According to Tognetti (2016), forestry measures at the regional scale (i.e., forest mountain
areas) should be implemented, along with bridging the gap between local development via FES (forest ecosystem services
) provision, ecosystem resilience, and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and policies inclusive. The successful development of CSF calls for policymakers to create incentives for investments needed to activate forest management and finance mitigation and adaption measures, which include protecting biodiversity and other ES (Verkerk et al. 2020). A possible solution in that sense is the implementation of PES
in CSF (Bartczak and Metelska-Szaniawska 2015; Matthies et al. 2015). According to Wunder (2005), PES
are defined as voluntary transactions where a well-defined ES is bought by a buyer (i.e., someone who is willing to pay for it), if and only if the provider secures the provision of such service. However, this prescriptive definition is problematic because it excludes a variety of PES
schemes operating under different principles with ill-defined ES or under inefficient provision levels (Muradian et al. 2010). The revised Wunder’s definition defines PES
as “(1) voluntary transactions (2) between service users (3) and service providers (4) that are conditional on agreed rules of natural resource management (5) for generating offsite services” (Wunder 2015). These transactions are labelled as “Coasean PES
” (Coase 1960; Pagiola and Platais 2007) or “private PES
” (Wunder 2005). Those PES
which satisfy most but not all of Wunder’s criteria are generally called “quasi-PES
” or “PES-like” (Wunder 2008) and usually come with government intervention that is mostly characterized by subsidies (Vatn 2010; Sattler and Matzdorf 2013).
In reality, few real-world schemes meet all five of Wunder’s definition criteria (i.e., voluntariness, clarity in defining ES, conditionality), while the number of PES-like schemes is much larger (Wunder 2008; Kosoy and Corbera 2010; Sattler et al. 2013). The latter can be defined more broadly as a transfer (monetary or nonmonetary) of resources between social actors, which aims to create incentives to align individual and/or collective land-use decisions with social interest in the management of natural resources (Muradian et al. 2010). They include, for example, those programs financially supported by public governments that “buy” ES on behalf of their taxpayers who, strictly speaking, cannot decide whether or not to participate in the program (Russi et al. 2011). This wide range of real-world existing or potential schemes focuses on influencing the ES providers through monetary or in-kind incentives. In most cases, the payment amount is not based on a monetary evaluation of the ES value but rather on lengthy negotiations among providers and users, informed by the opportunity cost associated with the required land-use practices (Russi et al. 2011).
and PES-like initiatives are now being promoted around the globe to incentivize the sustainable management of numerous ES (e.g., Kosoy et al. 2007; Pagiola et al. 2007; Muñoz-Piña et al. 2008; Tallis et al. 2008; Wunder and Albán 2008; Wunder 2008; Stanton et al. 2010; Brouwer et al. 2011). However, there are few PES
examples in the European Union. Although PES
/PES-like schemes have been widely adopted at the local, national, and international levels to reflect FES value in decisionmaking processes (Kemkes et al. 2010), a limited number of studies have so far examined the role of PES
in improving the mitigation strategies of forests in Europe, especially considering CSF.
and Multiple ES
Designing and implementing policy and market tools to support synergies between ecosystem and ES relationships and reduce trade-offs among them is particularly crucial in forest ecosystems that represent important carbon sinks on the global scale. This makes them key ecosystems relevant for the regulation of ES that contribute to mitigating climate change via carbon uptake from the atmosphere and precipitation reduction of solar heating (Bonan 2008). As also emphasized by the EU
Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, EU
Forest Strategy and proposed new EU
Forest Strategy of the European Green Deal, sustainable forest management and multiple FES provisions are considered a long-term strategy to mitigate climate change impacts. In CSF definition, the multiplicity of ES provision is an important factor for supporting smart decisionmaking in forestry (Bowditch et al. 2020). Regulatory services, such as water regulation or erosion control, can to some extent buffer the natural and social system against the impacts of climate change (such as floods or droughts). Provisioning services (e.g., food and fiber) can provide an alternative source of food and income in the case of extreme events. Cultural services of forest ecosystems contribute to health and well-being and thus contribute to the social system’s adaptive capacity (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005; Locatelli et al. 2008).
