Fresh tracks in the forest: Assessing incipient payments for environmental services initiatives in Bolivia
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This study provides an overview and assessment of environmental, economic and social effects of various PES-related initiatives as well as an overview of challenges and promoting factors to PES in Bolivia. We use five criteria to define PES systems: a voluntary agreement, a well-defined service, at least one buyer, at least one seller, and a conditional (quid pro quo) transaction. We examined 17 initiatives that were either ongoing or under preparation in various parts of Bolivia. We were able to closely analyse nine of these, which we consider our primary case studies. Most of these initiatives are still fairly young, and the analyses of their effects remain preliminary. Conceptually, we found that none of the existing initiatives in Bolivia satisfies all the above-mentioned criteria. Thus, no 'pure' PES scheme currently exists in Bolivia. However, several experiences use direct economic incentives and satisfy several of the criteria. There is thus a broader family of 'PES-like' projects exhibiting some important PES elements.