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Compensation and Rewards for Environmental Services in the Developing World: Framing Pan-Tropical Analysis and Comparison

Brent M. Swallow, World Agroforestry Centre
Mikkel F. Kallesoe, World Conservation Union
Usman A. Iftikhar, World Conservation Union
Meine van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre
Carina Bracer, Forest Trends
Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners
K. V. Raju, Institute for Social and Economic Change
Susan V Poats, Corporación Grupo Randi Randi
Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, United Nations Environment Programme
Benson O. Ochieng, African Centre for Technology Studies
Hein Mallee, International Development Research Centre
Rachael Rumley, World Agroforestry Centre


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This is the first of a series of papers that review the state of knowledge and practice regarding compensation and rewards for environmental services in the developing world. The paper begins with an assessment of the historical development of compensation and reward mechanisms within a broader context of changing approaches to nature conservation and environmental policy. The assessment shows that greater interest in compensation and reward mechanisms has emerged within a policy context of changing approaches to nature conservation and flexible multi-stakeholder approaches to environmental management. In the developing world, an even greater variety of perspectives has emerged on the opportunities and threats for using compensation and rewards for environmental services. Within that background, the paper clarifies key concepts—including the distinction between compensation and reward—and presents a conceptual framework for typifying and characterizing different types of mechanisms that link ecosystem stewards, ecosystem service beneficiaries, and intermediaries.

Key words

Africa; Asia; compensation; ecosystems service; Latin America; payment for environmental service; rewards

Copyright © 2009 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087