Studies from CIFOR Have Provided New Data on Ecology and Economics
2012 APR 27 - (VerticalNews.com) -- "Flat fees in payment for environmental services (PES) schemes promote administrative ease, and are perceived as egalitarian. However, when environmental-service (ES) buyers are heterogeneous in their income and water-consumption levels, this scheme may not be optimal, as total payments might become too low and services under-supplied," researchers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil report.
"This paper estimates willingness to pay (WTP) higher fees from hydrological-service buyers in an ongoing PES initiative in an Andean watershed in Colombia, where small, flat user payments have been introduced. ES users fall into two highly heterogeneous categories: smallholder peasants and recreational-house owners. We perform a contingent valuation analysis in a representative sample of 218 households. For improved water services, ES buyers on average are willing to pay monthly about US$1 premium over current flat PES rate. Users' heterogeneity, however, affects significantly this outcome: while recreational-house owners are willing to pay monthly on average US$1.61 more than the current fee, smallholders only US$0.41. Spatial variables, such as distance to the water distribution point and to the town center, importantly influence WTP," wrote R. Moreno-Sanchez and colleagues, CIFOR.
The researchers concluded: "Results may help designing user-driven PES schemes in line with efficiency and equity objectives."
Moreno-Sanchez and colleagues published their study in Ecological Economics (Heterogeneous users and willingness to pay in an ongoing payment for watershed protection initiative in the Colombian Andes. Ecological Economics, 2012;75():126-134).
For additional information, contact R. Moreno-Sanchez, CIFOR, Center Int Forestry Res, BR-22210010 Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Publisher contact information for the journal Ecological Economics is: Elsevier Science Bv, PO Box 211, 1000 Ae Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Keywords: City:Rio de Janeiro, Country:Brazil, Region:South America, Ecology and Economics
This article was prepared by VerticalNews Economics editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2012, VerticalNews Economics via VerticalNews.com.