Natural Capital Symposium
Rehnquist Courtyard, Stanford University
March 21st, 2016 at 5:30pm
The James Hutton Institute
University of Geneva
The University of Alabama Department of Geography
National Audubon Society
University of Washington
The Nature Conservancy Alaska Chapter
Natural Capital Project
University of California, San Diego
University of Washington
USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
John E. Quinn
Gulf of Mexico Fund
Jose Adrian Gutierrez Calleros
José Machorro Reyes
National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, Mexico
University of Hawaii at Manoa and TNC
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
Lisa Schulte Moore
Iowa State University
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Mishaal Masud Sinha
Technical University Munich
WWF Bhutan Program
Bremen University / Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT)
University of Lethbridge/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
First Institute of Oceanography, SOA. China
Theodor Dorin Lupei
Yann le Polain de Waroux
Antonio J. Castro, Cristina Quintas-Soriano, Marina García-Llorente
Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University
Seong Do Yun
George Mason University
World Wildlife Fund
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Modelling and Mapping Key Ecosystem Services in Scotland
Alessandro Gimona, The James Hutton Institute
Modelling and mapping ecosystem services is both needed to understand the multiple benefits derived from land, and required by international, EU and national policy goals. The aim of this work was to model and map indicators for selected key ecosystem services for the whole of Scotland. Indicators for supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services were chosen using the CICES (Common International Classification for Ecosystem Services) framework. These results provide an indication of the spatial pattern of natural capital and can be used to identify areas that provide different combinations of ecosystem services.
Solution-based hybrid teaching within environmental sciences: A case from Abu Dhabi, Geneva and Los Angeles
Ashley Pilipiszyn, University of Geneva
Cities are today’s living laboratories that take learning out of the classroom and put real-world challenges into context, yet the tools, resources and networks a city has to offer tend to be greatly underutilized within higher education spheres. While constructivist problem-based learning has increasingly become integrated within various domains at the university-level with much success, there still remains a gap in teaching students how to go from problem identification to implementation of innovative solutions.
In this poster, we provide evidence from our hybrid course on Global Cities which combines in-class conceptual frameworks of pathways to urban sustainability with on-site visits and interactions with decision-makers and leaders in business, local government and civil society. We delve further into how our students were able to go beyond identifying sustainability challenges within Abu Dhabi, Geneva and Los Angeles and use their theoretical knowledge in tandem with their field experience to craft possible solutions in the the form of policies, programs or projects. We argue that this style of teaching engages students through an interdisciplinary approach, which allows for developing crucial skills within both scientific inquiry and entrepreneurship such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration and self-directed learning. Furthermore, students develop the capacity to scope problems across issue-domains, such as urban sustainability, and address them through a connected systems analysis, such as the water-energy-food nexus. In our taking stock of current challenges and opportunities within these cities while engaging with multi-stakeholder actors, our students developed solution-based portfolios which solidified the effectiveness of this teaching model.
Using Local Knowledge to Map Nationwide Belizean Sport Fishery Resources
Bradford Bates,The University of Alabama, Department of Geography
This research takes a multidisciplinary approach in identifying and analyzing locations and threats to Belize's marine sport fisheries. The research has three main objectives: 1) using ethnographic participatory mapping data, map the known habitats of important sport-fishing species such as tarpon, bonefish, and permit; 2) map threats to these fisheries via an ethnographic survey given to professional fishermen and guides; and 3) using high-resolution (5m) remotely sensed imagery, demonstrate negative changes to seagrass habitat in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Locally informed spatial diagnostics of marine ecosystems is valuable tool in analyzing the sustainability of the Belize's fisheries. Preliminary image analysis suggests a significant decadal decline in seagrass cover in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, while ethnographic participatory mapping indicates several threats to fisheries resources, including the ongoing use of gill nets. The results of these three objectives will be useful in targeting future research ventures relating to Belize's fisheries sustainability.
Mapping Grassland Bird Habitat & Ecosystem Services in the Chicago Metro Region
Caitlin Jensen, National Audubon Society
We used GIS to identify areas showing high potential for grassland bird habitat conservation across the Chicago Metro Region. In a GIS, we combined modeled bird abundance and ecosystem service valuation data to identify important, but currently unprotected, grassland habitats. We identified over 90,000 acres representing more than $439 million worth of ecosystem services. This work demonstrates the benefits of combining biodiversity and economic data for informing land-management decisions.
Does reservoir drawdown enhance greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs?
Catherine Kuhn, University of Washington
This poster describes ongoing work on the Columbia River quantifying trends in aquatic carbon gas dynamics. While inland freshwaters are known to be supersaturated with the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, these dynamics in many rivers, especially the Columbia, have been drastically altered via large-scale hydro-engineering efforts. This poster describes initial results from our work monitoring greenhouse gas dynamics on the Columbia River at the Dalles dam in collaboration with the USGS and the Army Corp of Engineers. Large reservoirs could act as either sources or sinks for carbon and our work hopes to constrain these budgets for four large run-of-the river reservoirs on the mainstem of the Columbia.
