Thursday, August 9, 2007 - 4:15 PM

SYMP 19-9: Lessons from the field: What we know about implementation of ecosystem service projects and payment for ecosystem services in the real world

Heather Tallis1, Rebecca Goldman2, Gretchen Daily2, Peter Kareiva3, and Taylor Ricketts4. (1) The Natural Capital Project, (2) Stanford University, (3) The Nature Conservancy, (4) World Wildlife Fund

New York City’s protection of the Catskill Mountains stands as the ready example of conservation success in the name of ecosystem services. Yet this is just one example of the overwhelming suite of financial mechanisms, policy options and conservation actions that have been applied to ecosystem service and biodiversity conservation globally. We have compiled a database of ecosystem service projects led by two of the world’s largest conservation NGOs, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. In this database, ecosystem service projects are defined as those that have at least one ecosystem service as an explicit goal or strategy. We will summarize the general state of practice and outline several compelling case studies. We will also describe the ways that ecosystem service approaches vary among biomes and social contexts (GDP, corruption, economic system, etc.) globally. This will be the first systematic analysis of lessons learned from existing efforts to apply ecosystem services in field conservation projects.