Reconciling Global and Local Benefits from Communally Managed Forests: Evidence from a Choice Experiment on PES in Zambia
Agriculture is considered as one of the major drivers of deforestation worldwide. Especially in Africa, this process is driven by smallscale agriculture. Agricultural intensification is widely proposed as measure to reduce pressure on forests. Empirical evidence suggests, however, that winwin relations between agricultural intensification and forest conservation are the exception. As option, payments for ecosystem services (PES) could be linked to smallscale agricultural support programs and safeguard reduced deforestation while achieving agricultural intensification. Nevertheless, little scientific evidence exists regarding perceptions of potential PES recipients for such designs. We report from a discrete choice experiment in Zambia, that elicited preferences of small scale farmers for PES contracts incorporating incentives for agricultural intensification. The experimental design included both monetary and nonmonetary contract attributes. Our results suggest that potential PES recipients in Zambia value inkind agricultural inputs higher than cash payments, highlighting that PES could potentially succeed in conserving forests and intensifying smallscale agriculture. Respondents also put significant emphasis on improved tenure security and nonmonetary contract attributes, thus allowing to considerably reduce overall costs of PES if designed appropriately.