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Reconciling theory and practice: An alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services

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  • Muradian, Roldan
  • Corbera, Esteve
  • Pascual, Unai
  • Kosoy, Nicolás
  • May, Peter H.

Abstract

This article provides an alternative and novel theoretical approach to the conceptualization and analysis of payments for environmental services (PES). We devote special emphasis to institutional and political economy issues, which have been somewhat neglected in the literature on PES. We argue that the Coasean and pure market approach dominating the conceptualization of PES in the literature cannot be easily generalized and implemented in practice. By contrast, taking into account complexities related to uncertainty, distributional issues, social embeddedness, and power relations permits acknowledging the variety of contexts and institutional settings in which PES operate. The alternative approach presented in this introductory article to the special section may be more appealing to PES practitioners, since while avoiding restrictive and prescriptive standpoints, it allows some key sources of complexities they usually deal with on the ground to be more easily understood.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (April)
Pages: 1202-1208

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:6:p:1202-1208

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Payment for environmental services Political economy Institutions Social embeddedness Power relations;

References

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  1. Corbera, Esteve & Soberanis, Carmen González & Brown, Katrina, 2009. "Institutional dimensions of Payments for Ecosystem Services: An analysis of Mexico's carbon forestry programme," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 743-761, January.
  2. Muñoz-Piña, Carlos & Guevara, Alejandro & Torres, Juan Manuel & Braña, Josefina, 2008. "Paying for the hydrological services of Mexico's forests: Analysis, negotiations and results," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 725-736, May.
  3. Zilberman, David & Lipper, Leslie & Mccarthy, Nancy, 2008. "When could payments for environmental services benefit the poor?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 255-278, June.
  4. Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 712-724, May.
  5. Gong, Yazhen & Bull, Gary & Baylis, Kathy, 2010. "Participation in the world's first clean development mechanism forest project: The role of property rights, social capital and contractual rules," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1292-1302, April.
  6. Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: An overview of the issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 663-674, May.
  7. Fisher, Brendan & Kulindwa, Kassim & Mwanyoka, Iddi & Turner, R. Kerry & Burgess, Neil D., 2010. "Common pool resource management and PES: Lessons and constraints for water PES in Tanzania," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1253-1261, April.
  8. Pascual, Unai & Muradian, Roldan & Rodríguez, Luis C. & Duraiappah, Anantha, 2010. "Exploring the links between equity and efficiency in payments for environmental services: A conceptual approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1237-1244, April.
  9. Pagiola, Stefano & Rios, Ana R. & Arcenas, Agustin, 2007. "Can the Poor Participate in Payments for Environmental Services?: Lessons from the Silvopastoral Project in Nicaragua," MPRA Paper 3705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Kosoy, Nicolas & Martinez-Tuna, Miguel & Muradian, Roldan & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2007. "Payments for environmental services in watersheds: Insights from a comparative study of three cases in Central America," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 446-455, March.
  11. Clements, Tom & John, Ashish & Nielsen, Karen & An, Dara & Tan, Setha & Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2010. "Payments for biodiversity conservation in the context of weak institutions: Comparison of three programs from Cambodia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1283-1291, April.
  12. Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & de Groot, Rudolf & Lomas, Pedro L. & Montes, Carlos, 2010. "The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: From early notions to markets and payment schemes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1209-1218, April.
  13. Zbinden, Simon & Lee, David R., 2005. "Paying for Environmental Services: An Analysis of Participation in Costa Rica's PSA Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-272, February.
  14. Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1219-1227, April.
  15. Pagiola, Stefano & Arcenas, Agustin & Platais, Gunars, 2005. "Can Payments for Environmental Services Help Reduce Poverty? An Exploration of the Issues and the Evidence to Date from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 237-253, February.
  16. Sommerville, Matthew & Jones, Julia P.G. & Rahajaharison, Michael & Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2010. "The role of fairness and benefit distribution in community-based Payment for Environmental Services interventions: A case study from Menabe, Madagascar," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1262-1271, April.
  17. Kosoy, Nicolás & Corbera, Esteve, 2010. "Payments for ecosystem services as commodity fetishism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1228-1236, April.
  18. Börner, Jan & Wunder, Sven & Wertz-Kanounnikoff, Sheila & Tito, Marcos Rügnitz & Pereira, Ligia & Nascimento, Nathalia, 2010. "Direct conservation payments in the Brazilian Amazon: Scope and equity implications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1272-1282, April.
  19. Vatn, Arild, 2010. "An institutional analysis of payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1245-1252, April.
  20. Connor, Jeffery D. & Ward, John & Clifton, Craig & Proctor, Wendy & Hatton MacDonald, Darla, 2008. "Designing, testing and implementing a trial dryland salinity credit trade scheme," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 574-588, November.
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