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Payments for Water Ecosystem Services in Latin America: A literature review and conceptual model

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  • Martin-Ortega, Julia
  • Ojea, Elena
  • Roux, Camille

Abstract

Latin America has been a pioneer in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (PES) and numerous schemes are now in place. However, existing reviews of this experience are mostly theoretical and/or qualitative. This paper presents a comprehensive, systematic and up-to-date compilation and review of the literature on Payments for Water Ecosystem Services (PWS) in Latin America, in which 310 PWS transactions within 40 different schemes are analysed. Firstly, we quantitatively describe and discuss their key characteristics. Secondly, we identify information gaps that need to be filled to allow a more accurate analysis. Finally, we contrast PES theory versus the reported evidence. Results are discussed in the form of key messages and a conceptual model to support better design, implementation and monitoring is proposed. Among other things, our meta-study shows that there is a certain mis-match between how PES schemes are presented in theory and how they are actually practiced or reported in the literature. This mis-match concerns issues at the core of the PES principles, namely service-action conditionality, service definition and payment negotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin-Ortega, Julia & Ojea, Elena & Roux, Camille, 2013. "Payments for Water Ecosystem Services in Latin America: A literature review and conceptual model," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 6(C), pages 122-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:6:y:2013:i:c:p:122-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2013.09.008
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