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Mechanisms behind concurrent payments for ecosystem services in a Chinese nature reserve

Alexandra Yost, Li An, Richard Bilsborrow, Lei Shi, Xiaodong Chen, Shuang Yang and Weiyong Zhang

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 169, issue C

Abstract: Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) seek to protect important ecosystems and related ecosystem services while increasing (or maintaining) human wellbeing by paying resource users directly to change their land and resource use behavior. To increase understanding of socio-economic aspects of PES, this study collected data from households to identify variables that may influence Chinese villagers’ decisions to enroll land in a PES program, the Grain-to-Green Program (GTGP), in the context of simultaneous participation in another PES, the Forest Ecological Benefit Compensation Fund (FEBC). Previous studies identified a baseline of relevant variables, which we use as control variables. Secondary to this, we explore how hypothetical post-participation land use options might promote or deter GTGP participation. In addition to supporting previous findings regarding the role of control variables, our results generated through regression analysis suggest a negative relationship between GTGP enrollment and FEBC participation. We find that villagers view retiring land from crops to plant ecological trees through GTGP as undesirable under current compensation scenarios. Through exploring latent mechanisms underlying PES enrollment in concurrent PES programs, this research provides new insight about PES effectiveness, as well as bases for policy extension, with lessons for design and implementation of PES in China and globally.

Keywords: Concurrent payments for ecosystem services; Grain-to-green program; Post-participation behavior; China; Afforestation; Land use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106509

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