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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Proctor & Thomas Köllner & Anna Lukasiewicz, 2008. "Equity Considerations and Payments for Ecosystem Services," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 31.2008, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:200831

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    Cited by:

    1. Giulia Irene Wegner, 2016. "Payments for ecosystem services (PES): a flexible, participatory, and integrated approach for improved conservation and equity outcomes," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 617-644, June.
    2. Nguyen Thi Y Ly, 2013. "Evaluating the Pilot Implementation of Payment for Forest Environmental Services in Lam Dong, Vietnam," EEPSEA Research Report rr2013023, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Feb 2013.

    More about this item


    Payment for Ecosystem Services; poverty; equity;

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