Lao PDR: Incentive payments for Eld's deer conservation in Savannakhet Province
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The rare Eld's deer (Cervus eldi siamensis), which was only recently discovered to still inhabit the open dipterocarp forest in Savannakhet Province of Lao PDR are threatened by the activities of nearby. WCS and the Smithsonian Institution (SI) initiated a "payments for conservation" scheme in 2003, with the aim of reducing threats to the deer and increasing the size of the deer population. Villagers were asked to: 1) reduce or stop hunting, (2) maintain habitat, and (3) be involved in conservation of Eld's deer. According to the agreement, WCS Laos paid an annual cash incentive (initially US$300, increased to US$450 in the second and third years) to each of three villages located close to a population of the endangered Eld's Deer in central-southern Laos in return for a reduction in threats to deer (though no criteria were set for how performance would be measured).
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