Payment for environmental services at the local level: Comparing two cases in Ecuador

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In Ecuador, a series of experiences of payment for environmental services (PES) have been developed. Contrasting from what happens in Costa Rica, where a central PES implementing authority exists, the initiatives in Ecuador are developed in a decentralised fashion. Here we define PES as those voluntary and conditioned transactions of well-defined environmental services between at least one supplier and one user (Wunder, 2005, pp.3). In this article, we analyze the two local experiences that are probably better related to this theoretical concept of PES: PROFAFOR, which has been establishing plantations to fix carbon, mainly in the Sierra for the last 13 years, and the pioneering experience of Pimampiro, which is five years old and has become a model of protection of water resources among small municipalities.



Carbon sequestration, Payments for environmental services, Forest management, Livelihoods, Land use management, Environmental services, Water, Forestry, Forests, Water quality, Livestock, PES, Pimampiro, Cloud forests, Profafor, FACE, Water bill, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale Watershed


Paper presented at the ZEF-CIFOR workshop: Payments for Environmental Services (PES): Methods and Design in Developing and Developed Countries, Titisee, Germany, 15-18 June 2005