Assessing the Feasibility of Wetlands Conservation: Using Payments for Ecosystem Services in Pallisa, Uganda

I. Nalukenge, J.M. Antle, dr ir Jetse Stoorvogel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter reports on a study of the potential for payments for ecosystem services to encourage the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices in the Pallisa district in southeastern Uganda. Due to low productivity and population pressure, the subsistence agriculture that dominates the upland areas is increasingly encroaching on wetland areas critical to a many ecosystem services. While encroachment is illegal, enforcement has not been effective, raising the possibility that a positive incentive mechanism might be a more effective approach to wetlands protection. This study began with a workshop designed to learn about the potential importance of wetlands and their services from local and national stakeholders, and to assess the legal and institutional setting in which environmental policy is being implemented. The next step was to implement a quantitative analysis of ecosystem service supply, to estimate the possible rates of participation by farmers in contracts for wetlands conservation and the impact on farmers’ incomes. The analysis suggests that payments for ecosystem services could be a viable alternative to conventional environmental regulation if local institutions can manage contracts with farmers at a reasonable cost, and if national and international beneficiaries are willing to pay for wetlands protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPayment for Environmental Services in Agricultural Landscapes: Economic Policies and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries
Pages 239–253
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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