In this payment for ecosystem service (PES) modality, the scheme is implemented and coordinated at the national level. They are frequently designed to enforce ecosystem protection and rely on support from other groups and NGOs, and international partners for funding and technical assistance in implementation.

Instrument category

Payment for ecosystem services (PES)

Implementation status

Low - limited evidence available

Enabling conditions and success factors
  • The combination of livelihood improvement with the provision of a critical resource (such as forest, mangroves or water) is an important driver of a scheme’s success.
  • A long timeframe or 10 to 30 years is much more effective than a short timeframe.
  • Payment via non-monetary goods and services, such as building materials or education, is preferable to direct cash payments. Such alternative payments help to avoid corruption and unfair distribution of benefits.
Instrument benefits
  • PES enables local communities to become stewards of critical environmental assets that can play both carbon sequestration and a resilience role.
  • PES can stimulate local economic development and environmental protection, helping local inhabitants gain a regular income, which can be invested in other businesses or development needs such as education or improved housing.
Challenges and risks to implementation
  • PES schemes which threaten existing power structures or land rights arrangements are often likely to fail.

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