Poor household participation in payments for environmental services in Nicaragua and Colombia
We evaluate the extent to which poor households are able to participate in Payments for Environmental Services (PES) scheme using data from a PES scheme implemented at two sites in Latin America. This allows us to compare environmental and livelihood impacts of PES across regions with different agronomic and socio-economic characteristics. In particular, one of our sites is composed almost entirely of poor or extremely poor households, while the other has households ranging from extremely poor to very well off. The results show that poorer households are in fact able to participate—indeed, by some measures they participated to a greater extent than better-off households. Moreover, their participation was not limited to the simpler, least expensive options. Extremely poor households had a somewhat greater difficulty in participating, but even in their case the difference is solely a relative one. Transaction costs may be greater obstacles to the participation of poorer households than household-specific constraints.
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