The Case for International Payments for Ecosystem Services
Edited by Joshua Bishop and Chloe Hill
Chapter 9: Conclusions: towards international payments for ecosystem services
● A range of factors, including increased awareness of the pace of environmental decline, the limits of traditional approaches to environmental protection, and the significant benefits provided by healthy ecosystems, have stimulated worldwide interest in mobilizing wider support for conservation. ● Ecosystems and the valuable services they provide remain threatened in large part due to pervasive economic externalities (uncompensated third-party impacts) and the continued 'invisibility' of nature in much economic decision-making. ● Payments for ecosystem services (PES) attempt to correct such externalities by encouraging resource managers to provide ecosystem services through conditional payments from beneficiaries. ● Most existing PES schemes operate at a local or national level. Applying PES at an international scale implies a focus on ecosystem services that are enjoyed globally (e.g. carbon storage and sequestration), or which straddle national boundaries (e.g. river basin management). ● Several hurdles must be overcome in order to develop international PES (IPES), particularly if it is to be implemented using market mechanisms. These are surmountable but require considerable technical and political effort. ● Given the many challenges associated with generating significant additional resources for conservation, and channelling these resources efficiently and equitably across international boundaries, the opportunities for IPES deserve more attention than they have received to date from the international community.
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