Limits of State-Led Programs of Payment for Ecosystem Services: Field Evidence from the Sloping Land Conversion Program in Southwest China uri icon

abstract

  • The Chinese government is currently implementing its Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP), the world's largest Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program. Few studies have comprehensively assessed both its environmental and its social outcomes; in particular, issues of effectiveness, efficiency and social fairness are rarely addressed in the literature. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this research presents extensive field evidence of the effects of the SLCP. It also reveals the gap between the policy's objectives and the actual results of implementation. Less marginal land included, poor tree species selection and undifferentiated household selection for participation have limited the positive outcomes of the SLCP. We argue that the state-led PES program's bureaucratic modality and top-down implementation neglects local participation and pro-poor considerations. A more decentralized approach with more local participation is an important requirement in policy development and implementation for PES programs.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015