• Class Number 4784
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Luca Tacconi
    • Prof Luca Tacconi
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The goal of this course is to understand how payments for environmental services (PES) schemes can be designed, how they are currently operating in practice, and what environmental, social and economic outcomes they are having.

The course will focus on both theoretical aspects of the design of the schemes and empirical analysis of the outcomes of existing schemes.

The issues considered in this course will include:

-    The rationale of PES schemes

-    Arguments pro and against PES schemes

-    The economic theory behind PES schemes

-    Key principles of the design, including pricing, transparency, additionality, and conditionality

-    Land and property rights

-    Efficiency vs cost effectiveness of the schemes

-    The role of PES in poverty alleviation

-    Practical applications of PES: climate change, biodiversity, watershed management, coastal management

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of the course, students will: 

  1. Possess a critical understanding of the theory underpinning payments for environmental services (PES) schemes
  2. Have knowledge of the  key design principles of PES schemes
  3. Understand the role of PES in environmental management
  4. Be able to apply this theoretical understanding to  interventions
  5. Be able to verbally communicate the theory and the principles underlying PES schemes

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1 Readings Schomers, S., B. Matzdorf 2013. Payments for ecosystem services: A review and comparison of developing and industrialized countries. Ecosystem Services, 6: 16-30. Kemkes, R.J., J. Farley, C.J. Koliba 2010. Determining when payments are an effective policy approach to ecosystem service provision. Ecological Economics 69 (2010) 2069–2074. Supplementary resources URS, Westcountry Rivers Trust, Birmingham City University, Pundamilia Ltd. 2013. Payments for ecosystem services: A best practice guide (plus Annex). UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/envir/measures/index_en.htm Bladon, A., K.M. Short, E.Y. Mohammed, E.J. Milner-Gulland 2016. Payments for ecosystem services in developing world fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 17(839-859).
2 Week 2 Readings Wunder, S. 2015. Revisiting the concept of payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics 117 (2015) 234–243. Tacconi, L. 2012. Redefining payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics 73 (2012) 29–36. Muradian, R., E. Corbera, U. Pascual, N. Kosoy, P.H. May 2010. Reconciling theory and practice: An alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics 69 (2010) 1202–1208.
3 Week 3 Monday is public holiday, so there is no lecture. But students will use their time to read about different PES schemes around the world to decide which one is of particular interest to them, and will be a focus for their research papers.
4 Week 4 Readings Kosoy, N., E. Corbera 2010. Payments for ecosystem services as commodity fetishism. Ecological Economics, 69: 1228-1236. Vatn, A. 2010. An institutional analysis of payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics, 69: 1245-1252. Norgaard, R. 2010. Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder. Ecological Economics, 69: 1219-1227. Wunder, S. 2013. When payments for environmental services will work for conservation. Conservation Letters, 64: 230-37.
5 Week 5 Readings Tacconi, L 2015. Regional Synthesis of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) in the Greater Mekong Region. CIFOR and USAID. Jacka, B.K., C. Kouskya, K.R.E. Sims 2008. Designing payments for ecosystem services: Lessons from previous experience with incentive-based mechanisms. PNAS, (105): 9465–9470. For the tutorial we use: Section on Vietnam in Tacconi, L 2015. Regional Synthesis of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) in the Greater Mekong Region. CIFOR and USAID. Suhardiman, D., D. Wichelns , G. Lestrelin, C.T. Hoanh 2013. Payments for ecosystem services in Vietnam: market-based incentives or state control of resources? Ecosystem Services 6: 64-71.
6 Week 6 Readings Wunder, S. 2007. The efficiency of payments for environmental services in tropical conservation. Conservation Biology, 21: 48-58. Pascual, U., R. Muradian, L.C. Rodríguez, A. Duraiappah 2010. Exploring the links between equity and efficiency in payments for environmental services: A conceptual approach. Ecological Economics 69 (2010) 1237–1244. Borner, J., S. Wunder, R. Giudice 2016. Will up-scaled forest conservation incentives in the Peruvian Amazon produce cost-effective and equitable outcomes? Environmental Conservation. p 1-10.
