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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  [2586 journals]
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Voluntary biodiversity offset strategies in Madagascar
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Cecile Bidaud , Marie Hrabanski , Philippe Meral
      In this article we examine the institutional strategies and methods of biodiversity offset calculation employed by two mining companies in Madagascar. Much like the REDD+ mechanisms, these environmental projects are based on estimations of the past and predictions of the future, and require validation by international experts. They incorporate a set of standard indicators adapted to the affected habitats, and specially developed units of measurement to demonstrate ecological equivalence. The complex and diverse mitigation portfolios of these companies include aspects of both in-kind and financial compensation, and allow the combination of different types of programs that may be developed directly by the company or delegated to conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Ecosystem disservices: Embrace the catchword
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Jari Lyytimäki



      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Linking marine and terrestrial ecosystem services through governance
           social networks analysis in Central Patagonia (Argentina)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Virginia Alonso Roldán , Sebastian Villasante , Luis Outeiro
      The complex relationship among diverse natural factors in a given ecosystem and with society could be not explicitly reflected in governance actions and policy. Social networks are useful tools to characterize these links but few studies include social and ecological nodes. We applied social network analysis to characterize governance and use networks in a coastal socio-ecological system while testing (i) if governance links reflects ecosystem services (ES) use links, (ii) if social links reflect ecological relations between continental and marine ES and (iii) if relations among social actors are associated with their use of and participation in the management of ES. We use structured interviews to build one-mode use and governance networks with social actors and two-mode networks relating social actors and ES. Our results showed cohesive, low density and centralized networks of governance and use. We found that actor–actor links reflect ecological relations between continental and marine environment, but actor–actor relations are weakly correlated with those derived from actor–ES relations, meaning that actors with common interest about ES are no necessarily working together. This paper also shows that social networks are useful to highlight gaps and paths to move the system toward more effective co-management structures.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Landscape׳s capacities to supply ecosystem services in Bangladesh: A
           mapping assessment for Lawachara National Park
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Understanding the links between ecosystem service trade-offs and conflicts
           in protected areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Eszter Kovács , Eszter Kelemen , Ágnes Kalóczkai , Katalin Margóczi , György Pataki , Judit Gébert , György Málovics , Bálint Balázs , Ágnes Roboz , Eszter Krasznai Kovács , Barbara Mihók
      Land use changes induced by nature conservation regulation and management practices, especially in protected areas, often result in trade-offs between ecosystem services (ESs). Exploring trade-offs between ESs and linking them with stakeholders can help reveal the potential losers and winners of land use changes. In this paper, we demonstrate that ES trade-offs do not always go hand in hand with conflicts. The perception of local stakeholders about trade-offs between ESs at three protected sites in the Great Hungarian Plain were assessed through qualitative methods. In all areas significant conservation measures had been introduced since the 1990s resulting in land use changes. Locals (farmers at each site and inhabitants at one site) were the main ‘losers’ of the land use changes and related ES trade-offs, while there were many winners at different spatial and temporal scales. Conflicts appeared only between locals and the national park directorates, and not between locals and other beneficiaries of the new ESs. Due to scale mismatch, locals might not be in direct contact with other stakeholders, and vice versa, and therefore there is no interface between them for confrontation and negotiation. Integrating scale into the analysis also helps in advising policy instruments to minimise local-level conflicts.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Threats to food production and water quality in the Murray–Darling
           Basin of Australia
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Jonathan E. Holland , Gary W. Luck , C. Max Finlayson
      We analyse how salinity, acidity and erosion threaten the ecosystem services of food production and the regulation of water quality in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia’s most important food producing region. We used the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework, to show that each of these threats undermines the functioning of the Basin’s agro-ecosystems and the two major ecosystem services (four other ecosystem services are briefly considered). These threats are driven by natural processes (e.g. rainfall) and anthropogenic activity (e.g. land clearing), and this leads to pressures exerted by hydrology, nutrient cycles and wind. Satisfactory information is available on the state of acidity and wind erosion, but information on the state of water erosion and salinity is inadequate. The impact of these threats on food production was primarily by reducing crop yield, while the impacts on water quality were to increase sediment, salt and nutrient loads. Management responses were either adaptive or mitigative; the former targets impacts while the latter focuses on drivers and pressures. Most management responses involved trade-offs between ecosystem services, although some synergies were found. Scale and spatial variability strongly influence the selection of responses. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning land degrading threats and the associated relationships allows better assessment on impacts to ecosystem services.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Mapping monetary values of ecosystem services in support of developing
