Although it is widely acknowledged that forests provide critical ecosystem services for human survival and well-being, in the Asia-Pacific region, forests are being converted to other land uses and degraded at alarming rates. One underlying factor for this destruction of forests is the market failure. Forests are cleared for other land uses or degraded because their ecosystem services have no market value. Payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) have been proposed as a way of overcoming this market failure, but PFES systems will need to be context specific. The project explores the potential to develop PFES systems at three research sites – community forest in PNG, sub-watershed forest in the Philippines, and protected forest in Thailand – that offer contrasts with respect to all key element of PFES, i.e. the type of ecosystem services with potential for payments, the types of buyers and sellers, and the likely payment arrangement. The key questions addressed are: What methodologies and processes for quantifying and valuing forest ecosystem services that are effective, appropriate and cost-efficient? What management systems that can deliver the ecosystem services? What arrangements between sellers and buyers that can provide sufficient payments to maintain/enhance the service? What generic lessons from the research sites that can be extracted as guidance on PFES for countries in the region?