Friday, May 9, 2008

Local level incentives for conservation of natural capital

Conservation philosophy is changing from state-controlled people versus planet options towards making people part of conservation efforts through the provision of suitable incentives. Governments are stepping in correct for conservation market failures, while utilising the power and innovation of people to implement this.  For example, Brazil will start to provide money and credits to the residents of the Amazon to preserve the forests, rather then farm the land or resort to illegal logging. Read the full story at

See also an earlier blogpost on remaining challenges to PES: such payments must be sufficient to change behaviour, and better measurement of ecosystems services are needed to ensure that transfers are cost-effective.

Local PES mechanisms are an important step, but need to be complemented by global mechanisms to support global goals. They are also one of many responses to conserve and restore the world's natural capital.  Others are to address the misspecification of property rights, remove perverse incentives and improve the content and flow of information on the benefits and value of natural capital.

For more on mechanisms to restore natural capital see this recently released book by Aronson et al.

Africa still lags behind on well-functioning PES schemes according to this very recent study

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