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Introduction to the Special Issue on “Interdisciplinarity in Geography Educational Experiences Abroad”

Background

The authors provide an overview of the articles in a special issue of the journal The Geography Teacher on interdisciplinarity in geography study abroad programs.

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Cash for conservation: Do payments for ecosystem services work?

Background

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs make payments to land owners for the ecosystem services such as clean water or carbon storage that their land provides to create incentives to protect the land. One of the objectives of these projects is to promote local economic development along with conservation outcomes. Researchers have sought to critically assess the assumptions behind these programs and their implementation.

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Payments for ecosystem services and the fatal attraction of win-win solutions

Background

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs involve valuing and paying stewards of ecosystems for the services that these ecosystems create incentives for conserving them. These programs are sometimes characterized as ‘win-win’ solutions, with the potential to contribute to both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. The authors of this paper review the literature on PES programs and highlight some challenges of implementing them.

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The political ecology playbook for ecosystem restoration: Principles for effective, equitable, and transformative landscapes

Background

Globally, land degradation and forest loss continue despite an increasing number of projects working towards ecological restoration. The authors of this paper argue that one of the reasons that restoration projects have been unable to achieve their goals and ensure ecological resilience is that they ignore the underlying issues of political inequity and injustice that drive ecological degradation.

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Adopt a carbon tax to protect tropical forests

Background

International investments in natural climate solutions such as conservation, restoration and land management remain low in many tropical countries. The authors point to research which shows that only 3% of global finance for climate change mitigation went towards natural climate solutions in 2017-18. They recommend constituting a national level carbon tax on fossil fuel companies to generate revenue to fund natural climate solutions.

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The Little Book of Investing in Nature: A simple guide to financing life on earth

Background

The authors of this book point out that the international community has missed almost all collective biodiversity targets till date. Insufficient finance or the large gap between the funds that are required for biodiversity conservation and the funds that are allotted and the inappropriate implementation of existing finance mechanisms are part of the reason for the continued decline in global biodiversity. 

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Conservation Finance: A Framework

Background

The authors define conservation finance as “mechanisms and strategies that generate, manage, and deploy financial resources and align incentives to achieve nature conservation outcomes.” Governments are the largest contributors to conservation finance resources, and common mechanisms include grants, subsidies, and fiscal transfers, among others.

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Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap

Background

The authors of this report point out that current economic systems promote unsustainable levels of land conversion for infrastructural and agricultural growth and natural resource extraction. They outline some economic and social reasons for protecting nature, and argue that economic systems need to be transformed to incentivize financing biodiversity conservation instead of enabling unsustainable land conversion and natural resource extraction.

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The global status and trends of Payments for Ecosystem Services

Background

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Payments for Ecosystem Services: Rife with Problems and Potential—For Transformation Towards Sustainability

Background

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are monetary or in-kind payments that are made to land owners or stewards for the ‘services’ that their land provides such as fresh water, climate regulation, and soil formation. These payments are meant to act as an incentive to protect natural landscapes. Research on PES interventions has increased substantially from 2000 onwards. For example, the authors of this study found that there were 13 google scholar search results for “payments for ecosystem services” published before 2000, 182 results for studies published between 2001 and 2006, and 6830 results for studies published between 2007 and 2015.

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