           ecosystem accounts
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Elham Sumarga , Lars Hein , Bram Edens , Aritta Suwarno
      Ecosystem accounting has been proposed as a comprehensive, innovative approach to natural capital accounting, and basically involves the biophysical and monetary analysis of ecosystem services in a national accounting framework. Characteristic for ecosystem accounting is the spatial approach taken to analyzing ecosystem services. This study examines how ecosystem services can be valued and mapped, and presents a case study for Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Four provisioning services (timber, palm oil, rattan, and paddy rice), one regulating service (carbon sequestration), and two cultural services (nature recreation, and wildlife habitat) are valued and mapped in a way that allows integration with national accounts. Two valuation approaches consistent with accounting are applied: the resource rent and cost-based approaches. This study also shows how spatial analysis of ecosystem accounting can support land use planning through a comprehensive analysis of value trade-offs from land conversion.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • The economic value of wetland ecosystem services: Evidence from the Koshi
           Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Bikash Sharma , Golam Rasul , Nakul Chettri
      We assessed the economic values of the selective ecosystem services of the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, using a combination of market-based and value transfer methods. The results showed that economic benefit generated from the reserve was worth USD 16 million per year, equivalent to USD 982 per household. The economic benefit generated from provisioning services accounted for about 85%. Although non-use values and some components of regulatory services were not considered in the study, our findings clearly highlight the vital importance of the economic benefit generated from the reserve for wellbeing of the local people. This has significant policy implications for balancing development and conservation efforts. Given the high levels of poverty in the buffer zone communities and the limited alternative livelihood options, pressure on the reserve is increasing and the management investment is insufficient, which has accelerated the degradation of vital services thereby imposing further constraints on conservation goals. We recommend that the ecosystem services provided by the reserve should be recognized as an integral part of a strategy and ensure sound policy and institutional mechanisms exist to empower and provide local communities to act on the options for minimizing trade-offs and promoting synergies using a holistic approach.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services: The Nature Index for Norway
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Urban forest structure effects on property value
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Francisco J. Escobedo , Damian C. Adams , Nilesh Timilsina
      Studies have quantified urban forests using well established field sampling methods. Other studies have used hedonic regression with real estate prices and remotely sensed vegetation cover data in valuation models. However, remote sensing introduces unfamiliar perspectives since it changes the scale and resolution perceived by humans. Real estate prices also fluctuate and are not regularly used in urban decision-making processes. This study values an urban forest cultural ecosystem service by integrating an explanatory hedonic regression model with randomly field-measured tree, shrub, and turf data from four cities across Florida, USA, during 2006–2009, and congruent parcel tract-level home attributes and appraised property values from single and multi-family units for 2008–2009. Results, on average, indicate trade-offs in that more trees with greater Leaf Area Indices (LAIs) add to property value, while biomass and tree–shrub cover have a neutral effect, and replacing tree with grass cover has lower value. On average, property value increased by $1586 per tree and $9348 per one-unit increase in LAI, while increasing maintained grass from 25% to 75% decreased home value by $271. Our ecological approach is an alternative, applied method that can be used by decision-makers for policy and cost–benefit analyses that calculate the stream of net benefits associated with urban forests.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Why not to green a city? Institutional barriers to preserving urban
           ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Jakub Kronenberg
