Abstract: Projects designed to incentivize ecosystem management for societal benefits are becoming increasingly popular and are often touted as win–win solutions for social and environmental challenges. Yet, there are important concerns about the equity and justice implications of these programs, and there is strong evidence that a lack of attention to justice can exacerbate or create inequities. We focus on water funds, a subset of watershed ecosystem investment programs that are being scaled globally. We specifically discuss how three long-standing Andean programs have shifted through time toward a greater focus on equity and justice. We argue that these shifts, while imperfect, have been critical to their durability and that, more generally, continued alignment of nature-based investment programs with broader equity and justice concerns is essential for long-term durability and success.
Bremer, Leah L., Kate A. Brauman, and Marta Echavarría. “Toward more equitable ecosystem investment programs—Adaptation and equity are central to the design and functioning of successful water funds.” Conservation Letters (2023): e12974.