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PES for the poor? Preferences of potential buyers of forest ecosystem services for including distributive goals in the design of payments for conserving the dry spiny forest in Madagascar

Nonka Markova-Nenova and Frank Wätzold

Forest Policy and Economics, 2017, vol. 80, issue C, 71-79

Abstract: Whether to consider distributive goals when designing the policy instrument of payments for ecosystem services is controversial. Opponents argue this may undermine the efficiency of ecosystem service provision and poverty reduction should be addressed with separate policies. However, many developing country governments are unable to implement such policies. In such cases, from an economic perspective, the preferences of buyers of ecosystem services should count. This paper addresses with a case study a particular group of buyers, citizens in developed countries, who pay to protect public environmental goods in developing countries through donations. Based on the case study of Malagasy spiny forest conservation, we conduct a choice experiment to elicit the preferences of citizens of Cottbus, Germany, for inclusion of distributive goals in PES design. We find that overall respondents have preferences for achieving distributive goals (equal or pro-poor distribution) with their donations and value information about the way of payments distribution among local beneficiaries.

Keywords: Payments for ecosystem services; Distribution; Equity; Poverty alleviation; Choice experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:71-79