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Journal Cover Ecosystem Services
  [SJR: 1.053]   [H-I: 6]   [6 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2801 journals]
  • Budgeting for government-financed PES: Does ecosystem service demand equal
           ecosystem service supply?
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Sandra Uthes, Bettina Matzdorf
      Research on payments for ecosystem services (PES) has become a growing field, but evidence on the congruence between ES demand and ES supply is insufficient. This study linked ES demand (voter preferences for public goods) and ES supply (public good provision through government-financed PES) to compare the observed and a preference-based budget allocation in a rural German region (Brandenburg). The results from a stated choice experiment among regional voters and a Delphi study on the effectiveness of PES were linked through an optimization approach minimizing the deviation between voter preferences and the model budget allocation. The observed budget allocation showed a relatively high degree of congruence with the identified preferences; therefore, our hypothesis that a high level of participation and transparency in the budgeting process, as is the case in the study region, leads to congruence between the budget allocation and voter preferences cannot be rejected. An exact match between both was not mathematically feasible, and the closest fit led to significantly reduced environmental benefits. These results support the notions that the observed budget allocation is relatively optimal and that a completely preference-driven allocation would lead to undesirable, less cost-effective outcomes. Further validating studies should be conducted to test different statistical models and estimation robustness and consider possible within-area differences.


      PubDate: 2016-02-12T04:12:03Z
       
  • Towards market- or command-based governance? The evolution of payments
           for environmental service schemes in Andean and Mesoamerican countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 18
      Author(s): Leander Raes, Lasse Loft, Jean François Le Coq, Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Patrick Van Damme
      Payments for environmental services (PES) are a hybrid mode of governance, situated between markets and hierarchies. However, market structure has been used as a theoretical model to inform PES design. Based on 16 cases from Andean and Mesoamerican countries, we analyze whether PES schemes have, since their implementation, gradually incorporated more market characteristics or whether and to what extent these schemes have changed towards more reliance on command-based mechanisms. The schemes analyzed cover a range of governance mechanisms, from small markets to almost complete hierarchical organization. Our results suggest that over time an increasing number of the schemes have incorporated characteristics of a hierarchy to organize ecosystem service users. Mostly through the use of taxes/tariffs and by governments acting directly on users’ behalf. Contractual agreements, with payment levels either bilaterally negotiated or set by intermediaries, and providers being mainly individual and communal landholders, remain at the core of most schemes studied. Intermediaries are important actors in almost all schemes analyzed. They organize and/or represent users, and are usually national or local governments. The evolution of the schemes analyzed suggests that there is no convergence towards a market for ecosystem services, but an increasing complexity in the schemes' design.


      PubDate: 2016-02-12T04:12:03Z
       
  • Sustainable energy potential from biomass through ecosystem services
           trade-off analysis: The case of the Province of Rovigo (Northern Italy)
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 18
      Author(s): Elena Gissi, Mattias Gaglio, Matelda Reho
      Bioenergy production is an important Ecosystem Service (ES) provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems, which can concur to reach EU targets of 20% of total energy production from renewable sources. Environmental concerns with respect to bioenergy are multiple. Certification Schemes, aimed at reducing the negative effects of biomass energy supply chains, are not effective in controlling possible cumulative effects at regional level caused by both macro and micro feedstock producers and users. Sustainable feedstock production is often underestimated in energy planning and in the issuing of plant permits. This study applies an ES-based approach in order to quantify and map bioenergy sustainable potential in the Province of Rovigo (Region of Veneto, Italy), an intensively farmed agro-environment, and translate bioenergy environmental impacts in terms of ES trade-offs. The results show that the share of bioenergy potential from trade-offs with other ESs is limited. The magnitude and variability of ESs trade-offs are analyzed and discussed, resulting in a spatial distribution which is place-based and context dependent. Management solutions should be considered in order to mitigate trade-offs with other ESs, increasing ecological and social acceptability.


      PubDate: 2016-02-12T04:12:03Z
       
  • Assessing ecosystem impacts on health: A tool review
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Bram Oosterbroek, Joop de Kraker, Maud M.T.E. Huynen, Pim Martens
      In the past decade, interest in the impacts of ecosystem change on human health has strongly increased. The ecosystem–health relationship, however, is characterized by several complexity aspects, such as multiple and diverse health impacts – both positive and negative – and a strong interaction with socio-economic factors. As these aspects strongly determine the outcomes of the ecosystem–human health relationship, they should be accounted for in assessments. We identified 14 ecosystem services and six ecosystem disservices with a direct impact on human health. An extensive search and selection procedure yielded eleven computer-based tools that we evaluated regarding their suitability for assessment of the ecosystem–health relationship. Nine of 14 health-related ecosystem services are addressed by one or more of these tools. However, most tools do not include the final step of actually assessing the associated health outcomes such as mortality or disease incidence. Furthermore, the review shows that each complexity aspect is addressed by several of the evaluated tools, but always in an incomplete way. We recommend that further tool development should focus on improved integration of socio-economic factors and inclusion of ecosystem disservices. This would allow better assessment of the net contribution of ecosystems to human health.


      PubDate: 2016-02-01T06:29:49Z
       
  • Meeting local economic decision-maker's demand for environmental evidence:
           The Local Environment and Economic Development (LEED) toolkit
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Tim Sunderland, Tom Butterworth
      This paper reports on the Local Environment and Economic Development (LEED) toolkit—a process designed to include evidence about environmental change into local economic development decision-making. The toolkit organises evidence using an Ecosystem Services Framework and the economy's use of energy and material. It uses this evidence to discover threats and opportunities to local economic growth plans, which stem from the relationship of the local economy to the environment, and to recommend responses to them. LEED was promoted to the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, of which 15 made use of it. Experts have conducted a Red/Amber/Green status review of the LEP's Strategic Economic Plans. Their review shows that the proportion of the LEPs using the toolkit that moved from red, or amber, to a green, was almost double (19%) that of the LEPs that did not use the toolkit (10%). The research shows that an Ecosystem Services Framework can be used to make environmental evidence relevant to economic development planning, even if all the evidence cannot be fully proven or quantified. To be successful evidence must be presented in a way which connects with the decision-making framework in use.


      PubDate: 2016-01-26T09:03:18Z
       
  • Site-specific factors in the production of local urban ecosystem services:
           A case study of community-managed green space
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): M. Dennis, P. James
      Pockets of green space in cities can provide important ecosystem services for urban residents. As naturalistic spaces in urban areas become increasingly sparse, communities are beginning to co-manage existing incidental pockets of land towards the creation of communal natural resources. Such green commons can be productive in terms of ecosystem services through targeted management such as in the case of urban agriculture. Although some work has been done to explore the motives behind and potential benefits of informal green space management, further research is required to understand those characteristics of site management and community input which contribute to the enhancement of site-specific ecosystem service production. A case study of ten examples of community-managed green space was undertaken to evaluate the contributory factors relating to site character and management which influenced productivity as defined by the cumulative provision of four urban-relevant ecosystem services. The analysis revealed that the level of community involvement, measured as intensity of volunteer hours, was highly instrumental in the productivity of sites. Food production also proved to be catalytic for the enhancement of ecosystem services whereas extent of vegetative cover and increasing site size were, counter-intuitively, detrimental to overall site productivity. The study therefore supports the promotion of participatory approaches to the management of ecosystems services in urban areas, particularly those which take small-scale urban agriculture as a primary practice.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-01-26T09:03:18Z
       
