WRITING A FOREWORD for this excellent set of referencing tools is a pleasure for me. It brings back pleasant and intense memories of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP) held in Oaxaca, Mexico, in August of 2004. These meetings were well attended by scholars from all parts of the world, by policymakers, by volunteers and staff from many countries, by members of Indigenous communities, and by students. The multi-lingual, disciplinary exchanges that occurred within the sessions, and on the fabulous grounds where the meetings were held, were intense, fun, and exciting. We all came away enriched by new findings and motivated to do even better work in the future.
So many edited books by academics are focused primarily on scientific topics of interest primarily to one discipline. These four volumes dramatically differ from most postconference publications. The volumes are written by scholars who address broad issues of interest across scientific disciplines that are of major interest to citizens and policymakers in all parts of the world. If scientists are to have any impact on the policy world, efforts like this are essential to provide readable syntheses that document important findings and their policy implications.
This volume on Payment for Environmental Services provides an overview of diverse experiences in developing payment schemes for those producing environmental services by the way they affect land use practices. Drawing on experiences across Latin America supported by German international financial assistance, Hartmann and Petersen provide evidence related to the success of several payment schemes. They also warn that adding too many social objectives to such programs might endanger the success of achieving improved environmental services. Swallow, Meinzen-Dick, and van Noordwijk, on the other hand, analyze diverse types of payment schemes. Some programs focus entirely on payment to established landowners who adopt environmentally friendly practices. Other types of programs can include small farmers as well as landless participants, thus leading to environmental as well as social benefits. Many of these latter programs require high levels of collective action for their accomplishment — and an even greater
social benefit can be produced as a result of the efficacy achieved and knowledge acquired when collective action is successful. Drawing on experiences achieved in Tamil Nadu, Matta and Kerr agree that compensation schemes can be designed so as to benefit the role of the local community in protecting and providing environmental services. To conclude the volume, Kandel and Rosa provide a useful synthesis and a framework for examining the multiple levels involved in compensation programs that affect practices of an individual household, of a community, and of a larger ecological region.
My recommendation is to put these volumes where you will be sure to read them!
We all are inundated with too many publications that swamp our inbox (both electronic and paper) and have to make tough choices as to which we can read. These volumes already provide excellent summaries of an immense body of research—and they are written by authorities who know the field well.
Autores: Merino, Leticia / Robson, Jim (editors)