What are PES? Opportunities and obstacles to implement pro-poor PES projects


P. Gutman

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This presentation describes the concept of PES, which involves three main components: “the ecosystem service, the payment arrangements, and what each party is putting in and getting out of the deal.” Ecosystem services – ‘whatever nature provides that is valuable to humans’ – fall into several different categories (provisioning, regulating, supportive, and cultural services) and occur on different scales (from local to global). There is wide variety in the types of possible payment arrangements for ecosystem services. The conceptual approaches to PES also vary significantly between market, social development, conservationist, and governmental perspectives. Current experiences and lessons learned from PES initiatives are summarized. Gutman presents both opportunities and obstacles to developing pro-poor PES and provides a list of questions and criteria to consider in deciding if a PES approach is appropriate for any specific rural conservation and development project.

Additional Bibliographic Information

Presented at the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG) meeting on "Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and Poverty Reduction", Washington D.C., 15 December 2005

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