The social impacts of the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) Scheme in Costa Rica: A quantitative field survey and analysis of the Virilla watershed


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London: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)


In 1996 Costa Rica implemented an innovative programme of Payments for Environmental Services (PES). Through this programme, forest and plantation owners are financially rewarded and legally acknowledged for the environmental services their forests provide to the community, both nationally and globally. By means of a case study of the Virilla watershed in Costa Rica, this report uses the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to analyse the social effects of the PES programme, and examines the effects the programme has had on financial, human, social, physical and environmental capital.



Carbon sequestration, Social impacts, Biodiversity, Payments for environmental services, Forest management, Livelihoods, Land use management, Markets, Poverty, Reforestation, Cost sharing, Conservation, Forestry, Watershed management, Livestock, Costa Rica, Financial rewards, Sustainable livelihoods framework, Central volcanic mountain range conservation area (accvc), Household survey, Impact assessment, Forest protection, Capacity building, Education, Farm/Enterprise Scale Watershed


Markets for Environmental Services 1