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Journal Cover Ecosystem Services
   [5 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2563 journals]   [H-I: 1]
  • The role of cloud forest restoration on energy security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Leonardo Sáenz , Mark Mulligan , Fabio Arjona , Tatiana Gutierrez
      The conservation of cloud forests has recently been recognized as important for the optimal operation of hydropower infrastructure. However, large areas of cloud forest have been deforested globally, which may suggest that many tropical dams, downstream of these deforested areas, are currently operating at suboptimal levels. This is the case in a country like Colombia where 55% of pre-colonial cloud forests have disappeared. Incentives like Payments for Watershed Services have tried to involve Colombia׳s energy sector in improved watershed conservation with limited success. Since hydropower companies likely benefit significantly from eco-hydrological services provided by cloud forests, a new generation of incentives for facilitating their engagement in ecosystem protection is desperately needed. Through simulation of the effect of cloud forest restoration on the hydropower output of the Calima dam system, using innovative process based eco-hydrological models and dam operational modeling, we explore the implications of cloud forest restoration for energy security and expansion in Colombia and propose an innovative financial mechanism to help engage energy companies further in improved cloud forest protection in Colombia and beyond.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Farmers in NE Viet Nam rank values of ecosystems from seven land uses
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 May 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Elisabeth Simelton , Bac Viet Dam
      Despite being promoted as an integral part of natural resource management and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) community participation is often considered restricted by ‘lack of (local) knowledge’. Contrasting evidence suggest that farmers’ more holistic understanding of ecosystems may challenge scientific studies and payment schemes typically focussing on a fraction of ecosystem services, e.g. Viet Nam׳s PES-policy which covers forest carbon, water and landscape beauty. Against this backdrop we explored how farmer groups in two villages (one with PES and one without) in northeast Viet Nam rated and justified fifteen ecosystem services from seven land-uses, including non-PES functions and non-forest land uses. The villagers gave overall analogous ranking and reasoning. For overall ecosystem services natural forests and forest plantations rated highest and paddy rice lowest, however for economic values natural forests rated lowest and rice-fish cultivation highest. With regards to the PES-policy, farmers failed to see the logic of excluding agricultural land and agrochemical pollution from water services. We recommend that research and capacity building aiming to prepare for PES-schemes embrace a wider range of local knowledge and understandings of ecosystem functions than those immediately considered for payment schemes. We present a participatory matrix ranking tool to support such purposes.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • How may REDD+ affect the practical, legal and institutional framework for
           ‘Payment for ecosystem services’ in Costa Rica?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 May 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): G. Kristin Rosendal , Peter Johan Schei
      Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries may affect domestic policies in related policy fields. Costa Rica has a well-established system of payment for ecosystem services (PES) aimed at protecting forests and biodiversity. Drawing on interviews and a review of the literature, this article examines the possible impact of domestic and external factors (REDD+ in particular) on the PES scheme in Costa Rica. The analysis builds on theories of domestic environmental policy-making, and of actor participation and interaction at international and domestic levels. The article׳s main concerns are how the legal and institutional system for PES has evolved and how REDD+ might impact this framework for PES through diffusion of international ideas and financial leverage of external actors. Domestic development interests and emerging REDD+ principles and methodologies present a combined challenge to the comprehensive view of ecosystem services inherent in PES. Nonetheless, most civil society actors in Costa Rica are strong environmental proponents and seem to remain relatively robust. The legal and institutional framework for PES is also relatively successful and, compared to most biodiversity-rich countries, Costa Rica relies more heavily on self-generated funding for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Cultural ecosystem services as revealed through short stories from
           residents of the Swabian Alb (Germany)
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8
      Author(s): Claudia Bieling
      Nonmaterial benefits related to ecosystems, termed cultural ecosystem services (CES), are the least understood element of the now widely applied ecosystem services framework. Providing an inductive view on CES, this paper presents a hermeneutical in-depth analysis of 14 short stories in which local residents articulate their thoughts on life in the Swabian Alb biosphere reserve (Germany). The stories reveal rich evidence regarding connections to identity, heritage values, inspiration, esthetic values and recreation. They underline, most importantly, that nonmaterial benefits are actively created by people. This engagement with place involves a broad range of practices and sense experiences. Simultaneously, the study highlights that CES are explicitly connected to specific biophysical features. Therefore, as an outcome of human perception and valuation attached to attributes of the material world, CES equally depend on human and biophysical variables. These findings have several implications for possible reconceptualization, investigation and management of CES in cultural landscapes.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Living close to forests enhances people׳s perception of ecosystem
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8
      Author(s): Dendi Muhamad , Satoru Okubo , Koji Harashina , Parikesit , Budhi Gunawan , Kazuhiko Takeuchi
      There is a growing demand for incorporating social preferences in ecosystem service assessments. To establish sustainable rural landscape management with alternative sources of preferable ecosystem services that fulfills conservation objectives and reduces poverty, we need information about the perceptions of local people regarding particular landscape elements as the sources. Within a forest to agricultural landscape in West Java, we examined what types of ecosystem services were perceived by rural people, the effects of socioeconomic factors on people׳s perceptions of ecosystem services, and which landscape elements were perceived as the sources. We found rural people were greatly aware of ecosystem services, although more provisioning services were perceived than other services. Place of origin, residential location, area of agricultural lands and agroforests, and number of livestock were the most influential socioeconomic factors determining the number of ecosystem services an individual respondent perceived. People living closer to the remnant forest perceived more ecosystem services. Agroforest was perceived as the source providing the most ecosystem services followed by the forest. Our findings suggest people living close to forest will promote prospective ecosystem services as long as their needs are accommodated. Furthermore, our findings indicate agroforests play an important role as a supplement of forests.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • In the eye of the stakeholder: Changes in perceptions of ecosystem
           services across an international border
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8
      Author(s): Daniel E. Orenstein , Elli Groner
      Integration of the ecosystem service (ES) concept into policy begins with an ES assessment, including identification, characterization and valuation of ES. While multiple disciplinary approaches should be integrated into ES assessments, non-economic social analyses have been lacking, leading to a knowledge gap regarding stakeholder perceptions of ES. We report the results of trans-border research regarding how local residents value ES in the Arabah Valley of Jordan and Israel. We queried rural and urban residents in each of the two countries. Our questions pertained to perceptions of local environmental characteristics, involvement in outdoor activities, and economic dependency on ES. Both a political border and residential characteristics can define perceptions of ES. General trends regarding perceptions of environmental characteristics were similar across the border, but Jordanians tended to rank them less positively than Israelis; likewise, urban residents tended to show less affinity to environmental characteristics than rural residents. Jordanians and Israelis reported partaking in distinctly different sets of outdoor activities. While all groups reported little economic dependence on ES, rural Israelis reported the highest dependency. We suggest that social approaches to ES assessment can complement the predominant ecological and economic approaches thereby strengthening the relevancy of ES assessments to policy-making.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Business and biodiversity: A frame analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8
      Author(s): S.W.K. van den Burg , M.J. Bogaardt
      It is often stated that business has a key role to play in the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. Various instruments are developed that enable businesses to assess their impact and dependence on ecosystem services. Actual use of these instruments remains limited. This paper uses discourse analysis to explain that this discrepancy can be explained by diverging frames on the role of business. Documents from governments and civil society are analysed to identify how the role of business is framed. This is compared to the business perspective as identified through interviews. Results show that there is some shared ground as different actors use common economic terminology in framing the problem and causes for action. However, there are significant differences of opinion when it comes to the role business and government should play in the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8