7 Week 7 Readings Lastra-Bravo, X.B., C. Hubbard, G. Garrod, A. Tolon-Becerra 2015. What drives farmers’ participation in EU agri-environmental schemes? Results from a qualitative meta-analysis. Environmental Science & Policy, 54: 1-9. Arriagada , R.A., E.O. Sills , S.K. Pattanayak, P.J. Ferraro 2009. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate participation in Costa Rica's Program of Payments for Environmental Services. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 28: 343-367. Rios, A.R., S. Pagiola 2010. Poor household participation in payments for environmental services in Nicaragua and Colombia. In Tacconi, Mahanty, and Suich. Payments for Environmental Services, Forest Conservation and Climate Change: Livelihoods in the REDD+? Edwards Elgar.
8 Week 8 Readings Pagiola, S. (2008). Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica. Ecological Economics , 65: 712-724. Ferraro, P.J., 2008. Asymmetric information and contract design for payments forenvironmental services. Ecological Economics 65, 810–821. Jindal, R. J.M. Kerr, P.J. Ferraro, B.M. Swallow 2013. Social dimensions of procurement auctions for environmental service contracts: Evaluating tradeoffs between cost-effectiveness and participation by the poor in rural Tanzania. Land Use Policy 31 (2013) 71– 80. Reading for tutorial Whitten, S.M., A. Reeson, J. Windl, J. Rolfe 2013. Designing conservation tenders to support landholder participation: A framework and case study assessment. Ecosystem Services, 6: 82-92.
9 Week 9 Readings Pagiola, S., Arcenas, A., Platais, G., 2005. Can payments for environmental services help reduce poverty? An exploration of the issues and the evidence to date from Latin America. World Development 33, 237–253. Zheng, H., B.E. Robinson, Y. Liang, S., Polasky, D. Ma, F. Wang, G. C. Daily 2013. Benefits, costs, and livelihood implications of a regional payment for ecosystem service program. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110: 16681-16686. Tacconi, L., Mahanty, S., Suich, H. 2013. The livelihood impacts of payments for environmental services and implications for REDD+. Society & Natural Resources, 26: 733-744.
10 Week 10 Readings Le Coq J.F., G. Froger, D. Pesche, T. Legrand, F. Saenz 2015. Understanding the governance of the Payment for Environmental Services Programme in Costa Rica: A policy process perspective. Ecosystem Services, 16:253–265. Pagiola, S. (2008). Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica. Ecological Economics , 65: 712-724. Chapter 4 Mobilizing finance for payments for ecosystem services, in OECD 2010. Paying for Biodiversity: Enhancing the Cost-Effectiveness of Payments for Ecosystem Services. OECD, Paris. Blackman, A., R.T. Woodward 2010. User financing in a national payments for environmental services program: Costa Rican hydropower. Ecological Economics 69: 1626-1638.
11 Week 11 Readings Pattanayak, S. K., Wunder, S., & Ferraro, P. J. 2010. Show me the money: Do payments supply environmental services in developing countries? Review of Environmental Economics and Policy , 4 (2), 254-274. Arriagada, R.A., P.J. Ferraro, E.O. Sills, S.K. Pattanayak, S. Cordero-Sancho 2012. Do Payments for Environmental Services Affect Forest Cover? A Farm-Level Evaluation from Costa Rica. Land Economics: 88: 382-399. Kleijn, D. et al. 2006. Mixed biodiversity benefits of agri-environment schemes in five European countries. Ecology Letters, (2006) 9: 243–254.
12 Week 12 This week students present their draft research papers.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay on theory 15 % 15/03/2019 31/03/2019 1
Case study analysis 35 % 12/04/2019 30/04/2019 2, 3
Research assignment 40 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Presentation 10 % 20/05/2019 24/05/2019 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


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Assessment Requirements

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Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 15/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Essay on theory

The details of the task and the assessment criteria are available on Wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 12/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Case study analysis

The details of the task and the assessment criteria are available on Wattle

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research assignment

The details of the task and the assessment criteria are available on Wattle

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 20/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5


The details of the task and the assessment criteria are available on Wattle

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Prof Luca Tacconi
6125 7554

Research Interests

Prof Luca Tacconi

Thursday 15:00 16:00
Prof Luca Tacconi
6125 7554

Research Interests

Prof Luca Tacconi

Thursday 15:00 16:00

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