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Journal Cover   Ecosystem Services
  [SJR: 1.053]   [H-I: 6]   [7 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2588 journals]
  • Evaluating changes in marine communities that provide ecosystem services
           through comparative assessments of community indicators
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kristin M. Kleisner , Marta Coll , Christopher P. Lynam , Alida Bundy , Lynne Shannon , Yunne-Jai Shin , Jennifer L. Boldt , Borges Maria F. , Ibrahima Diallo , Clive Fox , Didier Gascuel , Johanna J. Heymans , Maria J. Juan Jordá , Didier Jouffre , Scott I. Large , Kristin N. Marshall , Henn Ojaveer , Chiara Piroddi , Jorge Tam , Maria A. Torres , Morgane Travers-Trolet , Konstantinos Tsagarakis , Gro I. van der Meeren , Stephani Zador
      Fisheries provide critical provisioning services, especially given increasing human population. Understanding where marine communities are declining provides an indication of ecosystems of concern and highlights potential conflicts between seafood provisioning from wild fisheries and other ecosystem services. Here we use the nonparametric statistic, Kendall׳s tau, to assess trends in biomass of exploited marine species across a range of ecosystems. The proportion of ‘Non-Declining Exploited Species’ (NDES) is compared among ecosystems and to three community-level indicators that provide a gauge of the ability of a marine ecosystem to function both in provisioning and as a regulating service: survey-based mean trophic level, proportion of predatory fish, and mean life span. In some ecosystems, NDES corresponds to states and temporal trajectories of the community indicators, indicating deteriorating conditions in both the exploited community and in the overall community. However differences illustrate the necessity of using multiple ecological indicators to reflect the state of the ecosystem. For each ecosystem, we discuss patterns in NDES with respect to the community-level indicators and present results in the context of ecosystem-specific drivers. We conclude that using NDES requires context-specific supporting information in order to provide guidance within a management framework.


      PubDate: 2015-03-14T14:25:52Z
       
  • Managing a boreal forest landscape for providing timber, storing and
           sequestering carbon
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): María Triviño , Artti Juutinen , Adriano Mazziotta , Kaisa Miettinen , Dmitry Podkopaev , Pasi Reunanen , Mikko Mönkkönen
      Human well-being highly depends on ecosystem services and this dependence is expected to increase in the future with increasing population and economic growth. Studies that investigate trade-offs between ecosystem services are urgently needed for informing policy-makers. We examine the trade-offs between a provisioning (revenues from timber selling) and regulating (carbon storage and sequestration) ecosystem services among seven alternative forest management regimes in a large boreal forest production landscape. First, we estimate the potential of the landscape to produce harvest revenues and store/sequester carbon across a 50-year time period. Then, we identify conflicts between harvest revenues and carbon storage and sequestration. Finally, we apply multiobjective optimization to find optimal combinations of forest management regimes that maximize harvest revenues and carbon storage/sequestration. Our results show that no management regime alone is able to either maximize harvest revenues or carbon services and that a combination of different regimes is needed. We also show that with a relatively little economic investment (5% decrease in harvest revenues), a substantial increase in carbon services could be attained (9% for carbon storage; 15–23% for carbon sequestration). We conclude that it is possible to achieve win–win situations applying diversified forest management planning at a landscape level.


      PubDate: 2015-03-14T14:25:52Z
       
  • Conservation banking mechanisms and the economization of nature: An
           institutional analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Valérie Boisvert
      During the last decade, conservation banking mechanisms have emerged in the environmental discourse as new market instruments to promote biodiversity conservation. Compensation was already provided for in environmental law in many countries, as the last step of the mitigation hierarchy. The institutional arrangements developed in this context have been redefined and reshaped as market-based instruments (MBIs). As such, they are discursively disentangled from the complex legal-economic nexus they are part of. Monetary transactions are given prominence and tend to be presented as stand alone agreements, whereas they take place in the context of prescriptive regulations. The pro-market narrative featuring conservation banking systems as market-like arrangements as well as their denunciation as instances of nature commodification tend to obscure their actual characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to describe the latter, adopting an explicitly analytical stance on these complex institutional arrangements and their performative dimensions. Beyond the discourse supporting them and notwithstanding the diversity of national policies and regulatory frameworks for compensation, the constitutive force of these mechanisms probably lies in their ability to redefine control, power and the distribution of costs and in their impacts in terms of land use rather than in their efficiency.


      PubDate: 2015-03-14T14:25:52Z
       
  • Ecosystem services visualization and communication: A demand analysis
           approach for designing information and conceptualizing decision support
           systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): T.M. Klein , E. Celio , A. Grêt-Regamey
      The concept of ecosystem services (ES) is broadly established in research and in communities of interest. The European Commission (EU) has embraced these conceptual approaches in order to provide policy makers with decision-supportive information concerning the supply of and demand for ES. It is, however, not yet clear how ES information should be represented to fulfill decision-supportive functions or even to process the data in such a manner that it is understandable. Knowledge about the ideal representation and communication of ES information integrated into decision support systems (DSSs) is particularly key for guiding users through such systems. In order to determine the correct representation type for a given situation and intended use, we developed a demand analysis, distributed through an online survey, to identify user demands for ES information. A principal component analysis depicts that requirements were highly heterogeneous among respondents of this study. Five components describing the representation type can, however, be identified, depending on the situation of application and the intended use of the ES information by the respondents: (1) 3D landscape visualizations are preferred for analyzing and exploring ES-related information; (2) texts and abstracts are preferred for communication and discussion support; (3) thematic 2D map representations are preferred to support scenario development in public applications; (4) abstract 3D landscape visualizations facilitate estimations in group applications; and (5) charts and tables, in combination with thematic 2D map representations, support analyses. However, while certain representation types are function- and/or situation-specific, no representation type can be used as a panacea. A demand analysis, as presented in this paper, can contribute to the definition of how ES information is to be integrated into DSSs and how it needs to be designed to be (decision-) supportive.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-03-14T14:25:52Z
       