Policymakers and forest managers need to make decisions to manage forest ecosystems sustainably, even while a gap remains in our understanding of the ecosystem-ES relationships (Mach et al. 2015; Van Wensem et al. 2016). They should seek to align the economic incentives with regulation to avoid environmentally irresponsible behavior by economic players. The forest environment is heavily exploited for the goods and services it provides and also faces global pressures such as climate change. This adds uncertainty to sustainable management as it is unclear how these pressures affect ecosystem resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change or the services provided by those vulnerable ecosystems (Knights et al. 2013; Mach et al. 2015).
Interactions between ES have been the subject of an increasing number of studies because their understanding is essential to the design and implementation of public policies, management strategies, and PES
schemes that can foster the sustainability of ecosystem service provision (Demestihas et al. 2019; Mouchet et al. 2014). However, the commoditization of ES via PES
schemes usually entails the identification and commercialization of single services (Muradian and Rival 2012). Such a focus on single services might be problematic due to the existence of trade-offs that may induce changes in the structure and functioning of the resource base, which may in turn jeopardize the supply of other services and even the service whose provision is being promoted (Corbera and Brown 2010; Kosoy and Corbera 2010; Muradian and Rival 2012).
The enhanced provision of a single service can also lead to disadvantages for users at the local scale, as trade-offs are often involved in enhancing different ES for different scale and purposes (Chan et al. 2006). According to Lee and Lautenbach (2016), trade-offs are mostly dominant between regulating and provisioning services. An often-cited example for such trade-offs is the establishment of trees for global benefit (fast-growing tree species, such as eucalyptus for carbon sequestration), which not only might replace more biodiversity-rich areas but could also have implications for the water table and thus increase system sensitivity to drought (van de Sand 2012). Gomez-Baggethun et al. (2011) reported significant cork tree forest destruction and consequent biodiversity loss due to eucalyptus plantation in Doñana National Park, Spain. Such project interventions may affect the flow of provisioning services, as well as the stakeholders whose livelihoods are related to ecosystem production functions. Corbera and Brown (2010) found that in some carbon forestry payment schemes that they reviewed, access to grazing land was restricted, and degradation of soil and vegetation occurred. Thus, although some ES can be increased, others might be eroded, thereby potentially increasing rather than decreasing the vulnerability of those dependent on the services to climate variability and change.
Although markets for multiple services might involve considerable transaction costs, targeting multiple FES rather than single FES (e.g., biodiversity) reduces contradictions among providers and users and may positively affect the transformation from sectoral to ES governance. Targeting multiple ES via payment schemes is particularly relevant as there is a dominance of single provider and multiple users of ES. In many payment schemes, provisioning FES and cultural FES are addressed in combination with other FES rather than separately (ibid.). This can be supported by the research of Brnkaľáková et al. (2019), where they showed that a synergistic relationship was dominant between different regulating services and between different cultural services (positive relationship); yet the review of Lee and Lautenbach (2016) illustrated that the relationship between regulating and provisioning services was trade-off dominated. Comprehensive information is required for well-informed management and policy decisions that take account of ecosystem complexity and relationships among ES.
According to Matthies et al. (2016), the goal of bundling or stacking multiple ES within a single PES
scheme is to reduce the risk of adverse intraservice trade-offs, which is done by incentivizing the co-provisioning ES. Moreover, such bundling could decrease marginal service provisioning costs to society per unit of service provided. They highlighted that the stacking of biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation objectives is possible if appropriate care is taken to determine those management interventions that are complementary to achieving the correct balance between the equitable and aggregate achievement of desired outcomes (ibid.).
Demestihas et al. (2019) in their study analyzed the patterns of ES relationships in agroecosystems to address the challenge of supporting regulating ES while maintaining or enhancing provisioning services. Such an example can be used in promoting PES
that focus on the provision of multiple ES. PES
that go beyond the food production service may support the provision of multiple non-marketed services (such as soil structure and fertility, water quantity and quality, biological pest control, pollination, and climate regulation through carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation). Despite this recognition, non-marketed ES have been undervalued in policy, which has led to biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation (TEEB 2009).
When designing PES
schemes, it is important to focus on the temporal variation of trade-offs and synergies among multiple ES throughout and after the PES
period. Although some PES
initially focus on single ES, over time they may also support the provision of other related ES. Even though PES
can support several ES, most are designed for each ES separately. However, analyses of the effects of PES
schemes should focus on multiple services to allow the capture of trade-offs among them and explore system complexity (Lester et al. 2013; Mach et al. 2015; Cavanagh et al. 2016). Consequently, such analyses will help to quantify and forecast changes to ES under different PES
and management measures (Daily et al. 2009; Mach et al. 2015). According to Broszeit et al. (2019), such an approach would ideally help to understand if or why PES
or other types of policy interventions that aim to halt biodiversity loss and the decline of ES have failed or succeeded (Carpenter et al. 2009).
In order to achieve successful CSF, implementation of PES
requires a balancing act between wood production, biodiversity, and other important ES. According to Verkerk et al. 2020, the optimal balance will vary from country to country and region to region, depending on the socio-ecological and technological framework, climate change impacts, but also cultural aspects. This approach demonstrates a step toward customizing PES
within CSF to fit individuals and regional differences and local priorities and capacities to tackle climate change issues.
and Adaptive Capacity
European forests currently face changes in ecosystem functionality and resilience due to climate change (e.g., increased severity of disturbances such as hazard risk, storms with consequent insect attacks, fires, drought, etc.) (Schelhaas et al. 2015; Kulakowski et al. 2017). Apart from reducing GHG emissions, Millar et al. (2007) proposed forest management adaptation via behavior change, promoting the resilience of forests and increasing the adaptive capacity of forest users to climate change. Such transformations in turn influence FES availability (Thom and Seidl 2016) and finally affect sustainable development in forest areas (e.g., Beniston 2003).
As stated by CSF definition, the key objective of CSF is to adapt forests and forest management to the gradual changing of climate. PES
not only can contribute to increasing forest resilience and adaptive capacity through the provision of multiple ES but could also strengthen the adaptive capacity of users and providers through the way in which PES
is implemented and designed. In line with common pool resource theory and numerous empirical evidence (Ostrom 2010), PES
can increase the capacity of local governance regimes, strengthen local economies, and improve the social capital that are essential features of adaptive capacity for sustainable long-term FES provision. van de Sand (2012), in her review, has shown that PES
can potentially increase the adaptive capacity of involved actors via the establishment of institutional structures, increased access to and generation of financial resources, generation of knowledge between ecosystems and land-use practices, and supporting conflict resolution.
However, the long-term nature of many PES
contracts may prevent ES providers from implementing certain adaptation strategies that would involve CSF, changing land-use practices via crop diversification, or leaving the agriculture or forestry sector altogether. According to Chobotova (2013), despite the mixed evidence of PES
’s role in the long-term behavioral changes of users and providers toward sustainability, significant interest in PES
can nevertheless be explained by schemes that encourage greater transparency and more flexibility in allowing actors to reach a certain goal. Moreover, she reported that PES
actors have problems with the long-term commitment inherent in PES
, due in particular to unclear property rights and rules in use (Schlager and Ostrom 1992), multiple ownership structure, or land rental contracts that are often subject to change and speculation. Most landowners usually rent land to farmers for only shorter periods, with rental periods of less than 5 years, making land users ineligible for PES
(ibid.). Short rental periods are generally insufficient for ES provision (e.g., increased biodiversity by restoring species-rich communities), which may demotivate land users from participating in such schemes or implementing certain adaptation strategies. Therefore, PES
flexibility is an important factor for implementation.
