The equity and legitimacy of markets for ecosystem services
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This article claims that economic incentives are important to bring about resource conservation. Markets for ecosystem services must consider social and developmental goals. This study was conducted in two communities involved in a project for carbon sequestration services of forests in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The data was collected using semi-structured interviews, social surveys, and participant observation. Projects often exclude women and the poorest, and operate in a way that reinforces unequal power structures, where project legitimacy is determined by political affiliation. Traditional institutions neglect the gendered nature of natural resources and carbon activities are repeating the same mistake. Legitimate decision making calls for the involvement of women in project design and implementation. The study shows that women's interests remain largely ignored over the preference of fast-growing species.