Global Biodiversity Finance

Global Biodiversity Finance

The Case for International Payments for Ecosystem Services

Edited by Joshua Bishop and Chloe Hill

Global Biodiversity Finance sets out the case for scaling up Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) at the international level. The book explores how International Payments for Ecosystem Services (IPES) can help capture the global willingness-to-pay for biodiversity, and how the resulting revenues can be used efficiently to encourage conservation and the sustainable supply of ecosystem services, on which we all depend. This timely volume includes examples of promising initiatives from around the world, supporting an agenda for action to make IPES a reality.

Chapter 2: Ecosystems, economics and payment for ecosystem services

Joshua Bishop and David Huberman

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


● There is increasing evidence of the significant benefits provided by nature. These benefits can be described as 'ecosystem services', including direct, indirect, tangible and intangible values. ● Many important ecosystem services are ignored or undervalued by both policy makers and the market, due to missing property rights and the pervasive problem of externalities. The result is widespread market failure, economic waste and excessive environmental decline. ● While there are synergies between some ecosystem services, there are also trade-offs, particularly between commodity production and so-called 'regulating' or 'cultural' ecosystem services. Some ecosystem services are local in scope, while others may be enjoyed at a national or international scale, such as carbon sequestration or the non-use values of biodiversity conservation. ● Ecosystem services can be valued in economic or monetary terms, using a range of indirect estimation methods perfected over many years. ● Increasing awareness of the value of ecosystem services has stimulated the development of a range of different economic incentive and payment schemes, often lumped together under the term 'payment for ecosystem services' (PES). _ Most existing PES schemes focus on a narrow range of ecosystem services: climate regulation, water flow regulation, erosion control and scenic beauty. ● PES is increasingly employed in both developed and developing countries. Public support for PES depends on many factors, notably the ability to persuade beneficiaries to pay for services that they may have previously enjoyed for free.

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