Neighbourhood effects of payments for environmental services : case study in the Sarapiquí region, Heredia Province, Costa Rica
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This case study investigates ex-post neighbourhood-effects of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) in Costa Rica in a quantitative fashion, analysing the influences PES schemes exert beyond their demarcated areas on the surrounding environment (spill-over effects), and understanding from this neighbourhood perspective the effects and reactions that are being triggered. Neighbourhood has been conceptualised both i) in a narrow geographical way and also ii) in a broader sense, encompassing family members, relatives and friends. The data set was collected through a five-month field trip to the research site. Results suggest that an argument for the existence of geographically determined spill-over effects due to vicinity to a PES site can hardly be made. Furthermore, a distinction of whether information regarding PES was received from neighbourhood related information sources compared to when knowledge was obtained from sources lying outside of the defined neighbourhood dimension could not be used as an indication of the strength of measured effects. The study further assessed whether motivational adjustments were triggered upon receiving information regarding PES. Analysed explanations include notions related to nature's and forests' commodification, fairness concerns as well as effects related to the theory of impaired self-esteem (ISE) and crowding-out. Whereas a view towards more economic evaluation methods of nature and forests seems to be introduced through PES, motivational adjustments could not be traced. In addition, fairness concerns were found to be minimal. Evidenced by the large majority of interviewees who regard the disbursement of payments as a just practise.