Benefit distribution and equity in Ecuador's Socio Bosque Program

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In this article we analyze the equity and distribution of financial incentives in Ecuador's Programa Socio Bosque (PSB). PSB aims to conserve native ecosystems on privately owned lands while reducing rural poverty. Based on the analysis of 1,563 conservation contracts, representing nearly 900,000ha of land in Ecuador and more than 90,000 beneficiaries, we scrutinize the regional distribution of benefits among three regions (the Coast, the Andes, and the Amazon) and two contract types: land under individual ownership and land under collective ownership. We compare incentive distribution before and after a substantial change in the incentive scale, differentiating collective and individual landowners as well as forests and paramo ecosystems. Although PSB is a mechanism that incentivizes conservation stewardship, its distributional equity and ability to reduce rural poverty remain questionable, because poverty levels and population density in collective contracts are not sufficiently considered in the incentive scale.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • collective landownership, conservation, Ecuador, equity, incentive, distribution, individual landownership
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1184
JournalSociety & Natural Resources
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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