Addressing Equity and Poverty Concerns in Payments for Environmental Services (2010)

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The success of achieving the social goals of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) programmes, i.e. reduction of poverty, depends directly on the equitable distribution of benefits to poor mountain communities, who are the primary custodians and managers of environmental services. Although PES programmes are not designed for poverty reduction, they can create substantial synergies when programme design is well thought through. Recent literature indicates that in general PES programmes are not very sensitive to equity issues and are governed in such a way that may even exacerbate existing inequalities and trigger social tensions (Karr 2002; Miranda et al. 2003). It is therefore important to investigate the governance and equity aspects of PES, which are critical for sustainable development and environmental conservation (WCED 1987). Ensuring the flow of environmental services and rewarding the providers of such services are at the core of PES systems. They are not created per se to reduce poverty. However, most of the areas providing environmental services are in marginalised regions (many mountainous areas) with widespread poverty. Without including poverty sensitive aspects in PES schemes there is a great danger of challenging the long-term environmental benefits. Equity between and within societies is a central pillar of sustainable development. Tools to ensure pro-poor outcomes include: ensuring equitable access to land, ensuring land tenure systems, devising special support to the poor to participate in the schemes and linking PES more effectively to the benefits of other development programmes.
Year: 2010
Language: English
In: Mountain Forum Bulletin Volume X, Issue 1, January 2010,

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