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Payment for Ecosystem Services

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource:
<p>Lessons learned from the application of PES over the past few years highlight the importance of the initial planning stage to ensure schemes are effective and suitable for local conditions</p>

<p>Participation of stakeholders is key to the success of PES</p>

<p>The payment is usually based on the opportunity costs of conservation and not on monetary evaluation of ES. It often requires a long process of negotiation, where the role of intermediaries is key</p>
Potential benefits from using the resource
PES is highly flexible and there are numerous ways to structure schemes based on the specific context of its application including, for example, the focal ES and scale of application
PES schemes offer opportunities to create or support employment related to the delivery of ecosystem services
ES can highlight the value of ecosystem services, thereby modifying and potentially reversing incentives for resource users to over-exploit or convert them
Potential limitations from using the resource
Application of PES is not appropriate everywhere. Implementation, where resource tenure or use rights are not well defined or enforced, can be particularly challenging
There are a significant number of barriers to overcome in developing workable PES programmes, including: informational, technical, spatial, temporal, financial, institutional, legal, cultural, and equity considerations
PES should not be regarded as a panacea or blueprint for environmental conservation, but only as one of the instruments that can contribute to nature conservation, under certain specific circumstances - a complement, and not a substitute for regulation
Practical information
Development stage:
Full, working product

Payment for ecosystem services (PES) is a type of market-based instrument that is increasingly used to finance nature conservation. Payment of ecosystem services programmes allow for the translation of the ecosystem services that ecosystems provide for free into financial incentives for their conservation, targeted at the local actors who own or manage the natural resources. These programmes have been increasingly established across the globe in the last few years.


Subregions covered