      This article investigates the institutional context of urban greening, with a particular focus on institutional failures that hinder urban ecosystems׳ capacity to provide urban inhabitants with services. It is based on a literature review and a study of expert opinions carried out in Poland (with 103 experts involved in the management of urban trees as respondents). The institutional failures covered by this article include government and social empowerment failures. The most important government failures include insufficient funds and various problems related to unprofessional maintenance of trees and its supervision. The most important social empowerment failures include lack of mobilization, related to under-appreciation of the importance of trees and disservices related to trees. While the current discourse on ecosystem services focuses on raising awareness of the benefits that nature provides, this study demonstrates that protecting urban ecosystems׳ capacity to provide us with such services requires a broad institutional reform. This need is particularly relevant in post-socialist, post-transition countries, such as Poland.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Does diversity matter? The experience of urban nature’s
           diversity: Case study and cultural concept
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Cultural ecosystem services as a gateway for improving urban
           sustainability
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Erik Andersson , Maria Tengö , Timon McPhearson , Peleg Kremer
      Quality of life in cities depends, among other things, on ecosystem services (ES) generated locally within the cities by multifunctional blue and green infrastructure. Successfully protecting green infrastructure in locations also attractive for urban development requires deliberate processes of planning and policy formulation as well as broad public support. We propose that cultural ecosystem services (CES) may serve as a useful gateway for addressing and managing nature in cities. CES can help embed multifunctional ecosystems and the services they generate in urban landscapes and in the minds of urbanites and planners, and thus serve an important role in addressing urban sustainability. In the city, CES may be more directly experienced, their benefits more readily appreciated, and the environment-to-benefit linkages more easily and intuitively understood by the beneficiaries relative to many material ES. Thus, we suggest that a focus on CES supply can be a good starting point for increasing the awareness among urban residents also of the importance of ES. Furthermore, CES are often generated interdependently with other critical ES and engaging people in the stewardship of CES could provide increased awareness of the benefits of a larger group of urban non-cultural ES.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Citizens’ voice: A case study about perceived ecosystem services by
           urban park users in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Contrasting values of cultural ecosystem services in urban areas: The case
           of park Montjuïc in Barcelona
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Preferences for cultural urban ecosystem services: Comparing attitudes,
           perception, and use
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Scale and context dependence of ecosystem service providing units
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Erik Andersson , Timon McPhearson , Peleg Kremer , Erik Gomez-Baggethun , Dagmar Haase , Magnus Tuvendal , Daniel Wurster
      Ecosystem services (ES) have been broadly adopted as a conceptual framing for addressing human nature interactions and to illustrate the ways in which humans depend on ecosystems for sustained life and well-being. Additionally, ES are being increasingly included in urban planning and management as a way to create multi-functional landscapes able to meet the needs of expanding urban populations. However, while ES are generated and utilized within landscapes we still have limited understanding of the relationship between ES and spatial structure and dynamics. Here, we offer an expanded conceptualization of these relationships through the concept of service providing units (SPUs) as a way to plan and manage the structures and preconditions that are needed for, and in different ways influence, provisioning of ES. The SPU approach has two parts: the first deals with internal dimensions of the SPUs themselves, i.e. spatial and temporal scale and organizational level, and the second outlines how context and presence of external structures (e.g. built infrastructure or larger ecosystems) affect the performance of SPUs. In doing so, SPUs enable a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to managing and designing multi-functional landscapes and achieving multiple ES goals.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Resilience of and through urban ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Timon McPhearson , Erik Andersson , Thomas Elmqvist , Niki Frantzeskaki
      Cities and urban areas are critical components of global sustainability as loci of sustainability progress and drivers of global transformation, especially in terms of energy efficiency, climate change adaptation, and social innovation. However, urban ecosystems have not been incorporated adequately into urban governance and planning for resilience despite mounting evidence that urban resident health and wellbeing is closely tied to the quality, quantity, and diversity of urban ecosystem services. We suggest that urban ecosystem services provide key links for bridging planning, management and governance practices seeking transitions to more sustainable cities, and serve an important role in building resilience in urban systems. Emerging city goals for resilience should explicitly incorporate the value of urban ES in city planning and governance. We argue that cities need to prioritize safeguarding of a resilient supply of ecosystem services to ensure livable, sustainable cities, especially given the dynamic nature of urban systems continually responding to global environmental change. Building urban resilience of and through ecosystem services, both in research and in practice, will require dealing with the dynamic nature of urban social–ecological systems and incorporating multiple ways of knowing into governance approaches to resilience including from scientists, practitioners, designers and planners.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12




