From the text: Despite the general scepticism within the degrowth movement concerning tools that involve the institutionalization of markets for no-commodity concerns, in this paper we try to understand if it is possible to combine the creation of a transaction scheme for ecosystem services deriving from landscape and environmental conservation, like Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) one, with a degrowth context. To do this we try to compare the characteristics of PES with degrowth principles and in particular with the so-called eight “R” conditions pointed out by S. Latouche.
First of all, we consider the results of some studies we conducted during last years about environmental evaluation that allowed us to quantify the importance given by citizens to ecosystem services. A starting premise is that a great number of citizens are willing to pay for the provision of an environmental good/ecosystem service that has neither a market nor a price, but a significant value in its life. In detail, they would be willing to pay an amount to provide land users with financial incentives not to degrade landscape and environmental resources and their services, but rather to protect them. This willingness to pay could be considered a first step for the creation of social commerce, whose property is social. PES seems to be an example to counteract the negative consequences of capitalism towards the economy of happiness and degrowth.
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.