Recognizing Alternative Values in Market-Based Conservation Programs and Policies II: Grounded Practice

Type: Paper
Theme: Geographies of Human Rights: The Right to Benefit from Scientific Progress
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Development Geographies Specialty Group, Economic Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Executive Room, Omni, West
Organizers: Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Vijay Kolinjivadi
Chairs: Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza


From ecotourism, carbon or biodiversity offsetting, REDD+ initiatives, wetlands mitigation banking, payments for watershed services, conservation easements, and eco-friendly certification and labeling schemes, market-based conservation programs and policies explicitly attempt to make the monetary value of “positive environmental externalities” recognized within the economy, optimally through markets or market-like mechanisms. These programs provide a transfer of financial incentives from those who benefit from ecosystem services to those who “produce” them (Froger et al. 2015). Critical and other scholars have criticized this logic on a number of fronts, but largely for the ways in which it marginalizes other values held for socio-natural these systems by the people who live with and from them. Farley and Costanza (2010) and others have claimed that these ‘alternative’ values for nature, including those ‘based on reciprocity rather than conditional monetary incentives’ (p 2063), can be recognized and incorporated into market-based conservation mechanisms. Some scholars and practitioners have indeed attempted to develop frameworks to capture and measure these alternative values for “nature,” translating them either to monetary or other metrics which aim toward commensurability (Hein et al. 2006; Martin-López et al. 2014; Chan et al. 2016; Van Riper et al. 2017; Arias-Areválo et al. 2018). Still other scholars claim that framing socio-natural systems in terms of monetary values will inevitably result in vast oversimplifications of the complexity and dynamism of human values and relationships within social-ecological systems (Singh 2015; Kolinjivadi et al. 2017), and may risk disenfranchising values that cannot be reduced to a single metric and/or place an undue burden on those who have less power in the market (Maltulis 2014; McAfee 2012), through processes fraught with power-laden complications over who can be a subject of or a producer of value (Gudynas, 2017). These arguments have increasingly impacted the discourse of international policy and other fora (Díaz et al. 2018; Masood, 2018). Corbera (2015) and others have responded to these critiques by calling for the “development of a more robust empirical basis to derive generalizations on the procedural, distributive and livelihood implications of market-based instruments for conservation” (154). A number of researchers have indeed begun, through empirically grounded studies, to explore the ways in which these alternative values, and the labor and social relations that produce or constitute them, can be recognized used to rework the strictly market-based logic of these upon which these environmental mechanisms are built, as well as the barriers to doing so (Jackson and Palmer 2014; Bétrisey et al. 2018; Osborne and Shapiro-Garza, 2018).

In this series of paper sessions, we are interested in representing a broad range of theoretically framed, empirically grounded articles that explore the ways in which alternative values precede and/or emerge from the implementation of market-conceived environmental programs and policy mechanisms. Some of the questions that we are interested in exploring include:

· What theoretical frames can help make sense of the ways, means and processes through which alternative values for socio-natural systems are or not recognized in these types of environmental programs and policies?

· What types of questions need to be asked and which methods applied in order to measure or otherwise make explicit continuously emergent these other values for socio-natural systems? Is it necessary that these values be converted to monetary terms in order to be “recognized” and incorporated within these policies and programs?

· Under what conditions and contexts is it possible for alternative values to be recognized and have influence on the design and implementation of these policies and programs? In what ways and through what means do relations of power, politics, and persuasion meditate the processes through which these other values are or are not recognized?

· In what ways does the recognition of alternative values in these programs and projects influence socio-environmental outcomes?


Arias-Arévalo, P., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Martín-López, B. and Pérez-Rincón, M., 2018. Widening the evaluative space for ecosystem services: A taxonomy of plural values and valuation methods. Environmental Values, 27(1), pp.29-53.

Bétrisey, F., Bastiaensen, J., & Mager, C. 2018. Payments for ecosystem services and social justice: Using recognition theories to assess the Bolivian Acuerdos Recíprocos por el Agua. Geoforum, 92, 134–143.

