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Efficiency of Payments for Environmental Services: Equity and additionality in a case study from a Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, Mexico


  • García-Amado, Luis Rico
  • Pérez, Manuel Ruiz
  • Escutia, Felipe Reyes
  • García, Sara Barrasa
  • Mejía, Elsa Contreras


Payments for Environmental Services (PES) have been claimed as a more efficient way of accomplishing conservation and development goals than other indirect strategies, reaching their optimum when the buyer pays the opportunity costs of the foregone benefits. Different inefficient situations have been described, like lack of additionality, where payments are given for practices that would have been adopted anyway. Trade-offs between efficiency and equity of PES have usually emerged as well. In this paper we assess the equity, additionality and stakeholders' perceptions of a PES scheme in a Mexican community inside a Biosphere Reserve. We applied structured interviews to all adults, a total of 66 people from 31 households. Our results show a dual response in equity and additionality, depending on land tenure. PES have an egalitarian effect within landowners and landless groups, but it broadens the gap between them. Additionality is low for landowners and high for the landless people in the community, even though the former are the ones with full decision over the land. Although the scheme does not seem efficient under the classical PES paradigm, it is perceived as a reward, reinforcing conservation attitudes even though most of the interviewees claim it to be insufficient.

Suggested Citation

  • García-Amado, Luis Rico & Pérez, Manuel Ruiz & Escutia, Felipe Reyes & García, Sara Barrasa & Mejía, Elsa Contreras, 2011. "Efficiency of Payments for Environmental Services: Equity and additionality in a case study from a Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2361-2368.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2361-2368
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.07.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gwenole Le Velly & Alexandre Sauquet & Sergio Cortina-Villar, 2015. "PES Impact and Leakages over Several Cohorts: The Case of PSA-H in Yucatan, Mexico," Working Papers halshs-01228371, HAL.
    2. Galati, Antonino & Crescimanno, Maria & Gristina, Luciano & Keesstra, Saskia & Novara, Agata, 2016. "Actual provision as an alternative criterion to improve the efficiency of payments for ecosystem services for C sequestration in semiarid vineyards," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 58-64.
    3. Neitzel, K. Christoph & Caro-Borrero, Angela Piedad & Revollo-Fernandez, Daniel & Aguilar-Ibarra, Alonso & Ramos, Alya & Almeida-Leñero, Lucia, 2014. "Paying for environmental services: Determining recognized participation under common property in a peri-urban context," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 46-55.
    4. Hayes, Tanya & Murtinho, Felipe & Wolff, Hendrik, 2017. "The Impact of Payments for Environmental Services on Communal Lands: An Analysis of the Factors Driving Household Land-Use Behavior in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 427-446.
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:168-177 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Speelman, E.N. & García-Barrios, L.E. & Groot, J.C.J. & Tittonell, P., 2014. "Gaming for smallholder participation in the design of more sustainable agricultural landscapes," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 62-75.
    7. Rode, Julian & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Krause, Torsten, 2015. "Motivation crowding by economic incentives in conservation policy: A review of the empirical evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 270-282.
    8. Grillos, Tara, 2017. "Economic vs non-material incentives for participation in an in-kind payments for ecosystem services program in Bolivia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 178-190.
    9. Hayes, Tanya & Murtinho, Felipe & Wolff, Hendrik, 2015. "An institutional analysis of Payment for Environmental Services on collectively managed lands in Ecuador," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 81-89.
    10. Giulia Irene Wegner, 2016. "Payments for ecosystem services (PES): a flexible, participatory, and integrated approach for improved conservation and equity outcomes," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 617-644, June.
    11. Rode, Julian & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Krause, Torsten, 2013. "Economic incentives for biodiversity conservation: What is the evidence for motivation crowding?," UFZ Discussion Papers 19/2013, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).


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