  • Non-market food provisioning services via homegardens and communal sharing
           in satoyama socio-ecological production landscapes on Japan’s Noto
           peninsula
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Chiho Kamiyama, Shizuka Hashimoto, Ryo Kohsaka, Osamu Saito
      A quantitative understanding of relations between ecosystems and human well-being is critical to a range of decisions and to communities. This study examined home food production and the sharing of food with non-market transactions and its implications for physical functioning and social relations. To characterize the quantity and varieties of non-market food consumed per household at the community level and to discover how food is shared in social relations within and beyond communities, we conducted face-to-face interviews in three communities with varying socio-geographic attributes in Japan’s Noto peninsula. We found that rural households in inland and coastal communities consume greater varieties and quantities of food grown at home and/or received from others than households in semi-urban community. The varieties and quantities correlated positively with the number of sharing partners, indicating that households with more connections to other households consume greater food varieties and quantities. Rural households primarily share food within their communities. Among semi-urban households, social connections beyond their communities, particularly connections to rural communities, enhance non-market food consumption. Urbanization has weakened these personal connections and sharing mechanisms. Balancing market and non-market food provisioning and connecting rural and urban areas will be key to building localized models of sustainable societies.


      PubDate: 2016-01-26T09:03:18Z
       
  • One size does not fit all: Natural infrastructure investments within the
           Latin American Water Funds Partnership
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Leah L. Bremer, Dan A. Auerbach, Joshua H. Goldstein, Adrian L. Vogl, Daniel Shemie, Timm Kroeger, Joanna L. Nelson, Silvia P. Benítez, Alejandro Calvache, João Guimarães, Colin Herron, Jonathan Higgins, Claudio Klemz, Jorge León, Juan Sebastián Lozano, Pedro H. Moreno, Francisco Nuñez, Fernando Veiga, Gilberto Tiepolo
      Water funds seek to promote long-term watershed conservation with multiple benefits for biodiversity and human well-being. This approach has grown rapidly, particularly in Latin America where more than 30 water funds were in operation or development by 2014. To meet the need for evidence to guide ongoing decisions, we assessed the goals and strategies of 16 programs that were operating in 2013–2014 in association with the Latin American Water Funds Partnership. Our findings underscore the diversity within this approach to investment in watershed services. The various financial, governance, and management mechanisms adopted by these programs reflected their distinct biophysical, socio-economic, and political contexts. All 16 water funds aimed to secure water quality (15/16) and/or quantity (including the timing of flows) (14/16). The majority of programs also explicitly strived for co-benefits to local livelihoods (9/16) and biodiversity (11/16). Public funding secured through legislation provided the most funding to date, but private, NGO, and development bank source were also important for some programs. While programs have actively engaged rural land stewards, this stakeholder group was represented on governance boards in just 4 of 16 funds. Additionally, while the majority of water funds with activities on the ground (13/16) reported biophysical and social impact monitoring (8/16), many faced significant logistical, technical, and funding challenges to its implementation. We recommend greater inclusion of rural land stewards on governance boards, increased engagement of the private sector, and a sustained commitment to an evidence-based approach to increase the likelihood that programs will attain their goals.


      PubDate: 2016-01-26T09:03:18Z
       
  • Ecosystem services-based land planning for environmental impact avoidance
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Mariana Nin, Alvaro Soutullo, Lorena Rodríguez-Gallego, Enrico Di Minin
      In the face of current challenges for sustaining human well-being, there is a need for multifunctional landscapes, where land can be allocated to economic activities while minimizing negative externalities. The framework of spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) can be used to identify areas of outstanding ecosystem services (ES) provision, and inform the allocation of different land uses. We present a methodological approach that uses the SCP framework to integrate ES in land-use planning, and apply it to a case study in Uruguay, South America. As in many parts of the world available information on ES is scarce, we generate models of ES provision using spatial multicriteria modeling supported on expert elicitation, to identify areas suitable for agriculture and afforestation, where land use changes have lowest impact on environmental quality. Our results provide a ranking of the landscape that might be used to promote the expansion of these activities in some areas while discouraging it in others in order to achieve sustainability. This approach might be particularly useful for informing Strategic Environmental Assessments, aimed at balancing productive activities with environmental protection. Our study shows that by taking into account ES provision, land uses can be allocated in areas that maximize yields, while reducing their negative environmental impacts.


      PubDate: 2016-01-10T12:58:31Z
       
  • Indigenous communities’ perception regarding payments for
           environmental services programme in Oaxaca Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Karla Juliana Rodríguez-Robayo, V. Sophie Ávila-Foucat, Jorge H. Maldonado
      Payments for environmental services (PES) programs have been implemented during the last 10 years in Mexico, and nearly 20 percent of the beneficiaries are indigenous communities; however, little has been said regarding the impact of these interventions on indigenous groups. This study analyses the link between PES outcomes and the characteristics of indigenous communities, such as identity and language, world view and territory, government, collective work and household economy. The study includes four Zapotec communities located in the state of Oaxaca. The main results suggest the importance to adapt the PES programme to indigenous communities that preserve their identity and language; and the possibility that PES programme is crowding in the relation between household and natural resources and certain variables related to government and collective work.


      PubDate: 2016-01-10T12:58:31Z
       
  • Does nature conservation enhance ecosystem services delivery?
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): A. Eastwood, R. Brooker, R.J. Irvine, R.R.E. Artz, L.R. Norton, J.M. Bullock, L. Ross, D. Fielding, S. Ramsay, J. Roberts, W. Anderson, D. Dugan, S. Cooksley, R.J. Pakeman
      Whilst a number of studies have examined the effects of biodiversity conservation on the delivery of ecosystem services, they are often limited in the scope of the ecosystem services (ES) assessed and can suffer from confounding spatial issues. This paper examines the impacts of nature conservation on the delivery of a full suite of ES across nine case studies in the UK, using expert opinion. The case studies covered a range of habitats and explore the delivery of ES from a ‘protected site’ and a comparable ‘non-protected’ site. By conducting pair-wise comparisons of ES delivery between comparable sites our study attempts to mitigate confounding cause and effect factors in relation to spatial context in correlative studies. The analysis showed that protected sites deliver higher levels of ecosystem services than non-protected sites, with the main differences being in the cultural and regulating ecosystem services. Against expectations, there was no consistent negative impact of protection on provisioning services across these case studies. Whilst the analysis demonstrated general patterns in ES delivery between protected and non-protected sites, the individual responses in each case study highlights the importance of the local social, biophysical, economic and temporal context of individual protected areas and the associated management.


      PubDate: 2016-01-05T13:34:15Z
       
  • Integrating knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services: Mind-mapping
           and Bayesian Network modelling
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Marta Pascual, Elena Pérez Miñana, Eva Giacomello
      Even-though the last years have seen a “blossoming” of initiatives aiming to clarify the link between biodiversity (BD)-ecosystem functions (EF)-ecosystem services (ES)-human well-being (HWB), there is still a need for integrating the knowledge obtained by various research, making it useful for decision-makers. This contribution aims to show ways of gathering, representing and modelling these linkages to enable better decision-making based on available knowledge. This is achieved by: (i) conducting a systematic-review of contributions describing the links between BD–EF–ES–HWB and gathering the information into a database; (ii) organizing that information in a mind-map; (iii) showing, as an example, how a Bayesian Network model and scenarios can be built using the mind-map and database information. We show how gathering information into mind-maps works as a first step to the creation of a unified knowledge base, while Bayesian Network models allow for a better management of data uncertainty, commonly associated with the representation of complex models, as well as providing the possibility of creating future scenarios where assumptions can be tested. Thus, this contribution shows how available knowledge can be linked to improve our understanding of complex issues.