Chan, K.M., Balvanera, P., Benessaiah, K., Chapman, M., Díaz, S., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Gould, R., Hannahs, N., Jax, K., Klain, S. and Luck, G.W., 2016. Opinion: Why protect nature? Rethinking values and the environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(6), pp.1462-1465.

Corbera, E. 2015. Valuing nature, paying for ecosystem services and realizing social justice: A response to Matulis (2014). Ecological Economics 110: 154-157.

Díaz, S., Pascual, U., Stenseke, M., Martín-López, B., Watson, R.T., Molnár, Z., Hill, R., Chan, K.M., Baste, I.A., Brauman, K.A. and Polasky, S., 2018. Assessing nature's contributions to people. Science, 359(6373), pp.270-272.

Farley, J. and Costanza, R., 2010. Payments for ecosystem services: from local to global. Ecological Economics, 69(11), pp. 2060-2068.

Froger, G. et al. 2015. Market-based instruments for ecosystem services between discourse and reality: An economic and narrative analysis. Sustainability 7: 11595-11611.

Gudynas, E. 2017. Value, Growth, Development: South American Lessons for a New Ecopolitics, Capitalism Nature Socialism.

Hein, L. et al. 2006. Spatial scales, stakeholders and the valuation of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 57(2): 209-228.

Jackson, S., & Palmer, L. R. 2014. Reconceptualizing ecosystem services: Possibilities for cultivating and valuing the ethics and practices of care. Progress in Human Geography, 39(2), 122–145.

Kolinjivadi, V., Van Hecken, G., Vela Almeida, D., Kosoy, N., Dupras, J., 2017b. Neoliberal performatives and the ‘making’ of payments for ecosystem services (PES). Progress in Human Geography.

Maltulis, B.S. 2014. The economic valuation of nature: A question of justice? Ecological Economics 104: 155-157.

Martin-López, B. et al. 2014. Trade-offs across value-domains in ecosystem services assessment. Ecological Economics 37: 220-228.

Masood, E. 2018. Battle over biodiversity. Nature 560: 423-425.

McAfee, K., 2012. The contradictory logic of global ecosystem services markets.
Development and Change 43, 105–131.

Osborne, T and Shapiro-Garza E. 2018. Embedding carbon markets: Complicating commodification of ecosystem services in Mexico’s forests. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Singh, N.M. 2015. Payments for ecosystems services and the gift paradigm: Sharing the burden and joy of environmental care. Ecological Economics 117, 53-61.

Van Riper, C.J, A.C. Landon, S. Kidd, et. al. 2017. Incorporating sociocultural phenomena into ecosystem service valuation: The importance of critical pluralism. Bioscience 67(3), 233-244.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Audrey Joslin*, Kansas State University, Added value? The Benefits beyond Ecosystem Services for Water Fund Constituents in Ecuador 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Julia C Bausch*, Kyl Center for Water Policy, Arizona State University, Elizabeth Tellman, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Alison Acosta, National Laboratory for Sustainability Science (LANCIS), Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Amy Lerner, National Laboratory for Sustainability Science (LANCIS), Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Enrique Castelán, Secretariat for the Environment, Mexico City, Alternative values and competing needs at the peri-urban fringe: PES in Mexico City 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Andres M Urcuqui B*, SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Theresa McCarty, University of New Hampshire, Catherine M Ashcraft, University of New Hampshire, Theresa L. Selfa, SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Robert Manson, Instituto Nacional de Ecología, Alex Mayer, Michigan Technological University, Kelly W. Jones, Colorado State University, Heidi Asbjornsen, University of New Hampshire, Informing Payment for Hydrological Services Policy: Insights from a science-based role-play negotiation simulation workshop in the State of Veracruz, Mexico 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza*, Duke University, From the Ground Up: The Origins and Impacts of an Alternative Theorization and Valuation of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Mexico 20 10:55 AM
Discussant Vijay Kolinjivadi 20 11:15 AM

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