Compensation for environmental services and rural communities: lessons from the Americas
Compensation schemes for ecosystems or environmental services focused on poor rural communities can strengthen their livelihoods and improve ecosystem management. Various initiatives in the Americas provide lessons in this regard. Peasant and indigenous communities manage ecosystems to meet subsistence needs, earn income in markets and pursue new alternatives linked to the provision of environmental services. Compensation schemes should support the integration of these various levels and overcoming hurdles in each one. This requires a broad approach to compensation that avoids fixation with direct payments. A landscape perspective becomes important since environmental services are generated through a variety of land uses. Social capital is crucial for effective collective action in heterogeneous landscapes, to foster internal cohesion and positive external linkages. Expanding and defending communities´ rights to the resource base is a prerequisite, otherwise compensation schemes can sidestep or disenfranchise communities. Donors and intermediary oganisations should respect community’s perspectives and priorities. The State should guarantee the defence and expansion of communities´ rights, policies that revalue rural spaces, and rules for compensation schemes that favour communities.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Director, PRISMA (Programa Salvadoreño de Investigación sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente), El Salvador. 2: Senior Researcher, PRISMA
Publication date: June 1, 2004
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- The International Forestry Review is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes original research and review papers on all aspects of forest policy and science, with an emphasis on issues of transnational significance. It is published four times per year, in March, June, September and December. Theme editions are a regular feature and attract a wide audience.
The IFR is part of The Global Forest Information Service - GFIS
International Forestry Review has a 5-year impact factor of 1.733
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