Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Cost-effectiveness targeting under multiple conservation goals and equity considerations in the Andes

  • ULF NARLOCH (a1), UNAI PASCUAL (a1) (a2) and ADAM G. DRUCKER (a3)

Internationally, there is political impetus towards providing incentive mechanisms, such as payments for ecosystem services (PES), that motivate land users to conserve that which benefits wider society by creating an exchange value for conservation services. PES may incorporate a number of conservation goals other than just maximizing the area under a certain land use, so as to optimize multiple benefits from environmental conservation. Environmental additionality (conservation services generated relative to no intervention) and social equity aspects (here an equitable distribution of conservation funds) of PES depend on the conservation goals underlying the cost-effective targeting of conservation payments, which remains to be adequately explored in the PES literature. This paper attempts to evaluate whether multiple conservation goals can be optimized, in addition to social equity, when paying for the on-farm conservation of neglected crop varieties (landraces), so as to generate agrobiodiversity conservation services. Case studies based on a conservation auction in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes (through which community-based groups identified the conservation area and the number of farmers taking part in conservation, as well as the payment required), identified significant cost-effectiveness tradeoffs between alternative agrobiodiversity conservation goals. There appears to be a non-complementary relationship between maximizing conservation area under specific landraces (a proxy for genetic diversity maintenance) and the number of farmers conserving such landraces (a proxy for agricultural knowledge and cultural traditions maintenance). Neither of the two are closely connected with maximizing the number of targeted farming communities (a proxy for informal seed exchange networks and hence geneflow maintenance). Optimizing cost-effectiveness with regard to conservation area or number of farmers would also be associated with a highly unequal distribution of payments. Multi-criteria targeting approaches can reach compromise solutions, but frameworks for these are still to be established and scientifically informed about the underlying link between alternative conservation goals and conservation service provision.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Ulf Narloch e-mail:
Hide All
Alix-Garcia J., De Janvry A. & Sadoulet E. (2008) The role of deforestation risk and calibrated compensation in designing payments for environmental services. Environment and Development Economics 13: 375394.
Babcock B.A., Lakshminarayan P.G., Wu J.J. & Zilberman D. (1996) The economics of a public fund for environmental amenities: a study of CRP contracts. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 78: 961971.
Bellon M. (2009) Do we need crop landraces for the future? Realizing the global option value of in-situ conservation. In: Agrobiodiversity, Conservation and Economic Development, ed. Kontoleon A., Pasqual U. & Smale M., pp. 5672. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Berrens R.P. (2001) The safe minimum standard of conservation and endangered species: a review. Environmental Conservation 28: 104116.
Börner J., Wunder S., Wertz-Kanounnikoff S., Rügnitz Tito M., Pereira L. & Nascimento N. (2010) Direct conservation payments in the Brazilian Amazon: scope and equity implications. Ecological Economics 69: 12721282.
Brush S. (1989) Rethinking crop genetic resource conservation. Conservation Biology 3: 1929.
Canahua A., Tapia M., Ichuta A. & Cutipa Z. (2002) Gestión del espacio agrícola y agrobiodiversidad en papa y quinoa en las comunidades campesinas de Puno. In: Peru: El Problema Agrario en Debate, ed. Pugal Vidal M., Zegarra M. & Urrutia J., pp. 286316, SEPIA 9. Lima, Peru: SEPIA.
Castillo D., Bousquet F., Janssen M.A., Worrapimphong K. & Cardenas J.C. (2011) Context matters to explain field experiments: results from Colombian and Thai fishing villages. Ecological Economics 70: 16091620.
Chen X., Lupi F., Viña A., He G. & Liu J. (2010) Using cost-effective targeting to enhance the efficiency of conservation investments in payments for ecosystem services. Conservation Biology 24: 14691478.
Coomes O. (2010) Of stakes, stems, and cuttings: the importance of local seed systems in traditional Amazonian societies. The Professional Geographer 62: 323334.
Corbera E., Brown K. & Adger W.N. (2007) The equity and legitimacy of markets for ecosystem services. Development and Change 38: 587613.
Drucker A.G. (2006) An application of the use of safe minimum standards in conservation of livestock biodiversity. Environment and Development Economics 11: 7794.
Engel S., Pagiola S. & Wunder S. (2008) Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: an overview of the issue. Ecological Economics 65: 663674.
FAO (2009) Second Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome, Italy: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Ferraro P.J. (2001) Global habitat protection: limitations of development interventions and a role for conservation performance payments. Conservation Biology 15: 9901000.
Ferraro P. J. (2003) Assigning priority to environmental policy interventions in a heterogeneous world. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 22: 2743.
Ferraro P.J. (2008) Asymmetric information and contract design for payment for environmental services. Environmental Economics 65: 810821.
Ferraro P.J. & Kiss A. (2002) Direct payments to conserve biodiversity. Science 298: 17181719.
Hajjar R., Jarvis D.I. & Gemmill-Herren B. (2008) The utility of crop genetic diversity in maintaining ecosystem services. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 123: 261270.
Hajkowicz S., Higgins A., Miller C. & Marinoni O. (2008) Targeting conservation payments to achieve multiple outcomes. Biological Conservation 141: 23682375.
Hellin J. & Higman S (2005) Crop diversity and livelihood security in the Andes. Development in Practice 15: 165174.
Honey-Róses J., Lopéz-García J., Rendon-Salinas E., Peralta-Higuerra A. & Galindo-Leali C. (2009) To pay or not to pay? Monitoring performance and enforcing conditionality when paying for forest conservation in Mexico. Environmental Conservation 36: 120128.