Mat-Su 2050: Communicating the Economic Value of Natural Capital to Rural Communities
Corinne Smith, The Nature Conservancy, Alaska Chapter
The Mat-Su Borough, the fastest growing area in Alaska, is still largely undeveloped and its politically conservative population retains a close relationship with the outdoors through fishing, hunting, and recreation. The Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy has been working with economists to calculate the economic value of services provided by the vast intact ecosystems in the Mat-Su and is implementing a communication strategy to share this information with residents, business, and decision makers. We focus on the common affinity for community assets like open space, farmland, trails, and salmon, and ask residents about their future vision for life in the Mat-Su. We’d like to share what our growing partnership, Mat-Su 2050, has learned about communicating about ecosystem services and their economic value to conservative audiences.
Geotagged Social Media Reveals Environmental Drivers of Tourism on Jeju Island, South Korea
Dave Fisher, Natural Capital Project
The value of outdoor recreation is difficult to quantify, but can be measured by the visitation rate to a place. Crowdsourced geographic information generated by mobile devices and cameras provides a proxy source of visitation rates to arbitrary areas or across landscapes. We test three sources of geotagged data – flickr photographs, twitter tweets, and mobile phone location records – and find strong correlations with traditional methods of counting visitors to attractions on Jeju Island, South Korea. We use all three data sources to measure continuous visitation rates across the Jeju Island landscape. Using linear regression, we relate attributes of the natural and built environment to the visitation rate, and we find tourists to be attracted to beaches, seacliffs, golf courses, and hiking trails. Geotagged social media can supplement costly and incomplete survey-based methods for measuring visitation and for valuing cultural ecosystem services.
Valuing the Storm Surge Mitigation Service of Coastal Wetland
Fanglin Sun, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego
Storm surge presents a severe threat to life and property along the coast. Coastal wetlands provide a natural levee for storms by attenuating waves and creating a buffer zone between the landfall location of the storm and highly populated regions. This paper uses an econometric model to investigate the contribution of coastal wetland vegetation to hurricane storm surge protection. I analyzed 28 hurricane disasters that have hit the U.S. since 1996, and constructed a county-level storm surge damage and coastal wetland distribution dataset using geo-spatial data on land cover across the United States. The main result of the paper is that for coastal communities suffering from economic loss caused by a storm surge disaster, a loss of one square kilometer of coastal wetland is associated with a 0.48% increase in property and crop damage, controlling for specific storm and county characteristics, and the average marginal value of coastal wetland for protecting properties and crops from a storm surge disaster in the U.S. is $1,176,000 per square kilometer ($4,760 per acre).
Assessment of peri-urban coastal protection options
Gregg Verutes, Natural Capital Project
Faced with growing intensity of human activities and climate change, coastal inhabitants seek a better understanding of how modifications to the biological and physical environment can affect their exposure to storm surge and flooding.
WWF Guianas, the Mangrove Forum and partners are compiling relevant information on the importance of mangroves and other coastal protection options, including sediment trapping units. These options may include building a permanent or semi-permanent dyke, designation of no-build or no-clearance areas for mangroves, or some combination (e.g., mixture of soft/engineered solutions). It may also include the option to relocate coastal populations away from flood prone areas.
A Valuation of Fisheries in Southeast Alaska
Jenna Keeton, University of Washington
Coastal communities across the globe are reliant upon fishing for food, income, and jobs. Historically and through present-day, fishing has been a prolific and dependable occupation. Development of ecosystems for activities such as mining, transportation, and forestry pose potential threats to the sustainability of fisheries. Proper cost:benefit analyses of new industrial activities require estimates of the ecological, economic, and social benefits of current ecosystems against which future ecosystem states can be compared. In Southeast Alaska, commercial fisheries targeting salmon, halibut, herring, sablefish, crab, and other shellfish generate annual economic revenues of $175 million. Fisher revenue has remained steady between 1977 and 2014 largely due to diversification of fishing strategies. Direct ex-vessel earnings to fishers do not account for value added as seafood products travel through the economy; therefore ex-vessel values can reliably be multiplied by at least 2-3 times to capture added economic values. Processors and the managing seafood industry provided over $138 million in labor income for ~2,600 annual jobs between 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the growing sportfishing industry contributed $313 million in angler spending in 2007. Although labor income and angler spending cannot be directly summed, it is feasible to report that fisheries workers directly earn an average of ~$400 million per year in Southeast Alaska; and this revenue stream shows remarkable stability through time. However, these ecosystems are susceptible to immediate and long term threats from mining, coastal development, and climate change. Future plans to develop additional economic activities must explicitly account for potential negative impacts on this sustainable foundation of the economy of this region.
