Participation in payments for ecosystem services: case studies from the Lacandon rainforest, Mexico

Nicolas Kosoy, Esteve Corbera, Kate Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding people’s willingness to participate in projects and programmes of payments for ecosystem services (PES) has not been a key analytical concern of the scholarly literature around this new field of environmental policy and practice. This paper analyses participation in four communities benefiting from payments for biodiversity and carbon fixation in Mexico, and contrasts the results for each case with neighbouring communities that do not receive payments. We take a holistic approach that accounts for procedural rules, actors’ interactions, institutions and values, and individuals’ characteristics. We show that the nature of PES rules and the effectiveness of communication with government officers and NGOs influence resource managers’ ability and willingness to participate. We highlight community size, resource managers’ ability to diversify livelihood activities and local perspectives on the conservation of common forests, particularly sacred values and intergenerational concerns on forest conservation, as critical participation drivers. This analysis provides insights on why and how these new institutions may be attractive for some resource managers and permits to draw some recommendations for the future design of PES projects and programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2073-2083
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

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