Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) are packages of measures that aim to support farmers in the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that will benefit the environment, and improve long-term food security.
Without incentives, farmers are limited in their ability to invest the time and capital to change agricultural practices and overcome technical, cultural or financial adoption barriers to sustainable production. These incentives encourage farmers to protect and deliver more ecosystem services through better management of crops, livestock, forests and fisheries, and conservation of endangered species and protected habitats.
To overcome these barriers, an IES package can create an umbrella of programmes to support farmers' transition to more sustainable agricultural production. Public policies to improve farm productivity can be combined with those that reward conservation practices. Both can see its results maximized by partnering with green business strategies such as ecological value-added markets, and civil society initiatives that support improved livelihoods and social protection.
Example of an integrated IES package
Soil and water conservation:
Protection of sensitive habitats: