Table of Contents

Handbook of Ecological Economics

Handbook of Ecological Economics

Edited by Joan Martínez-Alier and Roldan Muradian

This Handbook provides an overview of major current debates, trends and perspectives in ecological economics. It covers a wide range of issues, such as the foundations of ecological economics, deliberative methods, the de-growth movement, ecological macroeconomics, social metabolism, environmental governance, consumer studies, knowledge systems and new experimental approaches. Written by leading authors in their respective areas of specialisation, the contributions systematize the “state of the art” in the selected topics, and draw insights about new knowledge frontiers.

Chapter 18: The rise of PES in Brazil: from pilot projects to public policies

Emilie Coudel, Joice Ferreira, Maurício de Carvalho Amazonas, Ludivine Eloy, Marcelo Hercowitz, Luciano Mattos, Peter May, Roldan Muradian, Marie-Gabrielle Piketty and Fabiano Toni

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics


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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