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Fairly efficient and efficiently fair: success factors and constraints in payment and reward for environmental schemes in Asia

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Payment for environmental services (PES) starts gaining global attention. Only two decades ago the concept of environmental service was not well-understood and was often interpreted by the general public as a rubbish truck picking up our domestic waste. Just a decade ago the PES concept was introduced in Asian developing countries thus contesting pros and cons about its application in countries with high poverty incidence and poor environmental governance. Today governments companies academics and environmental practitioners are increasingly expressing interest and commitment in the concept. Yet pioneering efforts in Asia have shown that the process to establish PES in practice poses great challenges. Application of market-based environmental services in Asian developing countries involves some issues beyond exchanging money for such services such as intrinsic rights for land moral issues in monetizing environmental services social concerns and lack of adequate good environmental governance. How to effectively develop a PES scheme in developing countries with such intricate linkages between conservation and poverty alleviation? How to design and implement an efficient and fair PES scheme for relevant actors with a tremendous variety of socioeconomic and cultural contexts? How to avoid marginalized actors to become worse-off? Despite my years of involvement with the Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services in Asia (RUPES) project of the World Agroforestry Centre I still found myself puzzled and concerned about the debate.
    Publication year



    Leimona, B.


    Environmental management

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