystems: Pathways for Scaling Up the inclusion of Ecosystem Value in Decision Making

Ecosystems provide essential services to society, from pollination and filtering of pollution to climate and water regulation. These services are often treated as though they have no value, with ecosystems too frequently managed for short-term gain at the expense of broader, longer-term societal benefits. There is an increasing array of tools to evaluate the tradeoffs associated with these developments, as well as a growing body of ecosystem service assessments which highlight the changes in value. Efforts to incorporate ecosystem values in decision making are growing – through partnerships, in government, and in the private sector. This issue brief highlights barriers, opportunities, and pathways to broader consideration of ecosystem services in decision making. 

Author(s): Lauretta Burke, Janet Ranganathan, and Robert Winterbottom
April 2015



Effects of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) on Deforestation and Poverty in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review

We conducted a systematic review of studies on the impact of payments for environmental services (PES) that set natural forest conservation as the goal on deforestation and poverty in developing countries. The review is motivated by debates over whether the pursuits of conservation and poverty reduction in developing countries tend to conflict or whether they might be complementary. A search for rigorous impact evaluation studies identified eleven quantitative and nine associated qualitative evaluation studies assessing the effects of PES. The methodological rigor of these studies varied widely, meaning that the evidence base for the impact of PES policies is limited in both quantity and quality. Given the evidence available, we find little reason for optimism about the potential for current PES approaches to achieve both conservation and poverty reduction benefits jointly. We call for the production of high quality impact evaluations, using randomisation when possible, to assess whether the apparent incompatibility of conservation and poverty reduction might be overcome through programming innovations. 

Author(s): Cyrus Samii, Matthew Lisiecki, Parashar Kulkarni, Laura Paler, Larry Chavis

19 December 2014


Innovations for equity and inclusion in smallholder payments for ecosystem services

This summary report aims to inform future research and practice for IIED, its partners and other PES stakeholders. It is divided into four parts: an introduction to the issues; understanding the challenges and drivers when designing inclusive PES systems; how to shift from a "supply-push" to a "demand-pull" approach to PES; and ways forward for research and practice. During a workshop held in March 2014, practical experiences from projects in Uganda, Mexico, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Bangladesh countries were presented.

Author(s): Ina Porras and Emma Blackmore (IIED)
Tuesday, Jul 1st 2014


Targeted Scenario Analysis: A new approach to capturing and presenting ecosystem service values for decision making

This guidebook provides a step-by-step introduction to Targeted Scenario Analysis (TSA), an innovative analytical approach, developed by UNDP, that captures and presents the value of ecosystem services within decision making, to help make the business case for sustainable policy and investment choices.

Author(s): Francisco Alpizar (CATIE) and Andrew Bovarnick (UNDP)
Monday, Nov 25 2013


Payments for environmental services: lessons from the Costa Rican PES programme

This document compiles the key points of the Fair Ideas Conference presentations and provides links to the participating organisations and further materials.

Author(s): Ina Porras
Monday, Mar 4 2013


Changes in the global value of ecosystem services

Author(s): Robert Costanza, Rudolf de Groot, Paul Sutton, Sander van der Ploeg, Sharolyn J. Anderson, Ida Kubiszewski, Stephen Farber, R. Kerry Turner
April 1, 2014