      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • 7th Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8




      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Note on 7th Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8




      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Validating a method for transferring social values of ecosystem services
           between public lands in the Rocky Mountain region
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 8
      Author(s): Benson C. Sherrouse , Darius J. Semmens
      With growing pressures on ecosystem services, social values attributed to them are increasingly important to land management decisions. Social values, defined here as perceived values the public ascribes to ecosystem services, particularly cultural services, are generally not accounted for through economic markets or considered alongside economic and ecological values in ecosystem service assessments. Social-values data can be elicited through public value and preference surveys; however, limitations prevent them from being regularly collected. These limitations led to our three study objectives: (1) demonstrate an approach for applying benefit transfer, a nonmarket-valuation method, to spatially explicit social values; (2) validate the approach; and (3) identify potential improvements. We applied Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) to survey data for three national forests in Colorado and Wyoming. Social-value maps and models were generated, describing relationships between the maps and various combinations of environmental variables. Models from each forest were used to estimate social-value maps for the other forests via benefit transfer. Model performance was evaluated relative to the locally derived models. Performance varied with the number and type of environmental variables used, as well as differences in the forests׳ physical and social contexts. Enhanced metadata and better social-context matching could improve model transferability.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • City-wide Ecosystem Assessments—Lessons from Birmingham
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Oliver Ho¨lzinger , Dan van der Horst , Jon Sadler
      This paper explores how Ecosystem Assessments and ecosystem valuation can serve decision-making at the municipal scale and how to make best use of existing evidence. We analyse the specific demands of local decision-makers for evidence about the value of ecosystem services and evaluate which barriers prevent better implementation of the ecosystem services concept at the municipal level. We argue that improved information is not only needed at the national and international level, but also at the local and regional level which is the scales at which planning and policy decisions affect ecosystems. Considering the everyday circumstances of the decision-makers, relevant evidence has to be presented in a ‘fit for purpose’ format that can easily be accessed and operationalized. We present a case study of an Ecosystem Assessment for Birmingham, UK, that provides an important first step towards integrating the value of ecosystem services into everyday decision-making at the municipal scale. This is the first city-wide Ecosystem Assessment of this kind. We conclude with a call for demand-driven, bottom-up research acknowledging the key role that political institutions play in this process.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Improving coherence of ecosystem service provision between scales
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Mark Everard , Jan Dick , Hazel Kendall , Ron Smith , Bill Slee , Laurence Couldrick , Marian Scott , Claire McDonald
      High-level consensus about safeguarding ecosystem services for optimal benefits to society is not yet matched by transposition to field scale. Various ‘societal levers’ – markets, statutory legislation, common/civil law, market-based instruments and protocols – have evolved as a fragmented policy environment of incentives and constraints, influencing the freedoms of resource owners. This has produced mosaic landscapes reflecting both natural conditions and landowner aspirations. The Principles of the Ecosystem Approach serve as a framework to consider three case study sites: an English lowland estuary and two in Scotland. Societal levers today safeguard some socially valuable services, but the present policy environment is neither sufficient nor sufficiently integrated to achieve coherence between the choices of resource owners and wider societal aspirations for ecosystem service provision. The heterogeneity of societal levers protects freedom of choice, enables adaptive decision-making related to the properties of the natural resource, and makes allowance for changes in societal preferences. Resultant mosaic landscapes provide flexibility and resilience in ecosystem service production. However, further evolution of societal levers is required to bring about greater coherence of ecosystem service production from local to national/international scales. This paper explores how issues of scale, regulation and variability manifest in the ecosystem service framework.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Urban forest structure effects on property value
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Francisco J. Escobedo , Damian C. Adams , Nilesh Timilsina
      Studies have quantified urban forests using well established field sampling methods. Other studies have used hedonic regression with real estate prices and remotely sensed vegetation cover data in valuation models. However, remote sensing introduces unfamiliar perspectives since it changes the scale and resolution perceived by humans. Real estate prices also fluctuate and are not regularly used in urban decision-making processes. This study values an urban forest cultural ecosystem service by integrating an explanatory hedonic regression model with randomly field-measured tree, shrub, and turf data from four cities across Florida, USA, during 2006–2009, and congruent parcel tract-level home attributes and appraised property values from single and multi-family units for 2008–2009. Results, on average, indicate trade-offs in that more trees with greater Leaf Area Indices (LAIs) add to property value, while biomass and tree–shrub cover have a neutral effect, and replacing tree with grass cover has lower value. On average, property value increased by $1586 per tree and $9348 per one-unit increase in LAI, while increasing maintained grass from 25% to 75% decreased home value by $271. Our ecological approach is an alternative, applied method that can be used by decision-makers for policy and cost–benefit analyses that calculate the stream of net benefits associated with urban forests.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Linkages between biodiversity attributes and ecosystem services: A
           systematic review
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): P.A. Harrison , P.M. Berry , G. Simpson , J.R. Haslett , M. Blicharska , M. Bucur , R. Dunford , B. Egoh , M. Garcia-Llorente , N. Geamănă , W. Geertsema , E. Lommelen , L. Meiresonne , F. Turkelboom
      A systematic literature review was undertaken to analyse the linkages between different biodiversity attributes and 11 ecosystem services. The majority of relationships between attributes and ecosystem services cited in the 530 studies were positive. For example, the services of water quality regulation, water flow regulation, mass flow regulation and landscape aesthetics were improved by increases in community and habitat area. Functional traits, such as richness and diversity, also displayed a predominantly positive relationship across the services, most commonly discussed for atmospheric regulation, pest regulation and pollination. A number of studies also discussed a positive correlation with stand age, particularly for atmospheric regulation. Species level traits were found to benefit a number of ecosystem services, with species abundance being particularly important for pest regulation, pollination and recreation, and species richness for timber production and freshwater fishing. Instances of biodiversity negatively affecting the examined ecosystem services were few in number for all ecosystem services, except freshwater provision. The review showed that ecosystem services are generated from numerous interactions occurring in complex systems. However, improving understanding of at least some of the key relationships between biodiversity and service provision will help guide effective management and protection strategies.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Evaluating the outcomes of payments for ecosystem services programmes
           using a capital asset framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 June 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Adam P. Hejnowicz , David G. Raffaelli , Murray A. Rudd , Piran C.L. White
      There is a limited understanding of the conditions under which payments for ecosystem services (PES) programmes achieve improvements in ecosystem service (ES) flows, enhance natural resource sustainability or foster sustainable livelihoods. We used a capital asset framework to evaluate PES programmes in terms of their social, environmental, economic and institutional outcomes, focusing on efficiency, effectiveness and equity trade-offs. We found that PES schemes can provide positive conservation and development outcomes with respect to livelihoods, land-use change, household and community incomes, and governance. However, programmes differ with regards to contract agreements, payment modes, and compliance, and have diverse cross-sector institutional arrangements that remain primarily state-structured and external donor-financed. There is a consistent lack of focus on evaluating and fostering human, social and institutional capital. This reflects general inattention to how PES programmes consider the causal links between ES and outcomes. To enhance ES production and PES scheme accessibility and participation, we recommend strengthening the linkages between ES production and land-use practices, boosting private and voluntary sector involvement, encouraging property rights and tenure reform, improving financial viability, and adequately accounting for the distribution of programme costs and benefits among participants.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Ecosystem services in new Zealand agro-ecosystems: A literature review
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Marjan van den Belt , Daniella Blake
      In New Zealand (NZ), literatures on ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems has expanded in recent years as the impact of agriculture on the provision of services to meet public and private demand for ecosystem services are increasingly recognised. We review the NZ literature and analyze the scope of an ecosystem services approach in agro-ecosystems through the lens of four ecosystem service frameworks. Most of the literature is concerned with assessing the benefits that could be gained by changing land management practices. Some research assessed values of ecosystem services to the NZ public. Trade-offs in land-use decisions are highlighted. However, critical gaps in the literature could suggest the impediment of integration of the ecosystem concept into decision-making. The full range of ecosystem services, benefits, and beneficiaries had not been covered, and the scope of research is patchy, i.e. limited in spatial and temporal scale. In addition, there is a need to broaden the scope of research to include social and cultural aspects, and link the supply and demand for ecosystem services. Finally, research on the effectiveness of institutions that use an ecosystem services approach could enable better-informed decisions about trade-offs, including all the costs and benefits, across and between multiple scales.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • The use of ecosystem services information by the U.S. national estuary
           programs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Lawrence Martin
      This research explored how the concept of ecosystem services has been characterized and used to aid decision-making, and to promote the success of environmental protection strategies in the management of estuaries. The research was conducted between 2008 and 2012, and is based upon reports and survey information received from the study population of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Estuary Programs (NEPs). The research examined the perceived benefits from articulating the value of ecosystem services in various NEP functions. The study population was comprised of 28 geographically defined programs on all coasts of the United States, created under authority of the Clean Water Act, expressly to protect estuaries. Estuary management programs have used ecosystem service valuation successfully, both quantitatively and qualitatively, to set environmental protection and restoration objectives, and to communicate to stakeholders. The most widespread use of ecosystem service valuation information was to frame issues and to ground discussions in values that are important to stakeholders. NEP managers who had some direct experience with the use of ecosystem service valuation were nearly twice as likely to assert “ecosystem services information is useful” as those who were merely alert to the concept.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • YESS – The network for Young Ecosystem Services Specialists
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Anne Böhnke-Henrichs , Corinne Baulcomb , Mahbubul Alam , Maurice Rawlins , Rebecca Koss , Niels Jobstvogt



