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Empirical evidence on the importance of considering equity in incentive based policy instruments for ecosystem services provision

November 8, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

BC3 Seminars
Empirical evidence on the importance of considering equity in incentive based policy instruments for ecosystem services provision

Scientist Lasse Loft

Working Group Governance of Ecosystem Services, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany

Abstract:

Incentive-based policy instruments, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), are at the forefront of global efforts to meet conservation and land use based emissions reduction goals. REDD+ and PES are primarily perceived as instruments aimed at addressing environmental degradation. In low-income regions where local livelihoods often depend on natural resources, such payments can complement restrictive conservation measures, such as protected areas, to ensure improvements in livelihoods. Given the distributional impacts, other policy objectives related to development, human welfare and social equity, are often being addressed in the design and implementation of incentive based policy instruments. Despite the widespread use and growing popularity of PES, rigorous evidence on its environmental effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and equity is scarce.
In this seminar I will provide some empirical insights on the importance and challenges of considering equity in the design and implementation of payments for ecosystem services. These insights are based on several studies conducted over the last years in Vietnam. Loft et al. (2017) analysed how contextual, procedural and distributive equity considerations were reflected in national PES legislation and implementation, how distributional equity outcomes were perceived locally, and whether local perceptions matched legislative considerations. Our findings reveal that equity outcomes are very much affected by contextual factors, such as how the regulation determines the distribution of use rights. In Haas et al. (2019), we examined the effect of context, i.e. pre-existing political, economic, and social conditions on the distribution of costs and benefits in the implementation of PES in central Vietnam. We found that costs and benefits of PES participation were distributed unequally at the local level and that they were very much dependent upon pre-existing context conditions, such as patterns of land rights and ethnicity, gender, government jobs and affiliation to local elites.
A second line of inquiry investigated the effect of perceived equity on environmental effectiveness in a PES scheme. In Loft et al. (2019) we combined two economic lab-in-the-field experiments in North-Western Vietnam, to assess both individual conservation effort and community-level distributional equity perceptions under four different payment distribution designs. We demonstrated that distributional payment design affects both equity perceptions and conservation effort. By working out the positive correlation of effectiveness and equity across the four payment schemes, we showed that these objectives are not necessarily conflicting goals in incentive-based conservation. In Loft et al. (2020), we then investigated the causal relation between equity and environmental effectiveness. We conducted a randomized real-effort experiment with land users in the Vietnamese Central Annamites. We found that participants who were disadvantaged by unequal payments exerted significantly less conservation effort than other participants receiving the same payment under an equal distribution.

About the Lecturer

My research interests lie in the field of governance of ecosystem services. I focus on incentive based policy instruments for land-use based climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, in particular Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). I am particularly interested in empirically investigating the importance of environmental justice aspects in ecosystem services policies and measures.

Latest positions in my professional career:

Since 04/2021 I am a tenure track candidate at Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany.

12/2015 – 03/2020 I have been a scientist at Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany.

07/2015 – 11/2015      I was a Consultant for the CGIAR Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia and Hanoi, Vietnam

03/2010 – 7/2015        I conducted my PostDoc at Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt a.M., Germany.

I have an academic background in international environmental law and institutional economics:

02/2005 – 11/2008      PhD (Dr. iur) International Environmental Law: “Conservation and Financing of Biodiversity – Synergies Between International Biodiversity and Climate Change Law” Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder) – Faculty of Law

10/2007 – 09/2009      Master of Arts Sustainability Management: MA Thesis ‘Sustainable Implementation of REDD’, Berlin School of Economics – Institute of Management

10/1997 – 09/2004      Law Degree adfter studies of law at Universität Heidelberg, Université de Lausanne, Freie Universität Berlin

My research interests lie in the field of governance of ecosystem services. I focus on incentive based policy instruments for land-use based climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, in particular Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). I am particularly interested in empirically investigating the importance of environmental justice aspects in ecosystem services policies and measures.

Latest positions in my professional career:

Since 04/2021 I am a tenure track candidate at Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany.

12/2015 – 03/2020 I have been a scientist at Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany.

07/2015 – 11/2015      I was a Consultant for the CGIAR Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia and Hanoi, Vietnam

03/2010 – 7/2015        I conducted my PostDoc at Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt a.M., Germany.

I have an academic background in international environmental law and institutional economics:

02/2005 – 11/2008      PhD (Dr. iur) International Environmental Law: “Conservation and Financing of Biodiversity – Synergies Between International Biodiversity and Climate Change Law” Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder) – Faculty of Law

10/2007 – 09/2009      Master of Arts Sustainability Management: MA Thesis ‘Sustainable Implementation of REDD’, Berlin School of Economics – Institute of Management

10/1997 – 09/2004      Law Degree after studies of law at Universität Heidelberg, Université de Lausanne, Freie Universität Berlin

Sede Building (Room Aketxe), Scientific Park of the University of the Basque Country, November 8 (2022), 12:00-13:00

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Details

Date:
November 8, 2022
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

BC3-Basque Centre for Climate Change
Sede Building 1, 1st floor, Scientific Park of the University of the Basque Country
Leioa, Bizkaia 48940 Spain
Phone:
+34 944 014 690
Website:
http://www.bc3research.org