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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 178;

A Framework of Payment for Ecosystem Services to Protect Cropland: A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta in China

College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
National & Local Joint Engineering, Research Center for Rural Land Resources Use and Consolidation, Nanjing 210095, China
School of Geography, Geomatics, and Planning, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China
College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Due to large land demand and insufficient economic incentives, stakeholders have little motivation to protect cropland during rapid urbanization. The considerable loss of cropland poses a serious threat to food security and ecological sustainability. This research proposes a framework of payment for ecosystem services (PES) to reconcile the large land demand and the need for cropland protection during economic development by identifying whom to compensate, what to pay, how much to pay, the mechanisms for payment, and verification of service delivery. Using the Yangtze River Delta as an example, the features of the PES based on supply-demand analysis, compensation quality and value standards, and payment regulation are demonstrated. The results show the effectiveness of this PES framework for handling the externality of environmental protection compared to traditional regulatory approaches. The framework will also aid in the protection of cropland by coordinating the benefits of stakeholders. View Full-Text
Keywords: cropland; PES; cropland quality assessment; cropland valuation cropland; PES; cropland quality assessment; cropland valuation

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Guo, J.; Zhu, T.; Ou, M.; Pei, F.; Gan, X.; Ou, W.; Tao, Y. A Framework of Payment for Ecosystem Services to Protect Cropland: A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta in China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 178.

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