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Voluntary standards in coffee sector and payments for environmental services mechanisms, incentives to ES provision by agroforestry systems: The Costa Rican experience

Le Coq J.F., Soto G., Gonzalez C.. 2009. In : Book of abstracts of the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry, 23-28 August 2009, Nairobi, Kenya : Agroforestry, the future of global land use. Nairobi : WCA [Nairobi], p. 247-248. World Congress of Agroforestry. 2, 2009-08-23/2009-08-28, Nairobi (Kenya).

With almost half of the national coffee production under voluntary private standards, coffee certification schemes have become an important incentive to maintain or change, as well as value, practices in coffee-based agroforestry systems (AFS) in Costa Rica. Based on a literature review, field data on the coffee sector and experiences of payments for environmental services (PES) in Costa Rica, this study compares the limitations and opportunities between certification schemes and PES as instruments to provide incentives for environmental services (ES) by coffee AFS taking into account their effects in term of ES provision and socioeconomic impact, their efficiency and their financial and institutional sustainability. It also analyses the unique situation of Costa Rica where a wide range of private voluntary standards are already in practice and proposes a typology of existing certification schemes according to market characteristics and their potential role in ES provision. The study shows that PES is a territorial instrument relying on a strong institutional support together with good public private governance whereas private voluntary schemes are a commodity chain-based instrument relying solely on market governance. Thus, the first instrument is more directly linked to ES provision and its efficiency depends on local adaptation of the governance; the later is strongly affected by other factors such as quantity and quality of coffee production. The review also highlights the common limits of both instruments. Both are mainly oriented towards the promotion of "best agricultural practices" rather than the effective provision of ES and thus, neither one makes a differentiation in remuneration according to effective ES provision level. In conclusion, operational recommendations are proposed to enhance the complementary benefits of the 2 instruments in order to increase ES provision of AFS. (Texte intégral)

Mots-clés : agroforesterie; coffea; costa rica; service environnemental

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