Thursday, August 9, 2012: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 253, Oregon Convention Center
Kai Ming A. Chan, University of British Columbia
Anne Guerry, The Natural Capital Project & Stanford University; and
Rachelle Gould, Stanford University
Sarah C. Klain, University of British Columbia
It is difficult to overstate the human dependence on ecosystems. Identifying and valuing a more complete set of the “services” provided to humans by ecosystems allows fuller assessments of the costs and benefits of natural resource management options. The scientific community has articulated a framework for using ecosystem services to inform decision-making. However, progress has almost exclusively focused on provisioning (e.g., food, fiber), supporting (e.g., pollination), and regulating services (e.g., climate). Cultural services (e.g., spiritual inspiration, recreational experience) are always mentioned as critical, but the integrated incorporation of such services into decision-making remains decades behind the more tangible services.
This symposium will explore the frontier of cultural ecosystem services: what they are; why they are so difficult—yet so crucial—to include in decision-making; recent advances in and methods for measuring them; and ways in which they can inform decisions. Representing the work of a diverse, international group of ecologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and philosophers, we will explore the evidence for connecting ecosystems to non-material human well-being, propose a framework for including these intangible values in decision-making, and ask fundamental questions about human relationships with ecosystems.
Beginning with a consideration of the importance of cultural ecosystem services to decision-making, speakers will present a proposed framework developed by a National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) working group, which accounts for the often-unrecognized diversity of cultural values. Crucial to this framework is a novel interview protocol intended to elicit from stakeholders their perceptions of priority ecosystem services. Following speakers will present on efforts to pilot the interview protocol on Hawai’i and Vancouver Islands, and on the challenge and promise of detecting evidence of cultural ecosystem services’ contribution to human well-being. Two speakers will next consider the special challenge that transformative values present for the ecosystem services approach, and the role of culture and its appropriate representation in ecosystem services frameworks. The last presentations will be an ethnoecologist reflecting on the applicability of the services concept given the reality of cultural complexity and connectedness, and a land manager’s perspective in his attempts to integrate cultural ecosystem services into management of the largest holding of private land in Hawai’i. The symposium will conclude with time for questions and discussion.
Canada Chapter, Mexico Chapter