      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Mapping beneficiaries of ecosystem services flows from Natura 2000 sites
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Uta Schirpke , Rocco Scolozzi , Claudio De Marco , Ulrike Tappeiner
      There is a growing need to integrate ecosystem services into management strategies of protected areas, and only a comprehensive ecosystem services assessment allows effective strategies for biodiversity conservation to be defined. Beneficiaries are largely disregarded or only mentioned in ecosystem services assessments related to protected areas. Thus, we propose indicators for identifying potential beneficiaries on the local and regional level, focusing on 16 relevant ecosystem services of Natura 2000 sites. For a case study in northern Italy, we used spatially-explicit modelling approaches to map and quantify the potential beneficiaries of multiple ecosystem services, including distance decay functions and basin catchment modelling. The resulting maps indicate that for provisioning and cultural services, the majority of the beneficiaries are located outside the protected area, whereas the beneficiaries of regulating services are mostly situated within or very close to it. The indicators and the beneficiary maps offer an important basis for an exhaustive assessment of ecosystem services flows from Natura 2000 sites and support the implementation of conservation policies by involving the local population and the community of users of protected areas.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Bermuda׳s balancing act: The economic dependence of cruise and air
           tourism on healthy coral reefs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Pieter van Beukering , Samia Sarkis , Loes van der Putten , Elissaios Papyrakis
      Although Bermuda has to date managed to achieve equilibrium between tourism and coral reef conservation, this delicate balance may be threatened by the growth and changing face of the tourism industry. This may result in negative impacts on the coral reefs and services provided by this valuable ecosystem. The reef-associated value to Bermuda׳s tourism industry was determined, distinguishing between the added value of cruise and air tourism. Economic valuation techniques used were the travel cost method, the net factor income method, and the contingent valuation method. Results show that coral reef value to tourism in Bermuda provides an average annual benefit of US$406 million. Although, cruise ship tourism has been responsible for more than half of the total number of visitors in Bermuda, cruise ship tourist expenditures directly benefiting the island׳s economy amount to only 9% of air passenger expenditures. Moreover, the producer surplus for air visitors is twofold that of cruise ship passengers. Despite this low added value of cruise ship tourism in Bermuda, there is a strong drive to accommodate the ever-larger ships built by the cruise industry. Several options have been proposed for the upgrading and re-aligning of existing shipping channels to enable safe and smooth passage; these may lead to environmental impacts, which may in turn affect reef-associated tourism revenue to the island. This study recommends the integration of Bermuda׳s coral reef value into Cost Benefit Analyses of proposed channel upgrades compared to the “business as usual” scenario.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Social and Economic Benefits of Protected Areas: An Assessment Guide,
           Marianne Kettunen, Patrick ten Brink (Eds.). Routledge, Abingdon, UK
           (2013). € 52, 368 pp. ISBN 9780415632843
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Leon Braat



      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Novel ecosystems and the emergence of cultural ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 July 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Marcus J. Collier
      Many landscapes are severely depleted of ecosystem services, especially industrial ones. Yet, abandoned and, in some cases, regenerating areas are often situated within a wider cultural landscape. With minimal further disturbance these ‘novel ecosystems’ have the potential for recovering some of the ecosystem services that were removed or impeded during and after human management activities, especially cultural services. Novel ecosystems are anthropogenic landscapes that cannot be returned to their original ecological status. However, some novel ecosystems may provide ecosystem services that were minimal or perhaps absent from their original form. This presents a dilemma for policy makers and planners, who now strive to meet societal expectations to restore ecosystems and recapture lost services. It is especially poignant when seeking to develop policy prescriptions that operationalise cultural ecosystem services into planning and design. Little is known of the potential for drawing on a novel ecosystem framework when developing prescriptions for these planners and policy makers. This short communication re-visits earlier social–ecological research in a post-industrial landscape to illustrate how a novel ecosystem may offer insight into operationalising ecosystem service policies in damaged and recovering landscapes. Because novel ecosystems have stimulated debate and disagreement among ecologists, this paper offers a new perspective on the issue. Drawing on research into post-industrial peatlands, this paper identifies a timeline for the recovery of some ecosystem services in novel ecosystems, including some that were absent from their original state.


      PubDate: 2014-07-26T11:42:15Z
       
  • Assessing and valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable
           management
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 May 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): M.S. Reed , A. Bonn , C. Evans , K. Glenk , B. Hansjürgens



