Institute of

International Forestry and Forest Economics


Anna Frerck
Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics

Leuschnerstraße 91
21031 Hamburg-Bergedorf
Phone: +49 40 739 62 301
Fax: +49 40 739 62 399

New article on payments for environmental services


Payments for environmental services are supposed to prevent deforestation. But do they actually lead to measurable additional protection, or do they only shift the problem? We investigated this question using Ecuador as an example.

(© Paul Eguiguren)

Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are financial incentive instruments used for forest conservation. However, their impact on reducing deforestation might be weakened by negligible additionality and leakage effects; the first refers to the low variation in net deforestation rates even in the absence of the instrument, and the second refers to the displaced deforestation behavior to other areas not covered by the instrument.

For the case of Ecuador, we examine both issues not only in selected PES-enrolled areas but also in their surroundings. We compare deforestation before and after the introduction of a PES programme and show that PES has achieved marginally low conservation impacts in enrolled areas with an average difference in net deforestation rates of 0.02 percent points over a period of 28 years.

PES-enrolled areas depict lower annual net deforestation rates than unenrolled areas, albeit at a negligible rate, and there is also some evidence that deforestation decreased in adjacent areas after PES implementation. Our results raise the suspicion that the choice of PES-enrolled areas might also have been influenced by self-selection.

  • Gordillo Vera F, Eguiguren P, Köthke M, Ferrer Velasco R, Elsasser P (2021) Additionality and leakage resulting from PES implementation? Evidence from the Ecuadorian Amazonia. Forests 12(7):906, DOI:10.3390/f12070906 PDF Dokument (nicht barrierefrei) 3703 KB