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Resources 2018, 7(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7030040

Can Payment for Ecosystem Services Schemes Be an Alternative Solution to Achieve Sustainable Environmental Development? A Critical Comparison of Implementation between Europe and China

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
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Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
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Abstract

The term “Ecosystem Services” was coined to indicate “all the multiple benefits humans obtain from ‘natural capital’ (i.e., the world’s stock of natural assets—geology, soil, air, water—including living things and beings)” that make human life possible, such as natural water purification, flood control by wetlands, and others. The concept expanded to include, nowadays, socio-economic and conservation objectives, and has been further popularized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) in the early 2000s, as well as by the “Paris Agreement” reached at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate change (COP21). Payments for Ecosystems (or Environmental) Services (PESs) are financial incentives given directly to landholders to compensate them for implementing good land management, including conservation activities. Such compensation encourages them to “voluntarily” provide (or continue providing) such services, instead of monetizing their “natural capital” otherwise. This approach has been figuratively described as “making trees worth more standing than cut down” Examples of important PES schemes, implemented in China and in Europe, are described and analyzed in this paper, focusing on the methods applied, to assess their evolution over time, and attempt to identify which solutions could be most effective. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental services; ecosystems; compensation; Payment for Ecosystem Services; biodiversity; economic value environmental services; ecosystems; compensation; Payment for Ecosystem Services; biodiversity; economic value
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Capodaglio, A.G.; Callegari, A. Can Payment for Ecosystem Services Schemes Be an Alternative Solution to Achieve Sustainable Environmental Development? A Critical Comparison of Implementation between Europe and China. Resources 2018, 7, 40.

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