USGS-USDA Integrated Landscape Modeling Partnership
Jill Shaffer, USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture formed the Integrated Landscape Modeling partnership to quantify services provided by wetland ecosystems. The primary tool used by the partnership for ecosystem service quantifications is the InVEST modeling platform. Initial model runs focused on depressional wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States and their surrounding upland habitats. Models were developed that quantified carbon stores, amphibian habitat, plant-community diversity, and pollination services under various scenarios of conversion of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands to croplands. Developed land-cover layers represented 2012 baseline conditions and grassland-to-cropland conversion scenarios of 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent. Conversion scenarios were used to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity, potential suitable habitat for amphibians, and decline of floristic and managed-bee floral resource quality. Model results for each of the four variables will be presented. The partnership also developed a new “managed-bee floral resources” module for InVEST, to complement the original native-bee pollinator module. Future work will quantify the impact of conversion scenarios on two species of upland-nesting waterfowl and one grassland bird species.
Scenario planning for land use change in the rapidly urbanizing southeast US: Conservation goals and tradeoffs
John E. Quinn, Furman University
Complexities in rates and patterns of change necessitate scenario planning to improve research, planning, and practice. The southeastern United States is undergoing rapid change driven by urbanization. After summarizing local and regional data and collaborating with local stakeholders, we used InVEST software to develop and test nine stakeholder-defined scenarios for future land use development in Greenville Co., SC. Scenarios prioritize agriculture retention, native habitat conservation, and water quality improvement in a rapidly urbanizing landscape. We focused on assessing the opportunities and tradeoffs for local wildlife conservation, carbon sequestration, and stormwater controls within each of the future land cover scenarios. We found that there are distinct tradeoffs between the alternative futures. For example, only the two forest restoration scenarios and the food production scenario increase carbon sequestration values. Furthermore, modelling the impact of these alternative futures on three different species types produced conflicting results. Each species benefited from different types of alternative futures, demonstrating the need for clear conservation goals. Additionally results indicate how lands currently used for recreation could complement other goals for the landscape. These data are valuable for landscape planning and conservation practice because they illustrate the importance of exploring tradeoffs between alternative futures across multiple systems and scales.
Mainstreaming ecosystem services modeling into policy making in Mexico
Jordi Vera, Gulf of Mexico Fund
Within the framework of the Global Environmental Fund funded project “Conservation of coastal watersheds in the context of climate change” INVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) models were run for three of the project´s watersheds. The sediment delivery ratio and water yield models were developed for two watersheds in the Gulf of Mexico (Antigua and Tuxpan) and one in the Gulf of California (Baluarte).
The validated results obtained through these models are being used to design and implement Integrated Watershed Action Plans. These will provide scientific evidence to governmental intervention in those territories as well as help locate priority interventions sites in compensation schemes by the private sector. Quantifying ecosystem services in a spatially explicit manner will help make natural resource management decisions more effective, efficient and acceptable in a tropical country.
Indicators of ecosystem services provided by Protected Areas in Mexico
Jose Adrian Gutierrez Calleros, UNAM
Protected areas (PA) provide many ecosystem services (ES) critical to the well-being of a range of actors that have often been overlooked by national level decision makers. In order to mainstream the contribution of ES into national sustainable development strategies the quantification of such contribution is urgently needed. Mainstreaming requires the development and parameterization of relevant, scientifically sound, sensitive, legitimate and practical indicators of the current status and trends of ES by PA that are easily communicated to national level decision makers. Our objective is to develop and parameterize a set of indicators to communicate on the contribution of PAs to a range of governmental sectors, identify the corresponding policy goals to which they are linked as well as the corresponding information source for the case of Mexico.
In Mexico there are 176 PA, covering 12.93% of the national territory. Sixteen PAs have been identified as particularly relevant as pilot systems for the assessment of their ES valuation. Previous consultations with a range of stakeholders in these PA led to the identification of 9 critical ES bundles, including: i) water, ii) climate regulation, iii) natural products for local livelihoods, iv) recreation, tourism and scenic beauty, v) habitat, vi) biocultural knowledge, identity and heritage, vii) erosion control, vii) fisheries, ix) flood/coastal hazards regulation. Preliminary results indicate the PAs of Izta-Popo and Cumbres de Monterrey contribute significantly to the water security in the 2 largest cities of the country, Mexico City and Monterrey. The Montes Azules PA contributes with a significant fraction of carbon stocks within pristine and highly diverse areas. Cabo Pulmo and Cozumel play a key role in the livelihoods of local fishermen, ecotourism activities and habitat for fisheries. The final set of indicators and corresponding assessments for the pilot PAs will likely highlight the importance of the Mexican PA network for the design of sustainable development policies in the country.
Analysis of supply and demand of hydrological environmental services from the natural vegetation in the watershed of Tuxpan River, under climatic actual conditions and of climate change.
José Machorro Reyes, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, Mexico
Climate change is a global challenge that demands a prompt and decisive response from all nations. To confront and contain its adverse effects, it is necessary for each country to take internal actions. In Mexico, the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change has the authority and responsibility to give technical and scientific support, generating information to support decision making. In the last year and a half the institute has been developing instruments of territorial planning based on watershed functionality, identifying the hydrographic relationship between sites that provide hydrological environmental services and sites that have increased demand for these services. This allows the design and implementation of innovative mechanisms for payment of environmental services and tradeoffs.
