‘Effects of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) on Deforestation and Poverty in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review' by Cyrus Samii, Matthew Lisiecki, Parashar Kulkarni, Laura Paler, and Larry Chavis.
In honor of World Environment Day on June 5th we are featuring our review studying the effects of programmes for reducing deforestation. Forests store carbon, which helps mitigate the effect of carbon emissions. However, the amount of forest cover is declining at a rate of over seven million hectares a year. Payment for environmental services (PES) are voluntary contracts to supply an environmental service in exchange for payment. In this review, the service is the maintenance or rehabilitation of natural forests.
The review examines how these programmes affect deforestation, factors affecting programme effectiveness, and whether PES should also aim to reduce poverty. The authors conclude that payment for environmental services programmes have only modest effects on deforestation and are not cost-effective. PES programmes are more likely to attract wealthier farmers, and are less effective in poor areas.