Values, Payments and Institutions for Ecosystem Management

Values, Payments and Institutions for Ecosystem Management

A Developing Country Perspective

Edited by Pushpam Kumar and Ibrahim Thiaw

Using a selection of authoritative and original contributions, this timely book explores the uncertainty surrounding the impact of decisions undertaken to manage ecosystem services worldwide. Invariably, the policies designed and implemented to manage forests, wetlands, and marine and coastal environments often involve conflicts of interest between various stakeholders. This has added an additional layer of complexity in the context of developing countries where institutions and governance are weak or absent. Economic valuation and the subsequent design of innovative response tools such as payment for ecosystem services (PES) have the potential to offer far greater transparency. In the case of LDCs, the identification of suitable institutions for executing these tools is also of vital importance.

Chapter 9: Paying for international environmental public goods

Rodrigo Arriagada and Charles Perrings

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics, environmental economics, management natural resources, valuation

Extract

How can we secure the provision of international environmental public goods? It is well understood that markets under-supply public goods, and there is a wealth of evidence that many environmental public goods have been systematically under-supplied over a long period of time (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). If environmental public goods occur at the scale of the nation state or below, the failure of markets to supply public goods may be offset by the actions of local or national government. There exist many national agencies with responsibilities for the provision of environmental public goods such as habitat for rare and endangered species, clean water, environmental health protection and so on. There also exist many offset or mitigation systems for securing private provision of public goods at a national level (Madsen et al. 2010). At the international level, where there is no supranational authority to take responsibility, the failure of markets to deliver environmental public goods is more difficult to offset. Depending upon the magnitude and distribution of the pay offs to be had from provision of public goods, individual countries will have a stronger or weaker incentive to commit resources to their maintenance.

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