An integrated approach to understanding ecosystem service values in Wyoming and Montana, USA is presented. The assessment encompasses a major river basin, and includes a synthesis of existing data and research related to the natural system and separate data collection efforts regarding the social and economic importance of ecosystem services. A holistic look at the social-ecological system provides nuanced information about ecosystem service values and tradeoffs for the purpose of public land decision-making.
Ecosystem services and biodiversity are critical to ensure sustainable development of agricultural activities. Based on available scientific knowledge, high shares of biodiversity are followed by more carbon sequestration, reduced soil erosion risk, improved production and food security. This review aims to detect biodiversity services in three aspects; (1) providing ecosystem services in modern agroecosystems in response to future challenges, (2) the ability of biodiversity to support agroecosystems, and (3) the agenda for future research on biodiversity. To address our research objectives, we conducted a widespread literature search to estimate new services and roles of biodiversity in modern agroecosystems. The search was set from the date of the first relevant article until the end of the year 2017. Biodiversity is measured by many indices. Many recent studies have proposed new methods and software for biodiversity assessment such as BioFTF, BAT, LaDy and Entropart. According to the present literature review, biodiversity has a pervasive role in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Levels of biodiversity, such as genetic, species and ecosystem, can affect pest control in several ways such as biological control, resulting in complex multi-trophic interactions. The relationships between land use and biodiversity are fundamental in understanding the links between people and their environment. Two models have been planned to increase production in agroecosystems whilst minimizing the consequences for biodiversity: land sharing and land sparing. Studies have shown how biodiversity can be integrated into Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on a global scale. LCA mainly introduces biodiversity as an endpoint category modeled as a loss in species richness due to the conversion and management of land in time and space. This review shows that ecological restoration of agroecosystems is generally effective and can be recommended as a way to increase biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems. The conservation, management, and sustainable use of these services require specific attention and a coherent global policy approach. In conclusion, to protect biodiversity in agroecosystems, a policy consonance and strategic support to ecosystems should be considered. This review suggests that advanced research are needed on relationships between biodiversity and genetic erosion, map of life, pest control and urban agriculture.
With our growing global population, over-consumption of natural resources and concomitant depletion, demands are placed on the scientific community to provide information, including suitable management of coastal ecosystems. However, the nature-society relationship is highly dynamic and complex and requires a framework which can accommodate options. In coastal systems, poor resource management is among the main causes of its degradation. As such, impacts arising from climate change, including sea-level rise, has forced an increase in the demand for sustainable coastal ecosystem science to inform management decisions. The realization of current and future sustainability objectives depends on the development and implementation of coherent strategies on managing dynamic ecosystems for retaining their ability to undergo disturbance, while maintaining their services, functions and control mechanisms. This paper provides a review of the basic assumptions, typical frameworks and methodologies that are adopted for (i) sustainability and sustainable management, (ii) ecosystem services and ecosystem management and (iii) coastal ecosystem management applications in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Finally, limitations for sustainable coastal ecosystem management are discussed and recommendations are made which can inform research in sustainability science.
Databases have the potential to facilitate the integration of ecosystem service (ES) information into decision advice by collecting and condensing big data volumes in a standardized form. In this article we examined how ES databases support policy instruments to take nature’s benefits into account in decision-making. We analyzed 29 databases with global coverage containing information of 36,112 studies, projects and methods within more than 600,000 entries. We identified 93 indicators of information demand for six major policy instruments and matched database entries with these indicators. Findings showed databases contain information for most of the policy instruments. However, ES databases were limited regarding geographic representativeness, highlighting major information gaps in society’s poorest nations. We propose steps forward towards optimized knowledge exploitation and suggest five priority areas for mainstreaming ES information into decision-making: (i) quantitatively recognize nature’s value, (ii) develop prioritization schemes based on ES valuation, (iii) sensitive stakeholder engagement, (iv) support information access and capacity building to establish ES-based decision-making and (v) consider long-term returns of interventions in ES. These priority areas contribute to formalize standards for the documentation of knowledge on ES and provide a baseline for the establishment of ontologies that facilitate knowledge accessibility for decision-making.
This paper reviews the prevalence and usage of the concept of “ecosystem services” in American and other common law legal systems. Our review suggests that this concept is rarely relied upon by courts and other adjudicatory bodies. We have identified 113 cases in seven common law countries, including a handful in the United States, the majority of which discuss ecosystem services and related concepts in only a peripheral manner, indicating that adjudicating bodies are hearing cases that consider ecosystem services in broad strokes rather than as central issues. Where ecosystem services are considered substantively, the cases view those services through the lens of interpreting and applying existing environmental laws and regulations, including laws that require environmental valuations. We identify several recurring trends in cases discussing ecosystem services and recommend courses of action for environmental agencies and litigants interested in furthering ecosystem services protection through the court systems of common law countries.
To date, the majority of environmental assets studied in the economic valuation literature clearly have high amenity and recreational use values. However there are many cases where small, but nevertheless unique and important, ecosystems survive as islands amongst large areas of modified, productive, or urban, landscapes. Development encroaches on the landscape and as urban landscapes become more concentrated these types of conservation islands will become increasingly more important. Previous experience with economic valuation suggests that lower total values for smaller contributions to conservation are more liable to be swamped by survey and hypothetical bias measures. Hence there needs to be more understanding of approaches to economic valuation for small and isolated environmental assets, in particular regarding controlling stated preference biases. This study applied the recently developed method of Inferred Valuation (IV) to a small private wetland in South-East Australia, and compared willingness to pay values with estimates from a standard Contingent Valuation (CV) approach. We found that hypothetical bias did seem to be slightly lower with the IV method. However, other methods such as the use of log-normal transformations and median measures, significantly mitigate apparent hypothetical biases and are easier to apply and allow use of the well-tested CV method.
Life in this planet is a big concern for humanity, and biodiversity conservation is, without any doubt, one of the major key components to preserve life on Earth. Since Rio 1992, many actions, efforts, and instruments were developed and adopted to face the challenge of biodiversity conservation, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Millennium Development Goals, 2030 Agenda, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Implementation of Biodiversity, the Paris Agreement, the Marrakech Action Proclamation, and the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols, among others. In addition to international compromises, every country member of the UNFCCC has its own legal instruments to protect and conserve biodiversity. Mexico is one of those countries with the high responsibility as a megadiverse country.
Natural resources and their biological richness are threatened by the chain of processes and activities derived from population growth and transformation activities. NPAs are not free of these changes. The Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve (RBPC, by its Spanish acronym), with its surface area and ecological characteristics, is one of the most important wetland complexes of Mesoamerica. However, several socio-productive activities that take place in it affect the ecosystem’s integrity. A literature review was carried out to establish the degree of research on the RBPC. Following a conceptual model of threats in natural protected areas, pressures were described considering natural processes, inadequate management of threats and secondary effects. Nine categories were established: (1) recreational use and management, (2) management of crops and grazing, (3) management of fires, (4) introduction of exotic species, (5) diversion and reservoirs (waterworks), (6) emission of pollutants, (7) climate change, (8) management of adjacent lands and (9) other threats related to public and social policies.
The need to mainstream biodiversity into economic growth and development is being increasingly recognised and is now also firmly embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals. Drawing on experiences and insights from 16 predominantly megadiverse countries, this report examines how biodiversity is being mainstreamed in four key areas: 1) at the national level, including national development plans and other strategies, institutional co-ordination and national budgets; 2) the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors; 3) in development co-operation; and 4) the monitoring and evaluation of biodiversity mainstreaming and how this could be improved.