Forests of the Asia-Pacific region are being converted to other land uses or degraded because their ecosystem services have no market value. This project aimed to generate scientific knowledge on the design of effective payment systems for forest ecosystem services (PFES). The research was conducted at three sites where forests are facing increasing pressures: a community forest in Papua New Guinea, a sub-watershed forest in the Philippines, and a protected forest in Thailand. We identified ecosystem values, reviewed laws and institutions relevant to PFES implementation, assessed payment and pricing options, and proposed effective PFES models appropriate for each of the research sites. PFES schemes received positive responses from relevant sectors in all three sites. However, a lack of comprehensive understanding, especially on financing mechanisms and benefit distribution, may hinder PFES-project development. Capacity building of local governments and communities is needed to advance their action, that includes PFES mechanisms, effective forest management and sustainable agriculture.