Payments for coastal and marine ecosystem services: prospects and principles

Source: IEED

Coastal and marine resources provide millions of impoverished people
across the global South with livelihoods, and provide the world with a
range of critical ‘ecosystem services’, from biodiversity and culture to
carbon storage and flood protection. Yet across the world, these resources
are fast-diminishing under the weight of pollution, land clearance, coastal
development, overfishing, natural disasters and climate change. Traditional
approaches to halt the decline focus on regulating against destructive
practices, but to little effect. A more successful strategy could be to establish
payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, or incorporate an element
of PES in existing regulatory mechanisms. Examples from across the world
suggest that PES can work to protect both livelihoods and environments. But
to succeed, these schemes must be underpinned by robust research, clear
property rights, equitable benefit sharing and sustainable finance.

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