The PES-project under the umbrella of LaForeT has been completed on December 31, 2020.
Payments for ecosystem services (PES) aim at the valorization of ecosystem services, thus generating additional sources of income for local land users. This can provide incentives to maintain forest eco-systems. Ecosystem services (ES) include provisioning services (e.g. wood, non-timber forest products, medicinal plants…etc.), regulating services (e.g. water quality, carbon sequestration) and culturalservices (e.g. eco-tourism).
Even though there are a number of positive examples (PAGIOLA 2008; WUNDER & ALBÁN 2008), the broad implementation of such PES systems currently lags behind expectations (PATTANAYAKet al. 2010; ARRIAGADA et al. 2012). User driven systems have been shown to be more efficient compared to state organized ones (WUNDER et al.2008; PATTANAYAK et al. 2010).
However, high transaction costs are often a limiting factor (FERRARO2008; VATN 2010). A well balanced mix of PES is advocated by many authors. Therefore it is necessary, first, to determine potential services at the appropriate spatial scale (local, regional, global), and second, to identify potential payers. In addition, legal and institutional frameworks need to be analyzed in different countries and cultural contexts. The risk of losing specific ecosystem services needs to be considered and costs for providing these need to be analyzed (WÜNSCHER et al. 2008;ROBERT & STENGER 2013).
The WP in general informs policy makers on the suitability of PES as an instrument for forest protection and provides know-how on necessary preconditions. At the same time it detects ecosystem services that have the potential to be included in PES schemes and identifies countries and regions where PES schemes might successfully contribute to forest conservation.