IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Community conservation and a two-stage approach to payments for ecosystem services


  • Cranford, Matthew
  • Mourato, Susana


Recent revisions to the theory and definition of payments for ecosystem services (PES) challenge the generally accepted dominance of direct incentives provided in a buyer–seller relationship. The revisionist thinking insists indirect incentives and a cooperative, reciprocal relationship are often more appropriate. Those characteristics, however, hark back to the indirect, cooperative interventions that constitute “community conservation”, which PES was originally designed as an improvement over. In that context, this study revisits the criticisms and potential benefits of community conservation. We analyze a case study of community conservation in Peru and find that it supported an uptake of forest-friendly behaviors. We take up the suggestion of a two-stage approach to PES, but refine it based on our results that indicate an important role for cognitive (e.g. education) alongside structural interventions (e.g. provision of alternatives), and a strong role for social consensus to support conservationist behavior. Community conservation can provide these elements in a first-stage of PES to create a social context conducive to conservation. Without creating that context first, PES could destabilize local resource management norms rather than improve on them. With the social context established, however, a market mechanism can be implemented in the second stage to reinforce the new conservationist behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Cranford, Matthew & Mourato, Susana, 2011. "Community conservation and a two-stage approach to payments for ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 89-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:71:y:2011:i:c:p:89-98
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Paul J. Ferraro & R. David Simpson, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Conservation Payments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 339-353.
    4. Farley, Joshua & Costanza, Robert, 2010. "Payments for ecosystem services: From local to global," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2060-2068, September.
    5. Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 712-724, May.
    6. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
    7. Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
    8. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    9. Frost, Peter G.H. & Bond, Ivan, 2008. "The CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe: Payments for wildlife services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 776-787, May.
    10. Jeroen Bergh, 2007. "Evolutionary thinking in environmental economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 521-549, October.
    11. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Cranford, Matthew & Mourato, Susana, 2014. "Credit-Based Payments for Ecosystem Services: Evidence from a Choice Experiment in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 503-520.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:498-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Zander, Kerstin K. & Dunnett, Desleigh R. & Brown, Christine & Campion, Otto & Garnett, Stephen T., 2013. "Rewards for providing environmental services — Where indigenous Australians' and western perspectives collide," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 145-154.
    5. Liliana Pacheco & Sara Fraixedas & Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares & Neus Estela & Robert Mominee & Ferran Guallar, 2012. "Perspectives on Sustainable Resource Conservation in Community Nature Reserves: A Case Study from Senegal," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(11), pages 1-22, November.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:71:y:2011:i:c:p:89-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.