PES model case for watershed management

In the scientific publication by Bingham the model case of Vittel for user-financed payments for ecosystem services (PES) is analyzed. His article outlines how discourses about model cases may shape PES theory and practice. Based on a literature review the narrow basis of primary sources – 91% rely exclusively on a single, largely favorable report – challenges the dominant framing of the scheme as ideal in terms of its process, structure, or outcomes. The analysis shows that the treatment of the Vittel case in the recent literature may be too simplistic, holding it up as an exemplary model while glossing over difficult questions about fairness or equity. It also illustrates how powerful, well-resourced actors can dictate the terms of straightforward negotiations before coming to the table. The paper concludes with a call for increased scrutiny of this case and greater integration between the English- and French-language literature surrounding it.

View the full abstract and article here

  • Bingham LR (2021): Vittel as a model case in PES discourse: Review and critical perspective. Ecosystem Services, Volume 48, 2021, 101247. [Article]