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How much will cash forest encroachment in rainforests cost? A case from valuation to payment for ecosystem services in China


  • Liu, Peng
  • Li, Wenwen
  • Yu, Yang
  • Tang, Ruchun
  • Guo, Xianming
  • Wang, Bin
  • Yang, Biao
  • Zhang, Li


Over the past 50 years, cash forest encroachment presents a major threat to tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Economic and social benefits provided by natural conservation and the loss of these benefits through encroachment must be accounted for. Here, we evaluated ecosystem services provided by a protected rainforest, Mengyang Reserve in China, in comparison to a simulated scenario where possible encroachment occurs. Strict conservation (i.e., current state) provided more value from carbon stocks, greenhouse gas sequestration, domestic water supply, and nature-based recreation. Yet, local villagers still aspire to expand their cash forests, especially rubber and tea. Based on our conservative estimate, the cash tree encroachment basically satisfying the cultivation needs of the villagers would reduce the net value by approximately 50% per year. Through placing numerical values on loss and benefit, governmental policy makers and local stakeholders might be able to visualize the impact of conservation policy guidance. Horizontal transfer payment based on village-explicit opportunity costs should be proposed from the context-specific valuation of ecosystem services, and should include increased funding, simplifying the process, and expanding the scope of payments. Our results provide a useful lesson on the understanding the effectiveness of ecosystem services value in tropical reserves.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Peng & Li, Wenwen & Yu, Yang & Tang, Ruchun & Guo, Xianming & Wang, Bin & Yang, Biao & Zhang, Li, 2019. "How much will cash forest encroachment in rainforests cost? A case from valuation to payment for ecosystem services in China," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:38:y:2019:i:c:19
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100949

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chen, Xiaodong & Lupi, Frank & An, Li & Sheely, Ryan & Viña, Andrés & Liu, Jianguo, 2012. "Agent-based modeling of the effects of social norms on enrollment in payments for ecosystem services," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 229(C), pages 16-24.
    2. Liu, Peng & Jiang, Shiwei & Zhao, Lianjun & Li, Yunxi & Zhang, Pingping & Zhang, Li, 2017. "What are the benefits of strictly protected nature reserves? Rapid assessment of ecosystem service values in Wanglang Nature Reserve, China," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 26(PA), pages 70-78.
    3. Frayer, Jens & Müller, Daniel & Sun, Zhanli & Munroe, Darla K. & Xu, Jianchu, 2014. "Processes Underlying 50 Years of Local Forest-Cover Change in Yunnan, China," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 3257-3273.
    4. Peh, Kelvin S.-H. & Balmford, Andrew & Bradbury, Richard B. & Brown, Claire & Butchart, Stuart H.M. & Hughes, Francine M.R. & Stattersfield, Alison & Thomas, David H.L. & Walpole, Matt & Bayliss, Juli, 2013. "TESSA: A toolkit for rapid assessment of ecosystem services at sites of biodiversity conservation importance," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 51-57.
    5. World Bank Group & ECOFYS, "undated". "Carbon Pricing Watch 2016," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24288, The World Bank.
    6. Kubiszewski, Ida & Costanza, Robert & Anderson, Sharolyn & Sutton, Paul, 2017. "The future value of ecosystem services: Global scenarios and national implications," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 26(PA), pages 289-301.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Yongsheng & Dong, Zhanfeng & Zhang, Wei & Zhang, Hongyu, 2020. "Estimating inter-regional payments for ecosystem services: Taking China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as an example," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C).


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