  • The valuation of marine ecosystem goods and services in the Caribbean: A
           literature review and framework for future valuation efforts
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Peter W. Schuhmann , Robin Mahon
      This paper reviews economic valuation of marine ecosystem services in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) for the three major marine ecosystems addressed by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Project: reef, pelagic and continental shelf. A review of over 200 value estimates suggests that marine economic valuations in the WCR have focused on a limited number of benefits derived from marine ecosystems, primarily those that are relatively easy to measure and convey, such as recreation opportunities in protected areas, and benefits that are ascribed to easily measured market indicators. Values associated with reefs have received far more attention than those associated with the pelagic or shelf ecosystems. The economic impacts of overfishing remain largely unexplored. Regulating and maintenance services provided by the marine ecosystems of the WCR have been recognized as important, but have not been linked to valuation. Finally, estimates of non-use values for WCR marine ecosystem goods and services are few. It is suggested that future work on valuation be coordinated among countries and agencies so that gaps can be prioritized and valuation studies can be directed toward a more comprehensive understanding of the full value of the goods and services provided by marine ecosystems in the WCR.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • An ecosystems perspective for food security in the Caribbean: Seagrass
           meadows in the Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Susan Baker , Jessica Paddock , Alastair M. Smith , Richard K.F. Unsworth , Leanne C. Cullen-Unsworth , Heidi Hertler
      Drawing attention to interactions between processes affecting biodiversity loss in marine environments and effects on food security, we draw on research in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), a UK Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. Seagrass meadows provide ecosystem supporting services critical for human wellbeing. They are declining globally due to coastal development, poor land management, and destructive fishing practices. These systems are linked to traditional ways of life with multiple intangible values representing an important cultural resource for coastal communities. Using the lens of food security, we undertake interdisciplinary social–ecological research, to better understand the governance of ecosystem services and the food system in TCI. Research draws on mixed qualitative methods and data gathered via SeagrassWatch, fish surveys and meta-analysis of fish assemblages, revealing anthropogenic stressors exposing TCI to economic and environmental shocks characteristic of small island Caribbean states. We find growing concern regarding the islands׳ high dependence on food imports, coupled with declining availability of local fish and seafood across socio-economic groups. Weak governance structures put TCI׳s marine resources under increasing threat, with consequences for food security. We argue for the application of the precautionary principle, suggesting conservation actions through societal participation and stakeholder engagement.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Tourism in Zanzibar: Incentives for sustainable management of the coastal
           environment
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Glenn-Marie Lange
      Tourism was identified in the late 1980s as a sector with major potential for driving economic development in Zanzibar and has since grown enormously from roughly 19,000 annual visitors in 1985 to well over 200,000 by 2007. Although tourism is now one of the most important sectors of the economy, contributing roughly 25% to GDP, the impact of tourism on poverty reduction and the environment has been decidedly mixed. The rapid expansion of tourist infrastructure on the coast, combined with a population growth rate of over 3%, has put great pressure on coastal areas. In some areas local villages have seen their access to the beach and sea greatly restricted with resulting loss of livelihoods, while relatively little of the economic benefit from tourism has gone to local communities. The coastal and marine environment is seriously degraded due to both human and natural causes. The paper explores the reasons for this, focusing on the role played by the distribution of benefits from tourism and the (dis)incentives this creates for sustainable management, especially among local communities that steward the marine ecosystem. It does this by estimating the incomes (wages, profits and taxes to local government) generated from five major categories of tourism found in Zanzibar, and quantifying the distribution of incomes among five different stakeholder groups. The resulting recommendations are relevant not only for Zanzibar, but for all developing countries that rely on international tourism.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11




      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Marine economics and policy related to ecosystem services: Lessons from
           the world׳s regional seas
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Paulo A.L.D. Nunes , John Gowdy



      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Participatory assessment and mapping of ecosystem services in a data-poor
           region: Case study of community-managed forests in central Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kiran Paudyal , Himlal Baral , Benjamin Burkhard , Santosh P. Bhandari , Rodney J. Keenan
      Community-managed forests (CMF) provide vital ecosystem services (ES) for local communities. However, the status and trend of ES in CMF have not been assessed in many developing countries because of a lack of appropriate data, tools, appropriate policy or management framework. Using a case study of community-managed forested landscape in central Nepal, this paper aims to identify and map priority ES and assess the temporal change in the provision of ES between 1990 and 2013. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, transect walks and participatory mapping were used to identify and assess priority ES. The results indicated that community forestry has resulted in the substantial restoration of forests on degraded lands over the period of 1990–2013. Local community members and experts consider that this restoration has resulted in a positive impact on various ES beneficial for local, regional, national and international users. Priority ES identified in the study included timber, firewood, freshwater, carbon sequestration, water regulation, soil protection, landscape beauty as well as biodiversity. There were strong variations in the valuation of different ES between local people and experts, between genders and between different status and income classes in the local communities. In general, whereas CMF provide considerable benefits at larger scales, local people have yet to perceive the real value of these different ES provided by their forest management efforts. The study demonstrated that participatory tools, combined with free-access satellite images and repeat photography are suitable approaches to engage local communities in discussions regarding ES and to map and prioritise ES values.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Bermuda׳s balancing act: The economic dependence of cruise and air
           tourism on healthy coral reefs
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      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: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • The Multiscale Integrated Model of Ecosystem Services (MIMES): Simulating
           the interactions of coupled human and natural systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Roelof Boumans , Joe Roman , Irit Altman , Les Kaufman
      In coupled human and natural systems ecosystem services form the link between ecosystem function and what humans want and need from their surroundings. Interactions between natural and human components are bidirectional and define the dynamics of the total system. Here we describe the MIMES, an analytical framework designed to assess the dynamics associated with ecosystem service function and human activities. MIMES integrate diverse types of knowledge and elucidate how benefits from ecosystem services are gained and lost. In MIMES, users formalize how materials are transformed between natural, human, built, and social capitals. This information is synthesized within a systems model to forecast ecosystem services and human-use dynamics under alternative scenarios. The MIMES requires that multiple ecological and human dynamics be specified, and that outputs may be understood through different temporal and spatial lenses to assess the effects of different actions in the short and long term and at different spatial scales. Here we describe how MIMES methodologies were developed in association with three case studies: a global application, a watershed model, and a marine application. We discuss the advantages and disadvantage of the MIMES approach and compare it to other broadly used ecosystem service assessment tools.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services: Not all positive
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Chris G. Sandbrook , Neil D. Burgess



      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Advancing the frontier of urban ecosystem services research
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Peleg Kremer , Erik Andersson , Timon McPhearson , Thomas Elmqvist