      PubDate: 2015-12-31T13:15:51Z
       
  • Perceptions of the ecosystem services concept: Opportunities and
           challenges in the Swedish municipal context
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Thomas Beery, Sanna Stålhammar, K. Ingemar Jönsson, Christine Wamsler, Torleif Bramryd, Ebba Brink, Nils Ekelund, Michael Johansson, Thomas Palo, Per Schubert
      A current focus of ecosystem services (ES) implementation is on the municipal level of government where international and national legislation and policies have to be translated into practice. Given this focus, an understanding of perceptions within municipalities of the ES concept is crucial to support the implementation process. Against this background, this paper examines the perceptions of Swedish municipal stakeholders for the ES concept. A 2013 Swedish federal mandate that states that the values of ecosystem services should be considered in relevant decision-making processes, provides a timely context. Current perceptions, preconditions and awareness are explored via interviews and analyses. The results show that the views on the ecosystem services concept and its usefulness are generally very positive. Conceptual knowledge use is perceived as important as is the recognition of monetary valuation of ES. However, clarification of the distinction between implicit and explicit use of the concept by stakeholders is needed. Finally, results indicate that a deeper understanding of monetary valuation of ecosystem services by municipal staff members is connected with a more critical view on monetary valuation. It is concluded that detailed and clear definitions and guidelines are needed in order to support the process of implementing ES in municipalities.


      PubDate: 2015-12-31T13:15:51Z
       
  • Global use of ecosystem service models
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Stephen Posner, Gregory Verutes, Insu Koh, Doug Denu, Taylor Ricketts
      Spatial models of ecosystem services inform land use and development decisions. Understanding who uses these models and conditions associated with use is critical for increasing their impact. We tracked use of The Natural Capital Project's InVEST models and observed 19 different models were run 43,363 times in 104 countries over a 25-month period. Models for regulating services were most commonly used. We analyzed relationships between country-level variables and use of models and found capacity (population, GDP, Internet and computer access, and InVEST trainings), governance, biodiversity, and conservation spending are positively correlated with use. Civic involvement in conservation, carbon project funding, and forest cover are not correlated with use. Using multivariate statistical models, we analyzed which combinations of country-level variables best explain use of InVEST and found further evidence that variables related to capacity are the strongest predictors. Finally, we examined InVEST trainings in detail and found a significant effect of trainings on subsequent use of InVEST models. Our results indicate the general capacity of a country may limit uptake and use of decision support tools such as InVEST. Model-specific trainings are only one form of capacity building likely required for models to have desired levels of use and policy impact.


      PubDate: 2015-12-31T13:15:51Z
       
  • Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to identify dryland ecosystem service
           trade-offs under different rangeland land uses
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): N. Favretto, L.C. Stringer, A.J. Dougill, M. Dallimer, J.S. Perkins, M.S. Reed, J.R. Atlhopheng, K. Mulale
      Land degradation undermines ecosystem service provision, limiting economic returns from semi-arid rangelands. We apply a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to assess the value of ecosystem services, using monetary and non-monetary techniques in semi-arid rangelands in Kgalagadi District, southern Botswana. In doing so, we provide an empirical understanding of the linkages between policy, land use and the provision of ecosystem services based on the perspectives of local stakeholders identified through interviews and a workshop consultation. Findings suggest communal grazing provides the widest range of monetary and non-monetary values linked to ecosystem service delivery. Current economic incentives and policy initiatives supporting the livestock sector, linked to fencing and borehole drilling, create perverse incentives that over-emphasise commercial food production at the expense of other services. We identify a need for policy reforms to support livelihood diversification through the provision of a wider range of ecosystem services, and for further research to explore market opportunities for veld products and carbon trading. We show that MCDA offers a useful holistic assessment framework that could be applied more widely to semi-arid rangelands globally.


      PubDate: 2015-12-31T13:15:51Z
       
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the
           ecosystem services framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): J.W. Bull, N. Jobstvogt, A. Böhnke-Henrichs, A. Mascarenhas, N. Sitas, C. Baulcomb, C.K. Lambini, M. Rawlins, H. Baral, J. Zähringer, E. Carter-Silk, M.V. Balzan, J.O. Kenter, T. Häyhä, K. Petz, R. Koss
      The ecosystem services concept (ES) is becoming a cornerstone of contemporary sustainability thought. Challenges with this concept and its applications are well documented, but have not yet been systematically assessed alongside strengths and external factors that influence uptake. Such an assessment could form the basis for improving ES thinking, further embedding it into environmental decisions and management. The Young Ecosystem Services Specialists (YESS) completed a Strengths–Weaknesses–Opportunities–Threats (SWOT) analysis of ES through YESS member surveys. Strengths include the approach being interdisciplinary, and a useful communication tool. Weaknesses include an incomplete scientific basis, frameworks being inconsistently applied, and accounting for nature's intrinsic value. Opportunities include alignment with existing policies and established methodologies, and increasing environmental awareness. Threats include resistance to change, and difficulty with interdisciplinary collaboration. Consideration of SWOT themes suggested five strategic areas for developing and implementing ES. The ES concept could improve decision-making related to natural resource use, and interpretation of the complexities of human-nature interactions. It is contradictory – valued as a simple means of communicating the importance of conservation, whilst also considered an oversimplification characterised by ambiguous language. Nonetheless, given sufficient funding and political will, the ES framework could facilitate interdisciplinary research, ensuring decision-making that supports sustainable development.


      PubDate: 2015-12-26T14:57:57Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16




      PubDate: 2015-12-12T06:22:23Z
       
  • The role of marine ecosystem services for human well-being: Disentangling
           synergies and trade-offs at multiple scales
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Sebastian Villasante, Priscila F.M. Lopes, Marta Coll



      PubDate: 2015-12-12T06:22:23Z
       
  • Biodiversity conservation under energy limitation: Possible consequences
           of human productivity appropriation for species richness, ecosystem
           functioning, and food production
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Ladislav Miko, David Storch
      The human population appropriates about one-third of global aboveground terrestrial productivity. Although we have only a limited knowledge of the consequences of this effect, it is probable that the decreasing energy available for natural ecosystems will lead to the decrease of biological diversity, ultimately leading to the loss of functioning of natural systems. Such a loss may potentially severely affect also human production systems, since they are inevitably tightly interlinked with natural systems, exemplified by soil communities. This impedes the potential for biodiversity conservation as well as the sustainability of ecosystem services necessary for maintaining human population, and calls for a new research agenda and urgent policy measures.