      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Conservation and livelihood outcomes of payment for ecosystem services in
           the Ecuadorian Andes: What is the potential for
           ‘win–win’?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Leah L. Bremer , Kathleen A. Farley , David Lopez-Carr , José Romero
      Payment for ecosystem services programs are being implemented in a wide variety of settings, but whether and in what contexts such programs present ‘win–win’ scenarios that simultaneously improve human well-being and achieve conservation goals remains poorly understood. Based on semi-structured interviews with early program participants enrolling either collectively- or individually-held land, we evaluated whether and how SocioPáramo, a national-scale PES program targeting Ecuadorian Andean grasslands (páramos), has the potential to contribute to local livelihoods (financial, natural, social, human, and physical capital) and sustainable resource management. Low conservation opportunity costs associated with pre-existing constraints on land use and the existence of alternative livelihood options appeared to facilitate largely positive financial capital outcomes, although we found reduced financial capital among some smaller and medium-sized landholders who were required to eliminate burning and grazing. We found the greatest potential for improved social, financial, and natural capital among well-organized community participants enrolling collective land, while greater attention to building capacity of individual smaller landholders could improve outcomes for those participants. These results help fill a gap in knowledge by drawing on empirical data to demonstrate how divergent outcomes have begun to emerge among different groups of SocioPáramo participants, providing lessons for PES program design.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Ecosystem protection and poverty alleviation in the tropics: Perspective
           from a historical evolution of policy-making in the Brazilian Amazon
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Patricia Fernanda Pinho , Genevieve Patenaude , Jean P Ometto , Patrick Meir , Peter M Toledo , Andrea Coelho , Carlos Eduardo Frickman Young
      Despite increased intellectual and conceptual consideration of the linkages between ecosystem service (ES) provisions and poverty alleviation (PA) globally, there has been limited analysis of how these paradigms are used and framed in the regional context of policy-making. In this paper, we address this question by eliciting perspectives on the historical evolution of policies addressing the environment and poverty nexus in the Brazilian Amazon. Our analysis is twofold. First, through an analysis of policy context, we explore how multilateral and international programs have influenced and helped shape national and regional policy-making in the Amazon. Second, through our analysis of policy content, we provide an in-depth discussion of key ES and/or PA policies implemented in the Amazon. Furthermore, we analyze the operationalization of the policy, describe management options, and highlight their impacts on ES and PA. Our results show dichotomies between environmental programs and their social effectiveness, and between environmental and developmental agendas. More recently, however, some attempts have been made at delivering ES protection and PA jointly in policy-making. In conclusion, we provide a framework for policy analysis that can be applied to other tropical countries in the world. If Brazil is to keep its leading role in addressing the challenges of maintaining ecosystem service provision, while alleviating poverty in the Amazon, it must learn from its own experiences.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • What benefits do community forests provide, and to whom? A rapid
           assessment of ecosystem services from a Himalayan forest, Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Jennifer C. Birch , Ishana Thapa , Andrew Balmford , Richard B. Bradbury , Claire Brown , Stuart H.M. Butchart , Hum Gurung , Francine M.R. Hughes , Mark Mulligan , Bhopal Pandeya , Kelvin S.-H. Peh , Alison J. Stattersfield , Matt Walpole , David H.L. Thomas
      In Nepal, community forestry is part of a national strategy for livelihoods improvement and environmental protection. However, analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts of community forestry is often limited, restricted to a narrow set of benefits (e.g. non-timber forest products) and rarely makes comparisons with alternative land-use options (e.g. agriculture). This study, conducted at Phulchoki Mountain Forest Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in the Kathmandu Valley, used methods from the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to compare multiple ecosystem service values (including carbon storage, greenhouse gas sequestration, water provision, water quality, harvested wild goods, cultivated goods and nature-based recreation) provided by the site in its current state and a plausible alternative state in which community forestry had not been implemented. We found that outcomes from community forestry have been favourable for most stakeholders, at most scales, for most services and for important biodiversity at the site. However, not all ecosystem services can be maximised simultaneously, and impacts of land-use decisions on service beneficiaries appear to differ according to socio-economic factors. The policy implications of our findings are discussed in the context of proposals to designate Phulchoki Mountain Forest IBA as part of a Conservation Area.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Locally assessing the economic viability of blue carbon: A case study from
           Panay Island, the Philippines
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Benjamin S. Thompson , Colin P. Clubbe , Jurgenne H. Primavera , David Curnick , Heather J. Koldewey
