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Impacts of payments for environmental services on local development in northern Costa Rica: A fuzzy multi-criteria analysis


  • Locatelli, Bruno
  • Rojas, Varinia
  • Salinas, Zenia


Market mechanisms for forest environmental services are increasingly used for promoting environmental conservation, and their impacts on development are of considerable interest. In Costa Rica a national scheme of Payment for Environmental Services (PSA) rewards landowners for the services provided by different forest land-uses. We evaluated the impacts of reforestation under the PSA on local development in the North of the country. We applied a fuzzy multi-criteria analysis including socioeconomic, institutional, and cultural dimensions and based on the individual perceptions of landowners. The impacts of the PSA applied to reforestation are positive; negative economic impacts are balanced by positive institutional and cultural impacts. In most dimensions, the impacts on the poorest landowners are notably positive and generally higher than for upper class landowners. However, the short-term incomes of the poorest landowners decrease as a consequence of reforestation. This problem may engender negative outcomes and reduce the participation of the poorest landowners in the PSA. Positive impacts were stronger for landowners applying to the PSA through a local non-governmental organization.

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  • Locatelli, Bruno & Rojas, Varinia & Salinas, Zenia, 2008. "Impacts of payments for environmental services on local development in northern Costa Rica: A fuzzy multi-criteria analysis," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 275-285, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:10:y:2008:i:5:p:275-285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, Joyotee & Scherr, Sara J., 2003. "Capturing the Value of Forest Carbon for Local Livelihoods," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2143-2160, December.
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    4. Pagiola, Stefano & Arcenas, Agustin & Platais, Gunars, 2005. "Can Payments for Environmental Services Help Reduce Poverty? An Exploration of the Issues and the Evidence to Date from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 237-253, February.
    5. Munda, Giuseppe, 2004. "Social multi-criteria evaluation: Methodological foundations and operational consequences," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(3), pages 662-677, November.
    6. Perez, Carlos & Roncoli, Carla & Neely, Constance & Steiner, Jean L., 2007. "Can carbon sequestration markets benefit low-income producers in semi-arid Africa? Potentials and challenges," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 2-12, April.
    7. Bull, Gary Q. & Bazett, Michael & Schwab, Olaf & Nilsson, Sten & White, Andy & Maginnis, Stewart, 2006. "Industrial forest plantation subsidies: Impacts and implications," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 13-31, November.
    8. Sell, Joachim & Koellner, Thomas & Weber, Olaf & Pedroni, Lucio & Scholz, Roland W., 2006. "Decision criteria of European and Latin American market actors for tropical forestry projects providing environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-36, June.
    9. Grieg-Gran, Maryanne & Porras, Ina & Wunder, Sven, 2005. "How can market mechanisms for forest environmental services help the poor? Preliminary lessons from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1511-1527, September.
    10. Kosoy, Nicolas & Martinez-Tuna, Miguel & Muradian, Roldan & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2007. "Payments for environmental services in watersheds: Insights from a comparative study of three cases in Central America," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 446-455, March.
    11. Zbinden, Simon & Lee, David R., 2005. "Paying for Environmental Services: An Analysis of Participation in Costa Rica's PSA Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-272, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Legrand, Thomas & Froger, Géraldine & Le Coq, Jean-François, 2013. "Institutional performance of Payments for Environmental Services: An analysis of the Costa Rican Program," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 115-123.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:498-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sunderasan Srinivasan, 2015. "Economic valuation and option-based payments for ecosystem services," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 1055-1077, October.
    4. Hrabanski, Marie & Bidaud, Cécile & Le Coq, Jean-François & Méral, Philippe, 2013. "Environmental NGOs, policy entrepreneurs of market-based instruments for ecosystem services? A comparison of Costa Rica, Madagascar and France," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 124-132.
    5. Daniels, Amy E. & Bagstad, Kenneth & Esposito, Valerie & Moulaert, Azur & Rodriguez, Carlos Manuel, 2010. "Understanding the impacts of Costa Rica's PES: Are we asking the right questions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2116-2126, September.

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