SYMP 5 - Plugging Back in to Earth’s Life-support Systems: Advances in Ecosystem Service Science That Make a Difference

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Heather Tallis
Co-organizer: Taylor Ricketts
Moderator: Taylor Ricketts
Not since climate change research has an avenue of scientific exploration come with implications for as many government, business and personal decisions as does the understanding of ecosystem services. Yet, in the absence of an entity like IPCC, ecosystem service science has not been adequately synthesized, nor has the scientific community settled on agreed upon standard approaches. The first half of this symposium will present, for the first time, several cases where a standard set of ecosystem service models has been applied in diverse policy contexts. We will set the stage by explaining the opportunity at hand, and the consequences if the scientific community fails to grasp it. Two case studies will provide examples of how scenario-based ecosystem service modeling is changing both public and private planning decisions on land and in the ocean in developed and developing countries. Focusing on Latin America, two additional cases will offer examples of how the same kind of modeling is changing permitting and licensing for mining, transportation and oil and gas, water fund design and ecosystem based climate adaptation strategies. For each example, speakers will describe the policy context, the development and application of new science, and the outcome of connecting these advances to decision makers. The second half of the symposium will focus on research and analyses that are needed to expand beyond these current cases. We will open with an example of how simple, yet sound science is expanding corporations’ understanding of their reliance and impact on earth’s life support systems. Focusing on timber, agriculture and fisheries production systems, we will then describe how ecosystem services can be an organizing principle for meeting the needs of a growing human population while maintaining resilient ecosystems. Shifting to the public sector, we will discuss movement towards creating new ecosystem service markets at both regional and national scales in the United States. Then, we will explore how the world’s largest conservation organization is moving towards a deeper recognition of nature’s benefits to people. Finally, we will present a view of how ecosystem service information could become a regular part of global monitoring, giving decision makers the ability to track and respond to changes in all of earth’s life support systems.
8:00 AM
Delivering on our promises: Making ecosystem services work for businesses and governments
Peter Kareiva, University of California, Los Angeles; Jen Molnar, The Nature Conservancy
8:30 AM
Calming the waves in marine spatial planning: Modeling ecosystem services in a multi-stakeholder process on Vancouver Island, Canada
Katie K. Arkema, Stanford University; Mary Ruckelshaus, NatureCapital Project; Anne Guerry, The Natural Capital Project & Stanford University; Choong-Ki Kim, Stanford University; Michael Papenfus, US Environmental Protection Agency; Jodie Toft, Stanford University; Gregory Guannel, Stanford University; Gregory Verutes, Natural Capital Project; Joanna R. Bernhardt, University of British Columbia
8:45 AM
Including people in the mitigation hierarchy: Mapping ecosystem service winners and losers in Colombia
Heather Tallis, The Nature Conservancy; Stacie Wolny, Stanford University
9:00 AM
Targeting water fund investments based on biophysical efficiency, social preferences and climate vulnerability
Silvia Benitez, The Nature Conservancy; Alejandro Calvache, The Nature Conservancy; Heather Tallis, The Nature Conservancy; Stacie Wolny, Stanford University; Andy Jarvis, CIAT- Centro Internacional para la Agricultura Tropical; Natalia Uribe, CIAT- Centro Internacional para la Agricultura Tropical; Jefferson Valencia, CIAT- Centro Internacional para la Agricultura Tropical
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
Ecosystem services and the future of production systems
Elena M. Bennett, McGill University; Andrew Gonzalez, McGill University; Martin J. Lechowicz, McGill University; Jeanine M. Rhemtulla, McGill University
10:50 AM
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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.