What are PES? A review of definitions and an extension

Sandra Derissen and Uwe Latacz-Lohmann
The term PES is often used to denote market incentives for the provision of public goods within the field of environmental and resource issues. In this context, PES translates into either ‘payments for environmental services’ or ‘payments for ecosystem services’—the terms that are not consistently defined in the literature and sometimes used as synonyms. Given the lack of coherent definitions, this note reviews current definitions of payments for ecosystem services and payments for environmental services entertained in the literature, discusses alternative meanings of environmental and ecosystem services in the PES context, and finally proposes a consistent definition. We argue that current definitions of PES found in the literature are insufficient to adequately describe the man-made nature of many environmental goods and services: that nature is ’produced’ through human intervention. Building upon the FAO's definition of environmental services, we propose a definition that regards environmental services as services provided through countryside management in a broader sense whilst produced either unintentionally or intentionally.
Credit: http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/mother-nature-s-sum-4226/