Stacking Payments for Ecosystem Services

Created: 10/27/2020 -


The utilization of ecosystem services payments to fund conservation and restoration efforts can serve as a financing strategy for climate change adaptation. 

Payments for ecosystem services are becoming an increasingly important part of the U.S. business and regulatory landscape. Used properly, these payments can efficiently mitigate greenhouse gases, filter pollution from runoff, protect wildlife habitat, and prevent soil erosion. Recognizing this, the American Clean Energy Security Act establishes a cap-and-trade program that allows firms to “offset” their greenhouse gas emissions through practices that reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. Some state governments are also expanding water quality trading programs that allow facili- ties that discharge water pollutants to avoid ex- pensive facility upgrades by, for example, paying farmers to improve land management practices. There are also long-standing federal programs that pay farmers and forest landowners for providing a range of ecosystem services, such as protection of wildlife habitat and prevention of erosion.

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The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. We work with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. WRI’s transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future.


Adaptation Phase
Multilateral / Transboundary
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Maintain adequate financial resources for adaptation
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Habitat extent

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