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Resources 2016, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/resources5040043

Allocating Group-Level Payments for Ecosystem Services: Experiences from a REDD+ Pilot in Tanzania

1
School of Agriculture, Policy, and Development, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK
2
Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Wyoming, WY 82071, USA
3
Department of Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35045, Tanzania
4
Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 23410, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas J. Straka
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) typically reward landowners for managing their land to provide ecosystem services that would not otherwise be provided. REDD+—Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation—is a form of PES aimed at decreasing carbon emissions from forest conversion and extraction in lower-income countries. A key challenge for REDD+ occurs when it is implemented at a group, rather than an individual landowner, level. Whilst achieving a group-level reduction relies on individuals changing their interaction with the forest, incentives are not aligned explicitly at the individual level. Rather, payments are made to a defined group as a single entity in exchange for verified reduced forest loss, as per a PES scheme. In this paper, we explore how REDD+ has been implemented in one multiple-village pilot in Tanzania with the village defining the group. Our findings suggest that considerable attention has been paid towards monitoring, reporting, verification (MRV), and equity. No explicit mechanism ensures individual compliance with the village-level PES, and few villages allocate funds for explicit enforcement efforts to protect the forest from illegal activities undertaken by individual group members or by outsiders. However, the development of village-level institutions, “social fencing,” and a shared future through equal REDD+ payments, factor into decisions that influence the level of compliance at the village level that the program will eventually achieve. View Full-Text
Keywords: PES; REDD; REDD+; collective decisions; Tanzania; forests PES; REDD; REDD+; collective decisions; Tanzania; forests
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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

Robinson, E.J.Z.; Albers, H.J.; Lokina, R.; Meshack, C. Allocating Group-Level Payments for Ecosystem Services: Experiences from a REDD+ Pilot in Tanzania. Resources 2016, 5, 43.

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