CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are instruments of financial incentive for the conservation of nature. If ecosystem services are defined as benefits given to humans by nature, environmental services at the heart of PES’s are services exchanged by people for the sake of nature. While some see PSE’s as instrumental in the commoditization of nature, in practice they generally consist in paying users in order that they suspend certain usage rights, be they legally recognized or not, without any transfer of these rights, nor any recourse to the market. Other PES’s pay owners to better the environmental quality of their land. The main problem with PES’s then is that they act as incentives to act as self-interested creditors and thus annul any hope of fostering a disinterested attitude of conservation.

Alain Karsenty
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