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Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 3019-3042; doi:10.3390/su6053019

How Does Paying for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence from Case Study Research in Germany and the UK

1
Institute of Socio-Economics, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Eberswalder Straße 84, Muencheberg 15374, Germany
2
Institute of Sociology, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Adam-Kuckhoff-Straße 41, Halle (Saale) 06108, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
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Abstract

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are currently being discussed as one of the most promising tools in environmental and sustainability governance. However, much criticism has been voiced against overly optimistic assumptions of PES’ management potential towards sustainability. Several contributions to the debate show that PES fail both in reducing poverty and strengthening social justice. Additionally, they neglect problems of deliberation in decision-making, as well as the legitimacy of the applied environmental practices. Our empirical investigation on participatory and deliberative structures in already existing PES initiated by non-state actors contributes to the latter body of research. Based on the assumption that playing an active part in scheme design facilitates the consideration of justice and fairness, our case studies from Germany and the UK. present interesting results on the involvement of conflicting interests and their argumentation in the design process. Summing up these findings, we conclude that paying for ES rarely contributes to sustainable development in and of itself, but deliberatively designed schemes provide a formal setting to take aspects of justice into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: payments for ecosystem services; case study; deliberation; sustainable development; claims of justice; controlled social change payments for ecosystem services; case study; deliberation; sustainable development; claims of justice; controlled social change
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nicolaus, K.; Jetzkowitz, J. How Does Paying for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence from Case Study Research in Germany and the UK. Sustainability 2014, 6, 3019-3042.

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