Activating the intrinsic motivations of beneficiaries for longer lasting conservation and development projects


Driss Ezzine de Blas


Version française de l'article

How can we design conservation and development projects that produce lasting changes? How can we increase their effectiveness and legitimacy? The classical economic incentives of environmental policies (certification, sustainable forest management, payments for environmental services, green loans, etc.) are effective in the short term, but their environmental performance is not necessarily guaranteed in the long term. However, when the intrinsic motivations of beneficiaries are activated, these beneficiaries take greater ownership of the objectives of actions: they demonstrate more lasting behavioural change. Recent research combining behavioural economics and social psychology, conducted for such projects, is opening a rich and complementary avenue to mobilise this latent human potential. Considering intrinsic motivations implies recognising the importance of the psychological dimension of any action. Research and development decision-makers and donors can and ensure their calls for projects incorporate methods to identify and activate these motivations.


Comment citer
Ezzine de Blas, D. (2021). Activating the intrinsic motivations of beneficiaries for longer lasting conservation and development projects. Perspective, (56), 1-4.
Biographie de l'auteur

Driss Ezzine de Blas, CIRAD, UPR Forêts et Sociétés, Univ Montpellier

Driss Ezzine de Blas is a socio-economist at CIRAD in the Forests and Societies Research Unit ( His research focuses on assessing the impact of conservation and development policies in tropical areas through a systemic approach.


Author's publications

Special section of the journal Ecological Economics: Ezzine-de-Blas D., Corbera E., Lapeyre R., 2019. Special Section: Crowding-out or crowding-in? Behavioural and ethical responses to economic incentives for conservation. Ecological Economics 156: 1-530.

Chervier C., Le Velly G., Ezzine-de-Blas D., 2019. When the Implementation of Payments for Biodiversity Conservation Leads to Motivation Crowding-out: A Case Study from the Cardamoms Forests, Cambodia. Ecological Economics 156: 499-510.

Ezzine-de-Blas D., Corbera E., Lapeyre R., 2019. Payments for Environmental Services and Motivation Crowding: Towards a Conceptual Framework. Ecological Economics 156: 434-443.

Wunder S., Börner J., Ezzine-de-Blas D., Feder S., Pagiola S., 2020. Payments for Environmental Services: Past Performance and Pending Potentials. Annual Review of Resource Economics 12: 209-234.

Wunder S., Brouwer R., Engel S., Ezzine-de-Blas D., Muradian R., Pascual U., Pinto R., 2018. From principles to practice in paying for nature’s services. Nature Sustainability 1: 145-150.

Other references

World Bank Group, 2015. World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior. Washington, DC, World Bank.

Hainzelin E., Barret D., Faure G., Dabat M.-H., Triomphe B., 2017. Agricultural research in the Global South: steering research beyond impact promises. Montpellier, CIRAD, Perspective 42.

ImpresS, Impact of Research in the South.