Willingness of upstream and downstream resource managers to engage in compensation schemes for environmental services (2009)

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This paper discusses the potential of developing compensation schemes in a socio-political context where upland farmers – mostly belonging to ethnic minority groups – tend to be considered a threat to the natural resource base rather than providers of environmental services. Based on data obtained from 371 farm households in the upstream communities and 151 farm households in the downstream communities of the watershed, upstream resource managers’ willingness to accept compensation for the conservation measures and downstream resource managers’ willingness to pay for water resource improvements were estimated through the use of choice experiments. Results from the study suggest that downstream resource managers would be willing to provide on average nearly 1% of their annual income for a substantial improvement of the quantity and quality of water resources, which could be achieved by compensating upstream farmers’ change of their agricultural systems towards more environment-friendly practices. Both willingness to pay of downstream respondents and willingness of upstream resource managers to accept compensation were positively correlated with age, education, participation in environmental conservation activities and previous experiences with droughts and/or erosion. The paper concludes that there is a potential for establishing compensation schemes for provision of environmental services in northern Thai watersheds if other actors, such as private businesses and local administration, contribute a substantial share of the budget and if all relevant stakeholders get involved in the institutional design of compensation schemes.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: International Journal of the Commons Vol 3, no 1 May 2009 pp 41-63. Igitur, Utrecht Publishing and Archiving Services for IASC http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/article/view/123/86,

 

 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17