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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Degree of Master of Science
Title Exploring the Feasibility of Economic Incentives for Reforestation in the Fond D’Or Watershed, St. Lucia
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
URL http://library.uvm.edu/jspui/bitstream/123456789/181/1/amandarichardsonfinal.pdf
Abstract
improved water quality being one potential benefit, in the Fond D’or watershed of
Saint Lucia. Population growth, economic development, and the onset of climate
change have decreased the environmental quality in Small Island Developing State
(SIDS) while increasing risk to the islands’ water security. The unique topography and
geology of Caribbean island nations contribute to the challenges of managing
freshwater resources. The governments of SIDS often lack the human and financial
resources to provide potable water for their citizens, as well as to monitor and enforce
environmental regulations limiting land use in watersheds. Therefore, a new approach
to watershed management in Saint Lucia is imperative for the provision of valuable
ecosystem services at the local, regional, and global scales. Payments for ecosystem
services (PES) are a promising approach to the protection and maintenance of public
ecosystem services where there is little incentive for private landowners to provide
them.
The first article explores household willingness-to-pay (WTP) for reforestation
in Fond D’or watershed. The contingent valuation method was used to obtain
residents’ WTP for a hypothetical scenario in which an increase in water users’ fees are
used to fund a program where farmers in the upper watershed are compensated for
taking land near water sources out of agricultural production for reforestation. The
findings from 294 household surveys provide a description of the state of water quality
and quantity in the Fond D’or, domestic water uses and sources, as well as attitudes and
opinions about current water service. Bivariate analyses were performed to identify
underlying factors that influence WTP, revealing that increased WTP is not a result of
higher education and income. Rather, residence in a particular community group likely
influences opinions about water, ultimately shaping WTP. Lastly, I discuss WTP in
terms of its potential contribution to a PES scheme in Saint Lucia; WTP by local
beneficiaries represents one potential funding source for PES mechanisms as well as
public support for environmental improvement programs.
The second article describes a methodological approach to constructing a PES
scheme in the Fond D’or watershed. Of the five environmental policy approaches—
prescription, penalties, property rights, persuasion, and payments—payment is likely
to be the most feasible method to influence private land management decisions for the
provision of ecosystem services for the public good. This article draws upon existing
PES schemes for hydrological services around the globe to provide key lessons for
expanding the use of the instrument to Saint Lucia. I apply these lessons to the social,
political, and institutional context of Saint Lucia, identifying opportunities for and
challenges to developing local or regional payment schemes for ecosystem services in
the Fond D'or watershed. I outline the steps to constructing a PES and recommend
further research to Saint Lucian policymakers.

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