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Equity Considerations and Payments for Ecosystem Services

  • Wendy Proctor


    (Policy and Economic Research Unit, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia)

  • Thomas Köllner
  • Anna Lukasiewicz

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are now increasingly being adopted as a solution to environmental conservation problems in many countries throughout the world. Examples of these market based instruments are tradable pollution permits or certificates for ecosystem services. However, equity outcomes have rarely been considered in the implementation of such instruments. Neo-classical economic analysis does not explicitly take such equity considerations into account with efficiency concerns being the overriding goal. Increasingly this is being seen as inadequate to meet sustainability objectives and there is evidence to suggest that the adherence to an equitable framework for such schemes may determine whether or not stakeholders will participate in these markets. In this paper we develop a framework for consideration of equity in PES schemes. First the background and historical beginnings of these instruments are provided. A review of some existing schemes, particularly those that have tried to address income equity (pro-poor schemes), is presented and raises important issues related to efficiency versus equity concerns A framework is then provided to allow for the consideration of equity and fairness in such schemes designed to protect and enhance ecosystem services. Here a methodology for measuring equity, fairness and justice issues in PES and market based instrument schemes is developed on a case by case basis.

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Paper provided by University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics in its series Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers with number 31.2008.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision: 2008
Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:200831
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