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Impact of local payments for ecosystem services on land use in a developed area of China: A qualitative analysis based on an integrated conceptual framework

Kaisheng Long, Hichem Omrani and Bryan C. Pijanowski

Land Use Policy, 2020, vol. 96, issue C

Abstract: Payments for ecosystem services (PES) have increasingly been applied as economic incentives for improving ecosystem services around the world. However, due to difficulties in measuring and attributing ecosystem services provisioning, a land-based approach has been popularly adopted as a proxy for the desired ecosystem services. In this study, we demonstrate the impact mechanism and outcomes of locally financed PES programs on conservation-based land use in a developed area of China. We present this work using a PES-land use proxy framework that is examined empirically through a variety of qualitative assessments. Our framework illustrates that, within the ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional conditions of developed areas, land use class, pattern and function would be impacted by (a) conservation effect, (b) stakeholder response, and (c) institutional adaptation mechanisms of local PES programs, with multiple land use trends as potential outcomes. We examine the framework using materials from Suzhou, China, which has implemented a top-down, partly involuntary (ecosystem services supply side), land based PES program. Our results show that, expected land use class, land use pattern and land use function are observed in areas where the PES programs were implemented. We also find that the conditions of developed areas and locally financed payments mechanism indeed played a crucial role in promoting conservation-based land use in Suzhou.

Keywords: Payments for ecosystem services; Land use; Local PES-land use framework; Sustainable payment mechanisms; Ecological governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104716

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