Ecosystems, poverty alleviation and conditional transfers

Authors Porras, I.; Asquith, N.
Year of Publication 2018
Type of Publication Book
Number of Pages 61
Open Access Yes


Evidence from the international research community shows that careful management of nature results in benefits to people’s wellbeing. Poor people especially depend more heavily on the quality of the ecosystems, and have less access to substitutes when they are degraded. Making meaningful impacts in the way ecosystems are managed requires governments to step in and scale up, but the evidence also shows that empowered communities can make strong calls to enact and implement change at the local level.

Positive incentives like payments for ecosystem services (PES) and other forms of conditional transfers can provide important signals to enact this behavioural change into positive actions. Carefully designed, these incentives can also contribute to the wellbeing of people, especially poor and vulnerable groups.

New tools emerge that can help with scaling up and dealing with inevitable trade-offs, but more efforts are needed to bring this information closer to those making decisions.

This handbook and accompanying materials help to bridge this space by: 1) making evidence accessible, bringing the latest evidence from research on PES in theory and practice with documented case studies written for practitioners; and 2) supporting capacity building to ‘train the trainers’, through teaching modules which can be used to promote capacity building of practitioners.