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Co-investment in ecosystem services: global lessons from payment and incentive schemes

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This book discusses key lessons from various development stages of landscape stewardship for ecosystem services provision. It focuses in particular on agricultural landscapes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, which have not featured prominently in existing literature.

Human use, overuse and neglect are degrading ecosystems, the very fabric which is producing ecosystem services that benefit human well-being, and which allowed natural capital to develop. Stewardships that might ensure ecosystem service provision in agricultural landscapes, are in reality extensively complex and comprise the interaction of social-ecological systems in a world ruled by economic and political feedback. In order to ensure their operationalization and sustainability, empirical cases of landscape stewardship for ecosystem service provisions in Africa and Asia show that incentive-based mechanisms, as a ways of governing the landscape, need to be fair to the actors involved as well as fulfil their main goal of providing ecosystem services efficiently.

A host of rich and diverse empirical cases are the result of more than a decade of field experience with Pro-poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa (PRESA) and Rewarding the Upland Poor for Environmental Services (RUPES) in Asia, two projects coordinated by the World Agroforestry Centre. This book highlights the gaps between the theory and the implementation of operational and sustainable ecosystem service incentive-based mechanisms on the ground. It provides and reviews arguments as to why specific forms of payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes (including pro-poor payments, rewards, and co-investment) can be viable approaches toward sustainable land-use practices.

To this end, this book:

  • Provides new insights that support development practitioners with appropriate leverage points so that they may increase the potential of payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes to deliver the desired outcomes.
  • Stimulates debate among scientists and analysts about PES as a theory of change in the developing-world context and where new models or knowledge are needed.
  • Recommends appropriate interventions for policy-makers to apply PES as a tool for sustainable land governance and management in contexts where poverty is rampant, business activity is low and environmental funds need to be better targeted in providing ecosystem services.

The growing collection of chapters in the book can be viewed here:

Payment for Ecosystem Services

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