      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Advancing the frontier of urban ecosystem services research
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Peleg Kremer , Erik Andersson , Timon McPhearson , Thomas Elmqvist



      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Mapping of ecosystem services: Missing links between purposes and
           procedures
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Laura Nahuelhual , Pedro Laterra , Sebastián Villarino , Matías Mastrángelo , Alejandra Carmona , Amerindia Jaramillo , Paula Barral , Néstor Burgos
      The literature on ecosystem services mapping presents a diversity of procedures whose consistency might question the reliability of maps for decision-making. This study aims at analyzing the correspondence between the purpose of maps (e.g. land use planning) and the procedures used for mapping (e.g. benefit transfer, ecological transfer). Fifty scientific studies published between 2005 and 2012 were selected and analyzed according to 19 variables, applying independence tests over contingency tables, ANOVA and regression analysis. The results show that most studies declared a decision-making purpose (82%), which in 50% of the cases, was land use planning. Only few relationships were found between variables selected to describe the purpose of the maps and those selected to describe the mapping procedures. Thus for example, maps aimed at supporting land use planning did not include any level of stakeholder participation or scenario analysis, as it would have been expected given this purpose. Likewise, maps were based on either economic value or biophysical transfers, regardless of the spatial and temporal scales of mapping. This generally weak relation between map׳s purposes with the used procedures could explain the still restricted incidence of ES on decision-making by limiting the transmission, comparison and synthesis of results.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Ecosystem services: Where on earth?
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Luisa E. Delgado , Víctor H. Marín
      The analysis of temporal changes in the number of scientific articles written on ecosystem services shows an exponential growth from 1991 to 2013. However, it also shows a lack of information regarding the location of the studies and the type of ecosystem analyzed. A literature search showed that some regions (Antarctica) and ecosystems (urban) have been less studied. However, given the structure of the knowledge databases it is impossible to know if there are no studies or it is difficult to reach them.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Between incentives and coercion: the thwarted implementation of PES
           schemes in Madagascar׳s dense forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): L. Brimont , A. Karsenty
      The basic principle of PES is to pay individuals or groups to protect or enhance natural resources in exchange for financial or in-kind compensation. One striking feature of the PES concept is the diversity of “PES-like” schemes in the real world, which differ greatly from the theoretical conceptualization of PES. We assume that the wide range of designs and outcomes is due to the use of PES tools in particular environmental, political, and economic contexts. More precisely, existing conservation strategies is a determining factor in shaping the PSE-inspired interventions. Here, we analyze the implementation of an internationally-designed direct payments program in Madagascar. We show that the predominance of a coercive logic in the Malagasy conservation strategy determines the conditions under which the direct payments scheme is implemented. The direct payments scheme is intended to be a complementary device for protected area rather than an instrument for land-use change, thus producing initiatives closer to ICDP than PES. Yet, its potential to supplement the implementation of protected area is currently limited, leading us to discuss the conditions under which this potential could be fulfilled.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Assessing, valuing, and mapping ecosystem services in Alpine forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Tiina Häyhä , Pier Paolo Franzese , Alessandro Paletto , Brian D. Fath
