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The Development of Payments for Ecosystem Services in China: Cutting Through the Cloud of Confusion Over China’s. Eco-Compensation

January 2012

Citation: ELR 10041

Author: Michael I. Jeffery and Gao Qi

Though Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) was initially designed as a voluntary market-oriented mechanism, PES development in China became a top-down, government driven process that is gradually evolving from centralized large-scale projects to decentralized smaller scale ones. Aside from the main objective of ecosystem conservation, poverty alleviation is often an additional important objective of PES. To improve the PES scheme in China, government needs to enhance administrative efficiency and promote multijurisdictional/sectoral cooperation and coordination; promote and develop more decentralized local initiatives and small-scale PES; cultivate a more favorable investment environment to attract greater participation of private actors; and encourage and support initiatives and legislation to ensure access to
information and public participation leading to more rational, transparent, and informed PES decisionmaking.

Michael I. Jeffery, QC, is Professor of Environmental Law and Head, Sustainability and Social Research Group, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia, as well
as Adjunct Professor of Law, College of Law and Politics, Wenzhou University, Zhejiang, PRC. Gao Qi is a Ph.D. candidate, University of Western Sydney, Sydney Australia.

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