On the role of social equity in payments for ecosystem services in Latin America: A practitioner perspective
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ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS: 182: 106928 (2021)
One of the main debates surrounding payments for ecosystem services (PES) is to what extent should PES design focus on social equity concerns. While much of the debate is centered around theoretical arguments, here we focus empirically on the question of whether there are trade-offs between social-environmental effectiveness and social equity in PES design and implementation. Towards this end, we use a survey targeted at 61 PES practitioners in 12 Latin American countries, where equity is treated in a multidimensional way, not only including distributional concerns but also elements of recognition and procedure, reflected across a set of 15 indicators. Results suggest that PES which practitioners describe as being more equitable are also perceived to be more successful in jointly achieving the social-environmental goals of the PES program they are involved with. This suggests that from a practitioner perspective a concern for social equity may be advocated for not only from a normative stance ( because it is the right thing to do ), but also for instrumental reasons ( because it may contribute to PES success ). © 2020 Elsevier B.V.