Payments for Ecosystem Services

  • Mark Everard
Reference work entry


The basic principle of “payments for ecosystem services” (PES) is the creation of markets linking the “suppliers” of ecosystem services with their “users” (beneficiaries of ecosystem services). Some services that are currently traded, such as food, fiber, and some water-based products, have established markets, albeit that market value is generally assigned only to the target service with implications for other services largely overlooked in the production process. However, most services are entirely omitted from markets (for example, most aspects of natural flood and pest regulation, pollination, soil formation processes, etc.), though there are examples of nascent markets for some services recognized as important (such as carbon markets, biodiversity offsets, etc.) PES seeks to develop markets for services that may formerly have been omitted from economic systems.


Externalities Markets Buyers Sellers 


  1. Daily GC, Ellison K. The new economy of nature and the marketplace: the quest to make conservation profitable. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2002.Google Scholar
  2. Defra. Payments for ecosystem services: a short introduction; 2010 Available at: Accessed 25 April 2011.
  3. Jenkins M, Scherr S, Inbar M. Markets for biodiversity services. Environment. 2004;46(6):32–42.Google Scholar
  4. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems & human well-being: synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2005a.Google Scholar
  5. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and human well-being: wetlands and water synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute; 2005b.Google Scholar
  6. OECD. Paying for biodiversity: enhancing the cost-effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services. Paris: OECD Publishing; 2010. doi:10.1787/9789264090279-en.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Parker C, Cranford M. The little biodiversity finance book; 2010. Available at: Accessed 25 April 2011.
  8. TEEB. The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: mainstreaming the economics of nature: a synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB; 2010. Available at: Accessed 25 April 2011.
  9. Wunder S. Payments for environmental services: some nuts and bolts. CIFOR Occasional Paper No. 42, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor; 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Water Security Network, University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

Personalised recommendations