Differentiated payments for environmental services schemes: A methodology proposal Differentiated payments for environmental services schemes: A methodology proposal

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Vol15 No.8: 1693-1710

Title】Differentiated payments for environmental services schemes: A methodology proposal

Author】Carlos R. AGUILAR-GÓMEZ; Sergio FRANCO-MAASS; Tizbe T. ARTEAGA-REYES*

Addresses】Agrolivestock Sciences and Rural Institute, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, El Cerrillo Piedras Blancas, 50090 Toluca, Estado de México, Mexico

Corresponding author】Tizbe T. ARTEAGA-REYES

Citation】Aguilar-Gómez CR, Franco-Maass S, Arteaga-Reyes TT (2018) Differentiated payments for environmental services schemes: A methodology proposal. Journal of Mountain Science 15(8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4800-6

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4800-6

Abstract】Payment schemes for environmental services face serious budget constraints in Mexico. Payments are equally distributed among forest owners, and the governmental agencies that make payments to beneficiaries do not evaluate the amount of environmental services produced by forested areas. This lack of evaluation could lead to economic and environmental deficiencies that restrict the possible benefits of such programmes. In general, these programmes do not achieve their conservation objectives, and local beneficiaries are not involved in the design or application of these programmes. Similarly, the Payments for Hydrological Environmental Services (PHES) programme of the State of Mexico, Mexico, makes equal payments to beneficiaries of forested areas considering tree density. The objective of the present work was to create a methodology for determining differentiated payments schemes for hydrological environmental services, prioritising areas that contribute the most to groundwater recharge and promote the participation of society. In the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, the environmental criteria of forest type, tree density and aquifer overexploitation as well as social participation were considered in a multi-criteria analysis implemented in a Geographic Information System. A methodology was developed to determine differentiated payments based on specific forest characteristics that influence the potential capacity of forests to recharge groundwater reserves in addition to the level of social participation. In particular, social participation is key as it could ensure the viability of PHES programmes as conservation alternatives in forested areas with high groundwater recharge potential.

Keywords】Differentiated payments; Environmental services; Mountain systems; Multi-criteria analysis; Social participation