Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and the Characteristics of Social Ecological Systems: the Case of Lake Naivasha Basin

After a brief description of the ecological problems faced in the Lake Naivasha basin in Kenya, this paper describes shortcomings of existing environmental policy instruments employed by the Kenyan government. We argue that under certain conditions a bargaining process among commercial resource users at the lake and farmers at the upper catchments could enhance the robustness of this specific social ecological system (SES) by making use of Payments for Environmental Services (PES). The necessary conditions are: lake users’ perception of damages from permanent environmental problems like siltation and eutrophication that can be addressed by actions in the upper catchment, a minimal back up from the government that allows user groups to enforce their own rules, and a sufficient level of trust inside and between the different user groups. At the same time, the analysis identifies substantial obstacles for using PES to reduce water abstractions in the upper catchment and points out that the nature of the ecological problems and the societal situation at the lake interdependently determine the success probabilities of PES.

Heckelei, Thomas
Issue Date:
Jul 13 2012
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
Q25; Q38; Q57
Series Statement:
Agricultural and Resource Economics, Discussion Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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