Payment for environmental services (PES) schemes are increasingly being introduced in developed and developing countries for the ecological conservation of forests also. Such payment schemes resemble a new mode of forest governance labelled political modernization, in which centralized and state-based command-and-control policies make room for market dynamics, non-state actors, and decentralization. In entering the new Millennium, China has massively started using payment schemes to conserve its forests. An analysis of the implementation of the Forest Ecological Benefit Compensation Fund Programme in Liaoning Province is used to investigate whether China’s PES schemes resemble notions of political modernization. It is concluded that Liaoning Province introduced market dynamics and farmer participation in the implementation of its PES scheme, but in a way different from that theorized by political modernization scholars. Hence, it should rather be seen as a ‘Chinese style’ political modernization process.
- environmental services