      Forests support human economy and well-being with multiple ecosystem services. In this paper, the ecosystem services generated in a mountainous forest area in North Italy were assessed in biophysical and monetary units. GIS was used to analyze and visualize the distribution and provision of different services. The assessment of ecosystem services in biophysical units was an important step to investigate ecosystem functions and actual service flows supporting socio-ecological systems. The Total Economic Value (TEV) of all the investigated ecosystem services was about 33M€/yr, corresponding to 820€/ha/yr. The provisioning services represented 40% of the TEV while the regulating and cultural services were 49% and 11%. The service of hydrogeological protection, particularly important in areas characterized by a high risk of avalanches and landslides, showed a major importance among the regulating services (81%) and within the TEV (40%). Results from mapping ecosystem services were useful in identifying and visualizing priority areas for different services, as well as exploring trade-offs and synergies between services. Finally, we argue that while a biophysical perspective can ensure a solid accounting base, a comprehensive economic valuation of all categories of forest ecosystem services can facilitate communication of their importance to policy makers.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Tropical forest conservation versus conversion trade-offs: Insights from
           analysis of ecosystem services provided by Kakamega rainforest in Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Morgan C. Mutoko , Lars Hein , Chris A. Shisanya
      Ecosystem services provided by tropical forests are becoming scarcer due to continued deforestation as demand for forest benefits increases with the growing population. There is need for comprehensive valuation of key ecosystem services in order to inform policy and implement better management systems to enhance the supply of ecosystem services. This study estimates local economic value of key ecosystem services provided by Kakamega rainforest and examines how the information can support sustainable forest management in Kenya. This is the only rainforest in Kenya and it has exceptional biodiversity value including several unique species not found anywhere else in the country. Kakamega rainforest also provides a classic case of conflict between conservation and exploitation goals given the dense population around it. We carried out elaborate household and visitors surveys to collect data used to estimate the economic value of three main ecosystem services. We estimated the total economic value of key ecosystem services (excluding biodiversity value) at about US$ 7.4 million per year or US$ 415ha−1 yr−1. The local economic benefits are considerably less than forgone returns from agricultural activities if the forest were to be converted to the best agricultural uses. Arguably, continued protection of this forest is justified on the basis of the unknown value of its rich biodiversity and capacity to sequester CO2. Empirical findings show that the existing forest management system was less effective due to resource constraints and institutional weaknesses. Our study provides insights for the need to manage this forest for multiple uses. We recommend an integrated management strategy that balances local resource needs with biodiversity conservation. We suggest that improved stakeholder collaboration can facilitate sustainable management of this forest resource. Besides, carefully crafted payment for ecosystem services mechanisms and broad environmental education programs can support sustainable forest conservation for this and other similar forest ecosystems in Africa.


      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 11




      PubDate: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • 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: 2015-04-23T14:08:38Z
       
  • Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: A review of the empirical
           links
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 March 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Helen Suich , Caroline Howe , Georgina Mace
      We present the results of a review of the empirical evidence and of the state of knowledge regarding the mechanisms linking ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. The review was undertaken to determine the state of current knowledge about the scale and nature of these linkages, and focus the future research agenda. Research has, to date, focussed largely on provisioning services, and on just two poverty dimensions concerning income and assets, and food security and nutrition. While many papers describe links between ecosystem services and dimensions of poverty, few provide sufficient context to enable a thorough understanding of the poverty alleviation impacts (positive or negative), if any. These papers contribute to the accumulating evidence that ecosystem services support well-being, and perhaps prevent people becoming poorer, but provide little evidence of their contribution to poverty alleviation, let alone poverty elimination. A considerable gap remains in understanding the links between ecosystem services and poverty, how change occurs, and how pathways out of poverty may be achieved based on the sustainable utilisation of ecosystem services.


      PubDate: 2015-04-05T15:06:12Z
       
  • 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
       
  • 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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