      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Nets and frames, losses and gains: Value struggles in engagements with
           biodiversity offsetting policy in England
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): S. Sullivan , M. Hannis
      Biodiversity offsetting (BDO) is presented as capable of mitigating development-related harm to populations of species while simultaneously enhancing economic development. The technique involves constructing such harm as a result of market failures, which can be resolved through market solutions. BDO is contentious, attracting outspoken proponents and opponents in equal measure. We examine competing perspectives of interested non-governmental actors through a structured discourse analysis, using qualitative data coding, of 24 written evidence submissions to the UK Parliament׳s Environmental Audit Committee׳s 2013 Inquiry into Biodiversity Offsetting in England. Nuanced positions and areas of agreement notwithstanding, we find that there is a discernible oppositional pattern producing core polarities between organisations favouring and resisting BDO. In interpreting these oppositional dynamics we observe that it is unlikely that this impasse can be resolved since although the debate is framed in terms of differences of view regarding the effectiveness or desirability of specific technical aspects of BDO policy, these differences arise from fundamentally divergent value framings. Struggles over offsetting involve irresolvable value struggles, and negotiations over the assumed (ir)rationality of biodiversity offsetting are thus located firmly within political and ideological arenas.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Use of coastal economic valuation in decision making in the Caribbean:
           Enabling conditions and lessons learned
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Richard Waite , Benjamin Kushner , Megan Jungwiwattanaporn , Erin Gray , Lauretta Burke
      Caribbean economies depend on coastal ecosystem services, including tourism, fisheries, and shoreline protection. However, coastal ecosystems continue to degrade due to human pressures. Many pressures arise from decisions that fail to take full range of ecosystem values and benefits into account. Economic valuation can contribute to better-informed decision making about coastal resource use and development. More than 100 studies in the Caribbean contain monetary values of coastal ecosystem goods and services. However, only a minority of these studies have had an observable influence on policy, management, or investment decisions. Through a series of interviews, we identified 17 valuation studies that have directly influenced decision making. Due to the difficulty of tracking influence, our review was not exhaustive. These 17 “success stories” highlight the potential for economic valuation to improve decision making. Building on literature on the challenges of integrating science into policy, we used these 17 cases to identify enabling conditions for informing decision making. These conditions include a clear policy question, strategic choice of study area, strong stakeholder engagement, effective communications, access to decision makers, and transparency in reporting results. Our findings suggest that valuation practitioners can and should do more to ensure that valuation studies inform decision making.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • An economic and ecological consideration of commercial coral
           transplantation to restore the marine ecosystem in Okinawa, Japan
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Nami Okubo , Ayumi Onuma
      The deterioration of coral reefs in Japan is a serious environmental problem. Conventional conservation policies for terrestrial ecosystems are sometimes difficult to apply to coral reef protection because of the large number of stakeholders involved. In what seems to be an interesting attempt to solve this problem, tourist divers in Okinawa, Japan have begun to transplant coral fragments onto deteriorated coral reefs, by participating in a tour provided by diving shops. However, the problem here is that when the transplanted fragments have been taken out from the natural coral colonies, it tends to cause a host of potential problems such as decreasing fecundity of donor colonies, negative effects on the surrounding environment of the exploited corals and low species diversity of transplanted fragments. In this paper, we examine the merits of commercial coral transplantation in marine ecosystem conservation, and to suggest some reforms that could help to mitigate the problems encountered when using sexually propagated coral transplants. Finally, we discuss how the commercial transplantation in Okinawa could be applied to the conservation of other marine ecosystem.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Valuing the storm protection service of estuarine and coastal ecosystems
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Edward B. Barbier
      Recent concern over the loss of estuarine and coastal ecosystems (ECEs) often focuses on an important service provided by these ecosystems, their role in protecting coastal communities from storms that damage property and cause deaths and injury. Past valuations of this benefit have relied on the second-best replacement cost method, estimating the protective value of ECEs with the cost of building human-made storm barriers. A promising alternative methodological approach to incorporate these factors is using the expected damage function (EDF) method, which requires modeling the production of this protection service of ECEs and estimating its value in terms of reducing the expected damages or deaths avoided by coastal communities. This paper illustrates the EDF approach to value the storm protection service of ECEs, using the example of mangroves in Thailand to compare and contrast the EDF with the replacement cost approach to estimate the protective value of ECEs. In addition, the example of marshes in the US Gulf Coast is employed to show how the EDF approach can be combined with hydrodynamic analysis of simulated hurricane storm surges to determine the economic value of expected property damages reduced through the presence of marsh wetlands and their vegetation along a storm surge path.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Valuing beaches to develop payment for ecosystem services schemes in
           Colombia’s Seaflower marine protected area
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Juliana Castaño-Isaza , Rixcie Newball , Brian Roach , Winnie W.Y. Lau
      The Colombian Seaflower marine protected area (SMPA) is the largest MPA in the Caribbean. The economy of the main island, San Andres (SAI) relies on tourism. This study conducted 1793 surveys to capture information about tourists’ experience and the value they placed on SAI’s beaches. Tourists considered beaches as the main reason for choosing SAI as a destination and expressed that they would be willing to pay additional money, US$ 997,468 annually, on top of what they had already paid for their vacation to protect SAI’s beaches. The study also showed how beach erosion could negatively impact economically the tourism sector of SAI, reducing revenue by 66.6% (estimated at US$ 73 million annually). This research contributed to the first stage in the development of a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme to protect SAI’s beaches. The importance of beaches for SAI and the potential loss of revenue due to beach erosion create an opportunity to incentivize the private sector to invest in natural infrastructure that maintains and protects beaches. This study also informs the potential application of valuation studies for the development of innovative financing instruments, such as PES, to achieve financial sustainability for the MPA network in Colombia.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services as a tool for
           conservation: The case of Martinique in the Caribbean
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Pierre Failler , Élise Pètre , Thomas Binet , Jean-Philippe Maréchal
      Martinique possesses 55km2 of coral reefs, 50km2 of sea grass and 20km2 of mangroves. These three ecosystems produce services to a value estimated at 250 million € (M€)/year (valuation recently undertaken under the French initiative for Coral Reef Conservation—the IFRECOR program). It is estimated that around 60% of this value originates from direct uses such as recreational activities (diving, excursions, beach activities, etc.) tourism and fisheries. Ecosystem services (indirect uses) such as coastal protection, carbon sequestration, biomass production and water purification are significant since their total value reaches 94M€ annually (38% of the total economic value). Non-use values linked to improvements in health of coastal ecosystems is estimated to be 10M€/year. At the ecosystem level, sea grass and mangrove contribute the most (per km2) to wealth creation (2.16M €/km2, 1.87M €/km2 respectively, against 1.78M €/km2 for coral reefs). They need, therefore, to benefit from protection and management measures in the same magnitude as coral reefs already receive. The valuation also shows that, due to policy inaction, the loss of value is about 2.5M €/year, which urges politicians to develop a sound conservation policy.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Inequality and ecosystem services: The value and social distribution of
           Niger Delta wetland services
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Olalekan Adekola , Gordon Mitchell , Alan Grainger
      The Niger Delta wetlands are of international importance for their biodiversity, and support a large human population. The value and distribution of wetland ecosystem service benefits and costs across the three main stakeholder sectors (local community, government and corporate) were investigated. Results show that the net monetary value of the wetlands is $11,000 per delta household of which $9000 was generated as cash income supporting household activities such as education and healthcare. The total annual value of provisioning services to local people is approximately $25 billion, about three times the value of oil production in the region. However, local communities also bear about 75% of the environmental costs of oil extraction, equivalent to about 19% of the oil industry profit. Local people, who experience considerable economic hardship and lack alternative income sources, receive little compensation from the oil sector. These results highlight the importance of understanding not only the benefits provided by Niger Delta wetlands, but also the distribution of the environmental costs associated with their use. We conclude that ecosystem service valuation studies should give greater attention to the social distribution of identified values. Such distributional analyses, rarely available, provide insight into how sustainable natural resource management policy and practice could be better aligned to social justice concerns.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Valuing climate change mitigation: A choice experiment on a coastal and
           marine ecosystem
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Kyriaki Remoundou , Pedro Diaz-Simal , Phoebe Koundouri , Bénédicte Rulleau
