Securing Societal Benefits Through Increased Provision Of Ecosystem Services Using Incentives
Free (open access)
487 - 500
K. Howard, H. Bjornlund & W. Xu
Many water scarce regions of the world are experiencing declining water quality and degraded ecosystems. This development reduces the capacity of these systems to deliver ecosystem services (ES) such a good quality drinking water and recreational opportunities. All of these services are fundamental to maintaining the quality of life that many societies have grown accustomed to. Payments for ES have been proposed to entice landowners to participate in land management programs to increase the provision of ES. Due to the voluntary nature of these programs, it is necessary to identify the proper level of incentive needed to attract enough participants. Using data from a telephone survey of rural landowners in southern Alberta, Canada, this paper investigates the minimum financial incentive required to entice participation in such programs and examines how the recognition of environmental, lifestyle and other economic benefits influence the level of incentive required. Findings show that the greater the landowners perceive the additional benefits from participating, the smaller the financial incentive required. The most important additional benefit is increased profitability, however if environmental, lifestyle and economic benefits will all result, the lowest levels of incentives will be needed. Keywords: payments for ecosystem services, market-based instruments, environmental land management, water quality, southern Alberta.
payments for ecosystem services, market-based instruments, environmental land management, water quality, southern Alberta