|Title||Options for developing a natural-resource based economy in Arnhem Land: payments for environmental services|
|Publication Type||Conference Participation|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Keywords||6: Sustainable enterprises|
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are increasingly used across developed and developing countries to simultaneously tackle poverty and environmental degradation. PES provide monetary incentives to promote land use changes or adoption of new land use practices, hence granting participants an income stream while generating environmental benefits for the general community. In Australia, several government projects can be equated to PES, but they have never targeted specifically Indigenous Communities. In theory, PES are suited to address both the lack of economic opportunities in remote Aboriginal communities, and the increasing international and national demand for environmental services. In this paper, data from two field sites help to assess the potential of PES to promote a natural-resource-based economy in Arnhem Land. What are the features of PES? How would PES address cultural and environmental conservation, and foster economic and health improvements? What would be the advantages of PES compared to existing funding schemes? What are the cultural, social, and practical obstacles to adoption of PES schemes?