In this paper we modeled and evaluated hydrological environmental services provided by natural vegetation in the Tuxpan watershed, particularly the provision of surface water and sediment retention. Both current and under climate change conditions were evaluated using INVEST Sediment Delivery Ratio and Water Yield models. Both models were referenced to certain attributes of land use and land cover. For the current conditions scenario, land cover and land use data was from 2013 at a 1: 250,000 scale. For the climate change scenario, potential distribution of plant units was used. This distribution was obtained from temperature and precipitation projections of three general circulation models (GFDL-CM3, HadGEM2-ES and MPI-ESM-LR ) through multinomial logistic models. As a result, changes in the distribution of natural vegetation units and its implications in surface water provision and sediment retention can be assessed. The use of these models favors taking and focusing actions for adaptation and maintenance of hydrological environmental services ."
Comparing the impact of centuries of land use and climate change on ecosystem services in the Pacific using terrestrial InVEST models
Kim Falinski, University of Hawaii at Manoa and TNC
We investigated spatial patterns of a broader array of ecosystem services including sediment retention, nitrogen retention, water yield, carbon sequestration, and agricultural production in West Maui over more than two centuries of land use change from 1778 to 2100. To adapt the InVEST models for use in the Hawaiian islands, we developed parameterizations for four terrestrial tools from the suite of InVEST that are also applicable to similar volcanic island watersheds across the Pacific. We predicted hotspots and coldspots where ecosystem service supply is highest and lowest within the watershed using two different methods – first using the Getis-Ord statistic, and second creating an index of each service and using an additive method to predict hotspots.
We found that forest use for cultural purposes shifted the total value of the services within the ridge to reef system. Between 1778 and 1920, we show that sediment export increased by 18 times, while nitrogen export increased by 11 times over the same period. Lastly, we demonstrate that future development and climate change will change ecosystem services less than past impacts from agriculture, but land management efforts can mitigate possible decreases in services.
Benefits and challenges to using InVEST to incorporate ecosystem services assessment in local planning process in rural Georgia, US
Laura Early, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
Two of the greatest identiﬁed threats to coastal Georgia ecosystems are unplanned and unrestricted growth and changes in land use. With an exponentially growing population, it is imperative to understand how human activities like land use change are affecting biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and the services they provide. Using InVEST modeling software, we quantify the provisioning of ecosystem services at alternate land use scenarios in the Satilla River watershed in the coastal plain of Georgia. This analysis focuses on water quality, water yield, carbon sequestration, and recreation services. Alternate land use scenarios evaluated include the Future Land Use Plans developed by county governments within the watershed, population growth as projected by SLEUTH models, and widening of riparian buffers. We encountered, and will discuss, some limitations to applying these models to this area.
Several of the counties in this largely rural watershed are updating their Comprehensive Plans, and this analysis provides an opportunity to explore environmental impacts along with economic opportunities. Through a spatially-explicit ecosystem services analysis of the current land use/land cover and future development alternatives, we can better understand the impacts land use change patterns pose to ecological systems. Understanding the tradeoffs between land use changes and environmental impacts may encourage local governments to embrace conservation planning.
PEWI: A Dynamic Land Use and Ecosystem Service Assessment Tradeoffs Tool
Lisa Shulte Moore, Iowa State University
PEWI, or People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration, is a simple web-based learning tool to help people understand human-landscape interactions and ecosystem service tradeoffs. PEWI addresses our need to balance agricultural production with other environmental benefits, including clean water, abundant wildlife, and recreation. While PEWI focuses on the US Corn Belt, its lessons can apply to agricultural regions globally. Here we will present the tool and answer questions related to its use in classrooms and with agricultural stakeholders. To play, access background info, or download learning exercises: nrem.iastate.edu/pewi.
Immersed in Nature: Recommendations for Improving Mental Health Research
Michael R. Barnes, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with Marie Donahue (Natural Capital Project) and Cameron Meyer Shorb (Carleton College)
As urban populations grow and well-being of urban residents receives more attention, there has been increased demand for information about how our surrounding environment impacts mental health. Informed by research in environmental psychology and urban ecosystem services, our team launched a short-term, high-impact project to engage researchers and both urban planning and public health practitioners in exploring the state-of-the-science and relationships between urban nature, mental health, and urban design. In an initial step toward analyzing these links, we systematically reviewed references from three meta-analyses of the mental health benefits of nature (McMahan & Estes, 2015; van den Berg et al., 2015; Bowler et al., 2008) and identified papers that performed original, experimental studies on responses to immersive nature experiences. Nature within those studies was characterized to understand participants’ exposures and what qualities of their nature experiences influenced observed benefits.
The current work suggests a number of changes be made to the way that psychological research be conducted in the area of mental health impacts of nature. Broadly, the study shows that more explicit definitions are needed of the nature used in immersive, experimental research and recommends that researchers characterize the nature of the nature they use to elicit psychological or physiological responses so their research can be more actionable in practice.
