Evaluating the impacts of Payment for Ecosystem Services interventions

September 5, 2019
November 20, 2019



Evaluating the impacts of Payment for Ecosystem Services interventions

Evaluating the impacts of Payment for Ecosystem Services interventions

The IMPACTED (‘The impact of terminated Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) on carbon stocks, deforestation, collective action and intrinsic motivations for conservation’) project overall aims to understand how agro-forestry systems capture carbon stocks. The agro-forestry sites were established as part of a PES project incentive scheme in the Sofala Province in Mozambique (2003-2013). PES is an asset-building landscape conservation and climate mitigation strategy that is being increasingly seen as a viable land use option in rural Africa.

Climate change mitigation

To fully encapsulate the benefits of this mitigation strategy, and be able to determine the effects of PES incentives, even after the cessation of payments, credible information is needed as to the net carbon gains of various agro-forestry sites that were established as part of the PES project. This project component will use various integrative sensing-based methods to map deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture and agroforestry classes at the landscape level. Using rigorous field observations on landscape carbon stocks, per class above and below carbon stockages will be determined. In studying the effects of the various land use forms on carbon gains and losses, the adoption potential of PES systems can be effectively gauged.

Monitoring of carbon stocks

The DFG project aims to evaluate several long-term aspects of a terminated asset-building PES project in Mozambique: the Sofala community carbon project (SCCP). The project will evaluate the impact of the SCCP on land-use and land-cover changes (1), study and estimate below- and above-ground biomass and carbon stocks of different land-use systems (2), and apply a mixed methods approach including surveys, economic experiments and participatory workshops for analyzing the impact of the terminated PES on intrinsic pro-environmental conservation values (3).


  • Develop and test time-series and integrative (Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2) mapping approaches for enhanced mapping of land use can change and agro-forestry sites
  • Implement advanced regression models to estimate carbon stockages for agro-forestry sites
  • Suggest a semi-automated carbon carbon mapping approach to assess the impact of PES schemes within tropical dryland forests

Potential of application

The results are purposely developed for agro-forestry schemes within tropical dryland forest biomes such as MIOMBO. In close collaboration with the Mozambique partners (i.e. the Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique, IIAM), it is anticipated that the remote-sensing-based carbon assessment routine can be operated locally in order to understand and learn about the benefits of PES schemes. The credible information on PES effects will help local partners to better formulate land management policies in regard to the UN sustainable development goals (SDG).

Project partners

Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany), Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique

Funding source

DFG, the German Research Foundation, and the National Research Fund (FNI) of Mozambique