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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15449-15463; doi:10.3390/su71115449

Revising Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Light of Stewardship: The Need for a Legal Framework

Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1-1PN, UK
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Academic Editor: Audrey L. Mayer
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 12 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
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Abstract

Since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) highlighted the importance of ecosystem services for human well-being, the payments for such services have increasingly been drawing the attention of governments, the private sector and academia. Nonetheless, there is not yet a specific legal framework which is able to capture the complexity of managing natural resources and, at the same time, deal with the numerous drawbacks that have been identified by critics, who are opposed to using financialisation of the environment as a tool. This paper, after briefly summarizing some of the main features and criticisms of the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), will critically assess the understanding of property rights over natural resources as stewardship, rather than as entitlement, because this interpretation is more coherent with the inherent characteristics of natural resources and, consequently, of ecosystem services. The novel usage of a stewardship dimension to property rights underlines the necessity for a legal framework for PES, constituted by “property-liability rules”. View Full-Text
Keywords: payment for ecosystem services; voluntary mechanisms; property rights; stewardship; valuing nature; taxonomy of property law; environmental regulation payment for ecosystem services; voluntary mechanisms; property rights; stewardship; valuing nature; taxonomy of property law; environmental regulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Solazzo, A.; Jones, A.; Cooper, N. Revising Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Light of Stewardship: The Need for a Legal Framework. Sustainability 2015, 7, 15449-15463.

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