This study aimed to design a desirable payment for environmental services (PES) program to be implemented in Eastern Thailand. Landowners’ preferences on program factors were both identified and quantified using a choice experiment. The results showed that all hypothetical programs attributes were statistically significant to landowners’ participation decisions, except free-to-choose in-kind benefits. On the average, landowners preferred the land-use option that allowed them to cultivate and manage the enrolled land under the program. The length of contract adversely affected landowners’ participation in the hypothetical PES program. The other three program attributes of unrestricted amount of minimum land to enroll into the program and two in-kind benefits (advisory services and ecotourism-related job training) had positive impacts on landowners’ participation decisions. Willingness to accept (WTA) calculations suggested that higher monetary incentives could help induce landowners to participate in PES programs that generate desirable environmental benefits. Moreover, the WTA estimates showed that in-kind benefits could enhance the attractiveness of a PES program and significantly reduce the need for monetary incentives.
Landowners’ Preferences for a Payment for Environmental Services Program: A Case Study in East Thailand
by Sarun Kamolthip