      PubDate: 2015-12-12T06:22:23Z
       
  • Governance of Ecosystem Services: A framework for empirical analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Eeva Primmer, Pekka Jokinen, Malgorzata Blicharska, David N. Barton, Rob Bugter, Marion Potschin
      Biodiversity conservation policies justified with science and intrinsic value arguments have produced disappointing outcomes, and the need for conservation is now being additionally justified with the concept of ecosystem services. However, little, if any empirical attention is paid to ways in which different types of ecosystem service decisions are made, to what arguments are effective in turning policy into practice and further into conservation outcomes and, in general, to how ecosystem services are governed. To close this gap, this paper identifies the different modes of governance in policy implementation from biodiversity and environmental conservation literature and incorporates them in a conceptual model of ecosystem services commonly utilised at present, the cascade model. The resulting conceptual framework encompasses: (1) hierarchical governance; (2) scientific-technical governance; (3) adaptive collaborative governance; and; (4) governing strategic behaviour. This comprehensive framework provides a structure for empirical analysis of ecosystem services governance, which takes into account the people and organisations making decisions, and, in particular, the different arguments that are used when implementing policies. The framework will facilitate holistic ecosystem service analyses and support policies in generating conservation and sustainability impact.


      PubDate: 2015-12-12T06:22:23Z
       
  • Estimation of the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by the
           Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Abonesh Tesfaye, Nitsuhe Wolanios, Roy Brouwer
      This paper aims to quantify and economically value the main ecosystem services provided by the Blue Nile basin in Ethiopia. It is the first study in its kind to do so in a consistent and comprehensive manner using the same valuation approach. Water flows are linked to corresponding economic market values using the residual value method. Values for provisioning and regulating services related to the hydro-morphological and hydro-ecological functioning of the Blue Nile's water resources are derived based on four main water-dependent activities in the basin: irrigated agriculture, hydropower production, commercial navigation and fisheries. Data are collected from existing official and other secondary sources and are supplemented with information obtained from stakeholders and experts. The estimated annual contribution of the provisioning and regulating services of the freshwater ecosystem to the national economy was ETB 883 million (US$ 52 million) in 2011. This is very low compared to current GDP (<1%), partly due to the malfunctioning and underdevelopment of the current infrastructure to fully exploit the potential of the Blue Nile water resources. An integrated water resources management policy and improved institutional-economic setup aimed at maximization of continued provision of these services is expected to generate substantially higher economic values.


      PubDate: 2015-12-07T04:46:07Z
       
  • A comparative approach to assess the contribution of landscape features to
           aesthetic and recreational values in agricultural landscapes
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Boris T. van Zanten, Ingo Zasada, Mark J. Koetse, Fabrizio Ungaro, Kati Häfner, Peter H. Verburg
      The importance of cultural ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes is increasingly recognized as agricultural scale enlargement and abandonment affect aesthetic and recreational values of agricultural landscapes. Landscape preference studies addressing these type of values often yield context-specific outcomes, limiting the applicability of their outcomes in landscape policy. Our approach measures the relative importance of landscape features across agricultural landscapes. This approach was applied in the agricultural landscapes of Winterswijk, The Netherlands (n=191) and the Märkische Schweiz, Germany (n=113) among visitors in the agricultural landscape. We set up a parallel designed choice experiment, using regionally specific, photorealistic visualizations of four comparable landscape attributes. In the Dutch landscape visitors highly value hedgerows and tree lines, whereas groups of trees and crop diversity are highly valued in the German landscape. Furthermore, we find that differences in relative preference for landscape attributes are, to some extent, explained by socio-cultural background variables such as education level and affinity with agriculture of the visitors. This approach contributes to a better understanding of the cross-regional variation of aesthetic and recreational values and how these values relate to characteristics of the agricultural landscape, which could support the integration of cultural services in landscape policy.


      PubDate: 2015-12-07T04:46:07Z
       
  • A combination of methods needed to assess the actual use of provisioning
           ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Laura Vang Rasmussen, Ole Mertz, Andreas E. Christensen, Finn Danielsen, Neil Dawson, Pheang Xaydongvanh
      Failure to recognize that potential provisioning ecosystem services are not necessarily collected and used by people may have important consequences for management of land and resources. Accounting for people's actual use of ecosystem services in decision making processes requires a robust methodological approach that goes beyond mapping the presence of ecosystem services. But no such universally accepted method exists, and there are several shortcomings of existing methods such as the application of land use/cover as a proxy for provisioning ecosystem service availability and surveys based on respondents' recall to assess people's collection of e.g. wild food. By combining four complementary methods and applying these to the shifting cultivation systems of Laos, we show how people’s actual use of ecosystem services from agricultural fields differs from ecosystem service availability. Our study is the first in Southeast Asia to combine plot monitoring, collection diaries, repeat interviews, and participant observation. By applying these multiple methods borrowed from anthropology and botany among other research domains, the study illustrates that no single method is sufficient on its own. It is of key importance for scientists to adopt methods that can account for both availability of various services and actual use of those services.


      PubDate: 2015-12-02T04:33:16Z
       
  • Habitat and recreational fishing opportunity in Tampa Bay: Linking
           ecological and ecosystem services to human beneficiaries
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Richard Fulford, David Yoskowitz, Marc Russell, Darrin Dantin, John Rogers
      Estimating value of estuarine habitat to human beneficiaries requires that we understand how habitat alteration impacts function through both production and delivery of ecosystem goods and services (EGS). Here we expand on the habitat valuation technique of Bell (1997) with an estimate of recreational angler willingness-to-pay combined with estimates of angler effort, fish population size, and fish and angler distribution. Results suggest species-specific fishery value is impacted by angler interest and stock status, as the most targeted fish (spotted seatrout) did not have the highest specific value (fish−1). Reduced population size and higher size at capture resulted in higher specific value for common snook. Habitat value estimated from recreational fishing value and fish-angler distributions supported an association between seagrass and habitat value, yet this relationship was also impacted by distance to access points. This analysis does not provide complete valuation of habitat as it considers only one service (fishing), but demonstrates a methodology to consider functional equivalency of all habitat features as a part of a habitat mosaic rather than in isolation, as well as how to consider both EGS production and delivery to humans (e.g., anglers) in any habitat valuation, which are critical for a transition to ecosystem management.


      PubDate: 2015-12-02T04:33:16Z
       
  • Demand and supply of ecosystem services in a Mediterranean forest:
           Computing payment boundaries
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Elena Górriz-Mifsud, Elsa Varela, Míriam Piqué, Irina Prokofieva
      This study assesses the feasibility of a mechanism of payment for ecosystem services to improve the provision of ecosystem services by private forest owners. The range of the potential payment is defined by the opportunity costs of a change in forest management as the lower boundary, and by the willingness to pay of society for the improved supply of ecosystem services as the upper boundary. We assess these two boundaries in four hypothetical management scenarios for Aleppo pine forests in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain): (i) passive; (ii) active timber-oriented; (iii) biodiversity improvement; and (iv) wildfire prevention. The upscaling of the outcomes to the regional level shows that the value of the social demand covers the opportunity costs of the landowner. We argue that these figures prove the feasibility and likely acceptance of introducing a payment for ecosystem services based on an earmarked tax. This study represents an initial step for policy instrument design.


      PubDate: 2015-12-02T04:33:16Z
       
  • The importance of ecosystem services in coastal agricultural landscapes:
           Case study from the Costa Brava, Catalonia
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Emma Soy-Massoni, Johannes Langemeyer, Diego Varga, Marc Sáez, Josep Pintó
      Agricultural landscapes are increasingly valued by society for their potential to provide multiple benefits and values, such as landscape beauty or habitat for biodiversity. Yet, Mediterranean agricultural landscapes are still following a pattern of changes under the narrow focus of increased agricultural productivity, while other benefits and values are depleted. In this study, we assess the importance and multiple benefits Mediterranean agricultural landscapes provide using the ecosystem services approach. Our research aims at assessing different social perceptions concerning the importance of coastal agrarian landscapes for human wellbeing. Using a case study from a coastal agricultural landscape at the Costa Brava, Girona (Spain), we combined non-monetary and monetary methods to assess social perception and the willingness to pay for ecosystem services' delivery. Our study involved different social groups including local residents and tourists visiting the area. Results show that provisioning services and non-productive ecosystem services, such as supporting and cultural services are seen as almost equally important and trade-offs emerge between their prioritizations. A strong preference for cultural ecosystem services, especially aesthetic value (non-monetary valuation) and environmental education (monetary valuation), can be observed. Our results suggest that different preferences are influenced by the respondents' place of residency and place of visit.


