SYMP 23 - Commodifying Nature: The Scientific Basis for Ecosystem Services Valuation In Environmental Decision Making

Friday, August 10, 2012: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 252, Oregon Convention Center
Emily S. Bernhardt, Duke University
Jana E. Compton, US EPA, NHEERL, Western Ecology Division
Jana E. Compton, US EPA, NHEERL, Western Ecology Division
The idea of commodifying nature to improve ecosystem management is as exciting to some as it is frightening to others. The goal of the session is to explore the scientific basis for ecosystem service quantification in order to move the science forward. Our first talk will be given by a pioneer in this field and will describe the promises and pitfalls of this approach from a resource economics perspective. The closing talk will present a vision for improving the science of ES as it is applied to management decisions. In between these two perspective talks, we will be asking speakers to either 1) provide examples from trading markets, where quantification of the benefits for ecosystem services of restoration, conservation and best management inform sustainable decision making, or 2) explore the realities of designing/planning landscapes to maximize desired ecosystem services, and 3) explore efforts to include services that are difficult to measure such as non-use values. Each speaker is asked to present the results of their measurements in the context of the same set of organizing questions (1) What measurements did you make to represent ecosystem services a. How uncertain are your estimates b. How well does your measured variable match with a marketable ecosystem service (2) What ecosystem services did you ignore in your analyses? Why? (3) How would maximizing the production of the most easily measured service affect the provisioning of more difficult to measure or unmeasured services? Rather than having a panel discussion, which rarely generates much interest, we will provide the opportunity for each panel member to address in 2 minutes or less the question – Where should research dollars be strategically invested to improve ecosystem service quantification? We have made a concerted effort to include speakers who have strong differences of opinion about the viability and utility of ecosystem service markets and will be asking each speaker to address very specific questions within their talks so as to highlight those differences.
8:00 AM
 The promise and pitfalls of ecosystem service valuation
Robert Costanza, Portland State University
8:25 AM
 Heterogeneity and historic patterns of ecosystem services: Ecological, economic and cultural implications
Sarah E. Gergel, University of British Columbia; Stephanie Tomscha, University of British Columbia; Brent Chamberlain, University of British Columbia; Alex Berthin, University of British Columbia; Kate Kirby, University of Toronto; Jessica Morgan, University of British Columbia; Collin Ankerson, University of British Columbia
9:40 AM
10:15 AM
 To bundle or to stack?  The challenges in marketing multiple ecosystem services
Morgan Robertson, University of Kentucky; Rebecca Lave, Indiana University; Martin W. Doyle, Duke University
10:40 AM
 Looking ahead: How can we use market tools to sustain ecosystems?
Guy Ziv, University of Leeds; Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Stanford University
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