An Overview of Payments for Ecosystem Services
In the twenty-first century, we are challenged to dramatically transform the way we view, value, and manage our planet’s ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems have long been understood to produce ‘goods,’ such as food and fiber, that have a market value within the prevailing economic paradigm; however, the ‘services’ of these ecosystems have either been undervalued or not valued at all. These are ecosystems that provide trillions of dollars worth of clean water, flood protection, fertile lands, clean air, pollination, and disease control. These services are essential to maintaining livable conditions and are delivered by the world’s ecosystems, in effect, the world’s largest ‘utilities.’ Yet, over 60% of these ‘utilities’ are on the verge of collapse or are being used in ways that cannot be sustained (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005).
KeywordsEcosystem Service Forest Carbon Carbon Market Abatement Potential Voluntary Carbon Market
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