      PubDate: 2015-12-02T04:33:16Z
       
  • Soil stewardship as a nexus between Ecosystem Services and One Health
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Aidan M. Keith, Olaf Schmidt, Barry J. McMahon
      We highlight the overlap in Ecosystem Services frameworks and the developing One Health approach, and assert that better integration and communication between these could provide a platform for synergistic research with greater benefits for resilience and health in socioecological systems. Furthermore, we propose that soil stewardship could act as the nexus for such integration and present potential research avenues with existing positive examples.


      PubDate: 2015-11-26T09:31:01Z
       
  • Perceptions of cultural ecosystem services from urban green
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Riechers Maraja, Barkmann Jan, Tscharntke Teja
      Cultural ecosystem services are growing in importance and their substantial contribution to well-being is well recognized. Yet, significant conceptual and methodological gaps exist, especially for urban ecosystems. We analyzed perceptions of cultural ecosystem services in the urban context of Berlin, based on qualitative research methods. Using expert and problem-centered interviews, we show how cultural ecosystem services are understood and which focus areas were emphasized. We compared our inductive codes with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. While our findings show supporting evidence for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, some categories had to be substituted and others adjusted to local citizen understandings. The results reveal a variety of intricate cultural ecosystem service perceptions. Hence, selecting and emphasizing only a few services without prior studies could misinform decision-makers and lead to biased policy outcome. Regionally specific perceptions of cultural benefits from urban green are important information for planning processes. Cultural ecosystem services could be one way to achieve awareness of socio-ecological aspects, as our results show linkages between cultural ecosystem services and urban social sustainability. Using qualitative cultural ecosystem service research could foster public participation and increase the input of regionally specific perceptions.


      PubDate: 2015-11-26T09:31:01Z
       
  • Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in Latin America: Analysing the
           performance of 40 case studies
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Nelson Grima, Simron J. Singh, Barbara Smetschka, Lisa Ringhofer
      Market instruments such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) emerged as a concept to compensate and encourage landowners to improve land management practices for the maintenance and provision of ecosystem services. Since the early 1990s hundreds of PES schemes have been implemented around the world with varying levels of success. The high investments required to implement such schemes, and the stakes involved, argue for an analysis of PES cases to determine factors that contribute to a particular outcome. The paper analyses 40 PES cases in Latin America providing insights that will inform policy and decision makers in designing future PES initiatives with higher chances of success. In this study we analyse each case using a set of criteria (related to ecosystem type, compensation package and incentives, spatial and temporal scales, institutional arrangements, and policy frameworks) to determine those most important for a particular outcome. These insights provide information on programme factors that contribute to the potential for success of a given PES scheme. Although this classification can be further improved, it provides a useful reference for decision-makers on what might be considered best practice on the ground concerning PES schemes.


      PubDate: 2015-11-26T09:31:01Z
       
  • Challenges in ecosystem services governance: Multi-levels, multi-actors,
           multi-rationalities
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 November 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Lasse Loft, Carsten Mann, Bernd Hansjürgens
      The emergence of the concept of ecosystem services has resulted in a paradigm shift in the ethical and political foundations of biodiversity conservation, from conserving nature due to its intrinsic value to an emphasis on anthropocentric use values. This paradigm shift has been accompanied by changes in the governance of natural resources over the past two decades. A recent trend in governance is the increased inclusion of multiple actors. A shift is taking place in which cooperation with other governmental levels, civil society, and private sector actors are being favoured over more traditional, state-centred governance. However, this “new governance” faces various challenges due to the specificities of ecosystem services and biodiversity. For one, ecosystem service beneficiaries and providers are dispersed vertically at multiple governance levels and horizontally across sectors. Furthermore, there is a lack of coordinated participation among the various actors, value judgments lack transparency, property rights are often poorly defined, and there are gaps in relevant scientific knowledge. Building on a literature review and the outcome of three international workshops, this introductory paper to the special issue on Governance of Ecosystem Services aims to identify and frame the key challenges within ecosystem services governance. This article sets the stage thematically for the collection of empirical contributions that shed further light on the matter and which discuss and contribute to the science and policy discourses on critical issues and challenges for ecosystem service governance, including the science-policy interface.


      PubDate: 2015-11-22T09:27:24Z
       
  • The role of marine ecosystem services for human well-being: Disentangling
           synergies and trade-offs at multiple scales
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Sebastian Villasante, Priscila F.M. Lopes, Marta Coll
      With the advance of ecosystem services (ES) assessments, the existence of synergies and trade-offs between services became clear. However, identifying these conflicts and potentials correctly and estimating the impacts of simultaneous use or of favoring one service to the detriment of the other is not a simple task. Among marine ecosystem services, the challenge is probably larger, given the invisible nature of some of the resources and services provided, and the fact that we do not have full control over such a huge habitat. In this Special Section we attempt to discuss some of these synergies and trade-offs at different geographical scales, from local case studies to multiple ecosystem assessments, and from cultural to provisioning ES. Along twelve papers, different frameworks, theoretical approaches and statistical tools are developed to show the state-of-the-art in ES assessment in developed and developing countries. Together, these studies bring a new diagnosis at local scales, where marine protected areas can or not interact synergistically with other services, such as fishing and tourism, depending on the institutional strength and proper development of social capital. Overall, this special issue presents multiple recommendations that can redirect policy-making regarding the best use of ES around the globe.


      PubDate: 2015-11-22T09:27:24Z
       
  • Loss of ecosystem services and the decapitalization of nature in El
           Salvador
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Silvio J. Crespin, Javier A. Simonetti
      Land use change can reduce the wealth and wellbeing of a nation and by modifying its biodiversity. We used value transfer methodology to estimate changes in the value of ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems in El Salvador, a country particularly impacted by natural disasters. Ecosystem services (1998–2011) provided only by natural ecosystems declined by 2.6% per year, equal to 44% of El Salvador’s GDP in 2011. Changes in services provided by tropical forests account for 90% of those losses, followed by 9% for coastal wetlands. However, sensitivity analysis of changes per biome revealed that changes for coastal wetlands are much more elastic than for tropical forests, emphasizing the severity that further losses in coastal wetlands may incur. Forests reduce soil erosion and landslides while coastal wetlands reduce hurricane damages. Focusing conservation efforts towards these ecosystems could reduce the occurrence of natural disasters, but their services should be complemented by those generated in the agricultural matrix during forest and mangrove resurgence.