      Previous blue carbon studies have focused on discrete carbon stock assessments and overarching systematic reviews which broadly speculate that it may be economically viable to incorporate mangroves into existing carbon finance platforms. There is a discernible need to test this hypothesis through case-specific investigations that determine this presumed viability in a local or regional context – at scales meaningful for policy development. The current study investigates whether the carbon values of mangrove forests on Panay Island, the Philippines, are sufficient to offset the opportunity costs of milkfish (Chanos chanos) aquaculture – the primary cause of mangrove deforestation in the Philippines. Profit margins associated with milkfish aquaculture are calculated through a municipality-wide survey (779±140US$ha−1 yr−1). Concurrently, the carbon stocks of two heterogeneous mangrove forests are quantified and compared. Creditable CO2 emissions reductions are modelled under a broad range of assumptions. These emissions are valorised, and a sensitivity analysis is performed to establish the minimum price at which opportunity costs are offset across a range of methodological and accounting preferences. It is determined that carbon prices of around 5–12US$tCO2e−1 would be required to compensate landowners for their lost aquaculture profits. The implications of our findings are discussed.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Managing cultural ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Mary M. Pleasant , Steven A. Gray , Christopher Lepczyk , Anthea Fernandes , Nathan Hunter , Derek Ford
      Cultural ecosystem services (CES) substantially contribute to human wellbeing as the nonmaterial benefits of ecosystems. However, they remain poorly understood due to their often nonmarket and intangible nature. We analyzed management characteristics of coastal and watershed – based CES in contrast to provisioning and regulatory services from surveys of environmental managers in Hawaii. CES were the most frequently managed type of ecosystem service, a top management priority among local-scale decision-makers and nongovernmental organizations, and managed for security. However, only 10% of managers could articulate specific policies they used to manage CES. Follow-up interviews with a subset of managers further revealed that half of all CES managed were considered to benefit people beyond the spatial scale in which management decisions were made. Identifying management characteristics of CES will inform the development of indicators to monitor changes in CES, and develop policies that maintain the relationship between ecosystem function, CES and human wellbeing.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Integrated assessment of ecosystem services in the Czech Republic
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 April 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Jana Frélichová , David Vačkář , Adam Pártl , Blanka Loučková , Zuzana V. Harmáčková , Lorencová Eliška
      Mainstreaming the concept of ecosystem services has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. Initially, most studies on ecosystem services assessments addressed global, sub-global or local levels. More recently, development of ecosystem services assessments at national level has been emphasized. Following this trend, integrated assessment of ecosystem services has been performed in the Czech Republic. Our study aimed to identify and value ecosystem services delivered in the Czech Republic. To estimate the total value of Czech ecosystems, we developed a geographically-specific database of ecosystem service values. The structure of the assessment is given by six ecosystem types (agricultural ecosystems, grasslands, forests, aquatic ecosystems, wetlands and urban areas) and 17 ecosystem services delivered from these ecosystems. Ecosystem types are further classified into 41 ecosystem categories based on a habitat approach. Specific literature review strategy was conducted to fill the database with biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services. Developed database consists of more than 190 values of ecosystem services, approximately half of them has been used for a benefit transfer to calculate total ecosystem values in the Czech Republic. The resulting average value of ecosystem services in the Czech Republic represents 1.5 the current national GNP (gross national product).


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • A guiding framework for ecosystem services monetization in
           ecological–economic modeling
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Mateo Cordier , José A. Pérez Agúndez , Walter Hecq , Bertrand Hamaide
      Monetary valuation techniques are often used for evaluating the effect of a change in ecosystem services on components of human wellbeing, even though they face several drawbacks. This paper seeks to reconcile monetary valuation techniques with methods that address ecosystem–economy interactions by developing a guiding framework that limits the use of monetary valuation to various market simulations. Simulations of scenarios of environmental measures are carried out with a semi-dynamic hybrid input–output model. The guiding framework ensures that monetary valuation techniques contribute to the understanding of the impact of economic activities on changes in ecosystems services and the feedback impact of these changes on economic activities. The framework operates according to three criteria: (i) the category of ecosystem components (intermediate products, ecosystem services, benefits obtained from the ecosystem), (ii) existence of a market, intention to exchange or possibility for restoration or preservation, and (iii) direct/indirect monetary valuation techniques. The methodology is then tested with a case-study.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • A framework for valuing spatially targeted peatland restoration
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Klaus Glenk , Marije Schaafsma , Andrew Moxey , Julia Martin-Ortega , Nick Hanley
      Recent evidence suggests that the degree of degradation of peatlands is substantial, and that there is a significant potential to enhance the delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services by investing in peatland restoration. However, little is known about the social welfare impacts of peatland restoration and in particular how to spatially target restoration activities to maximise net benefits from investments in restoration. This paper investigates the steps required to conduct a spatially explicit economic impact assessment of peatland restoration, and highlights and discusses key requirements and issues associated with such an assessment. We find that spatially explicit modelling of the biophysical impacts of restoration over time is challenging due to non-linear effects and interaction effects. This has repercussions for the spatially explicit assessment of costs and benefits, which in itself is a demanding task. We conclude that the gains of investing in the research needed to conduct such an assessment can be high, both in terms of advancing science and in terms of providing useful information for decision makers.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • The Justices and Injustices of Ecosystem Services. Thomas Sikor (Ed.),
           Routledge, London (2013). 210 pp., 24,99 GBP, ISBN: 978-0-415-82540-5
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Frederik H. Kistenkas



