However, caring for the environment and paying for environmental services is not the sole responsibility of the private sector. Governments, communities, and NGOs share the burden of protecting the environment. Governments must work out the rules of the game, prime the pump, and in many cases be the direct procurers of some ecosystem services (public goods). Community and conservation NGOs must ensure that ecosystem services and PES schemes are pursued with equity—balancing the interests of people and nature—to increase job and income opportunities for the rural poor and deliver real, on-the-ground conservation.
Finding creative and equitable business arrangements is not a new concept, and companies that have already embraced corporate social and environmental responsibility are well positioned to take advantage of the business opportunities.