Pollution Emissions in the Pulp and Paper Industry: A Statistical Decomposition Analysis
Mishaal Masud Sinha, Sustainable Prosperity
In this paper I analyze the relative changes in the total Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions in the pulp and paper sector in Canada from 2005 to 2013. In order to achieve this, a statistical decomposition technique is applied that entails measuring changes in total output; emission intensity; production shift across mills; and mill closures.
Consistent with our expectations, the total emission levels for all three pollutants decreased in 2013 compared to their levels in 2005. The relative improvements in BOD and TSS levels were by about 34% and 38%, respectively. While for GHG emissions, the relative improvement was by about 46%. The major driving force behind these reductions has been the decrease in output that in turn, has been a result of substantial number of mill closures over the sample period, while the emission intensity; shift in output among surviving mills; and mill closures had much smaller effects. Subsequently, the evolution of the industry that is mostly determined by economic factors leading to production shift and mill closures, does not necessarily lead to better performance with respect to pollution emission. Other factors such as localisation, wood supply, transportation, and energy costs play important roles in determining the surviving mills.
The role of deadwood for biodiversity and ecosystem services in managed temperate forests
Nadja Simons, Technical University of Munich
Throughout the different stages of their life, trees provide both habitats for many species and ecosystem services for humans. Once matured, trees in managed forests are harvested and used for construction, energy production or other purposes. While the use of wood is an important and sustainable ecosystem service for humans, habitat is lost for species which rely on old or dead trees. This poster presents a project which aims to evaluate the services provided by deadwood in managed forests. Through close collaboration between ecologists, forest economists, social scientists and practitioners, scenarios and strategies will be developed to promote ecosystem services of deadwood in managed forests.
Valuing Ecosystem Services of Chamkhar Chhu Basin - for Sustainable Management of Bhutan’s Natural Capital
Nagdrel Lhamo,Sonam Dhargay WWF-Bhutan
Bhutan is embarking into valuing its ecosystem services for the first time. This is essential at a time when there is increasing pressure on the environment due to increasing population and developmental activities. Valuing the services that the ecosystem provides will make people aware of how valuable it is and what kind of essential services it provides.
WWF Bhutan is working with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University and will use InVEST modelling for the valuation of the ecosystem services at the ChamKharchhu sub basin which is located in Central Part of Bhutan. Three models have been selected water yield, Sediment and Carbon to enable good management practices in the Sub Basin. Putting value to these important resources will also enable introduction of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanisms. The PES system will be imperative for long term conservation of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide.
This valuation of ecosystem services will go a long way in developing and managing the natural capital of Bhutan as it will work with all stakeholders for sustainable use of natural capital which is very important at a time when the natural environment and the ecosystems services of Bhutan are increasingly at risk.
Ecosystem services and spatial planning in coastal marine protected areas: Mangrove conservation and management in Brazil
Rebecca Borges, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) / Bremen University
With less than 2% of its coastal waters within protected areas (PAs), Brazil now focuses on expanding this coverage to achieve the Aichi target of 10%-protection for coastal and marine regions by 2020. The country is increasing the number of conservation units; however, publicized statistics often neglect the categories Brazilian PAs belong to or whether they are able to develop the mandatory management plan and zoning. Furthermore, PAs are rarely created following spatial prioritization strategies. Therefore, attempts to include spatialized aspects of ecosystem services (ESs) in PA planning are mostly not yet applied to coastal environments. This includes mangrove ecosystems, which represent an important income source for local communities and have been threatened by land conversion and shrimp farming, among other pressures. It is unknown, for example, to which extent ESs within mangroves will be affected by sea level rise, and how PAs in Brazil could be zoned to specifically tackle this challenge.
To address these deficiencies, this research project aims to provide insights into how studies on conservation prioritization for coastal ESs can be successfully performed, including spatialization of supply and demand areas, the effects of sea level rise, and tradeoffs with biodiversity. A final product of this project would then be a framework with suggestions of methods to include ESs in the zoning and further management of mangrove areas in Brazil, for future and already implemented coastal marine PAs.
Examining change in complex social-ecological systems using multiple long-term records: The New Forest - a case study
Sarah Pogue, University of Lethbridge/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
My PhD research used an ‘evolutionary’ approach to explore long-term system change and ecosystem service delivery in the New Forest National Park social-ecological system (UK). Palaeoecological records, documentary evidence, direct observations and land-cover time series were used to examine past regional vegetation patterns, system dynamics and resilience, and service provision, to better comprehend contemporary processes and dynamics. There was a particular focus on the last 400 years and the Park’s ancient pasture woodlands. Dynamic system modelling, together with historical records, was then used to examine the potential future evolution of these woodlands in more depth. Using this approach, we aimed to answer the question: ‘Can the New Forest SES support multiple and potentially conflicting uses whilst remaining resilient to (undesirable) environmental and societal changes?
