Different ecosystem services, same (dis)satisfaction with compensation: A critical comparison between farmers’ perception in Scotland and Brazil

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Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes have increasingly expanded to consider ecosystem services (ESS). In Brazil, the Forest Code permits PES but does not specify the scheme operationalization. The way ESS should be quantified and valued has not yet been implemented country-wide, nor has the funding source for PES. Through interviews with farmers in Rio Claro-SP, Brazil, and in Cairngorms National Park in the highlands and lowlands of Scotland, UK, we compared farmers’ perspectives concerning ESS and PES, focusing on the PES implementation in sugarcane landscape in São Paulo state. While Scottish farmers perceived more cultural services, Brazilian farmers focused on regulating services, which we attribute to socio-political and landscape differences. Despite these differences, farmers in both areas preferred opportunity cost approach for ESS valuation because this method captures efforts to maintain ESS. Thereby, the opportunity cost should be considered for valuation in PES schemes, but conversely, budgetary constraints make it impossible to satisfy farmers with PES in regions of high productivity in the southeast of Brazil. Lessons learned concerning the PES subsidies in Scotland indicates the importance of co-designing schemes with stakeholders, minimizing trade-offs between the environment. Therefore, the participants as ESS providers, beneficiaries and intermediaries in the public policies arena was recognized for co-optimize the trade-offs between costs and effectiveness in PES.




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Ecosystem Services, v. 35, p. 164-172.

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