The environmental community has been rightly wary of markets. But payments for environmental services can play a role in protecting nature, so long as governments guide, govern and regulate such markets.
The International Institute for Environment and Development has published seven briefing papers on topics that will feature in the Rio+20 summit and IIED’s Fair ideas conference, also in Rio, on 16-17 June.
Asking poor households how much they would be willing to pay to protect a river in Thailand can help put a tangible price-tag on the river’s benefits — from clean water to flood control — and realistically assess the costs of overexploitation and degradation.
Bhopal city, capital of Madhya Pradesh, India, is considering assisting rural communities in the catchment of the Upper Lake (Bhoj Wetland) to change land management practices and reduce the flow of pollutants.
Payments for environmental services (also known as payments for ecosystem services or PES), are payments to farmers or landowners who have agreed to take certain actions to manage their land or watersheds to provide an ecological service.