Payments for environmental services, and payments for carbon offsets in particular, are a growing source of public sector expenditures in developing countries. For example, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) recently launched a carbon fund expected to raise 500 million USD for investment in carbon emissions mitigation and sequestration in its member countries. While numerous interventions that target smallholder farmers claim both environmental and poverty alleviation impacts from environmental payment programs, little rigorous evidence on the impacts on the participating farmers or on possible spillovers to other land use outcomes (leakage) is available. This study looked at the leakage and impacts of payments from an afforestation programme in Malawi.
Jack, B.K. The leakage and livelihood impacts of payments for environmental services. (2012) 3 pp.