      This paper adds to a limited literature eliciting willingness to pay (WTP) for mitigation measures against natural hazards caused by climate change, on coastal and marine environments. Our case study is Santander, a coastal region in Northern Spain. The case-study specific natural hazards concern (a) sea-level rise, high tides and extreme wave events that lead to floods and beach erosion, (b) rise in sea temperature that leads to invasive jellyfish blooms and changes in native biodiversity. In particular, we employ a choice experiment (CE) to elicit the value locals place on improvements, through the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, in biodiversity, recreational opportunities and on decreases in health risks associated with jellyfish blooms. Results suggest that people value positively benefits in terms of increased biodiversity and recreation opportunities, as well as health risk reductions, and point to interesting policy implications.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Global values of coastal ecosystem services: A spatial economic analysis
           of shoreline protection values
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Nalini S. Rao , Andrea Ghermandi , Rosimeiry Portela , Xuanwen Wang
      A global study to estimate the ecosystem service value of specific coastal ecosystems is developed. Specific variables are identified and used to develop a global multivariate regression function that supports the identification of important drivers of the value of ecosystem service of coastal protection around the world, and the Caribbean is examined in detail. Variables hypothesized to affect the ecosystem service value fall into three categories, and were informed by a meta-analysis of existing economic literature. Site characteristics include ecosystem type and size. Study characteristics include valuation method. Context variables include measures of development, anthropogenic pressures, biodiversity, and population density. Results of the meta-analytic regression show that variables significantly affecting the ecosystem service value included size, level of development, storm frequency, valuation method and gross domestic product per capita. A benefit transfer function is then generated to extrapolate values to other sites around the world where coastal wetlands, mangrove and coral reefs exist. This function is used to derive a global map of the value of a set of coastal ecosystem services worldwide. The Caribbean region is discussed as a case study in this global analysis.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • The recreational value of gold coast beaches, Australia: An application of
           the travel cost method
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Fan Zhang , Xiao Hua Wang , Paulo A.L.D. Nunes , Chunbo Ma
      The Gold Coast beaches are among Australia’s most popular beaches and rank among the world’s best-known beaches. A good understanding of the characteristics of beach users and their recreational use values is of fundamental importance to formulate effective beach management policy. This paper, using the individual travel cost method, estimates the recreational use value of Gold Coast beaches. The value of a single beach visit is estimated to be $19.47 per person. Furthermore, the efficiency of the value transfer method is analysed in this study. To do this, the recreational value of Gold Coast beaches transferred from the relevant studies conducted for other Australian beaches is compared with this study.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Valuing marine and coastal ecosystem service benefits: Case study of St
           Vincent and the Grenadines’ proposed marine protected areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Michael Christie , Kyriaki Remoundou , Ewa Siwicka , Warwick Wainwright
      This paper reports the results of a choice experiment (CE) that values the ecosystem service benefits from extending the current network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Caribbean. We considered two future options: an ‘improved’ scenario in which marine protection is increased, and a ‘decline’ scenario in which current protection mechanisms are removed. The CE was administered at two sites (the degraded St Vincent South Coast and the pristine Tobago Cays) and to tourists and local residents. Results suggest that both groups value health protection, fishing, coastal protection, ecosystem resilience, and diving/snorkelling. Values are higher for the ‘decline’ scenario compared to the ‘improved’ scenario. Also, tourists had significantly higher WTP values than locals. Our analysis also enabled an evaluation of the benefits derived from alternative policy interventions that may be used to protect and enhance SVG’s marine parks. Stopping pollution from agriculture run-off and sewage was found to generate the highest ecosystem service benefits, with restricting over-fishing and bad fishing practices also being important. We demonstrate how economic valuation of marine ecosystem service might be used to design and target marine conservation policies that maximise welfare benefits.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • A pathway to identifying and valuing cultural ecosystem services: An
           application to marine food webs
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Corinne Baulcomb , Ruth Fletcher , Amy Lewis , Ekin Akoglu , Leonie Robinson , Amanda von Almen , Salman Hussain , Klaus Glenk
      Beyond recreation, little attention has been paid thus far to economically value Cultural Ecosystem Services (CESs), especially in the context of coastal or marine environment. This paper develops and tests a pathway to the identification and economic valuation of CESs. The pathway enables researchers to make more explicit, and to economically value, cultural dimensions of environmental change. We suggest that the valuation process includes a simultaneous development of the scenarios of environmental change including related biophysical impacts, and a documentation of culture–environment linkages. A well-defined ecosystem service typology is also needed to classify cultural–ecological linkages as specific CESs. The pathway then involves the development of detailed, multidimensional depictions of the culture–environment linkages for use in a stated preference survey. The anticipated CES interpretations should be confirmed through debriefing questions in the survey questionnaire. The proposed approach is demonstrated with a choice experiment-based case study in Turkey that focuses improvements to the food web of the Black Sea. The results of this study indicate that economic preferences for CESs other than recreation can be estimated in a way that is economically consistent using the proposed approach.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Jellyfish outbreak impacts on recreation in the Mediterranean Sea: welfare
           estimates from a socioeconomic pilot survey in Israel
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11
      Author(s): Andrea Ghermandi , Bella Galil , John Gowdy , Paulo A.L.D. Nunes
      Jellyfish outbreaks in the Mediterranean Sea are part of an anthropogenic alteration of the marine ecosystem and have been documented as health hazards and threats to tourism. Their impacts on human welfare have, however, been poorly quantified. A socioeconomic survey, carried out in summer 2013, captures the impacts of an outbreak of Rhopilema nomadica on seaside recreation in Israel. Welfare losses are estimated based on per-visit value and expected change in visits patterns. We estimate that an outbreak reduces the number of seaside visits by 3–10.5%, with an annual monetary loss of €1.8–6.2 million. An additional 41% of the respondents state that their recreational activities on the beach are affected by the outbreak. Through a contingent valuation, we find that 56% of the respondents state a willingness to contribute to a national environmental protection program with an estimated annual benefit of €14.8 million. These figures signal an opportunity to invest in public information systems. A pilot study for adaptation was conducted in Barcelona, whose results confirm the importance of the welfare benefits of real-time public information systems. This study provides a benchmark against which the economic impacts of jellyfish outbreaks on coastal recreation and potential adaptation policies can be evaluated.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Market-based environmental governance and public resources in Alberta,
           Canada
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Ryan Hackett
      Both proponents and critics of market-based conservation instruments (MBIs) have shared a tendency to characterize these new governance tools as a shift from former state centred management to a greater reliance on markets and market actors as a means of achieving conservation goals. A growing literature on the use of MBIs has outlined a series of characteristics and typologies thought to define these new environmental governance approaches. Chief among these has been the tendency to view such tools as either a displacement of state intervention in favour of private actors and free markets, or active state engagement in re-regulation in support of such ends. This paper draws on a case study of conservation offsets in response to resource development in the Canadian province of Alberta to complicate some of these pervasive narratives. Rather than representing a shift from state to market, or state intervention in support of market instruments, the provincial government has actively engaged in both limiting the development of a market-based system and shaping the parameters of existing industry-NGO offset projects in ways that avoid risks and conflict and support existing power dynamics around resource allocation and use in the province.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Mapping ecosystem services across scales and continents – A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Rebecka Malinga , Line J. Gordon , Graham Jewitt , Regina Lindborg
      Tremendous progress in ecosystem service mapping across the world has moved the concept of ecosystem services forward towards an increasingly useful tool for policy and decision making. There is a pressing need to analyse the various spatial approaches used for the mapping studies. We reviewed ecosystem services mapping literature in respect to spatial scale, world distribution, and types of ecosystem services considered. We found that most world regions were represented among ecosystem service mapping studies and that they included a diverse set of ecosystem services, relatively well distributed across different ecosystem service categories. A majority of the studies were presented at intermediary scales (municipal and provincial level), and 66% of the studies used a fine resolution of 1 ha or less. The intermediary scale of presentation is important for land use policy and management. The fact that studies are conducted at a fine resolution is important for informing land management practices that mostly takes place at the scale of fields to villages. Ecosystem service mapping could be substantially advanced by more systematic development of cross-case comparisons and methods.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Is ecosystem restoration worth the effort? The rehabilitation of a