      PubDate: 2015-11-22T09:27:24Z
       
  • An indicator framework for assessing ecosystem services in support of the
           EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 17
      Author(s): Joachim Maes, Camino Liquete, Anne Teller, Markus Erhard, Maria Luisa Paracchini, José I. Barredo, Bruna Grizzetti, Ana Cardoso, Francesca Somma, Jan-Erik Petersen, Andrus Meiner, Eva Royo Gelabert, Nihat Zal, Peter Kristensen, Annemarie Bastrup-Birk, Katarzyna Biala, Chiara Piroddi, Benis Egoh, Patrick Degeorges, Christel Fiorina, Fernando Santos-Martín, Vytautas Naruševičius, Jan Verboven, Henrique M. Pereira, Jan Bengtsson, Kremena Gocheva, Cristina Marta-Pedroso, Tord Snäll, Christine Estreguil, Jesus San-Miguel-Ayanz, Marta Pérez-Soba, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Ana I. Lillebø, Dania Abdul Malak, Sophie Condé, Jon Moen, Bálint Czúcz, Evangelia G. Drakou, Grazia Zulian, Carlo Lavalle
      In the EU, the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services, abbreviated to MAES, is seen as a key action for the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and also to inform the development and implementation of related policies on water, climate, agriculture, forest, marine and regional planning. In this study, we present the development of an analytical framework which ensures that consistent approaches are used throughout the EU. It is framed by a broad set of key policy questions and structured around a conceptual framework that links human societies and their well-being with the environment. Next, this framework is tested through four thematic pilot studies, including stakeholders and experts working at different scales and governance levels, which contributed indicators to assess the state of ecosystem services. Indicators were scored according to different criteria and assorted per ecosystem type and ecosystem services using the common international classification of ecosystem services (CICES) as typology. We concluded that there is potential to develop a first EU wide ecosystem assessment on the basis of existing data if they are combined in a creative way. However, substantial data gaps remain to be filled before a fully integrated and complete ecosystem assessment can be carried out.


      PubDate: 2015-11-22T09:27:24Z
       
  • Opportunities and challenges for mainstreaming the ecosystem services
           concept in the multi-level policy-making within the EU
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 November 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Christian Schleyer, Christoph Görg, Jennifer Hauck, Klara Johanna Winkler
      Mainstreaming the ecosystem services (ES) concept in EU policy-making, i.e., introducing it in a variety of policy fields, comes along with great expectations from practitioners, policy-makers, and scientists to improve environmental policy and halt the loss of biodiversity. While most environmental policies incorporate ES-related governance tools, only very few policies refer to ES explicitly, and for most non-environmental policies mainstreaming has, if at all, just begun. This article addresses three major challenges for mainstreaming the ES concept into EU policies: the need for (1) vertical and (2) horizontal policy integration, and (3) the question of stakeholder involvement in policy-making. It further examines the different meanings of ‘mainstreaming’ and discusses how the ES concept can be used as boundary concept in participatory processes to overcome the challenges by mediating between the different understandings of the forms and objectives of mainstreaming. The paper draws empirically on a review of legal, policy, and scientific documents and on a focus group with six policy-makers from several EU Directorate Generals. The article finds that mainstreaming the ES concept into EU policy-making is no ‘silver bullet’ and that expectations management – in particular with respect to the use of economic valuation methods – is necessary to avoid frustration of involved stakeholders. Further, while participatory approaches may be helpful for local policy integration and balancing trade-offs across policy fields, they may fail in face of administrative challenges of vertical policy integration or of imbalanced power relations and opposing agendas on the horizontal policy integration. To become trustworthy and effective organisational structures, new participatory elements need to be effectively linked with the relevant existing administrations and (other) democratically legitimised decision-making structures. Finally, a well-facilitated and careful process of reflection of the boundary work involved may improve the potential of mainstreaming the ES concept.


      PubDate: 2015-11-22T09:27:24Z
       
  • Community-based groundwater and ecosystem restoration in semi-arid north
           Rajasthan (1): Socio-economic progress and lessons for
           groundwater-dependent areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Mark Everard
      Groundwater is a vital resource in arid and semi-arid regions, increasingly relied upon for year-round access, though lack of both study and regulation contribute to unsustainable pressures potentially contributing to a negative spiral of ecological, social and economic decline. Using field visits, interviews with locals and experts, and literature reviews, we explored a successful programme of community-based groundwater recharge in three adjacent catchments (the Arvari, Sarsa and Baghani) in semi-arid north Rajasthan, India, led by the NGO Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS) in order to determine how successes were achieved and could be replicated. TBS-led initiatives rebuilt traditional village governance structures and participation in community-designed and maintained water harvesting structures (WHSs), which were efficient both economically and in technical design using indigenous knowledge. Enhanced seasonal groundwater recharge enabled by WHSs regenerated aquatic, farmed and natural ecosystems, underpinning a positive cycle of interdependent social and economic regeneration. Locally appropriate, integrated social and technical solutions maintaining this positive cycle have increased the quality of ecosystems and the wellbeing of local people. We used the STEEP (Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political) framework to stratify outcomes, exploring principles underpinning successful local and catchment-scale regeneration and drawing out lessons transferrable to similarly water-stressed regions.


      PubDate: 2015-11-16T15:48:17Z
       
  • An on-site versus a household survey approach to modelling the demand for
           recreational angling: Do welfare estimates differ?
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Stephen Hynes, Paul O’Reilly, Rebecca Corless
      This paper compares recreational fishing travel cost demand modelling results from an on-site angler intercept survey to results from a household survey where the respondents represent the same underlying population of interest. We employed a Poisson and negative binomial count data model with and without the econometric corrections for the on-site sampling issues of endogenous stratification and truncation as the onsite modelling approach and use Poisson and negative binomial count data hurdle specifications to control for excess zeros in the household modelling approach. We find that welfare estimates differ substantially across the two samples and argue that the underlying samples may represent two different types of anglers.


      PubDate: 2015-11-16T15:48:17Z
       
  • Access to and allocation of ecosystem services in Malaysia's Pulau Kukup
           Ramsar Site
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 November 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Aliyu Salisu Barau, Lindsay C. Stringer
      This paper explores how the Ramsar Convention, a key multilateral environmental agreement for the world's wetlands, influences the allocation and use of ecosystem goods and services. Focusing on the world's second largest uninhabited mangrove island, Pulau Kukup, this study illustrates the social and ecological risks and opportunities surrounding protected wetlands. Interviews with, and observations of, nearby communities reveal that Pulau Kukup has continued to render regulatory, cultural, provisioning and supporting ecosystem services under different governance regimes and institutional arrangements. Under the current governance regime, national conservation agencies focus largely on conservation and have struggled to implement the principles of wise use as specified by the Ramsar Convention. Nevertheless, such strict local (formal) conservation rules restricting public access have improved the ecological integrity of the mangrove island, with little negative impact on the locals. While restrictions in access may be seen as a trade-off for local communities wishing to pursue cultural activities, tourism linked to the island's Ramsar designation has boosted the local economy. Despite these benefits, changes in property rights and growing influxes of tourists visiting the protected wetland may affect the long-term ecological integrity and the balance between wetlands, communities, livelihood options, and sustainability. Such challenges demand governance that recognises and responds to these emerging issues.


