Wednesday, November 06, 2013


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Paths toward Sustainable Payments for Ecosystem Services (AAG Annual Meeting)

A session at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting will cover the topic of “Paths toward Sustainable Payments for Ecosystem Services”. The session is co-organized by Li An and Stephen Crook and will be co-chaired by Li An and Douglas Stow.

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are direct incentives paid to resource users to take actions (or to refrain from previous actions) to secure ecosystem services such as clean air and water, food, soil fertility, forest resources, and eco-tourism.  Governments, the private sector, and many non-governmental organizations worldwide invest billions of dollars each year in PES programs. Despite reported successes in restoring and conserving ecosystems and their corresponding services, lack of sustainability has become a serious concern for many PES programs worldwide; one of the problems is 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. Potential mechanisms for successful (or unsuccessful) PES programs
  2. Ecological effects of PES programs (e.g., wildlife habitat or behavioral change, biodiversity change)
  3. Socioeconomic, demographic, and political consequences of PES programs
  4. 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, and addressing complexity in PES related coupled natural and human systems (CNH). 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 both the Spatial Analysis and Modeling group and the Human Dimensions of Global Change group. 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 Friday, November 29 to Stephen Crook ( and cc to Dr. Li An (

Deadline: November 29, 2013

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