           Finnish river affects recreational ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Cecilia Polizzi , Matteo Simonetto , Alberto Barausse , Ninetta Chaniotou , Riina Känkänen , Silja Keränen , Alessandro Manzardo , Kaisa Mustajärvi , Luca Palmeri , Antonio Scipioni
      The need to assess the societal consequences of human actions impacting the environment has led to the concept of “ecosystem services” (ESS), which can be valued in socio-economic terms to communicate the ecologically-based costs and benefits of management choices. Quantifying the usually-neglected value of ESS should lead to better awareness of the societal importance of ecosystems and more balanced decision-making. We examine the case of the rehabilitation project of the River Pajakkajoki (Finland), aiming to improve conditions for fish spawning and increase the recreational attractiveness of natural areas along the river. We investigated how the rehabilitation changed ESS provision and the value of such change, focusing on recreational ESS due to data availability. We conducted an economic valuation of recreational ESS based on questionnaires administered to both locals and non-locals, analyzed by combining revealed and stated preference methods. We show that the rehabilitation generated great benefits: the estimated increase in recreational ESS value was 40.0–144.7 €/person/year, with slight differences between residents and non-residents. When scaling up this value to all the visitors of the area, the benefits of river restoration were estimated to compensate for the project costs in approximately 3–10 years, justifying investments in restoration from a societal perspective.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Preferences for cultural urban ecosystem services: Comparing attitudes,
           perception, and use
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Christine Bertram , Katrin Rehdanz
      Urban green spaces, including parks, provide numerous ecosystem services (ES) for city inhabitants. Besides provisioning and regulating services, they also provide cultural services by giving people opportunities to recreate and experience nature in the city. The focus of this paper is on cultural ES provided by urban parks in four European cities (Berlin, Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Salzburg). We compare attitudes towards ES provision, perception, and use of urban parks. In particular, we compare the perception of several park characteristics to their stated importance for park visitors. Results indicate that there are similarities between cities regarding attitudes towards ES provision and the importance of different park characteristics for visitors. Park use patterns such as the share of regular park visitors or the activities carried out, however, vary significantly between cities. The city-specific context, including park availability, quality, and perception but also the inhabitants’ preferences for cultural ES and existing substitutes, is thus crucial for urban planning.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • A multilevel analysis on pollination-related policies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Outi Ratamäki , Pekka Jokinen , Peter Borgen Sørensen , Tom Breeze , Simon Potts
      The paper explores pollination from a multilevel policy perspective and analyses the institutional fit and interplay of multi-faceted pollination-related policies. First, it asks what the major policies are that frame pollination at the EU level. Second, it explores the relationship between the EU policies and localised ways of understanding pollination. Addressed third is how the concept of ecosystem services can aid in understanding the various ways of framing and governing the situation. The results show that the policy systems affecting pollination are abundant and that these systems create different kinds of pressure on stakeholders, at several levels of society. The local-level concerns are more about the loss of pollination services than about loss of pollinators. This points to the problem of fit between local activity driven by economic reasoning and biodiversity-driven EU policies. Here we see the concept of ecosystem services having some potential, since its operationalisation can combine economic and environmental considerations. Furthermore, the analysis shows how, instead of formal institutions, it seems that social norms, habits, and motivation are the key to understanding and developing effective and attractive governance measures.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • The biodiversity offsets as market-based instruments in global governance:
           Origins, success and controversies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Marie Hrabanski
      The recent surge in the popularity of biodiversity offsets is particularly interesting since the idea of compensation with respect to biodiversity can be traced as far back as the 1970s in Europe and the United States, as part of the Ramsar Convention (1972), which recommended compensation for damage to biodiversity. The view of compensation has nevertheless evolved since the turn of the century, and new programs of biodiversity compensation have developed through a mechanism called “biodiversity offsets”. Compensation mechanisms have thus undergone a ‘renovation’ on both the international and national environmental policy scenes. In this article, we use the term ‘renovation’ to represent the active modification and adaptation of existing mechanisms as market-based instruments to facilitate their implementation in different contexts. What is the origin of this renovation? How has it been disseminated? And what actors have precipitated it? We put forward the hypothesis that this renovation could be explained by the convergence between old national dynamics focused on the original definition of compensation mechanisms and more recent transnational dynamics that follow the 1990s appearance of dialog centered on the “market-based instrument” concept.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Citizens’ voice: A case study about perceived ecosystem services by
           urban park users in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sophie Buchel , Niki Frantzeskaki
      To create a city in which green space is designed to address not only ecological priorities but also user perception, it is essential for planners and policy makers to explore the experiences of urban green space users. This study developed a method to a guide the translation of the concept of ecosystem services to citizens. Through a three-step process urban ecosystem services were re-categorized into a subset of directly perceivable services, fine-grained and formed into understandable statements. These statements were presented to urban park users in Rotterdam using Q methodology. Three main user profiles emerged around ‘love of nature’, ‘recreation and connection’ and ‘social setting and relaxation’. Overall the most valued ecosystem subservice was aesthetic appreciation. Other ecosystem subservices that scored highly were recreation, air quality control and social setting. Awareness of types of users in terms of park perception could aid urban planners in designing user-focused urban green spaces.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Measuring indicators of ocean health for an island nation: The ocean
           health index for Fiji
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Elizabeth R. Selig , Melanie Frazier , Jennifer K. O׳Leary , Stacy D. Jupiter , Benjamin S. Halpern , Catherine Longo , Kristin L. Kleisner , Loraini Sivo , Marla Ranelletti
      People depend on the ocean to provide a range of ecosystem services, including sustaining economies and providing nutrition. We demonstrate how a global ocean health index framework can be applied to a data-limited scenario and modified to incorporate the objectives and context of a developing island nation like Fiji. Although these changes did not have a major effect on the total index value, two goals had substantial changes. The artisanal opportunities goal increased from 46 to 92 as a result of changes to the model for Fiji, which looks at the stock status of artisanally-caught species. The lasting special places sub-goal decreased from 96 to 48, due to the use of Fiji-specific data and reference points that allow policymakers to track progress towards national goals. Fiji scored high for the tourism and recreation goal, but low for the production-oriented natural products goal and mariculture sub-goal, which may reflect national values and development priorities. By measuring ocean health across a portfolio of goals and re-calculating scores over time, we can better understand potential trade-offs between goals. Our approach for measuring ocean health in Fiji highlights pathways for improvements and approaches that may help guide other data-limited countries in assessing ocean health.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services: The Nature Index for Norway
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Iulie Aslaksen , Signe Nybø , Erik Framstad , Per Arild Garnåsjordet , Olav Skarpaas
      Valuation of ecosystem services has been advocated as a tool for communicating the importance of nature and biodiversity to policy makers. The complexity of the relationships between ecosystem functions and the biodiversity that supports them challenges conceptualization of ecosystem services and calls for comprehensive ecological frameworks as basis for valuation and policy. In this article, we discuss relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services in the context of the Nature Index for Norway, recently developed as a biodiversity measurement framework. We suggest supplementing the Nature Index by complementary indicators for ecosystem services, in order to consider how the ecosystem services approach as a policy tool can be enhanced by taking into account an ecological framework for biodiversity measurement.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Mapping recreation supply and demand using an ecological and a social
           evaluation approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Lorena Peña , Izaskun Casado-Arzuaga , Miren Onaindia
      This paper provides a framework for addressing recreation as an example of Cultural Ecosystem Services and a methodology to support landscape management based on recreation activities at a regional scale. A GIS-based approach was used to estimate and map ecological and social factors illustrating recreation supply and demand in the Basque Country (northern Spain). The proposed methodology for recreation supply was based on recreation potential and accessibility, and the social demand was determined using a convenience sample of 629 persons that reported preferences for recreation activities using photo-questionnaires. Results showed that 23% of the viewsheds showed a high demand and higher recreation potential than accessibility, whereas only 3% showed a high demand and higher accessibility than potential. Approximately 74% of the territory showed a medium-low demand. We concluded that people׳s assessments on the basis of their aesthetic preferences may serve as a reasonable proxy for mapping recreation demand. The proposed visual method is fast, efficient and may be easily replicable in other regions. The proposed framework can be used as an input to support landscape management, to identify areas most demanded by society and to quantify spatially recreation supply and demand for supporting political strategies.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Fisheries, tourism, and marine protected areas: Conflicting or synergistic
