Chapter 18: The rise of PES in Brazil: from pilot projects to public policies
The concept of ‘ecosystem services’ was suggested in the 1970s by ecologists to highlight societal dependence on ecosystems (Westman, 1977). It gained popularity among policy makers in the late 1990s, becoming associated with monetary valuation and payment schemes (Pesche et al., 2012; Gomez-Baggethun, 2010; Gatzweiler, 2006). Payments for Environmental Services (PES) were proposed as a new policy paradigm to connect those actors who benefited from ecosystem services with actors who contributed to the provision of such services, through a voluntary transaction which satisfies conditionality and additionality (Engel et al., 2008; Pagiola and Platais, 2004). A wide range of models came to be grouped behind this common terminology, ranging from strictly market arrangements to national public policies. PES have been broadly defined as ‘a transfer of resources between social actors, which aims to create incentives to align individual and/or collective land use decisions with the social interest in the management of natural resources’ (Muradian et al., 2010: 1205). It appears to represent a good example of how a new idea is interpreted and translated into projects and policies to respond to the interests at stake (Milne and Adams, 2012).
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