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ecosystem services

Investing in Nature for Economic Growth (Part I of II)

This piece was originally posted on www.environmentalleader.com, and was written by Amanda DeSantis, DuPont, and Janet Ranganathan, WRI. Read part II here.

For many of us, the term “ecosystems” conjures up thoughts of environmental protection and restoration. While that is one part of the picture, this view misses the critical role that ecosystems also play in underpinning economies and the business sector. Ecosystem services—- the benefits that businesses and people derive from nature such as food, freshwater, pollination, and climate regulation— are the link between nature and economic development. This viewpoint enables governments and corporate leaders to move beyond a narrow mindset of protecting nature from economic development to focus on how to invest in nature for development.

Payments for Ecosystem Services: Green is the New Grey

This piece was originally posted on the Ecosystem Services for Policy Alleviation website, and was written with WRI intern Julie Edmonds.

In these times of budget constraints, municipal authorities, donors and development NGOs are increasingly looking to services provided by nature as a less costly alternative to building expensive man-made infrastructure.

Such services, also known as ecosystem services, are the positive externalities that ecosystems such as forests, floodplains and wetlands provide for communities around them.

In India, Enhancing Ecosystems is Not Only Good for Nature—It’s Good for Business

This piece originally appeared in the India Business Council for Sustainable Development quarterly magazine, Volume 8, Issue 2, in July 2011.

In August of 2010, the Indian electricity company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN) lost its source of power in Himachal Pradesh. Deforestation and river alterations upstream of the company’s dam had aggravated erosion in the area. Without the trees, heavy rains washed an unprecedented amount of sediment straight into the water, lowering dam reservoir capacity and power output. The resulting 22 days of closure for the facility left millions of people without power and cost the company upwards of $42 million, or INR. 198 Crore.

2011 Ecosystem Markets Conference: Innovating Ways to Reward Conservation

Wisconsin is a state blessed with abundant natural beauty and was home to one of America’s first conservationists, Aldo Leopold. Leopold recognized that beyond commodities, nature provides services that sustain our planet – such as clean air, clean water and recreational opportunities – and that these services are worth something. He also recognized the importance of providing incentives that reward proper land management. Leopold’s vision still resonates as the 4th annual Ecosystem Markets Conference takes place this week in Madison, Wisconsin.

Coastal Capital: Jamaica

This analysis includes a valuation of coral reef-associated fisheries, potential losses to tourism due to beach erosion, and examines the role of coral reefs in reducing coastal flooding during storms. In addition, we provide a literature review of 16 coral reef valuations conducted in Jamaica...

Current Use Valuation Programs

Property Tax Incentives for Preserving Local Benefits of Forests

This paper explores current use valuation programs as one tool for conserving and fostering sustainable management of southern U.S. forests under private ownership. The brief identifies key constraints on existing programs and suggests measures that could be implemented to enhance program...

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