           interactions?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): P.F.M. Lopes , S. Pacheco , M. Clauzet , R.A.M. Silvano , A. Begossi
      Most coastal degradation has been caused by anthropogenic actions, threatening the ecosystem services (ESs) humans depend on. Marine protected areas are a solution to protect ESs, such as fish stocks, although this could potentially lead to conflicts with fisheries and tourism. We investigated how fisheries and tourism in the SE Brazil interact with conservation, evaluating their potential for synergistic interactions. We sampled fish landings (n=823) in two villages and performed interviews with fishers and middlemen regarding fisheries and tourism, besides using secondary information regarding the MPA effectiveness. Fish production was high outside the MPA (9.25t/day), and could be profitable, resulting in reduced fishing pressure, but a faulty market chain prevents this. Fishers involved with coastal tourism had better incomes than those who engaged in only fisheries. Tourism in permitted areas outside the MPA could benefit both fisheries and biodiversity conservation by reducing the time fishers allocate to fishing and by attracting visitors for wildlife viewing. Nonconflicting uses of ESs can be achieved by assuring that the local poor population benefits from more than one ES in a sustainable way, but that requires alternatives such as adding value to ESs and paying for environmental services.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Does diversity matter? The experience of urban nature’s
           diversity: Case study and cultural concept
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Annette Voigt , Daniel Wurster
      In everyday life, urban green spaces are the places for nature experience and recreation for urban residents. A diverse urban nature is generally seen to be able to promote both biodiversity conservation as well as the enhancement of the quality of urban life. But how important is nature’s diversity really for residents? There are various studies about the services of urban green, but still gaps in the knowledge of the user’s experience and valuation of nature’s diversity. This paper discusses, first, the results of interviews on the perception and valuation of species and structural diversity of an urban green space. Most respondents assessed the diversity as (very) high and consider biodiversity in general as (very) valuable, yet few specific structures and species were named. Second, we explain this mismatch referring to the cultural ideal of landscape diversity in the German-speaking region, which we believe to influence the experience of nature. People use ‘diversity’ to express their feeling of well-being during their stay at a given site rather than an objective assessment of number of species or elements. In this way, we place the topic of individual perception, experience and valuation of urban nature’s diversity in a philosophical and historical-cultural context.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Ecosystem services and community based coral reef management institutions
           in post blast-fishing Indonesia
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kelly Heber Dunning
      Depending upon the institutional framework, coral reef ecosystems and local economic development can be synergistic. When managed properly through local institutions, coral reef systems can deliver ecosystem services that create livelihoods and increase local prosperity in dependent communities. This study compares two community-based reef management institutions. One is located in a community with a reef struggling to recover from destructive fishing, the other in a community that has experienced a remarkable recovery. Using mixed methods, long-form interviews, and surveys of reef tourism stakeholders, this uses institutional characteristics to predict reef quality. Certain institutional components hypothesized to predict reef quality did not; these include universal membership requirements for reef stakeholders, stakeholder familiarity with leadership and hierarchies, and transparent decision-making and implementation of management policy. This means that one size fits all prescriptions for local reef management institutions should be viewed with caution. Instead, the success of management institutions may depend upon both the path toward economic development, access to technology that facilitates coral recovery, and communication of conservation strategies to tourist visitors.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Mapping cultural ecosystem services with rainforest aboriginal peoples:
           Integrating biocultural diversity, governance and social variation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Petina L. Pert , Rosemary Hill , Kirsten Maclean , Allan Dale , Phil Rist , Joann Schmider , Leah Talbot , Lavenie Tawake
      Cultural ecosystem services (CES) include the aesthetic, artistic, educational, spiritual and/or scientific values of ecosystems and have been described as ‘intangible’ and complex, reflecting diverse people-nature interactions that are embedded in dynamic linked social-ecological systems. CES have proved difficult to value, therefore mapping CES has largely concentrated on more tangible aspects, such as tourism and recreation—presenting the risk that highly significant cultural relationships, such as those between Indigenous peoples and their traditional land, will be rendered invisible in ecosystem assessments. We present our results from co-research with a group of ‘Rainforest Aboriginal peoples׳ from the Wet Tropics, Australia that illustrates a method to address this gap through mapping their perceptions of the health of Indigenous CES. We found that categories associated with biocultural diversity and governance matched their perceptions better than the usual framework that recognizes aesthetic, spiritual and other categories. Co-produced maps presented demonstrate spatial patterns of CES that are related primarily to variations in social attributes (such as adherence to cultural protocols), rather than the ecological attributes (such as biodiversity patterns). Further application of these concepts of biocultural diversity governance, and variation in social attributes when mapping CES, particularly in partnerships with Indigenous peoples is recommended.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Assessing community values to support mapping of ecosystem services in the
           Koshi river basin, Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Bob van Oort , Laxmi Dutt Bhatta , Himlal Baral , Rajesh Kumar Rai , Madhav Dhakal , Ieva Rucevska , Ramesh Adhikari
      Human activities and climate change are key factors impacting ecosystem functions and its goods and services, which are important to the livelihoods of mountain communities. In Nepal, community based ecosystem management has been widely adopted as a way to secure local management and empowerment, but local knowledge, perceptions and values of ecosystem change and services are often ignored, and perhaps inadequately understood, in decision-making processes at district or national level. Our objective therefore was to develop a multi-method approach to support mapping of ecosystem services and assessing their local values. Local perceptions of ecosystem use, change and values were identified using participatory mapping, key informant and focus group discussions, and an extensive household survey carried out in the upstream Koshi River basin. Results were cross-validated with scientific literature, statistics and remote sensing data. Key ecosystem services identified are water, agricultural produce, and various forest products, most of which show a declining trend. We demonstrate that the use of different methods and levels of input results in different and complementary types of insights and detail needed for balanced and informed decision-making regarding sustainable management of ESs to secure current and future livelihoods and ecosystem functioning.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Contrasting values of cultural ecosystem services in urban areas: The case
           of park Montjuïc in Barcelona
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Johannes Langemeyer , Francesc Baró , Peter Roebeling , Erik Gómez-Baggethun
      Urban green infrastructure attracts growing attention for its potential as a nature-based strategy to improve quality of life through the provision of ecosystem services. In this paper, we value cultural ecosystem services in relation to land-uses and management regimes of urban green infrastructure. Through a survey among 198 beneficiaries of the largest urban park in Barcelona, Spain, we assessed cultural ecosystem services in monetary and non-monetary terms in relation to land-uses and management regimes. Results from our research suggest that monetary and non-monetary valuations capture complementary information, and show that values of cultural ecosystem services change across different green infrastructure assets and management regimes. For example, ‘environmental learning’ generates low monetary values but high non-monetary values. Stronger place values were related with low management intensity, while values for tourism increase with land-uses embedding cultural facilities. We discuss monetary and non-monetary values in the light of urban green infrastructure strategies and indicate potentials for urban planning and management to proactively alter the provision of cultural ecosystem services through specific configurations of land-uses and management intensity.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • Landscape׳s capacities to supply ecosystem services in Bangladesh: A
           mapping assessment for Lawachara National Park
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Md Shawkat Islam Sohel , Sharif Ahmed Mukul , Benjamin Burkhard
      Land uses/land covers (LULC) are closely related to the integrity of ecosystems and associated provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Anthropogenic activities continuously influence ecological integrity and ES through changes in LULC. An integrative approach is essential to understand and measure the relations between ecosystem functioning, associated ES and the relative contributions of the different system components. Here, using a locally justified ES scoring matrix, we linked different LULC types to ecological integrity and ES supply in the Lawachara National Park of Bangladesh. The results were used to compile spatially explicit ES maps. Our analysis revealed relatively high capacities of mixed tropical evergreen forests to supply a broad range of ES and to support ecological integrity, followed by tea (Camellia chinesis) gardens and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. Other LULC types located on the edge or on the periphery of the park showed comparably lower ES supply capacities. Our study is the first of its type carried out in Bangladesh and can be seen as a first screening study of available ES and their supply capacities. The results can be used to form the base for ES based landscape management and future conservation priorities in the area.


