Agricultural systems are no longer evaluated solely on the basis of the food they provide, but also on their capacity to limit impacts on the environment, such as soil conservation, water quality and biodiversity conservation, as well as their contribution to mitigating and adapting to climate change. In order to cope with these multiple service functions, they must internalize the costs and benefits of their environmental impact. Payments for ecosystem services are hoped to encourage and promote sustainable practices via financial incentives.
The authors show that while the principle is straightforward, the practice is much more complicated. Whereas scenic beauty and protection of water sources provide benefits to the local population, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation can be considered international public goods, rendering potential payment schemes more complex. Few examples exist where national or international bodies have been able to set up viable mechanisms that compensate agricultural systems for the environmental services they provide. However this book provides several examples of successful programs, and aims to transfer them to other regions of the world. The authors show that a product can be sold if it is clearly quantified, there exists a means to determine the service's values, and there is a willing buyer.
The first two sections of the book present methodological issues related to the quantification and marketing of ecosystem services from agriculture, including agroforestry. The third and final section presents case studies of practical payments for ecosystem services and experiences in Central and South America, and draws some lessons learnt for effective and sustainable development of ecosystem services compensation mechanisms.
'Drawing together the findings of a decade of research, this book presents numerous lessons learned for targeting, designing, managing and monitoring agricultural PES. The contributors apply a rigorous and skeptical scientific eye to the body of experience, describing failures as well as successes, and highlight challenges that have not yet been solved.' Sara J. Scherr, President, EcoAgriculture Partners 'This book compiles years of research and policy implementation on ecosystem services in the Neotropics, from measurement to certification and payment. It is essential reading for anyone looking to analyze experience to date and to identify future directions and challenges for sustaining ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes.' Gretchen Daily, Stanford University
Contributors. Foreword. Introduction Part 1: Measuring Ecosystem Services 1. Principles and Methods for Assessing Climate Change Mitigation as an Ecosystem Service in Agroecosystems 2. Quantifying Services and Identifying Watershed Priority Areas for Soil and Water Conservation Programs 3. Measuring Biodiversity 4. Ecological Mechanisms for Pest and Disease Control in Coffee and Cacao Agroecosystems of the Neotropics 5. Services from Plant-pollinator Interactions in the Neotropics 6. Ecological Indexing as a Tool for the Payment of Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: The Experience of the GEF Silvopastoral Project in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Colombia Part 2: Marketing Ecosystem Services 7. Estimating the Cost and Benefits of Supplying Hydrological Ecosystem Services: An Application for Small-Scale Rural Drinking Water Organizations 8. Developing a Business Plan for Forestry and Other Land-use Based Carbon Projects 9. A Functional Anatomy of the Project-based Carbon Markets 10. The Value of Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes 11. PES and Ecolabel: A Comparative Analysis of Their Limits and Opportunities to Foster Environmental Services Provision Part 3: From Theory to Practice: Tales of Success and Lessons Learned 12. Leveraging and Sustainability of PES: Lessons learnt in Costa Rica 13. The Mexican PES Programme: Targeting for Higher Efficiency in Environmental Protection and Poverty Alleviation 14. Assessing the Impact of Institutional Design of Payments for Environmental Services: The Costa Rican Experience 15. Certification Process in the Coffee Value Chain: Achievements and Limits to Foster Provision of Environmental Services 16. Securing the Continuous Supply of Drinking Water in a Territory Requires Concerted Actions and Integrating Intervention Strategies: A case study in Cop�n Ruinas, Honduras 17. Payment for Environmental Services: Perfecting an Imperfect Market, Building Up Environmental Solutions 18. Measurement and Payment of Ecosystem Services from Agriculture and Agroforestry: New Insights from the Neotropics. Index