Ben Thompson


PhD student
Assessing the suitability of Payments for Ecosystem Services in the coastal tropics 

My PhD investigates the development of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes in Southeast Asia. The research aims to: (1) Investigate the links between PES and corporate social responsibility (CSR); (2) Understand the remit and motivations of actors working to promote and operationalize PES; and (3) Compare stakeholder preferences towards PES and other environmental management options. My fieldwork elicits data from corporations, supranational organisations, government agencies, NGOs, and local people in Thailand and the Philippines.
I hold an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College London. I have previously worked with the Zoological Society of London in the Bangladesh Sundarbans investigating fisheries sustainability, and the Island Conservation Society in the Seychelles managing research programmes on turtles and other endangered animals. My broader interests include ecotourism, flagship species, and private sector investment in nature conservation.

Thompson, B.S., Gillen, J., Friess, D.A. In press. Challenging the principles of ecotourism: insights from entrepreneurs on environmental and economic sustainability in Langkawi, Malaysia. Journal of Sustainable Tourism

Thompson, B.S. 2017. Can Financial Technology Innovate Benefit Distribution in Payments for Ecosystem Services and REDD+? Ecological Economics 139: 150-157.
Thompson, B.S., Primavera, J.H., Friess, D.A. 2017. Governance and implementation challenges for mangrove forest Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES): Empirical evidence from the Philippines. Ecosystem Services 23: 146-155.
Thompson, B.S., Bladon, A.B., Fahad, Z.H., Mohsanin, S., Koldewey, H.J. 2016. Evaluation of the ecological effectiveness and social appropriateness of fishing regulations in the Bangladesh Sundarbans using a new multi-disciplinary assessment framework. Fisheries Research 183: 410-423.

Friess, D.A., Thompson, B.S., Brown, B. Amir, A.A., Cameron, C., Koldewey, H.J., Sasmit, S.D., Sidik, S. 2016. Policy challenges and approaches for the conservation of mangrove forests in Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 30: 933-949.
Hossain, A., Thompson, B.S., Chowdury, G.W., Mohsanin, S., Fahad, Z.F., Koldewey, H.J., Islam, A. 2015. Sawfish exploitation and status in Bangladesh. Aquatic Conservation 25: 181-199.
Thompson, B.S., Clubbe, C.P., Primavera, J.H., Curnick, D., Koldewey, H.J. 2014. Locally assessing the economic viability of blue carbon: A case study from Panay Island, the Philippines. Ecosystem Services 8: 128-140.