Compensation for Environmental Services and Rural Communities: Lessons from the Americas
In principle, payments for environmental services – such as watershed management, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration – can advance the goals of both environmental protection and poverty reduction. A review of recent initiatives in the Americas suggests, however, that this desirable combination is not automatic. If payments for environmental services (PES) schemes are to be an effective vehicle for strengthening livelihoods in poor rural communities, they must be designed with that objective firmly in mind. This paper draws key lessons from diverse experiences in Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, and New York.
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