Tackling biodiversity loss is a growing priority for human survival. Introducing incentives for positive actions could play a key role in helping to reverse this loss. This paper explores the potential of using a novel approach to promote biodiversity conservation.

The global climate is changing rapidly and countries need clear direction on how best to adapt to these changes. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is becoming an increasingly popular strategy, especially in poor countries where dependence on natural resources for lives and livelihoods is high.

The world’s largest works-based social protection scheme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has covered all of India since 2006 and aims at enhancing livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunte

Social conditional transfers (CTs) and payments for ecosystem services (PES) have the same starting point: the assumption that direct, conditional incentives are the most effective way to change behaviour. However, contextual disadvantages affect the capacity for the very poor to comply.

Payments for watershed services (PWS) are schemes that use funds from water users (including governments) as an incentive for landholders to improve their land management practices.

This report reviews the current status of payments for watershed services in developing countries. It highlights the main trends in the evolution of these schemes, synthesising the available evidence on their environmental and social impacts, and drawing lessons for the design of future initiatives.