Although it is widely acknowledged that forests provide critical ecosystem services for human survival and well-being, in the Asia-Pacific region forests are being converted to other land uses and degraded at alarming rates. One underlying factor for this destruction of forests is market failure. Forests are cleared for other land uses or degraded because their ecosystem services have no market value. Payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) have been proposed as a way of overcoming this market failure, but PFES systems have been slow to develop in the region. This project entitled, “Effective Models for Payment Mechanisms for Forest Ecosystem Services in Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Thailand” aimed to strategically generate scientific knowledge on how payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) could contribute to forest conservation in areas where forests are facing increasing pressures. The objectives of the project were 1. Identify a costeffective and scientifically robust method to assess ecosystem services; 2. Identify the steps necessary to establish the institutional framework and activity for generating the ecosystem services; 3. Compare and contrast pricing and payment options, both voluntary and compulsory, based on the scientific quantification and valuation of forest ecosystem services; and 4. Strengthen the capacity of the stakeholders for the identification, assessment and delivery of forest ecosystem services. The project explored the potential to develop PFES systems at three research sites - community forest in PNG, sub-watershed forest in the Philippines, and protected forest in Thailand – that offered contrasts with respect to all key elements of PFES, i.e. the type of ecosystem services with potential for payments, the types of buyers and sellers, and the likely payment arrangements.
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