      PubDate: 2015-11-16T15:48:17Z
       
  • Human impacts and ecosystem services: Insufficient research for trade-off
           evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Megan E. Mach, Rebecca G. Martone, Kai M.A. Chan
      In order to perform a science-based evaluation of ecosystem service tradeoffs, research is needed on the impacts to ecosystem services from multiple human activities and their associated stressors (‘impact-pathways’). Whereas research frameworks and models abound, the evidence-base detailing these pathways for trade-off evaluation has not been well characterized. Toward this end, we review the evidence for impact-pathways using estuaries as a case study, focusing on seagrass and shellfish. Keyword searches of peer-reviewed literature revealed 2379 studies for a broad suite of impact-pathways, but closer inspection demonstrated that the vast majority of these made connections only rhetorically, and only 4.6% (based on a subset of 250 studies) actually evaluated impacts of stressors on ecosystem services. Furthermore, none of the reviewed studies tested pathways based on metrics of ecosystem services value that are most relevant to beneficiaries. Multi-activity tradeoff evaluation and management will require a concerted effort to structure ecosystem-based research around impact-pathways.


      PubDate: 2015-11-11T15:42:53Z
       
  • Cultural ecosystem services: The inspirational value of ecosystems in
           popular music
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Luca Coscieme
      Cultural ecosystem services are nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Due to their nonmaterial quality, cultural services are often much more challenging to evaluate than Supporting, Provisioning or Regulating services. However, some cultural services related with the inspirational and esthetic values of nature are the main ingredient of market goods produced and exchanged in marketplaces such as, for example, the music industry or the publishing industry. Starting from this consideration, a first estimation of the inspirational value of ecosystems in popular music is presented in this paper. A web-based search of popular songs inspired by different ecosystems is performed on a 30 million tracks repository. Lakes and rivers are the most represented, while wetlands and coastal systems the least. The total number of “ecosystem inspired” songs is multiplied by the average cost of one song on the iTunes Music Store (i.e. a largely used online music store). The cumulative cost is finally multiplied by the total number of downloads in order to estimate the contribution of cultural ecosystem services to the music industry from 2003 to 2014.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-11-11T15:42:53Z
       
  • Understanding governance structures in community management of ecosystems
           and natural resources: The Marujá case study in Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 November 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Claudia Sattler, Barbara Schröter, Camila Jericó-Daminello, Karla Sessin-Dilascio, Claas Meyer, Bettina Matzdorf, Lukas Wortmann, Paulo Antonio de Almeida Sinisgalli, Angela Meyer, Gregor Giersch
      Community management is seen as one important approach in environmental governance to manage ecosystems and natural resources. Understanding the underlying principles of how and under which premises the different local actors successfully collaborate in environmental governance can offer valuable insights into how ecosystems and their natural resources as well as related ecosystem service delivery can be sustained for the livelihoods of local communities. In this study, Ostrom’s set of design principles and Cox and others’ enlarged set of principles were used to investigate one co-management example of community management: the Marujá community in the Cardoso Island State Park in south-eastern Brazil, which was evaluated as successful by the community itself. The aim of the study was to analyse the presence or absence of each principle and how the principles were met in specific. Furthermore it was discussed in how for the specific compliance with the principles shapes certain features of the governance approach and helped in explaining its overall success. The analysis was mainly based on data collected through qualitative interviews with the different governance actors. All of Ostrom’s principles and most of Cox and others’ enlarged set of principles could be verified for the community. The principles helped in explaining how the community was able to organize collective action and initiate a governance change from top-down management of the state park to a co-management agreement which was considered a win–win by both parties: the community and the state park authorities. However, several additional factors were identified which contributed to the overall success. This included that the governance change was initiated bottom-up with the support of the whole community, could draw support from very committed governance actors both from the community and the state park authorities, who pushed the process forward over a long time period, and that the community received initial external funding which gave enough momentum to the process at the beginning.


      PubDate: 2015-11-06T15:40:37Z
       
  • Economic value of carbon storage in U.S. National Wildlife Refuge wetland
           ecosystems
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Douglas Patton, John C. Bergstrom, Rebecca Moore, Alan P. Covich
      The Third National Climate Assessment released in 2014 provides further evidence of global warming and mitigation options including carbon sequestration or storage. In this paper, we report on the quantity and economic value of carbon stored in wetlands ecosystems found in four U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Our results suggest that wetlands in National Wildlife Refuges provide substantial carbon storage benefits to the U.S. and world.


      PubDate: 2015-11-06T15:40:37Z
       
  • The lost narrative: Ecosystem service narratives and the missing Wasatch
           watershed conservation story
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Libby Blanchard, Bhaskar Vira, Laura Briefer
      Salt Lake City's preservation of the Wasatch watershed as its water source is an important historical example of the economic and instrumental rationale for investing in ecosystem services in general and protecting watersheds in particular. This story predates the dominant example of New York City's preservation of the Catskills that is prevalent in the ecosystem services literature, yet is largely absent from the historical and contemporary academic and gray literature on valuing ecosystem services. While the Catskills example has been used to provide the impetus for wider replication of “Payments for Ecosystem Services” (PES) and other market-based approaches to manage the needs of multiple stakeholders in watershed and additional environmental contexts, the legitimacy of this example for justifying an instrumental and economic rationale for conserving nature has been shown to be flawed. This paper considers the limitations of the Catskills as an illustrative example of the economic benefit of valuing ecosystem services, and proposes the story of the preservation of the Wasatch watershed as an alternative success story that uses regulatory instruments and zoning to protect an urban water supply while simultaneously serving the recreational and other needs of stakeholders in the area.


      PubDate: 2015-11-06T15:40:37Z
       
  • Institutional analysis of payments for watershed services in the western
           United States
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Heidi R. Huber-Stearns, Joshua H. Goldstein, Antony S. Cheng, Theodore P. Toombs
      Payments for watershed services (PWS) have emerged as one of the fastest growing segments of the broader conservation strategy of payments for ecosystem services over the past decade. Institutional factors are key to the design and performance of PWS, yet empirical research remains a gap in the literature. Here, we collected and analysed information on the institutional characteristics of the 41 active PWS programs in 2012 in the western United States, a region containing one of the highest concentrations of PWS globally. Cluster analysis identified four main groupings around buyer types and management actions. Many programs pursued a PWS structure as a new approach, often including participants in new roles (e.g., nongovernmental organizations as facilitating transactions), to comply with existing regulations or addressing escalating water resource threats. Our results highlight the important interactions between overarching regional factors (e.g., federal policies, water rights) and diverse local conditions (e.g., land ownership, resource challenges) in shaping the institutional structure of individual PWS programs. A key gap remains collecting robust information on PWS performance. As such, this work provides a baseline for future longitudinal institutional analysis to link program structure and performance to inform PWS research and practice.


      PubDate: 2015-11-01T12:12:25Z
       
  • Purposes and degrees of commodification: Economic instruments for
           biodiversity and ecosystem services need not rely on markets or monetary
           valuation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Thomas Hahn, Constance McDermott, Claudia Ituarte-Lima, Maria Schultz, Tom Green, Magnus Tuvendal
      Commodification of nature refers to the expansion of market trade to previously non-marketed spheres. This is a contested issue both in the scientific literature and in policy deliberations. The aim of this paper is to analytically clarify and distinguish between different purposes and degrees of commodification and to focus attention to the safeguards: the detailed institutional design. We identify six degrees of commodification and find that all ecosystem services policies are associated with some degree of commodification but only the two highest degrees can properly be associated with neoliberalisation of nature. For example, most payments for ecosystem services (PES) are subsidy-like government compensations not based on monetary valuation of nature. Biodiversity offsets can be designed as market schemes or non-market regulations; the cost-effectiveness of markets cannot be assumed. To avoid the confusion around the concept ‘market-based instrument’ we suggest replacing it with ‘economic instruments’ since relying on the price signal is not the same thing as relying on the market. We provide a comprehensive framework emphasising the diversity in institutional design, valuation approaches and role of markets. This provides flexibility and options for policy integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in different countries according to their political and cultural context.


