Table 2. Nonexhaustive list of institutional contexts under which PES may be implemented. Characteristics on the left side of the options are generally (although not always) easier contexts for implementing PES. These choices often rest within a continuum rather than a dichotomy.

Characteristics Institutional context Options
Service provider governance type democratic vs. authoritarian
  type of provider individual vs. community
  property tenure private property vs. no tenure
  legality of behaviors legal vs. illegal
  opportunity costs homogenous vs. variable
         
Buyer buyer’s funding secure vs. insecure
  buyer goals to trade-off economic efficiency vs. equitable distribution
  additional buyer goals to trade-off social vs. ecological
         
Relationship threats to system internal vs. external
  distance between buyer and provider local vs. international
  relationship between buyer and provider one-on-one vs. intermediaries
  negotiations market-based vs. one-off/project-based negotiation
  participation constraints voluntary vs. regulated