IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v115y2015icp11-21.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Notes from the field: Lessons learned from using ecosystem service approaches to inform real-world decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Ruckelshaus, Mary
  • McKenzie, Emily
  • Tallis, Heather
  • Guerry, Anne
  • Daily, Gretchen
  • Kareiva, Peter
  • Polasky, Stephen
  • Ricketts, Taylor
  • Bhagabati, Nirmal
  • Wood, Spencer A.
  • Bernhardt, Joanna

Abstract

While there have been rapid advances in assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES), a critical remaining challenge is how to move from scientific knowledge to real-world decision making. We offer 6 lessons from our experiences applying new approaches and tools for quantifying BES in 20 pilot demonstrations: (1) Applying a BES approach is most effective in leading to policy change as part of an iterative science-policy process; (2) simple ecological production function models have been useful in a diverse set of decision contexts, across a broad range of biophysical, social, and governance systems. Key limitations of simple models arise at very small scales, and in predicting specific future BES values; (3) training local experts in the approaches and tools is important for building local capacity, ownership, trust, and long-term success; (4) decision makers and stakeholders prefer to use a variety of BES value metrics, not only monetary values; (5) an important science gap exists in linking changes in BES to changes in livelihoods, health, cultural values, and other metrics of human wellbeing; and (6) communicating uncertainty in useful and transparent ways remains challenging.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruckelshaus, Mary & McKenzie, Emily & Tallis, Heather & Guerry, Anne & Daily, Gretchen & Kareiva, Peter & Polasky, Stephen & Ricketts, Taylor & Bhagabati, Nirmal & Wood, Spencer A. & Bernhardt, Joanna, 2015. "Notes from the field: Lessons learned from using ecosystem service approaches to inform real-world decisions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 11-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:115:y:2015:i:c:p:11-21
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.07.009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800913002498
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kareiva, Peter & Tallis, Heather & Ricketts, Taylor H. & Daily, Gretchen C. & Polasky, Stephen (ed.), 2011. "Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199589005.
    2. Johnson, Kris A. & Polasky, Stephen & Nelson, Erik & Pennington, Derric, 2012. "Uncertainty in ecosystem services valuation and implications for assessing land use tradeoffs: An agricultural case study in the Minnesota River Basin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 71-79.
    3. Liang, Yicheng & Li, Shuzhuo & Feldman, Marcus W. & Daily, Gretchen C., 2012. "Does household composition matter? The impact of the Grain for Green Program on rural livelihoods in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 152-160.
    4. Brendan Fisher & Stephen Polasky & Thomas Sterner, 2011. "Conservation and Human Welfare: Economic Analysis of Ecosystem Services," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 151-159, February.
    5. Gregory, Robin & Lichtenstein, Sarah & Slovic, Paul, 1993. "Valuing Environmental Resources: A Constructive Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 177-197, October.
    6. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, Spencer, 2007. "What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 616-626, August.
    7. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee (ed.), 2006. "Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524546, January.
    8. Fisher, Brendan & Turner, R. Kerry & Morling, Paul, 2009. "Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 643-653, January.
    9. Clark, William & Mitchell, Ronald & Cash, David & Alcock, Frank, 2002. "Information as Influence: How Institutions Mediate the Impact of Scientific Assessments on Global Environmental Affairs," Working Paper Series rwp02-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    10. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247882.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:115:y:2015:i:c:p:11-21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.