Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: International Experiences with Payments for Environmental Services in Grazing Lands and Other Rangelands

Date: February 2014
Type: Reports
Series: Strengthening Carbon Financing for Grassland Management in the PRC and Mongolia
ISBN: 978-92-9254-415-7 (print), 978-92-9254-416-4 (web)
Price: US$20.00 (hard copy)


Payments for environmental services are one potential mechanism to provide land users in grasslands with incentives to increase the supply of positive externalities of grassland utilization (e.g., biodiversity), and decrease the supply of negative externalities (e.g., soil erosion or carbon emissions). The main distinction between payments for environmental services and other forms of incentives or support is that payments for environmental services schemes make payments conditional upon performance of improved management or delivery of environmental services.


Evidence suggests that payments for environmental services schemes can result in an increase in the supply of environmental services, although some schemes have not increased their supply and there have been few rigorous evaluations. One general set of reasons for the limited environmental impact is that market-based instruments may be less effective in contexts where other markets are missing or not working well, since these constrain the opportunities for land users to pursue more profitable livelihood options. Even where schemes are able to increase the supply of one environmental service, there may be trade-offs with other environmental services. Similarly, not all payments for environmental services schemes have improved incomes for the poor or addressed equity concerns. Careful design and a thorough assessment of these issues can improve payments for environmental services implementation.

About this report

Payments for environmental services is currently not widely practiced in Mongolia, but has been included in the recent Green Development Strategy of the Government of Mongolia. This knowledge product provides a descriptive overview of 50 payments for environmental services schemes in operation in grasslands and other grazing lands worldwide as well as a number of schemes under development in Mongolia. It also discusses some key issues relating to the design of payments for environmental services schemes in the context of Mongolian grasslands.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Overview of International Payments for Environmental Services Schemes
  • Discussion
  • Rangeland Payments for Environmental Services Schemes in Mongolia
  • Recommendations
  • Annexes

Other titles in the series