Integrated assessments of payments for ecosystem services programs


Jianguo Liu and Wu Yang

Journal or Book Title: PNAS

Keywords: China, ecosystem services, water, assessments

Volume/Issue: Vol. 110/No. 41

Page Number(s): 16297-16298

Year Published: 2013



Ecosystems provide crucial services such as
clean water to humans. Numerous payments
for ecosystem services (PES) programs have
been implemented around the world. However, their socioeconomic and environmental
consequences are rarely quantified simultaneously. In PNAS, Zheng et al. (1) present an
insightful empirical analysis of socioeconomic
and environmental effects of a PES program
that supplies drinking water to ∼20 million
residents in Beijing, China. The work also
brings ecosystem service research closer to
fully account for the pros and cons of PES
programs, laying important groundwork to
quantify telecouplings—socioeconomic and
environmental interactions over distances (2).
Using the Paddy Land to Dry Land
(PLDL) program as a case study, Zheng et al.
(1) quantify benefits and costs to both service
providers and beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are
residents in Beijing, which is >100 km away
from the service providers who are farmers
participating in the PLDL program in the
Miyun Reservoir watershed. Miyun Reservoir
is the only surface water reservoir serving
Beijing. Approximately 20% of the Miyun
Reservoir watershed is located in the greater
municipality of Beijing, whereas the remaining 80% is in the upstream Hebei Province
(1). Specifically, PLDL converts the majority
of paddy land to dry land by growing corn
instead of rice so that less water is used for
agricultural production and more water is
available to Beijing residents. Zheng et al.
(1) provide convincing evidence how integrated approaches can help address complex
water resources management challenges

DOI: 10.1073/pnas. 1316036110

Type of Publication: Journal Article