Results show that when social and ecological influences have exceeded their historic range of variability, this has frequently resulted in drastic system change. Declines in traditional management practices, a shift towards more intensive large-scale land-use strategies such as forestry, anthropogenic climate change and sustained high grazing pressure, have been important factors influencing the extent, composition and structure of the Park’s habitats and its ancient pasture woodlands in particular. In the coming decades, continued high grazing pressure and extreme weather events are likely to be amongst the main challenges faced by the Park. These may lead to widespread regeneration failure in the pasture woodlands and, in the long-term, canopy collapse, opening up of the landscape, and a shift from woodland to grassland in some areas, with subsequent declines in the provision of certain ES. These insights show the need to achieve a balance between multiple uses of this landscape, and to consider the potential impacts of climate change in future management strategies.
Valuation of ecosystem services in Shandong coastal waters
Tao Xia, First Institute of Oceanography, SOA, China
Marine ecosystem services represent the benefits people obtain from the marine ecosystem as a key support for socioeconomic development. The value, structure and spatial distribution of ecosystem services in Shandong coastal waters can provide important information for socioeconomic policy and planning. This paper evaluates the ecosystem services in Shandong coastal waters and tries to reveal their spatial distribution characteristics based on the national standards, ""Technical Directives for Marine Ecological Capital Assessment.
In 2013, the total ecosystem services value was 214.61 billion CNY in 47000 km2 coastal waters of Shandong. The value of provisioning services, cultural services, regulating services and supporting services was 38.49 billion CNY, 169.94 billion CNY, 2.10 billion CNY, and 4.08 billion CNY, respectively.The spatial density of the ecosystem services value of Shandong coastal waters averaged 4.53 million CNY/km2, a generally decreasing trend existed from onshore to offshore in Shandong coastal waters.
Quality and Risk Assessment of Divici-Pojejena wetland habitats from Romania
Theodor Dorin Lupei, INCDPM
Divici Pojejena wetland is located along Danube in the South-West region of Romania, with an area of about 1200 acres. This poster analyze the habitats quality and the risk assessment, for the wetland included in Iron Gates Natural Park.
Through this assessment will be mapped the areas most affected by pressures for which supplementary protection measures are needed. Therefore, habitat risk assessment and habitat quality estimation are necessarily for stakeholders in management decisions regarding the improvement of the habitats and ecosystem conditions in Divici Pojejena wetland.
Mapping, Valuing and Prioritizing Forest Conservation Return on the Nutrient Retention Services: The Case of the Classified Forest and Wildlands Program in Indiana
Yangyang Wang, Purdue University
Forest management can have large impacts on the provision of ecosystem services, such as nutrient retention (Iversen et al. 2010). In this paper, we use a spatially-explicit modeling tool (InVEST; Tallis et al. 2013) to quantify and map the changes in the value of nutrient retention services provided by hypothetical increases in enrollment in the Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands (CFW) Program. The CFW program is a property-tax incentive program that started in 1921 and promotes retaining private forestland in forested use and requires improved forest management to promote timber production, wildlife habitat, and the protection of watersheds in Indiana (IDNR 2014). We estimate the value of the removal of non-point source nutrient pollutants from runoff in the WRB in Indiana, accruing to simulated increased CFW enrollments. We rank candidate scenarios by using a conservation return on investment (ROI) in the White River Basin (WRB), Indiana. Conservation ROI quantitatively measures the costs and benefits of investments. It is employed by conservancies to rank or prioritize conservation activities among watersheds (Boyd J et al. 2012, Jang et al. 2013). The results suggest that conservation costs and the production of nutrient retention services are not spatially correlated. An expansion on contaminated sub-watersheds generate higher conservation effectiveness according to ROI results. Consequently, substantial savings can be realized by using applying the ROI analysis to guide conservation policies, compared to prioritization merely on the quantity measures of nutrient retention service.
The rush to the margins: Impacts of land use policies on corporate investments in agriculture in the Gran Chaco and Chiquitano
Yann le Polain de Waroux, Stanford University
A growing global demand for agricultural products such as soybeans and beef is causing agriculture to expand into forest ecosystems. Many countries are tightening environmental regulations as a response. Because agricultural companies can move, there is a risk that stringent land use regulations might just displace land conversion geographically. A better understanding of how these regulations affect companies’ movements is therefore crucial for designing effective conservation policies. This poster presents an analysis of the determinants of siting choices by agricultural companies, and show that companies that clear more forest prefer areas with lower deforestation restrictions, and that all companies prefer areas with low enforcement.
