Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services: Global and Local Assessments of Costs and Benefits

09/16/2016

13.45

Aula

Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services: Global and Local Assessments of Costs and Benefits

T.H.D. Phan

Prof. Roy Brouwer and Prof. Marc D. Davidson

Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Earth and Life Sciences

PhD conferral

This PhD research focuses on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanism in the forestry sector. The main objective is to examine to what extent PES can be considered cost-effective and co-beneficial to forest management, from both environmental and socio-economic perspectives. To answer the main research question, we conducted two comprehensive, global meta-analyses on the costs of avoided deforestation in general and transaction costs of forestry carbon projects in particular. Results from the meta-analyses show that (i) institutional design features such as market type and land ownership are proven to considerably influence both the total and transaction costs, and (ii) the transaction costs and co-benefits of avoided deforestation are commonly unknown and not quantified. In a next step, we zoom in on the local application of PES by examining two representative case studies in Vietnam. The two PFES schemes show substantial differences in transaction costs despite the fact that they emerged from the same legal-institutional framework. The cost variations are mainly due to differences in (i) the forest land ownership, (ii) the number of participants (iii) the payment frequency. Finally, results from the survey conducted in Lam Dong province help confirm that PES can bring out double dividend by improving local forest cover and participant’s livelihoods at the same time. However, co-benefits are achieved at a certain amount of transaction costs, mainly as a result of contract compliance checking.