ecosystem services

Green Growth That Works

New book explores natural capital policy and finance mechanisms from around the world

Since the Industrial Revolution, growth in human numbers and economic activity has dramatically transformed our planet. Rapid economic development has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and raised the standard of living and life expectancies of many more, but these forms of growth have also deeply eroded the natural capital embodied in …


Global market for ecosystem services surges to $36 billion in annual transactions

New article in Nature Sustainability tracks global payments for ecosystems services

In the early 1990s, New York City began paying for land management in the Catskills watershed to ensure safe drinking water for the city, avoiding the cost of building an expensive water treatment plant. New York City provides just one example of a growing number of programs – called payments for ecosystem services (PES) – …


White House science advisors call for better ecosystem information

Cross-posted at The Berkeley Blog. If you’ve never heard of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, you’re not alone. It’s not a group that’s often in the news. But its new report, “Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy,” is worth a read. This report does two important things. First, it defends …


Assessing the British Ecosystem

The British government has issued a new report assessing the value of the U.K. environment.  The assessment is based on an economic evaluation of ecosystem services.  For instance, the report found that: • The benefits that inland wetlands bring to water quality are worth up to £1.5 billion per year to the UK; • Pollinators …


The multiple values of nature

Two interesting storylines came together last week about what nature does for people. The first has to do with economic value, the second with non-economic value. On the economic side, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, a project of the United Nations Environment Programme, the European Union, and several European nations, released a report for …


Why futures markets won’t save species

Conflict, or perceived conflict, between profits and conservation drives much of the controversy over implementation of the Endangered Species Act. Landowners and resource users resist species listing and protection because it comes at their expense. For years we’ve been talking about whether and to what extent to incorporate compensation or other economic incentives for conservation …