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Socioeconomic Consequences of Payment for Ecosystem Services

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Qi Zhang, Conghe Song


This session has been cancelled. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!

Human activities have tremendously modified the ecosystems, jeopardizing the essential ecosystem goods (e.g., food, water, timber) and services (e.g., climate regulation, shelter, water purification) that the human society depends on. Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) has increasingly gained reputation in ecosystem conservation efforts, as it embeds economic incentives in environmental conservation to sustain the provision of ecosystem services. According to the PES scheme, users or beneficiaries make payments to providers who are willing to secure ecosystem services. The PES principle has been extensively integrated into conservation projects worldwide such as the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (i.e., REDD+).

Currently, PES programs are facing challenges in the sustainability of the ecosystem services. Along with the main goal of ecosystem service provision, many PES programs also carry side goals such as poverty alleviation or social welfare improvement. Studies on program evaluation suggest that the long-term success of PES programs relies on their socioeconomic outcomes. For example, under the PES programs that aim to protect forest lands, only by shifting smallholders’ livelihoods to alternatives in a sustainable way could the policy-makers expect long-lasting protection of forests even after the payment ceases. In addition, exploring how the PES programs impact local livelihoods is critical for understanding the complex interactions between humans and the environment, which is key to the sustainability of social-ecological systems.

In this session, we call for papers that seek to better understand socioeconomic consequences of PES programs. The topics include, but not limited to, 1) impacts of PES on local livelihood options, such as labor allocation, labor migration, and land use decision; 2) effectiveness of difference PES schemes on ecosystem service provision; 3) influence of PES schemes on the social dynamics within the service providers and between the buyers and providers; 4) interactions of multiple PES schemes on ecosystem service provision; 5) feedbacks and responses between the human system and ecological system under PES programs.

Please contact the following organizers for submitting papers to this session:

Dr. Qi Zhang (
Frederick S. Pardee Center
Boston University

Dr. Conghe Song (
Department of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Nicolle Etchart*, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Kelly Jones, Colorado State University, Lisa Naughton-Treves, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Margaret B. Holland, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, José Luis Freire, Ecolex-Ecuador, What happens when the PES money runs out? The equity implications and deforestation outcomes of an unexpected suspension in conservation payments in Ecuador’s Amazon 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Huijie Zhang*, San Diego State University, Li An, San Diego State University, Richard Bilsborrow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chun yongwan , University of Texas at Dallas, Shuang Yang, San Diego State University, Jie Dai, San Diego State University, Lei Shi, Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province, China, Neighborhood Impacts on Household Participation in Payments for Ecosystem Services Programs 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Madeline Giefer*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Divergent Impacts of Payments for Ecosystem Services on Livelihood Diversification in Rural China 15 12:00 AM

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