Exploring local perceptions and drivers of engagement in biodiversity monitoring among participants in payments for ecosystem services schemes in southeastern Mexico
Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are widely applied incentive-based instruments with diverse objectives that increasingly include biodiversity conservation. Yet, there is a gap in understanding of how to best assess and monitor programs' biodiversity outcomes. We examined perceptions and drivers of engagement related to biodiversity monitoring through surveys among current PES participants in 7 communities in Mexico's Selva Lacandona. We conducted workshops among survey participants that included training and field deployment of tools used to monitor biodiversity and land cover, including visual transects, camera traps, acoustic recorders, and forest cover satellite images. We conducted pre- and postworkshop surveys in each community to evaluate changes in respondents' perceptions following exposure to biodiversity monitoring training and related field activities. We also reviewed existing research on participatory environmental management and monitoring approaches. One quarter of current PES participants in the study area participated in our surveys and workshops. The majority stated interest in engaging in diverse activities related to the procedural aspects of biodiversity monitoring (e.g., planning, field data collection, results dissemination) and acknowledged multiple benefits of introducing biodiversity monitoring into PES (e.g., knowledge and capacity building, improved natural resource management, and greater support for conservation). Household economic reliance on PES was positively associated with willingness to engage in monitoring. Technical expertise, time, and monetary constraints were deterrents. Respondents were most interested in monitoring mammals, birds, and plants and using visual transects, camera traps, and forest cover satellite images. Exposure to monitoring enhanced subsequent interest in monitoring by providing respondents with new insights from their communities related to deforestation and species' abundance and diversity. Respondents identified key strengths and weaknesses of applying different monitoring tools, which suggests that deploying multiple tools simultaneously can increase local engagement and produce complementary findings and data. Overall, our findings support the relevance and usefulness of incorporating participatory biodiversity monitoring into PES.
Source (journal)
Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology. - Boston, Mass., 1987, currens
Hoboken : Wiley , 2024
0888-8892 [print]
1523-1739 [online]
(2024) , p. 1-17
Pubmed ID
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Project info
ePEStemology: Towards a consolidation of social and ecological integrity for conservation and development in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES).
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 02.05.2024
Last edited 08.05.2024
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