Pathways For Scaling up the Inclusion of Ecosystem Value in Decision Makingby , and -
The goal of this “revaluing” effort is to promote longer-term thinking and create incentives to protect and restore ecosystems and ensure their sustainable use. The issue brief presents 6 key issues which emerged.
Ecosystems provide essential services to society, from pollination and filtering of pollution to climate and water regulation. These services are often treated as though they have no value, with ecosystems too frequently managed for short-term gain at the expense of broader, longer-term societal benefits. Efforts to incorporate ecosystem values in decision making are growing – through partnerships, in government and in the private sector – but uptake is not happening quickly enough to stem current rates of ecosystem degradation and loss of these valuable benefits. This issue brief explores six complementary pathways to scale up the inclusion of ecosystem values in public and private decision making, which grew out of a workshop on “The Future of Revaluing Ecosystems” hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy in November of 2013. The ideas explored include mainstreaming ecosystem values in national economic accounts; building capacity for more pragmatic ecosystem assessments; highlighting the benefits of investing in natural infrastructure; investing in ecosystems to reduce risk in the food and beverage sector; using bonds as a financial tools to restore ecosystems in agricultural landscapes; and using knowledge and communication tools to promote more resilient communities, particularly after disasters. For each pathway, we highlight the barriers, opportunities and what needs to happen to achieve a vision on this pathway by 2025, with the intention of promoting thought, discussion and action. Nature’s assets are, after all, what all life depends on.