      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • The current and future value of nature-based tourism in the Eastern Arc
           Mountains of Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Julian Bayliss , Marije Schaafsma , Andrew Balmford , Neil D. Burgess , Jonathan M.H. Green , Seif S. Madoffe , Sana Okayasu , Kelvin S.-H. Peh , Philip J. Platts , Douglas W. Yu
      The financial benefit derived from nature-based tourism in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAMs) of Tanzania has never been assessed. Here, we calculate the producer surplus (PS) related to expenditure on accommodation in the EAMs. This estimate is based on the number of visitor bed-nights collected from a representative sample of hotels, coupled with spatially explicit regression models to extrapolate visitor numbers to unsampled locations, and adjusted to account for how far visits were motivated by nature. The estimated annual PS of nature-based tourism is ~US$195,000. In order to evaluate the future impact of different forest management regimes on PS over a 25 year period, we compare two alternative scenarios of land use. Under a ‘hopeful expectations’ scenario of no forest loss from protected areas, the present value of PS from nature-based tourism is ~US$1.9 million, compared with US$1.6 million under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Although the value of nature-based tourism to the EAMs is lower than that generated by Tanzania׳s large game reserves, these revenues, together with other ecosystem services provided by the area, such as carbon storage and water regulation, may enhance the case for sustainable forest management.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • A methodology for the assessment of local-scale changes in marine
           environmental benefits and its application
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Tara Hooper , Philip Cooper , Alistair Hunt , Melanie Austen
      Local-scale planning decisions are required by the existing Environmental Impact Assessment process to take account of the implications of a development on a range of environmental and social factors, and could therefore be supported by an ecosystem services approach. However, empirical assessments at a local scale within the marine environment have focused on only a single or limited set of services. This paper tests the applicability of the ecosystem services approach to environmental impact appraisal by considering how the identification and quantification of a comprehensive suite of benefits provided at a local scale might proceed in practice. A methodology for conducting an Environmental Benefits Assessment (EBA) is proposed, the underlying framework for which follows the recent literature by placing the emphasis on ecosystem benefits, as opposed to services. The EBA methodology also proposes metrics that can be quantified at local scale, and is tested using a case study of a hypothetical tidal barrage development in the Taw Torridge estuary in North Devon, UK. By suggesting some practical steps for assessing environmental benefits, this study aims to stimulate discussion and so advance the development of methods for implementing ecosystem service approaches at a local scale.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 7




      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Editorial of Volume 7
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 7
      Author(s): Leon Braat