      PubDate: 2015-03-09T10:21:39Z
       
  • A visualization and data-sharing tool for ecosystem service maps: Lessons
           learnt, challenges and the way forward
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): E.G. Drakou , N.D. Crossman , L. Willemen , B. Burkhard , I. Palomo , J. Maes , S. Peedell
      A plurality in methods, models, terminologies is used to assess, quantify, map and communicate ecosystem services (ES). The Thematic Working Groups on Mapping (TWG4) and Modeling ES (TWG5) of the Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP), recent literature and expert workshops, have highlighted the need for developing a platform that systematically organizes, visualizes and shares ES maps and related information. This led to the development of the Ecosystem Services Partnership Visualization Tool (ESP-VT), an open-access interactive platform that hosts a catalogue of ES maps with information on indicators, models and used data. Users can upload or download ES maps and associated information. ESP-VT aims at increasing transparency in ES mapping approaches to facilitate the flow of information within the ES community from academics to policy-makers and practitioners. Populating the ESP-VT with ES maps from different geographic locations, across different spatial scales, using different models and with various purposes, leads to a diverse and heterogeneous ES map library. The scientific community has not yet agreed on standards for ES terminology, methodologies and maps. However we do believe that populating and using the ESP-VT can set a basis for developing such standards and serve towards achieving interoperability among the varying ES related tools.