Integrating the ecological and social perspective in ecosystem service bundles: the case of Spanish drylands
Antonio J. Castro, Cristina Quintas-Soriano, Marina García-Llorente, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University
A key challenge in managing socio-ecological systems is to advance human development without compromising ecosystem services that are key for maintain human well-being. Central to address this challenge is a better understanding of the complex interactions between ecosystem services with the social dimension, which affect the flow and delivery of ecosystem services. We present a novel approach to incorporate the ecological and social perspective into the ecosystem service bundle analysis and mapping. We incorporate a double bundle analysis, by exploring ecological data to quantify ecosystem service delivery and social data to analyze their perception with society. We focused on assessed 7 ecosystem services across 160 municipalities that cover Spanish drylands. We combined biophysical models and social surveys for quantifying and mapping the spatial distribution and social demand of ecosystem services. Additionally, we calculated the diversity of ecosystem services and used the correlations and k-means clustering analysis to identify the existence of ecosystem service bundles. We found two ecosystem service bundles types that identified specialized areas that describe distinct social-ecological dynamics. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating multiple dimensions in ecosystem service bundles to better understand and manage complex socio-ecological systems.
Sustainable Financing for the Proposed Tun Mustapha Park
Zara Phang, WWF-Malaysia
Tun Mustapha is a priority conservation area in the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion, consisting of more than 50 islands and islets and covering an area of almost 1 million hectares in the northern Sabah region of Malaysia. It boasts a biodiversity higher than that of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, hosting the largest concentration of coral reefs in Malaysia, with important mangrove forests and sea grass beds, and serves as a migratory gateway for dugong, sea turtles, whales and the Irrawady dolphin between the South China Sea, Sulu Seas and other seas.
The abundance of natural resources has made it an area of high social and economic importance, supporting approximately 80,000 coastal inhabitants of diverse ethnic and cultural background through activities such as fishing, aquaculture, seaweed farming, and tourism.
However, the ability of the region to support these activities is threatened by overfishing, silica sand mining, limestone quarrying, oil and gas extraction, climate change, pollution (from oil palm plantations through use of fertilizer and weed killer) and ocean acidification. In recognition of this, the Tun Mustapha area has been designated to be gazetted in June 2016 as Malaysia’s largest multi-use marine park to preserve the integrity of this unique region for the benefit of people and nature.
WWF Malaysia is working with Sabah Parks, the management authority to gazette the proposed Tun Mustapha Marine Park (TMP). Several challenges persist with respect to encapsulating appropriate management and governance structures and also developing sustainable financing plans.
High financial costs are associated with the gazettement of an area. In particular, as the largest multi-use marine park in Malaysia, restoring, maintaining and managing the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) will impose a high financial cost for Sabah Parks.
WWF and Sabah Park’s vision for the park is that the park will become financially sustainable within a number of years of gazettement. This would help ensure the future protected status and sustainable resource management of the park as well as provide evidence that gazettement of a protected area does not need to be a financial burden to the State or National government.
To help achieve financial sustainability for TMP, WWF is looking into assisting Sabah Parks with developing a financial plan for TMP and the possibility of developing an impact investment programme for the park.
Valuing Capital Asset Prices for Nature (CAPN)
Seong Do Yun, Yale University
Wealth accounting (e.g., inclusive/comprehensive/genuine wealth) is a rigorous economic paradigm for measuring sustainability, but the difficulty of measuring prices of natural capital has been its Achilles’ heel. By jointly measuring realized shadow prices, we contributed to wealth accounting of natural capital assets. We extend Fenichel and Abbott’s (2014) and Fenichel et al.’s (2016) methods to approximate realized shadow prices through three approaches (V, P, and Pdot approximations). The suggested frameworks enable evaluation of natural capital assets under the current management scheme without requiring the analyst to assume optimizing institutions. Moreover, the prices are scarcity measures that account for feedbacks from human behavior and institutions. Our approaches advance the field towards an inclusive vision of wealth for measuring sustainability. Furthermore, it shows that economic measures of sustainability are not strictly weak. Following up the analytic contributions, we develop the R-package named “capn” and empirically demonstrate the usage and validity of the approaches on both single and multiple stock examples.
Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services in Mondulkiri, Cambodia
Kimheak Chhay, WWF-Cambodia
Current Ecosystem service maps which consist of carbon stock, None timber forest product, Sediment retention, nutrition retention, water yield, habitat quality. The presentation will show the sum of all the ecosystem services.
The presentation will show the change of each ES services by each future scenario land use change. The future scenario land use change will be conservation, green economy, business as usual.
Targeting of SLCP and supporting Programs: Based on Human Well-being and Land features analysis
Linjing Ren, Stanford University
This paper focuses on the targeting of SLCP and its supporting programs at both household level and land plot level. It is trying to answer the question: whether and to what extent the poor can participate in SLCP and its supporting programs, and whether this program can target the lands at a high efficiency. Based on the survey data from rural mountainous areas in northern Shaanxi, China, we firstly test the participation intensity of the poor of different types in terms of the multiple dimensions of poverty, and explore the pathways for improving the selection mechanism more favorable to the poor. Then we establish the land targeting model to estimate the factors affecting the enrollment of the lands, by introducing the variables from land features, household socioeconomic characteristics, policy implantation, etc. It aims at improving the targeting mechanism of the programs to balance well between ecological outcomes and pro-poor effects.
