Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), also known as Payment for Environmental Services, has become an increasingly popular economic approach to address environmental problems. The variety of ecosystem services, which are “components of nature, directly enjoyed, consumed or used to yield human well-being”, has rendered diversified PES programs targeting different ecological services. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), watershed is among the services that are currently receiving most funds and interest worldwide. This article compares two distinctive watershed PES programs, namely the New York City Watershed Program and Beijing Watershed Program in China, and tries to discuss their different levels of success.
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