      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Spatial variation in the willingness to accept payments for conservation
           of a migratory wildlife corridor in the Athi-Kaputiei Plains, Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 February 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Joyce M. de Leeuw , Mohammed Y. Said , Shem Kifugo , Joseph O. Ogutu , Philip Osano , Jan de Leeuw
      To be effective in promoting the conservation of migratory wildlife, recipients of payment for ecosystem services (PES) must be willing to accept payment along the entire migratory corridor. This paper investigates spatial variation in willingness to accept (WTA) payments made by the Wildlife Conservation Lease Program in the Athi-Kaputiei plains of Kenya. The program, designed as an incentive to keep land open for wildlife and livestock, offers land owners 10 US$ per ha per year, irrespective of location. We model the relation between WTA and distances to roads, towns and rivers, annual precipitation and slope and display the predicted spatial variation in WTA. The results reveal significant spatial variation in willingness to accept payments for availing land for conservation, with higher WTA concentrated away from roads and also in the Southeast of the plains. The results further suggest that wildlife movement will be blocked due to low WTA in the proximity of towns and tarmacked roads. We conclude that an effective strategy to keep the land open for migratory wildlife should consider spatial variation in WTA payment for land lease. It is suggested to consider stratifying the lease rates geographically to reflect the underlying spatial variation in WTA.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Assessment of environmental payments on indigenous territories: The case
           of Cabecar-Talamanca, Costa Rica
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 February 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sergio A. Molina Murillo , Juan Pablo Pérez Castillo , María Elena Herrera Ugalde
      The Costa Rican Program of Payments for Environmental Services (PPES) is a global pioneering financing policy mechanism for the promotion of forest protection and expansion. This program currently transfers a significant amount of money to indigenous territories; however, its performance has not been comprehensively evaluated. In this study we assessed for the first time in a comprehensive manner the performance of this national program in an indigenous territory. We created and validated, with the aid of a panel of experts, an evaluation instrument that contains social, economic, and environmental criteria and indicators. After applying the instrument in the Talamanca-Cabecar indigenous territory (TCIT), the PPES obtained 48.7 percent, accomplishing significant results in aspects framed within the goals of sustainable development. We found that the TCIT allocates most of the payment money into capacity building, which has resulted in substantive improvements in their negotiation, management, and leadership skills; this in turn helps to attract investments from other public and private entities, protecting and promoting its natural capital. As similar programs are adopted in multiple countries based on the Costa Rican example, this study provides an important methodological contribution to enlighten future environmental and socioeconomic financing policies aiming to support indigenous territories.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Utility engagement with payments for watershed services in the United
           States
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 February 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Drew E. Bennett , Hannah Gosnell , Susan Lurie , Sally Duncan
      This research demonstrates the growing use of payments for watershed services (PWS) by drinking water, wastewater, and electric utilities in the USA to meet a variety of objectives and considers the potential these widespread and long established institutions hold in driving PWS implementation and mainstreaming ecosystem services approaches. We developed a working typology highlighting similarities and differences among 37 identified programs covering source water protection, fire risk mitigation, point source pollution offsets, voluntary customer offsets, and hydropower mitigation. We identified six distinct mechanisms for funding the identified programs. Sales taxes and bond measures generated the most annual funding per capita while voluntary ratepayer contributions and donated water conservation savings generated the least. A variety of actors were involved in the implementation of these different programs. Notably, nonprofit organizations were critical to each program type and often acted as important intermediaries, facilitating transactions among utilities and landowners. We found these initiatives face multiple challenges including the difficulty of demonstrating the business case for investments in ecosystem services and changes in the regulatory environment that can decrease ecosystem service demand and limit flexibility in pursuing PWS approaches.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Overcoming the challenges of data scarcity in mapping marine ecosystem
           service potential
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Michael Townsend , Simon F. Thrush , Andrew M. Lohrer , Judi E. Hewitt , Carolyn J. Lundquist , Megan Carbines , Malene Felsing
      Ecosystem services (ES) are a valuable way of defining the benefits derived from natural resources and are essential for balancing human exploitive uses with the preservation of natural capital. In marine ecosystems real world application of ES theory is hindered by inadequate knowledge of the distribution of communities and habitats and the ecosystem functions that they provide. Here, we present a new approach for mapping ecosystem service potential for multiple services when the details necessary for full quantification are unobtainable. By defining services from a series of principles based on current ecological understanding and linking these to marine biophysical parameters, we developed ecosystem service maps for the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. These maps were verified by statistical comparisons to available ecological information in well studied areas in the region. Such maps allow planners, managers and stakeholders to explicitly consider ES in ecosystem-based management (EBM) including marine spatial planning (MSP). Our approach provides a systems perspective, by emphasising connectivity between processes and locations and highlighting the potential range of trade-offs available for multi-objective management of marine systems.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Predicting land-use change for biodiversity conservation and
           climate-change mitigation and its effect on ecosystem services in a
           watershed in Japan
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kikuko Shoyama , Yoshiki Yamagata
      Potential conflicts between biodiversity conservation and climate-change mitigation can result in trade-offs in multiple-use land management. This study aimed to detect possible changes in land-use patterns in response to biodiversity conservation and climate-change mitigation measures and the effects on ecosystem services across a watershed. We analyzed land-cover change based on past and future scenarios in the rural Kushiro watershed in northern Japan. The analysis showed that if no conservation measures were implemented and the timber and agricultural industry remained small until 2060, supporting and provisioning services would decline due to less land management. Although biodiversity conservation measures are predicted to improve three of the ecosystem services that we studied, carbon sequestration and timber production would be improved to a greater degree by climate-change mitigation measures. The greatest land-cover changes are likely to occur in the unprotected area around the middle reaches of the Kushiro River, and such changes could affect the provision of ecosystem services throughout the entire watershed. Thus, our findings indicate that landuse decisions for the middle reaches of the watershed are particularly important for managing the integrated ecosystem services of the entire watershed for the future.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Comparison of methods for quantifying reef ecosystem services: A case
           study mapping services for St. Croix, USVI
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Susan H. Yee , John A. Dittmar , Leah M. Oliver
      A key challenge in evaluating coastal and watershed management decisions is that monitoring efforts are largely focused on reef condition, yet stakeholder concerns may be more appropriately quantified by social and economic metrics. There is an urgent need for predictive models to quantitatively link ecological condition of coral reefs to provisioning of reef ecosystem goods and services. We investigated and compared a number of existing methods for quantifying ecological integrity, shoreline protection, recreational opportunities, fisheries production, and the potential for natural products discovery from reefs. Methods were applied to mapping potential ecosystem services production around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Overall, we found that a number of different methods produced similar predictions. Furthermore, areas predicted to be high in ecological integrity also tended to be high in other ecosystem services, including the potential for recreation, natural products discovery, and fisheries production, but this result depended on the method by which ecosystem services supply was calculated. Quantitative methods linking reef condition to ecosystem goods and services can aid in highlighting the social and economic relevance of reefs, and provide essential information to more completely characterize, model, and map the trade-offs inherent in decision options.


      PubDate: 2014-05-04T07:44:43Z
       
  • Farmer participation in the equitable payments for watershed services in
           Morogoro, Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Emmanuel J. Kwayu , Susannah M. Sallu , Jouni Paavola
      This article contributes to the limited empirical evidence on the determinants of farmers' participation decision in agricultural land (land use-modifying) payments for ecosystem services (PES) in developing countries. It examines how farmer and farm characteristics, programme factors, and the institutional context of its implementation determine farmers' decisions to participate in the Equitable Payments for Watershed Services (EPWS) programme in Morogoro, Tanzania, to shed light on participation in land use-modifying PES programmes more widely. The EPWS programme in the Kibungo Juu ward of Morogoro promotes the adoption of sustainable land management practices such as agro-forestry, reforestation and terracing to improve quality and quantity of water for downstream users. We used a multi-method approach to make use of both qualitative and quantitative data. We found that farm size, information, participation of farmers in the programme design and the needed degree of change in land management determined the adoption of sustainable land management practices. To foster the participation of small farmers, attention needs to be paid to the availability and access to information, participation of farmers in the design of programmes, local compatibility of practices, and support for initial costs of adoption.


      PubDate: 2014-01-24T19:32:57Z
       
  • Valuing cultural ecosystem services: Agricultural heritage in Chiloé
           island, southern Chile
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): José Barrena , Laura Nahuelhual , Andrea Báez , Ignacio Schiappacasse , Claudia Cerda
      Valuation of cultural ecosystem services (CES) remains one of the most difficult and least accomplished tasks in ecosystem services research. In this study the Contingent Valuation Method with the double bounded dichotomous choice format was used to elicit WTP for agricultural heritage (AH) conservation, which was modeled using a Bivariate Probit specification. The hypothesis tested was that WTP decreased with distance from the site of provision of AH. Results show no significant differences in WTP across locations with equivalent means of US$50.8, US$36.2 and US$52.5 for Chiloé (site of AH provision), Valdivia (at 379km from Chiloé), and Santiago (at 1198km from Chiloé), respectively, suggesting that non-use values can be equally important for local as well as distant populations, particularly when the CES can be ascribed to emblematic cultural landscapes such as Chiloé. Aggregation of individual WTP demonstrates the importance of AH as a highly valued CES and sustains the recent designation of Chiloé as a Global Importance Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) pilot site. The study might prompt authorities to generate the proper incentives to move from just a GIAHS label to a real conservation initiative in Chiloé Island.


