Incentive-based conservation has gained ample notoriety over recent decades, particularly across Latin America where targeted incentives feature prominently in environmental services initiatives, such as for carbon storage or watershed regulation. Here we first develop an analytical framework for assessing the Peruvian initiatives of conservation incentives. We then identify six ongoing interventions that have introduced incentives conditional upon compliance with voluntary environmental commitments. We collected information from secondary sources and conducted semi-structured interviews with thirty national- and local-level stakeholders. We scrutinized the extent to which such initiatives featured impact-oriented design and implementation elements, as typically recommended in the state-of-the-art literature on Payment for Environmental Services (PES) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). We found only limited adoption of such recommendations, including spatial targeting, payment differentiation, enforced conditionality, and customized measures nurturing locally perceived equity and transparency. We argue, supported by a still incipient rigorous evidence from impact evaluations, that suboptimal design and implementation choices probably have influenced outcomes towards limiting the sought-for environmental and welfare impacts. We discuss three critical aspects for upscaling: overcoming financial and legal constraints, strategic involvement of non-government stakeholders, and more impact-oriented design of the interventions.
Authors: Montoya-Zumaeta, J.G.; Wunder, S.; Tacconi, L.
Subjects: conservation, ecosystem services, climate change, mitigation, environmental policy
Publication type: ISI, Journal Article, Publication