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Mottled motivations and narrow incentives: Exploring limitations of direct incentive policies in the Western Ghats, India

Bose A., Garcia C., Vira B.. 2019. Ecological Economics, 156 : p. 511-518.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.09.007

Market-based instruments (MBIs) have proliferated to address environmental degradation outside Protected Areas (PAs). Coffee plantations have been one of the most active spaces for MBIs through third-party certifications. In the certification context, the logic of extrinsic motivators is explicitly used to incentivise coffee growers in the short-term to adopt environmentally sustainable and socially responsible production, including maintaining native tree species on plantations. Coffee growers that qualify with the environmental and social standards are audited, certified and eligible to the incentive. However, there is little empirical evidence on what encourages people to adopt and maintain an ecologically compatible lifestyle. This paper attempts to question the assumption regarding the importance of extrinsic catalysts as a motivation for changes in land management strategies. We test this hypothesis in the Indian context, where the history of direct payments for conservation has been very limited. Our work finally ask the question: have conservation programmes that use direct payments ignored intrinsic motivations in their programme design? The empirical findings presented in this paper contribute to a better understanding of the range of psychological, behavioral and social factors that drive these land-use and land management decisions and explicitly engage with debates on crowding-in and crowding-out in conservation.

Mots-clés : coffea; certification; impact sur l'environnement; inde

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