1608: Payment for ecosystem services

This paper is summarised from RELU Policy and Practice Notes No. 39, “Enhancing the environment through payment for ecosystem services"

Year of Publication2012

Payment for ecosystem services brings economic thinking and a market mechanism into the provision of natural resources. Cost-effective regulation is needed to underpin PES schemes to ensure additional benefits and value for money. Future schemes, including public agri-environment schemes, need options to further encourage land managers who maintain high conservation standards, as well as compensating intensive producers for changing to less damaging practices, or assisting undercapitalised farms to invest in improved infrastructure. PES schemes should vary payments to match the local opportunity cost of resource protection. This can be done through mechanisms such as reverse auctions where land managers bid to provide a particular service.

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