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Torsten Krause

Torsten Krause

Senior Lecturer

Torsten Krause

Benefit-sharing experience in national scale conservation incentives programs in Ecuador and Peru


  • Torsten Krause
  • Sebastian Jung

Summary, in English

and international research projects have attempted to measure and
quantify the importance of ecosystem goods and services for people.
Nowadays, it is safe to claim that ecosystems, through their natural
processes and functions, provide services that are essential for human
well-being. However, in industrialized societies people often forget
how intricately our daily lives depend on natural ecosystems and the
goods and services they provide. Nevertheless, in many parts of the
world, people’s dependence on the services supplied by nature is
more pronounced and direct.

In the past years, an increasing number of policies and mechanisms
have been devised in order to slow or reverse the incessant
degradation and destruction of ecosystems worldwide. The objective
is to ensure the continuous provision of services that are of uttermost
importance for people. For instance, Direct Cash Transfers (DCT)
or Payments for Environmental Services (PES) make it possible to
finance environmental protection or reward the delivery of specific,
desirable ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration or
biodiversity habitat in another country. As an example, we can find
the implementation of PES schemes in many parts of the world. Such
schemes can be either local or global in their scope. A few countries,
like Peru and Ecuador, have established national programs to reward
and promote both ecosystems protection and provision of service
bundles from private and collectively owned lands. Nonetheless,
globally, there is an increasing scramble for securing the provision of
ecosystem services from lands owned, managed, or used by local and indigenous people, with adverse effects and issues related to the local
impacts of this new form of natural resources appropriation.
The inflow of financial rewards and incentives into local communities
in exchange for the protection of ecosystems and the provision of
ecosystem services can lead to adverse impacts, which are often
neither well understood nor studied. For example, the establishment
and implementation of new restrictions and controls, as a consequence
of these new conservation efforts, bears costs for some while the
benefits accrue to others. Hence, before implementing programs like
these, it is important to pose the question regarding how to share
the benefits of conservation or ecosystem service payments. Which
groups benefit from these new financial flows? How are the benefits
managed? What are the institutional frameworks that guide benefitsharing?
To what extent does it lead to an appropriation of ecosystem
services by others? This paper analyses these questions with a regional
focus on Ecuador and Peru, where national incentive programs have
been implemented and are running for a few years already.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year





Nota Tecnica



Document type



Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)


  • Social Sciences