If services aren't delivered, people won't pay: the role of measurement problems and monitoring in Payments for Environmental Services
The idea of Payments for environmental services (PES) has an appealing simplicity, which may explain the success of the concept. However, successful projects are far limited though and two constraints have been identified in literature. The first is limited demand: too few service users are so confident about the mechanism that they are willing to pay. The second obstacle is poor knowledge on the institutional requirements entailing incentive and livelihood mechanisms which so far have received comparatively less attention. This paper focuses on both constraints by arguing that monitoring effectiveness and conditionality of PES schemes are crucial and that institutional arrangements for monitoring should be in place. By analysing in a systematic way what types of measurement problems there are, the paper shows that the type of monitoring that is required within a PES has consequences for the institutional arrangement needed for a successful PES. We find that the institutional arrangements for monitoring vary according to (i) the type of environmental service and its underlying production process, (ii) the extent to which the environmental service can be freely observed or measured, (iii) the extent to which activities of the resource managers who provide the environmental service can be freely observed, and finally (iv) the deterministic or stochastic nature of production processes.
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