Storm surge and waves attenuation by wetlands and coastal marshes in the Chesapeake Bay
Celso Ferreira, George Mason University
Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the vulnerability of the East Coast to extreme events causing wide spread damage and highlighting the need for resilient coastal defenses. The potential of natural wetlands to attenuate storm surge and dampen wave energy has been investigated in many laboratory and numerical studies, however fewer field experiments exist to validate or quantify these processes in a natural environment. Current research indicates that the capacity of wetlands to attenuate storm surge and waves is highly dependent not only on spatial scales but also seasonally dependent vegetation biomechanics, micro-topography, groundwater levels and storm characteristics. We are currently performing a 2-year field campaign to investigate storm surge and wave attenuation in 4 protected areas in the Chesapeake Bay. Our study sites range from lower bay areas with semi-direct contact to the ocean (Eastern Shore of Virginia Wildlife Refuge), mid-bay areas (Dameron Marsh Natural Area Reserve) and upper bay areas in the tidal Potomac. Pressure transducers and Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) have been permanently deployed to capture time series of water depths and vertical velocity gradients. In collaboration with partners from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), investigations of vegetation characteristics (height, diameter, and stem density) are conducted to allow for improved understanding of the factors contributing to flow-resistance. Additionally, high resolution topo-bathymetric surveys are been conducted to map the complex geomorphology of these areas. The field data set is used to calculate rates of attenuation across marsh transects, and supports model calibration for an accurate parameterization of coastal wetland vegetation on a regional scale.
Opportunities for climate-compatible coastal tourism development: a Belize case
Nadia Bood, World Wildlife Fund
Climate change is affecting coastal ecosystems globally, with severe implications for developing countries heavily reliant on their natural resources for economic growth. In Belize, coral reefs, mangroves and beaches are the cornerstone of the tourism industry and coastal communities rely on mangrove and reef-based fisheries for food security and income. Growth of the tourism industry is viewed as inherent to economic development in Belize but is often accompanied by habitat degradation that directly threatens the resources upon which the industry depends. The challenge faced by decision-makers is how best to move forward with tourism development whilst maintaining healthy, functional ecosystems that support the tourism industry, sustain livelihoods and provide resilience to climate change. This project was aimed at informing this process by assessing the vulnerability of Belize's tourism system to climate change, including the coastal ecosystems on which it depends as well as essential infrastructure, and assessing how current policies facilitate or hinder climate-compatible tourism development based on healthy coastal ecosystems. Policy reforms and adaptation strategies needed to enhance ecosystem resilience to climate change and foster tourism development were also addressed.
Coastal and marine ecosystem services assessment for Barbados
Meghan Betcher, Downstream Strategies
The Caribbean island nation of Barbados is facing pressures from a number of challenges in systematically managing coastal resources and risks in the face of a changing climate and increased development pressure. In an effort to build resilience to coastal risks through improved conservation and management of the coastal zone, the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) of the Government of Barbados, with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank, contracted Downstream Strategies, the Natural Capital Project, and other partners to perform an initial coastal and marine ecosystem services assessment for the country and to build capacity within the CZMU staff to allow for continued refinement of the initial study. The coastal InVEST toolkit and additional fisheries models were used to answer the following questions:
1. What is the current status of natural capital in the Coastal Zone Management Subareas of Barbados and how might that status change under alternative future management options? Assessments focused on the top three prioritized ecosystem services for Barbados, which were: tourism/recreation, coastal protection, and reef fisheries.
2. How would changes in reef distribution and health—based on risk of habitat degradation or improvement from alternative future scenarios—affect the Barbados reef fishery, and how might this impact fishing livelihoods?
3. How would potential locations for marine management areas and reef restoration affect selected ecosystem services and natural capital estimates?
Tools for monitoring ecosystem services: the development of Bon in a Box
Benis Egoh, Council for scientific and Industrial Research
The need to develop tools for monitoring ecosystem services is increasing as many global initiatives are including ecosystem services into their programs and setting defined targets to be met In future. For example CBD and EU biodiversity strategies both include ecosystem services in a few of its targets including targets, the sustainable development goals has many targets that speak directly to ecosystem services such as water ,food and energy and lastly IPBES is asking for trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services. To measure these trends or to report on progress made over time for each of these biodiversity targets, it will be almost unavoidable to measure how ecosystem services have changed over time. Past work has been focused in measuring changes in biodiversity using indicators such as conservation status of species and habitat types. Only recently has the idea of measuring changes in ecosystem services is emerging. While measuring trends for biodiversity might be straight forward, trends in ecosystem services are not as straight forward because ecosystem services are not always produced by intact systems but sometimes a combination of different types of both intact and non-intact systems. GEOBON is a global initiative which aims at providing a platform for measuring trends in biodiversity. Working group 6 of GEOBON is mandated to explore the inclusion of ecosystem services into this monitoring framework. A recent tool is being developed which will enable different stakeholders to input and extract information on monitoring biodiversity. The aim of this discussion is to explore criteria and indicators for monitoring ecosystem services.