Timber plantation, Costa Rica

An anthropological exploration of the Pagos por Servicios Ambientales program, linking conservation, human needs, and sustainable land-use in Costa Rica

This thesis begins by exploring the historical, ecological, and moral aspects of land use change and the Pagos por Servicios Ambientales (PSA) program in Costa Rica. Later, an in-depth research study of the PSA program is utilized to access the practicality of different program structures in stimulating conservation land use. This study utilizes a mixed model research design, which integrates quantitative and qualitative data collection strategies, to test hypotheses relating to the feasibility of instituting a sliding-scale system of payments, which transitions from financial to non-financial incentives, in Costa Rica’s PSA program. The results of this study support my general hypothesis that a sliding-scale system, which balances financial and non-financial rewards, would be more effective than the current program, both in terms of program equality and the stimulation of conservation land use. In the conclusion, three strategies are proposed for maximizing program participation, equality, and conservation land use, with the same budget as the current PSA structure


Not Applicable.

Dialogue & Discussion