NESP Digest: April 2021

This is the quarterly newsletter of the National Ecosystem Services Partnership (NESP), which provides updates on our recent activities as well as some other information on ecosystem services that we hope you’ll find useful.

If you have items that you’d like to include in the next edition of the NESP Digest, please send them to us
May NESP Webinar: Different methods, different values: How the choice of ecosystem service valuation methods can affect cost-benefit analysis and prioritization decisions. May 18, 2–3 p.m. ET. Register here.
Hear from Bonnie Keeler (University of Minnesota) for a presentation that will synthesize the results of over a decade of ecosystem services valuation work in the U.S. state of Minnesota. She will compare and contrast results from "traditional" non-market approaches (stated preference surveys, hedonic analyses, avoided cost approaches, and travel cost models) with “alternative” valuation methods based on ecosystem service metrics, surveys, semi-structured interviews, and Q sort assessments. She will discuss how “alternative” valuation methodologies tend to prioritize different values and interests of different target populations, as compared to “traditional” econometric approaches. The talk will raise questions about embedded assumptions in valuation methodologies, the appropriate application and interpretation of valuation studies, and include ideas for how to integrate a diversity of social science approaches in the evaluation of policies designed to protect or restore ecosystem services.

June NESP Webinar: Payments for forest-based ecosystem services from private lands in the United States. June 8, 2­–3 p.m. ET. Register here.
Hear from Gregory Frey at the U.S. Forest Service who will present on an effort to account, estimate, and document the full extent of direct payments for ecosystem services to private forest landowners in the United States. This includes payments derived from markets, subsidies, and hybrid approaches, from both governmental and non-governmental sources. Frey will discuss the magnitude and trends in payments by program type and ecosystem service supported. He will share details about which markets and payment programs have increased and decreased in size and scope over the past decade, and which U.S. states and regions have higher or lower payments connected to different forest ecosystem service categories.

Webinar: Monitoring Social and Economic Outcomes of Restoration Projects in the Gulf of Mexico. May 25, 4–5 p.m. ET. Register here.
This webinar will share results of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models and Socio-Economic Indicators (GEMS) project, which aims to advance standardized socioeconomic metrics that encompass the broad environmental, social and economic goals of restoration success shared by many institutions across the Gulf. We will discuss the models, metrics, protocols, and web-based tools that were developed throughout this threre-year project with input from a large group of experts and stakeholders in the Gulf. The webinar will all include a brief introduction to the GEMS project and then focus on how the GEMS products can be used for planning and monitoring restoration projects, and to help inform design of restoration funding programs.

New Publication: NESP led a recent journal article in Forests about Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefit of Public Lands, using an example from national forest planning in the United States.

Planetary Health MOOC. Planetary Health Alliance. Recorded.

April 25–30, 2021. Planetary Health Annual Meeting. Online.

May 5, 2021. Ecosystem Services Markets Conceived and Designed for Agriculture: Scaling Impacts. Forest Carbon and Climate Program. Online.

December 13–16, 2021. A Community on Ecosystem Services. Bonita Springs, Florida.
Job Opportunities:

Partner, InfrastructureNext. Willamette Partnership. Portland, Oregon.

Economist Associate. National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Silver Spring, Maryland.

Economics Deputy Director. World Resources Institute. Washington, DC.
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NESP is an initiative of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.