Despite the popularity of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes as a new paradigm to enhance conservation of natural resources, evidence of their benefits to people and nature is often illustrated from desk-based reviews, but rarely investigated from the local sites where they have been implemented. We investigated local perceptions of a PES scheme implemented in the Baie des Assassin’s mangroves of southwest Madagascar with particular focus on its perceived future effects. To meet our goal, we first collated socioeconomic and mangrove ecological information through extensive literature research, and key informant interviews with 35 peoples within the 10 villages surrounding the bay to be used as reference conditions. Following this, a workshop with 32 participants from local communities was conducted, using participatory scenario planning to predict the effects of the PES project, and to identify concerns surrounding its implementation. Local communities perceived the PES scheme as a potentially valuable approach for the sustainable management of their mangroves, and perceived that it would address major socioeconomic issues and mangrove management problems in the bay as a result of the carbon offsetting from their mangroves. We conclude that to achieve acceptance and good governance of a PES project by local communities, needs and concerns surrounding the implementation of the PES project need be addressed.
Keywords: mangroves; biodiversity; ecosystem services; scenario planning; Baie des Assassins; Madagascar
Read the full article here: Land 2021, 10(6), 597