In some cases, it may be that a tree species is not adapted to changing climatic conditions and has to be replaced by other tree species. In Slovakia, for example, foresters in mountain
areas are replacing nonnative coniferous trees by mixed stands of species that are likely to be well adapted to emerging environmental conditions and changing climate (Brnkaláková et al. 2019). CSF in this case suggests selling (in a sustainable manner) timber in order to finance the conversion of disturbance-vulnerable forests to a more resilient new forest type (Yousefpour et al. 2018). If ES providers see the need for and are willing to undertake adaptation measures to climate change yet lack the appropriate means for implementation, there is thus an opportunity to tailor PES
compensation in such a way that it provides direct incentives for adaptation measures (van de Sand 2012). PES
compensation schemes for the provision of ES and as a direct incentive for adaptation and mitigation measures can often be made in kind, in addition to or instead of using cash payments (e.g., Wunder 2008), which is a strong sign of intrinsic motivation (Muradian et al. 2010). Brnkaľáková et al. (2019) reported that foresters are willing to join PES
schemes if they are targeted at the forest machinery important for CSF, as such investment is far beyond their own budget.
Investing in climate-smart practices can result in short-term income losses (Haile et al. 2019), which often inhibits forest actors from investing in adaptation measures, which could generate long-term economic and environmental returns (Neufeldt et al. 2011; Ndah et al. 2014). Also according to Lipper et al. (2011), actors value short-run costs much stronger than longer-term benefits. In both cases, PES
can help cover short-run costs and contribute to continuous payoffs, thereby increasing profitability and lowering investment risk (Engel and Muller 2016). Therefore, changing the timing of payments in a PES
program may trigger a change in actors’ behavior in favor of CSF, which has economic and ecosystem benefits.
If a PES
program compensates foresters for the investment costs associated with adopting CSF in initial years when cash outflows characterize the investment, foresters are willing to engage in environmentally conscious practices, and there is a high possibility of large-scale adoption of the innovation across Europe. Within the Iceland PES
scheme, each farm’s afforestation grant covers 97% of establishment costs, including fencing, trails, site preparation, planting, and precommercial thinning (Brynleifsdóttir 2017; Icelandic Forest Service 2017).
van de Sand (2012) mentioned that payment could take the form of drought-resistant seeds as an adaptation measure against drought or more generally climate variability. Haile et al. (2019), in the case of climate-smart agroforestry, highlighted that farmers are willing to receive a low amount if the mode of payment is food rather than cash; they also reported that the failure of output markets could explain such a preference. In areas characterized by vulnerability to climate shocks and associated severe food shortages, in the absence of well-functioning markets and where cash transfers are vulnerable to price increases of food items, farmers rationally choose the end goods (food) rather than the means (cash) (ibid.).
12.2.3 Long-Term Sustainability
have been heralded as an effective strategy to increase tree cover in forest or agricultural landscapes and thus contribute as a climate change mitigation measure, but their efficacy beyond the payment period has rarely been evaluated. The permanence of activities (the extent to which the induced change is permanent after the finalization of funding) in the event of PES
reduction is debatable. The temporal limitation of PES
schemes has important implications as to whether payments foster an environmental attitude or, in the words of Swart (2003), an attitude of “no pay, no care.” Ultimately, the sustainability of environmental outcomes following short-term PES
programs needs to be tested rather than assumed (Calle 2020). In recent years, several studies have shown that the permanence of PES
interventions is highly context dependent (Prokofieva and Gorriz 2013; Calle 2020).
