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Warning Sign from Costa Rica's Environmental Service Payment Programme: "Hunting, Forest Fires and Forest Product Collection Prohibited"
The conservation community should shift its emphasis from indirect incentives for tropical biodiversity preservation to a system of direct conservation payments, advise Paul Ferraro and Agnes Kiss in this article.

Global efforts to conserve biodiversity in developing countries through indirect methods — such as encouraging sustainable use of resources or tying development of schools, wells or clinics to preservation — have provided few examples of success, they say.

Instead the authors advocate direct incentives such as those now common in the United States, Australia and Europe: land purchases and leases, as well as performance payments and tax relief. They argue that such systems can be simpler to administer, more cost-efficient, and more beneficial to the resource users.

Link to Science article

Photo credit: Subhrendu K. Pattanayak
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