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Direct conservation payments in the Brazilian Amazon: Scope and equity implications

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Author Info

  • Börner, Jan
  • Wunder, Sven
  • Wertz-Kanounnikoff, Sheila
  • Tito, Marcos Rügnitz
  • Pereira, Ligia
  • Nascimento, Nathalia
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    Abstract

    This article looks into the scope and equity implications of applying payments for environmental services (PES) as a REDD implementation mechanism in the Brazilian Amazon. We establish a set of economic and institutional preconditions for PES to become a feasible and cost-effective conservation mechanism. We proceed with a macro-scale spatial analysis and overlay of opportunity costs, deforestation patterns, carbon services, and land tenure, in order to assess where these conditions hold. We then screen how the benefits of potential PES schemes might be distributed across different socioeconomic groups of service providers in different land tenure categories. Our economic-quantitative analysis, though sensitive to documented assumptions, suggests that under current carbon prices the economic preconditions are in place to pay for avoided deforestation in over half of threatened forests over the next decade. Unfortunately, the same optimism does not apply to institutional preconditions. Land grabbing, insecure tenure, overlapping claims, and lacking information on private tenure constitute real medium-term impediments to PES. If payments were to accrue to current landholders regardless of current tenure insecurities, large landowners who account for about 80% of all deforestation would reap the highest benefits, though per-capita benefits other tenure categories are also high. Schemes that closely align payments with opportunity costs are preferable for cost-effectiveness, and not necessarily more inequitable in outcomes. Essentially, PES systems cannot substitute command-and-control measures: the former depend on the latter for basic governance systems to secure effective rights of exclusion, which land stewards essentially need in order to become reliable service providers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (April)
    Pages: 1272-1282

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:6:p:1272-1282

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Payments for environmental services Opportunity costs Land tenure REDD;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Payments for environmental services and the poor: concepts and preliminary evidence," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 279-297, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Vosti, Stephen A. & Witcover, Julie & Carpentier, Chantal Line, 2002. "Agricultural intensification by smallholders in the Western Brazilian Amazon: from deforestation to sustainable land use," Research reports 130, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 712-724, May.
    5. Ferraro, Paul J., 2008. "Asymmetric information and contract design for payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 810-821, May.
    6. Vatn, Arild, 2010. "An institutional analysis of payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1245-1252, April.
    7. Dutschke, Michael & Schlamadinger, Bernhard, 2003. "Practical Issues Concerning Temporary Carbon Credits in the CDM," HWWA Discussion Papers 227, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    8. Muradian, Roldan & Corbera, Esteve & Pascual, Unai & Kosoy, Nicolás & May, Peter H., 2010. "Reconciling theory and practice: An alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1202-1208, April.
    9. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
    10. Wünscher, Tobias & Engel, Stefanie & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Spatial targeting of payments for environmental services: A tool for boosting conservation benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 822-833, May.
    11. Borner, Jan & Mendoza, Arisbe & Vosti, Stephen A., 2007. "Ecosystem services, agriculture, and rural poverty in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon: Interrelationships and policy prescriptions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 356-373, December.
    12. Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1219-1227, April.
    13. Claassen, Roger & Cattaneo, Andrea & Johansson, Robert, 2008. "Cost-effective design of agri-environmental payment programs: U.S. experience in theory and practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 737-752, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. Sophie Clot & Fano Andriamahefazafy & Gilles Grolleau & Lisette Ibanez & Philippe Méral, 2014. "Payments for Ecosystem Services: Can we kill two birds with one stone? Insights from a Natural Field Experiment in Madagascar," Working Papers 14-01, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jan 2014.
    3. Duchelle, Amy E. & Cromberg, Marina & Gebara, Maria Fernanda & Guerra, Raissa & Melo, Tadeu & Larson, Anne & Cronkleton, Peter & Börner, Jan & Sills, Erin & Wunder, Sven & Bauch, Simone & May, Peter , 2014. "Linking Forest Tenure Reform, Environmental Compliance, and Incentives: Lessons from REDD+ Initiatives in the Brazilian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 53-67.
    4. Mann, Michael L. & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Bauer, Dana Marie & Gopal, Sucharita & Nomack, Mallory & Womack, Jesse Y. & Sullivan, Kerry & Soares-Filho, Britaldo S., 2014. "Pasture conversion and competitive cattle rents in the Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 182-190.
    5. Jonah Busch, 2013. "Supplementing REDD+ with Biodiversity Payments: The Paradox of Paying for Multiple Ecosystem Services - Working Paper 347," Working Papers 347, Center for Global Development.
    6. Bottazzi, Patrick & Cattaneo, Andrea & Rocha, David Crespo & Rist, Stephan, 2013. "Assessing sustainable forest management under REDD+: A community-based labour perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 94-103.
    7. Muradian, Roldan & Corbera, Esteve & Pascual, Unai & Kosoy, Nicolás & May, Peter H., 2010. "Reconciling theory and practice: An alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1202-1208, April.
    8. May, Peter H. & Soares-Filho, Britaldo Silveira & Strand, Jon, 2013. "How much is the Amazon worth ? the state of knowledge concerning the value of preserving amazon rainforests," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6668, The World Bank.

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