Over 80 modeling tools for mapping ecosystem services have been developed to help decision-makers better understand their local systems. These often consist of a set of models, each representing a particular ecosystem service. However, the usefulness of these modeling tools to support decision-...
The Economic Case For Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon
A new report offers evidence that the modest investments needed to secure land rights for indigenous communities will generate billions in returns—economically, socially and environmentally—for local communities and the world’s changing climate. The report, Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs:...
Tenure-secure indigenous and other community forestlands are often linked to low deforestation rates, significant forest cover, and the sustainable production of timber and other forest products. New WRI research shows that securing indigenous forestland is also a low-cost, high-benefit investment and therefore makes good economic sense.
Indigenous peoples and communities manage their forests and other ecosystems well if they have secure rights over their land, but getting legal recognition of these rights is often a challenge. LandMark, a new online platform, can help address this challenge.
Pathways For Scaling up the Inclusion of Ecosystem Value in Decision Making
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.
Decision-makers oftentimes treat the services that ecosystems provide—like water filtration or flood protection—as a free benefit. A new issue brief can help them account for nature's full worth.
Governments, businesses, development agencies, and NGOs are increasingly turning to economic valuation as a way to protect coral reefs and mangroves. This process makes the economic case for protection and sustainable use of natural resources by showing the monetary, employment, and infrastructure benefits ecosystems provide—metrics that are easily understood by decision-makers.
But not all economic valuations are created equal. WRI's new guidebook shows how NGOs and other stakeholders can conduct economic valuations in ways that lead to real change on the ground.
This guidebook details the steps in conducting a coastal ecosystem valuation to inform decision making in the Caribbean. It guides valuation practitioners—both economists and non-economists—through the three phases of a valuation effort (scoping, analysis and outreach), with an emphasis on...
How do people, governments, and corporations “value” ecosystems? And how can you put a price on the vast array of social, economic, and environmental benefits that ecosystems provide?
These are just two of the questions experts sought to address at “The Future of Revaluing Ecosystems,” an event WRI recently convened in Bellagio, Italy, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, Forum for the Future, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The meeting brought together 32 participants from public, private, non-profit, and research sectors to consider how society could include in public and private decision-making a more complete valuing of the benefits ecosystems provide to people. The discussions shed light on how we can evaluate ecosystems’ true worth to communities and businesses —and how to use these valuations to foster better environmental stewardship.
The Wayuu people in northern Colombia depend on shrubland for grazing their livestock. These herds serve as the Wayuus’ main source of income and food, and this is partly why they depend so heavily on the existence and condition of shrubland ecosystems. But livestock are also used to pay dowries or make amends, playing a major role in facilitating social interactions between families and clans. If an oil and gas project adversely affects the shrubland ecosystem, it could impact not only the Wayuus’ income and protein intake, but the social bonds that hold these communities together.
Most planners fail to account for the multiple—and sometimes underappreciated—benefits that people derive from their environment, a concept known as ecosystem services. While new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) standards require impact practitioners to account for ecosystem services when evaluating a proposed project’s potential impacts, many lack a methodological approach that would enable them to properly integrate social and environmental issues.
Until now, that is. WRI’s new guide, Weaving Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment: A Step-by-Step Method, aims to highlight the interdependence of development projects, people, and the environment. The guide helps impact practitioners and project developers evaluate the social implications of impacts on ecosystems brought by highways, dams, oil and gas wells, and other such projects. By systematically incorporating a consideration of ecosystem services into environmental and social impact assessments, planners can mitigate negative impacts on ecosystem services while also achieving project objectives.