The World Bank recently devoted a blog post to research by Katharine Sims, associate professor of economics and environmental studies, and chair of the economics department, concerning benefits of paying landowners to help with environmental management, thereby reducing deforestation. The Payments for Environmental Services (PES) approach, pioneered in Costa Rica, has become common in Latin America.
Sims and her study co-authors “found that Mexico’s PES program has indeed reduced deforestation. Although the effect is not statistically significant in areas at low risk of deforestation, it is quite significant in areas at high risk of deforestation, where participants cut down 29% less forest than they otherwise would have. For those who have been in the program the longest, the effect is even larger: they cut down 38% less forest than they otherwise would have,” the World Bank report concluded.