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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061888

Does Poverty Matter in Payment for Ecosystem Services Program? Participation in the New Stage Sloping Land Conversion Program

1
School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi’an Jiaotong University, No. 28 Xianning West Road, Xi’an 710049, China
2
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
3
School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract

Poverty is increasingly stressed in Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes, from targeting to outcomes. As the world’s largest PES scheme of its kind, the Sloping Land Conversion Program in China started its new stage (NSLCP), aiming to convert another 2.9 million ha sloping croplands into forest or grasslands. This paper examines whether and to what extent different dimensions of poverty impact households’ participation in the NSLCP. By using the data collected from a key demonstration area, Wuqi County in 2015, based on Sen’s capability theory, we measure the multidimensional poverty of the households, like poverty in education, physical health, food security, rights, assets and living standards. Then, we evaluate the effects of different poverty dimensions on households’ participation in the NSLCP and their efforts to comply with the policy. We find that different dimensions of poverty had very different impacts, as revealed in the participating rate and the intensity of efforts to manage the enrolled lands through different methods. The households with poverty in education, food security, or rights were less likely to be enrolled in the NSLCP. Dimensions like income, health and assets were significant contributions to fulfill the practices required by the NSLCP. Besides, the degree of multidimensional poverty further weakened households’ efforts to manage and protect the trees on enrolled lands. View Full-Text
Keywords: multidimensional poverty; payment for ecosystem services; participation; enrolled land management multidimensional poverty; payment for ecosystem services; participation; enrolled land management
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Ren, L.; Li, J.; Li, C.; Li, S.; Daily, G.C. Does Poverty Matter in Payment for Ecosystem Services Program? Participation in the New Stage Sloping Land Conversion Program. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1888.

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