      PubDate: 2015-01-16T17:34:45Z
       
  • Exploring connections among nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and
           human health and well-being: Opportunities to enhance health and
           biodiversity conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Paul A. Sandifer , Ariana E. Sutton-Grier , Bethney P. Ward
      We are at a key juncture in history where biodiversity loss is occurring daily and accelerating in the face of population growth, climate change, and rampant development. Simultaneously, we are just beginning to appreciate the wealth of human health benefits that stem from experiencing nature and biodiversity. Here we assessed the state of knowledge on relationships between human health and nature and biodiversity, and prepared a comprehensive listing of reported health effects. We found strong evidence linking biodiversity with production of ecosystem services and between nature exposure and human health, but many of these studies were limited in rigor and often only correlative. Much less information is available to link biodiversity and health. However, some robust studies indicate that exposure to microbial biodiversity can improve health, specifically in reducing certain allergic and respiratory diseases. Overall, much more research is needed on mechanisms of causation. Also needed are a re-envisioning of land-use planning that places human well-being at the center and a new coalition of ecologists, health and social scientists and planners to conduct research and develop policies that promote human interaction with nature and biodiversity. Improvements in these areas should enhance human health and ecosystem, community, as well as human resilience.


      PubDate: 2015-01-10T11:34:31Z
       
  • The uptake of the ecosystem services concept in planning discourses of
           European and American cities
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Rieke Hansen , Niki Frantzeskaki , Timon McPhearson , Emily Rall , Nadja Kabisch , Anna Kaczorowska , Jaan-Henrik Kain , Martina Artmann , Stephan Pauleit
      Ecosystem services (ES) are gaining increasing attention as a promising concept to more actively consider and plan for the varied benefits of the urban environment. Yet, to have an impact on decision-making, the concept must spread from academia to practice. To understand how ES have been taken up in planning discourses we conducted a cross-case comparison of planning documents in Berlin, New York, Salzburg, Seattle and Stockholm. We found: (1) explicit references to the ES concept were primarily in documents from Stockholm and New York, two cities in countries that entered into ES discourses early. (2) Implicit references and thus potential linkages between the ES concept and planning discourses were found frequently among all cities, especially in Seattle. (3) The thematic scope, represented by 21 different ES, is comparably broad among the cases, while cultural services and habitat provision are most frequently emphasized. (4) High-level policies were shown to promote the adoption of the ES concept in planning. We find that the ES concept holds potential to strengthen a holistic consideration of urban nature and its benefits in planning. We also revealed potential for further development of ES approaches with regard to mitigation of environmental impacts and improving urban resilience.


      PubDate: 2015-01-10T11:34:31Z
       
  • Finding solutions to water scarcity: Incorporating ecosystem service
           values into business planning at The Dow Chemical Company’s
           Freeport, TX facility
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sheila M.W. Reddy , Robert I. McDonald , Alexander S. Maas , Anthony Rogers , Evan H. Girvetz , Jeffrey North , Jennifer Molnar , Tim Finley , Gená Leathers , Johnathan L. DiMuro
      Water scarcity presents a major risk to businesses, but it can be hard to quantify. Ecosystem service valuation methods may help businesses better understand the financial impacts of water shortages and identify solutions. At The Dow Chemical Company’s facility in Freeport, TX, we used natural capital asset valuation to assess the risk from future changes in industrial water supplies. We found that the value of industrial water rights may increase in the future with increased demand but that potential decreases in reliability of water rights due to demand growth and climate change could reduce their value. Using this information, experts identified 16 potential nature-based and collaborative (involving other water users) solutions to future water scarcity. We used multi-criteria analysis to select five of the 16 solutions for further analysis. Two solutions (marsh wastewater treatment, land management) were not cost-competitive and three solutions (reservoir flood pool reallocation/floodplain restoration, irrigation efficiency, municipal rebate program) were cost-competitive with the business-as-usual solution (expanding reservoir storage). However, these solutions have significant technical, legal, and political hurdles. We also found that these solutions provide substantial collective benefits to the public and biodiversity, suggesting that such solutions may be appropriate for implementation via multi-stakeholder collaboration.


      PubDate: 2015-01-10T11:34:31Z
       
  • Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using
           participatory research and mapping techniques
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sara O.I. Ramirez-Gomez , Carlos A. Torres-Vitolas , Kate Schreckenberg , Miroslav Honzák , Gisella S. Cruz-Garcia , Simon Willcock , Erwin Palacios , Elena Pérez-Miñana , Pita A. Verweij , Guy M. Poppy
      Over the last two decades indigenous peoples in the lower Caquetá River basin in Colombia have experienced detrimental changes in the provision of important ecosystem services in ways that have significant implications for the maintenance of their traditional livelihoods. To assess these changes we conducted eight participatory mapping activities and convened 22 focus group discussions. We focused the analysis on two types of change: (1) changes in the location of ecosystem services provisioning areas and (2) changes in the stock of ecosystem services. The focal ecosystem services include services such as provision of food, raw materials and medicinal resources. Results from the study show that in the past two decades the demand for food and raw materials has intensified and, as a result, locations of provisioning areas and the stocks of ecosystem services have changed. We found anecdotal evidence that these changes correlate well with socio-economic factors such as greater need for income generation, change in livelihood practices and consumption patterns. We discuss the use of participatory mapping techniques in the context of marginalized and data-poor regions. We also show how this kind of information can strengthen existing ecosystem-based management strategies used by indigenous peoples in the Colombian Amazon.


      PubDate: 2015-01-10T11:34:31Z
       
  • Fairly efficient, efficiently fair: Lessons from designing and testing
           payment schemes for ecosystem services in Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Beria Leimona , Meine van Noordwijk , Rudolf de Groot , Rik Leemans
      Payment for ecosystem services (PES) is commonly defined as a market-based environmental policy instrument to efficiently achieve ecosystem services provision. However, an increasing body of literature shows that this prescriptive conceptualization of PES cannot be easily generalized and implemented in practice, and that the commodification of ecosystem services (ES) is problematic and may lead to unfair situations for relevant PES actors. This paper synthesizes case studies in Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal to provide empirical observations on emerging PES mechanisms in Asia. Lessons learned show that fairness and efficiency objectives must be achieved simultaneously in designing and implementing a sustainable PES scheme, especially in developing country contexts. Neither fairness nor efficiency is a primary aim but an intermediate ‘fairly efficient and efficiently fair’ PES may bridge the gap between PES theory and practice to increase sustainable ES provision and improve livelihoods.


      PubDate: 2015-01-10T11:34:31Z
       
 
 
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