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Abstract

Modern agriculture has generated complex environmental damages. Sustainable food production models must be encouraged. Agroecology is presented as a more sustainable option, since it brings a holistic view of these complex and interdependent elements: food production and environmental protection. However, this model is challenging to apply, which is intensified by the limitations imposed by environmental command and control instruments. This paper aims to analyze how the economic instrument of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) can be enhanced in order to promote the reproduction of agroecology in Brazil. PES and the main environmental economic theories behind this instrument were briefly analyzed. From the analyses of selected case studies, the core structural and essential issues revolving failures of the current Brazilian PES programs have been identified. The hypothesis states that PES should migrate from the Environmental Neoclassical Economics’ logic and be grounded on the principles of Ecological Economics. Based in our analysis, PES should be able to promote agroecology in Brazil reading 3 key drivers: being mainly non-monetary, public and applying a systemic approach. Following this strategy would mean overcoming the market logic, whilst allowing public participation.

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