      PubDate: 2015-11-01T12:12:25Z
       
  • Ecosystem services research in contrasting socio-ecological contexts of
           Argentina: Critical assessment and future directions
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Matías Enrique Mastrangelo, Federico Weyland, Lorena Paola Herrera, Sebastián Horacio Villarino, María Paula Barral, Alejandra Denise Auer
      In Argentina, agricultural expansion and intensification has stimulated the utilization of the ecosystem services (ES) approach to understand the consequences of land-use and land-cover changes. However, Argentina's increasing trends of environmental degradation and social conflict due to agriculture continue unabated. We qualitatively analyzed 24 published ES studies done in either the temperate Pampean (context of consolidated agriculture) or subtropical extra-Pampean regions (context of expanding agriculture), in order to identify country-level and context-specific research needs and gaps, and propose ways to address them. We observed that ES studies in both contexts: (i) tended to focus much more on the biophysical, supply-side of the ES cascade than on the assessment of cultural ES and benefits, (ii) invested more effort in describing coarse ecological patterns/processes than in producing locally-adapted knowledge through stakeholder participation, and (iii) were poorly articulated with decision-making processes regarding sustainable ecosystem management. Despite this, some ES studies performed in the context of expanding agriculture showed incipient efforts to recognize, disaggregate and involve stakeholders, and to understand ES values. To increase the applicability of ES knowledge in decision-making, “strong” transdisciplinary approaches should be implemented so that changes in ES delivery and values feedback on management decisions for reverting environmental degradation.


      PubDate: 2015-10-28T07:44:16Z
       
  • Non-market valuation of recreational services in Italy: A meta-analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Maria De Salvo, Giovanni Signorello
      This paper reports on a meta-analysis study carried out in Italy to value recreational ecosystem services. The best meta-analysis model is identified in terms of functional form and robustness to non-independency of metadata. Estimates are obtained using Huber–White robust standard error models, fixed effect and random effects panel data models, and a multilevel (hierarchical) regression model. The hierarchical structure of the metadata was explored by considering as an upper cluster variable the lead author of the valuation study, then the primary study from which each benefit estimate was extracted, and as a lower cluster variable the typology of each recreational policy site.


      PubDate: 2015-10-28T07:44:16Z
       
  • Understanding spatial patterns in the production of multiple urban
           ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Alison R. Holt, Meghann Mears, Lorraine Maltby, Philip Warren
      Urbanisation is a key driver of land use change and urban growth is set to continue. The provision of ecosystem services depends on the existence of greenspace. Urban morphology is potentially an important influence on ecosystem services. Therefore, it may be possible to promote service provision through an urban structure that supplies the processes and functions that underpin them. However, an understanding of the ability of urban areas to produce multiple ecosystem services, and the spatial pattern of their production, is required. We demonstrate an approach using easily accessible data, to generate maps of key urban ecosystem services for a case study city of Sheffield, UK. Urban greenspace with a mixture of land covers allowed areas of high production of multiple services in the city centre and edges. But crucially the detection of such ‘hotspots’ depended on the spatial resolution of the mapping unit. This shows there is potential to design cities to promote hotspots of production. We discuss how land cover type, its spatial location and how this relates to different suites of services, is key to promoting urban multifunctionality. Detecting trade-offs and synergies associated with particular urban designs will enable more informed decisions for achieving urban sustainability.


      PubDate: 2015-10-11T13:38:45Z
       
  • Governing a pioneer program on payment for watershed services: Stakeholder
           involvement, legal frameworks and early lessons from the Atlantic forest
           of Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Ryan C. Richards, Julia Rerolle, James Aronson, Paulo Henrique Pereira, Helena Gonçalves, Pedro H.S. Brancalion
      Increasing acceptance of payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs as environmental policy alternatives suggests a clear need for research on PES implementation, both to validate theoretical frameworks and improve approaches for existing and future programs. We provide a history of the 10-year old Conservador das Águas program in Extrema, a city in Minas Gerais located within the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. To date, the program has coordinated restoration activities that have increased native forest cover in 60% in targeted sub-watershed through contracts with 53 landowners, and has established long-term collaborations among government agencies, civil society, and landowners. Evaluation of the institutional elements of the program using an institutional framework reveals lessons that are relevant for future projects. We find that national legislation and local government organizations have played key roles in enabling and maintaining program activities. Further, strategic decisions by program staff, including targeting important regions and actors within the municipality, the use of Forest Code mandates as an incentive for participation, and use of municipal legislation to secure funding, were critical to the program's success. We use an institutional framework to provide a review of the program, including its legal context, actors, and financial instruments, for those engaged in establishing and sustaining similar programs.


      PubDate: 2015-10-02T13:28:45Z
       
  • Ecosystem service valuation in a governance debate: Practitioners'
           strategic argumentation on forestry in northern Finland
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Simo Sarkki, Timo P. Karjalainen
      To better understand the links between ecosystem service (ES) valuation and governance, we examine how local-level practitioners (i.e. the state forestry enterprise, tourism entrepreneurs, reindeer herders, a local NGO and a local hunting association) performed ES valuation through argumentation to promote certain interests in practical governance in the context of a forestry debate in northern Finland. Our case shows that monetary valuations may escalate disputes instead of providing neutral information. Furthermore, increasing transparency could be useful in gaining an understanding of the links between the (strategic) partiality of knowledge production and perceived ES values and trade-offs across stakeholder groups; this could also lead to a common view on various ES values and governance solutions. On the other hand, the stakeholders were eager to identify various benefits at diverse spatial and temporal scales in a strategic manner to defend or oppose prevailing land-use practises and ownership. However, while the positive identification and measurement of ESs is relevant, attention should also be paid to the practises of denying and questioning certain ES values. This is crucial to better understand how stakeholders perform ES valuations through argumentation and by this means shape and construct the governance options for and against particular ESs.


      PubDate: 2015-09-27T13:23:29Z
       
  • Risk, reward, and payments for ecosystem services: A portfolio approach to
           ecosystem services and forestland investment
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 16
      Author(s): Brent D. Matthies, Tuomo Kalliokoski, Tommi Ekholm, Hans Fredrik Hoen, Lauri T. Valsta
      This study examines the risks and returns associated with payments for ecosystem services (PES) for private forestland using modern portfolio theory. PES schemes for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation were considered. Pricing data for European carbon emissions offsets and the Finnish biodiversity conservation scheme ‘Trading in Natural Values’, and Finnish forest inventory data were used to model ex-post empirical results. The forest owner's portfolio could be comprised of either current forest management or a PES scheme with postponed harvesting; considerations for investing harvest income in equities and bonds were included. The correlation between a PES scheme's return series and timber returns was higher for the biodiversity scheme leading to relatively limited financial diversification benefits under current prices. Increasing the biodiversity conservation price level reduced this effect. For the climate scheme, removing the declining linear trend from the pricing data did not reduce the relatively greater diversification benefits. Overall these benefits were also greater on fertile forest site types than lower quality sites. These results indicate that the policy implications of designing socially efficient PES pricing include an important trade-off between increasing price risks for private landowners and decreasing marginal costs for society.


      PubDate: 2015-09-17T19:13:56Z
       
 
 
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