Jack B.K., Leimona B. & Ferraro P.K. (2009) A revealed preference approach to estimating supply curves for ecosystem services: use of auctions to set payments for soil erosion control in Indonesia. Conservation Biology 23: 359367.
Jackson L.E., Pascual U. & Hodking T. (2007) Utilizing and conserving agrobiodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Agriculture Ecosystems Environment 121: 196210.
Kleijn D. & Sutherland W.J. (2003) How effective are European agri-environment schemes in conserving and promoting biodiversity? Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 947969.
Kosoy N. & Corbera E. (2010) Payments for ecosystem services as commodity fetishism. Ecological Economics 69: 12281236.
Kosoy N., Martinez-Tuna M., Muradian R. & Martinez-Alier J. (2007) Payments for environmental services in watersheds: Insights from a comparative study of three cases in Central America. Ecological Economics 61: 446455.
Latacz-Lohmann U. & Van der Hamsvoort C.P.C.M. (1997) Auctioning conservation contracts: a theoretical analysis and an application. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 79: 407418.
McAfee K. & Shapiro E.N. (2010) Payments for ecosystem services in Mexico: nature, neoliberalism, social movements, and the state. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100: 579599.
Muñoz-Piña C., Guevara A., Torres J.M. & Braña J. (2008) Paying for the hydrological services of Mexico's forests: analysis, negotiations and results. Ecological Economics 65: 725736.
Muradian R., Corbera E., Pascual U., Kosoy N. & May P.H. (2010) Reconciling theory and practice: an alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics 69: 12021208.
Naidoo R. & Ricketts T.H., (2006) Mapping the economic costs and benefits of conservation. PLoS Biology 4: 21532164.
Narloch U., Drucker A. & Pascual U. (2011) Payments for agrobiodiversity conservation services for the sustained on-farm utilization of plant and animal genetic resources. Ecological Economics (in press).
Norgaard R. (2010) Ecosystem services: from eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder. Ecological Economics 69: 12191227
Pagiola S., Ramirez E., Gobbi J., de Haan C., Ibrahim M., Murgueitio E. & Ruiz J.P. (2007) Paying for the environmental services of silvopastoral practices in Nicaragua. Ecological Economics 64: 374385.
Pascual U., Muradian R., Rodríguez L.C. & Duraiappah A. (2010) Exploring the links between equity and efficiency in payments for environmental services: a conceptual approach. Ecological Economics 69: 12371244.
Pattanayak S.K., Wunder S. & Ferraro P.J. (2010) Show me the money: do payments supply environmental services in developing countries? Review of Environmental Economic Policy 4: 254274.
Redford K.H. & Adams W.M. (2009) Payment for ecosystem services and the challenge of saving nature. Conservation Biology 23: 785787.
Rojas W., Valdivia R., Padulosi S., Pinto M., Soto J.L., Alcocer E., Guzmán L., Estrada R., Apapza V. & Bravo R. (2009) From neglect to limelight: issues, methods and approaches in enhancing sustainable conservation and use of Andean grains in Peru and Bolivia. JARTS Supplement 92: 132.
Sanchez-Azofeifa G.A., Pfaff A, Robalino J.A. & Boomhower J.P. (2007) Costa Rica's payment for environmental services program: intention, implementation, and impact. Conservation Biology 21: 11651173.
Schilizzi S. & Latacz-Lohmann U. (2007) Assesing the performance of conservation auctions: an experimental study. Land Economics 83: 497515.
Sierra R. & Russman E. (2006) On the efficiency of environmental service payments: a forest conservation assessment in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Ecological Economics 59: 131141.
Smale M., Bellon M.R., Jarvis D. & Sthapit B. (2004) Economic concepts for designing policies to conserve crop genetic resources on farms. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 51: 121135.
Sommerville M., Jones J.P.G., Rahajaharison M. & Milner-Gulland E.J. (2010) The role of fairness and benefit distribution in community-based payment for environmental services interventions: a case study from Menabe, Madagascar. Ecological Economics 69: 12621271.
Stromberg P., Pascual U. & Bellon M. (2010) Seed systems and farmers’ seed choices: the case of maize in the Peruvian Amazon. Human Ecology 38: 539553.
Stoneham G., Chaudhri V., Ha A. & Strappazzon L. (2003) Auctions for conservation contracts: an empirical examination of Victoria's BushTender trials. The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 47: 477500.
Tapia M.E. & Fries A.M. (2007) Guía de Campo de los Cultivos Andinos. Lima, Peru: FAO y ANPE.
TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers. Summary: Responding to the Value of Nature.Wesseling, Germany: Welzel+Hardt.
Trawick P. (2001) The moral economy of water: equity and antiquity in the Andean commons. American Anthropologist 103: 361379.
van de Wouw M., Kik C., van Hintum T., van Treuren R. & Visser B. (2009) Genetic erosion in crops: concept, research results and challenges. Plant Genetic Resources 8: 115.
VSF (2009) Quinua y Territorio. Experiencias de Acompanamiento a la Gestion del Territorio y a la Autogestion Comunal en la Zona Intersalar del Altiplano Boliviano. Agronomes Veterinaires Sans Frontieres. La Paz, Bolivia: Ruralter.
Weitzman M.L. (1998) The Noah's Ark problem. Econometrica 66: 12791298.
Windle J. & Rolfe J. (2008) Exploring the efficiencies of suing competitive tenders over fixed price grants to protect biodiversity in Australian rangeland. Land Use Policy 25: 388398.
Wunder S. (2007) The efficiency of payments for environmental services in tropical conservation. Conservation Biology 21: 4858.
Wunder S., Engel S. & Pagiola S. (2008) Taking stock: a comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries. Ecological Economics 65: 834852.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 55 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 389 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.