Whereas the rational choice approach of most PES
programs states that permanent outcomes require ongoing payments, forestry PES
schemes anticipate that because changing forestry practices would soon become profitable, landowners (or land users) would, therefore, permanently adopt such practices (Calle 2020). According to Prokofieva and Gorriz (2013), permanence beyond an agreement period is not secured especially in the absence of additional financial resources. However, when landowners’ private interest is strong or activities are aligned with their personal values, it is expected that high additional costs are not imposed on landowners and any costs complement their activities. This is consistent with the predictions of self-determination theory, according to which behavioral changes outlast the withdrawal of external incentives only when intrinsic motivation is strong enough (e.g., Deci 1971; Green-Demers et al. 1997; Deci and Ryan 2002). On the other hand, according to Frey and Oberholzer-Gee (1997), the use of price incentives needs to be reconsidered in all areas where intrinsic motivation can empirically be shown as important. They suggest that in policy areas where intrinsic motivation does not exist or has already been crowded out, the relative price effect, and thus the use of compensation, is a promising strategy (ibid.), even if payments are short term.
Ezzine-de-Blas et al. (2019) stressed that the willingness to maintain behavior after incentives are discontinued, or “crowding-in,” results when satisfaction with the new practices gradually strengthens intrinsic motivations, eventually replacing the external incentive as the main driver of behavioral change. So, the crowding-in effect means that people conform and entrain with a new norm, which may also become a new moral standard (Vatn 2010). Monetary incentives can support long-term sustainability and climate change adaptation, if implemented as a local social norm, and aligned with cultural and interpersonal values. Kolinjivadi et al. (2015) confirm the link between motivation crowding-in and collective PES
, if the latter aligns with social norms and the social capital is strong. In a context where social capital is strong (i.e., reciprocity norms exist, people trust each other, and leaders are respected), collective PES
can increase intrinsic motivations (Andersson et al. 2018; Bottazzi et al. 2018). Prokofieva and Gorriz (2013) in their review of three European PES
forest initiatives claimed that success and durability rely on the strong self-interest of involved forest owners, shared values and priorities, social capital that permits strong local networks to form, positive environmental attitudes, and local networks.
Moreover, crowding-in has been mostly observed for practices that provide long-term financial benefits. On the other hand, motivations for involvement in PES
schemes do not relate to purely monetary logic. It has also been seen for practices that are easier to maintain, such as delivery of other services (e.g., water regulation) or in-kind benefits (e.g., soil fertility), or difficult to reverse (e.g., forest reclearing) (Kissinger et al. 2013; Swann 2016; Dayer et al. 2018), such as improved land tenure security and community organization, increased recipient knowledge about the importance of forest conservation (Kosoy et al. 2007; Wunder 2015), and information about (and experience with) the risk and negative effects of climate change.
programs can also be considered in the context of the broader effects of climate change. Forest cover or woody vegetation cover can increase slightly as a result of changed climate conditions and consequent rural migration, land abandonment in areas that became too dry for agriculture, and reforestation programs. Where progress in changing forest landscape management is achieved during the short-term payment period and has been retained (i.e., permanence), it suggests that forest owners can understand the benefits of maintaining trees even without payments (crowding-in) (Calle 2020). Whether forester owners opt to maintain reforested areas at the end of contract periods remains to be seen. These longer-term landowner decisions will ultimately determine whether the program is an effective strategy in addressing climate change issues. Assuming that CSF practices are – by definition – more profitable for the farmer in the longer run, temporary payments should be sufficient to induce a permanent change in forestry practices. Also according to Lipper et al. (2011), actors value short-run costs much stronger than longer-term benefits. In both cases, PES
can help cover short-run costs and contribute to continuous payoffs, thereby increasing profitability and lowering investment risk (Engel and Muller 2016).
Our literature review confirms that with well-designed PES
, some forest landowners will not only adopt but also and more importantly maintain climate-smart practices. CSF can transform production forests into heterogeneous landscapes that support higher productivity, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and the flow of ecosystem services and are, therefore, an important component of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Since foresters’ participation in adaptation and mitigation to climate initiatives remains marginal at best, even short-term PES
can be a useful policy tool to facilitate the widespread adoption of CSF.