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Enhancing Conservation, Ecosystem Services, and Local Livelihoods through a Wildlife Premium Mechanism

Article

Overview

Authors

  • Dinerstein, Eric, Varma, Keshav, Wikramanayake, Eric, Powell, George, Lumpkin, Susan, Naidoo, Robin, Korchinsky, Mike, Del Valle, Christian, Lohani, Shubash, Seidensticker, John, Joldersma, Dirk, Lovejoy, Thomas and Kushlin, Andrey

Abstract

  • We propose the wildlife premium mechanism as an innovation to conserve endangered large vertebrates. The performance-based payment scheme would allow stakeholders in lower-income countries to generate revenue by recovering and maintaining threatened fauna that can also serve as umbrella species (i.e., species whose protection benefits other species with which they co-occur). There are 3 possible options for applying the premium: option 1, embed premiums in a carbon payment; option 2, link premiums to a related carbon payment, but as independent and legally separate transactions; option 3, link premiums to noncarbon payments for conserving ecosystem services (PES). Each option presents advantages, such as incentive payments to improve livelihoods of rural poor who reside in or near areas harboring umbrella species, and challenges, such as the establishment of a subnational carbon credit scheme. In Kenya, Peru, and Nepal pilot premium projects are now underway or being finalized that largely follow option 1. The Kasigau (Kenya) project is the first voluntary carbon credit project to win approval from the 2 leading groups sanctioning such protocols and has already sold carbon credits totaling over $1.2 million since June 2011. A portion of the earnings is divided among community landowners and projects that support community members and has added over 350 jobs to the local economy. All 3 projects involve extensive community management because they occur on lands where locals hold the title or have a long-term lease from the government. The monitoring, reporting, and verification required to make premium payments credible to investors include transparent methods for collecting data on key indices by trained community members and verification of their reporting by a biologist. A wildlife premium readiness fund would enable expansion of pilot programs needed to test options beyond those presented here.Mejora de la Conservaci√≥n, Servicios del Ecosistema y Calidad de Vida Local Mediante un Mecanismo de Compensaci√≥n de Vida Silvestre

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Publication Date

  • 2012

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Digital Object Identifier (doi)

Additional Document Info

Start Page

  • 14

End Page

  • 23

Volume

  • 27

Issue

  • 1