Monday, October 15, 2012


CALL FOR PAPERS: Payments for Ecosystem Services (2013 AAG)

A session at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 9-13 April 2013, will address the topic of ‚ÄúPayments for Ecosystem Services: Paths toward Sustainability‚ÄĚ.

Many important ecosystem services have been degraded as a result of human activities. Even services derived from so-called protected areas are not immune to these threats. Indeed, much debate surrounds the topic of the most effective approaches to conservation. One approach has been to provide compensation to the parties protecting them in the form of payments for ecosystem services (PES). To counteract forces of degradation, governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations worldwide invest billions of dollars each year in PES programs that provide incentives to resource users to take actions that sustain ecosystem services (or to refrain from taking actions that threaten ecosystem services). Despite reported successes in restoring and preserving ecosystems and their corresponding services such as clean air and water, food, soil fertility, forest resources, and eco-tourism, long-term PES program sustainability remains uncertain. PES lack of sustainability can arise from many reasons, one being that PES participants may return to their previous behavioral patterns when payments end.

This session will explore possible pathways toward PES sustainability, addressing the complex reciprocal relationships between PES programs and corresponding socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental systems. We particularly encourage review and research articles to address theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues related to (but not limited to) the following topics:

  1. Land use or land cover change associated with PES programs
  2. Ecological effects of PES programs (e.g., wildlife habitat or behavioral change)
  3. Potential mechanisms for success/failure observed in current PES programs
  4. Socioeconomic, demographic, and political consequences of PES programs
  5. Methodological issues: collection of qualitative and quantitative data related to PES, data analysis and modeling, application of GIS techniques and spatial statistics, integration of multidisciplinary and multi-scale data, etc.
  6. Complexity in coupled natural and human systems (CNH) arising from PES programs (e.g., feedback, nonlinearity, time lags). Analyses using similar integrated frameworks including coupled human and natural systems (CHANS), social-ecological systems, or social-environmental systems are also welcome.

This session (sessions) is co-sponsored by multiple AAG Specialty Groups: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis and Modeling, Human Dimensions of Global Change, and China Geography. To be considered for the sessions:

  1. Please register and submit your abstract online following the AAG Guidelines (; and
  2. Please send your paper title, PIN, and abstract no later than Wednesday, October 24 to Dr. Li An (, Sarah Wandersee (, and Alex Zvoleff (

Deadline: October 24, 2012

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