      PubDate: 2014-01-12T22:53:28Z
       
  • Evidence of Payments for Ecosystem Services as a mechanism for supporting
           biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Jane Carter Ingram , David Wilkie , Tom Clements , Roan Balas McNab , Fred Nelson , Erick Hogan Baur , Hassanali T. Sachedina , David Dean Peterson , Charles Andrew Harold Foley
      Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) represent a mechanism for promoting sustainable management of ecosystem services, and can also be useful for supporting rural development. However, few studies have demonstrated quantitatively the benefits for biodiversity and rural communities resulting from PES. In this paper we review four initiatives in Guatemala, Cambodia, and Tanzania that were designed to support the conservation of biodiversity through the use of community-based PES. Each case study documents the utility of PES for conserving biodiversity and enhancing rural livelihoods and, from these examples, we distill general lessons learned about the use of PES for conserving biodiversity and supporting poverty reduction in rural areas of tropical, developing countries.


      PubDate: 2014-01-04T19:13:20Z
       
  • Farm households' preferences for collective and individual actions to
           improve water-related ecosystem services: The Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Dawit W. Mulatu , Anne van der Veen , Pieter R. van Oel
      Interventions in payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs can involve both collective and individual actions. This study explores the potential for the development of payment for water related ecosystem services (PWES) program in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. Using a choice experiment approach, the willingness to accept compensation is estimated for three water-related ecosystem services (WES) attributes: one collective attribute (reforestation) and two individual attributes (environment-friendly agricultural practices and restoration of riparian land). Moreover, the preferences of upstream farm households are analysed with regard to sub-basins where a PWES program has already been implemented and sub-basins where it has not been implemented so far. For sub-basins where PWES has already been implemented, environment-friendly agricultural practices is the only significant attribute for local farmers' choice to improve WES. Reforestation and environment friendly agricultural practices are significant attributes for sub-basins where PWES has not been implemented so far. Farm households are willing to accept compensation but there appears to be heterogeneity in preferences for WES attributes. We find differences in farm households' preferences and values for collective and individual actions. Therefore, contrary to the current norm in PES interventions with a uniform compensation scheme, we recommend conservation payments to vary among ecosystem service providers.


      PubDate: 2013-12-22T18:03:43Z
       
  • A comparison of Markov model-based methods for predicting the ecosystem
           service value of land use in Wuhan, central China
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Dong Luo , Wenting Zhang
      Aggressive human activity and limited natural resources cause complex land use changes that significantly affect the ecosystem service of land types. In this paper, we used the Markov model to predict future changes in the ecosystem service of each land type. We used remote sensing to evaluate the changes in five land use categories, and previously published value coefficients to calculate the ecosystem service value of each land type. Two methods were applied to acquire useful results. The first was called the A-E method. It involved predicting the future changes of areas in land use using the Markov model and multiplying the value coefficients of the ecosystem service. The second was called the B-E method. It involved calculating the initial ecosystem service value of the land type, and then directly predicting these values. From comparison the actual values in 2011 and the stationarity of the values, we determined that the predicted ecosystem service values of the five land types by the A-E method was better than those by the B-E method. Despite considering the annual changes in the coefficients of ecosystem services, our results can reflect the changes in ecosystem services with land use transformation.


      PubDate: 2013-12-03T23:42:18Z
       
  • Understanding the relationships between ecosystem services and poverty
           alleviation: A conceptual framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Janet A. Fisher , Genevieve Patenaude , Kalpana Giri , Kristina Lewis , Patrick Meir , Patricia Pinho , Mark D.A. Rounsevell , Mathew Williams
      As interest grows in the contribution of ecosystem services to poverty alleviation, we present a new conceptual framework, synthesizing insights from existing frameworks in social–ecological systems science and international development. People have differentiated abilities to benefit from ecosystem services, and the framework places emphasis on access to services, which may constrain the poorest more than aggregate availability. Distinctions are also made between categories of ecosystem service in their contribution to wellbeing, provisioning services and cash being comparatively easy to control. The framework gives analytical space for understanding the contribution of payments for ecosystem services to wellbeing, as distinct from direct ecosystem services. It also highlights the consumption of ecosystem services by external actors, through land appropriation or agricultural commodities. Important conceptual distinctions are made between poverty reduction and prevention, and between human response options of adaptation and mitigation in response to environmental change. The framework has applications as a thinking tool, laying out important relationships such that an analyst could identify and understand these in a particular situation. Most immediately, this has research applications, as a basis for multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, but there are also applications to support practitioners in pursuing joint policy objectives of environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation.


      PubDate: 2013-11-05T22:32:20Z
       
  • Economic valuation of ecosystem services, a case study for aquatic
           vegetation removal in the Nete catchment (Belgium)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Annelies Boerema , Jonas Schoelynck , Kris Bal , Dirk Vrebos , Sander Jacobs , Jan Staes , Patrick Meire
      In the last decades, lowland rivers were forced to drain larger water quantities during ever shorter time periods. This is mainly caused by current and historic land-use changes (e.g. increase of built area) and increased intensification of agriculture practices (e.g. drainage). River flow, however, is hampered by human artefacts such as weirs and dams as well as by naturally occurring aquatic vegetation. To avoid flooding and water related problems, river managers opt to remove aquatic vegetation. According to the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), all costs of water management should be charged for (full cost recovery requirement). This study aims to assess whether or not this is achieved in case of aquatic vegetation removal. This method is illustrated through a case study of the Nete Catchment, Belgium. Results show that flood control benefits exceed costs by only a small amount in wet years, but costs exceed benefits in dry years. If decision makers account for even a few ecosystem services, the costs of vegetation removal exceed the benefits in both scenarios. Only local stakeholders in flood risk areas can benefit from aquatic vegetation removal during wet summer seasons.


      PubDate: 2013-09-14T22:06:27Z
       
 
 
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