Agrifood Economics


Payments for environmental services. What role in sustainable agricultural development?
ESA Working Paper 11-20
Leslie Lipper and Bernardete Neves
Publication date
PES is but one of many different instruments that can complement and stimulate an enabling policy environment for sustainable agricultural development. Currently the role of PES programmes in supporting sustainable agricultural development is quite limited. Recent surveys of the literature documenting PES experiences highlight three main features of such programmes as they are currently being implemented: (1) most do not demonstrate additionality and suffer from a lack of appropriate targeting; (2) most are designed with multiple objectives; and (3) most remain primarily or entirely funded by the public sector. In this paper, we argue that a public-sector-driven process of building PES programme readiness, which includes building partnerships with the private sector, is key to realizing the potential of this policy instrument to support sustainable agricultural development.