James Sanchirico, University of California - Davis
Governments, NGOs, and private investors are clamoring for an approach that can provide clear and transferable metrics of marine ecosystem service values under different management contexts.
The U.S. and some international governments are intensely focusing on demonstration sites for marine spatial planning, the U.S. Interagency Dialogue on Ecosystem Services and interest from private investors are increasing pressure to develop ecosystem markets, and NGO’s (e.g. TNC and WWF) and local governments already are participating in marine spatial planning and market development approaches (e.g., in fishery catch shares).
For ecosystem services to be a useful framework for any of the policy contexts above, we need clear and pragmatic ways to measure and report services. Measurement of ecosystem services is often poorly executed or completely overlooked. In order to improve ecosystem service metrics, we must more precisely define the services themselves and disaggregate their component parts for analysis. Our breakout session will build upon important recent conceptual work (e.g., Wainger and Boyd 2009, Tallis et al. 2010) and practical experiences of experts from NGOs and governments to highlight key conclusions from early applications of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. For services to be quantifiable, they need to be defined based on both the process(es) driving their availability and the specific benefit(s) they provide to people.
Recent frameworks include a 3-step approach for identifying the appropriate metric at three distinct points along the ecosystem service production chain: supply, service and value (Tallis et al. 2010). This approach allows managers and scientists to assess and track the condition of the underlying ecosystem (supply), the amount of ocean resources actually used or enjoyed by people (service), and people’s preference for that level of service (value). Policy advice may also require a fourth step - incorporating the users’ response to changes in policies and environmental events (e.g., oil spill, hurricanes, etc.). Though potentially more complex and data intensive, an economic model that re-allocates users’ effort in response to the change will provide a more accurate measure of the economic impact of the policy on users as well as a more accurate measure of the environmental benefits from the change. Likewise, societal values of non-marketed services (e.g., threatened and endangered species) must also be included. We will use the 3 +1 decision context, organizing our session as test cases for applying ecosystem service metric frameworks in real places, and highlight lessons learned for a growing number of applications.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is explicitly called for by Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force; and it is increasingly being applied at state and regional levels in the U.S. and around the world. Policy development and subsequent implementation would be greatly strengthened by a straightforward and transparent approach for comparing management options relative to multiple objectives and a practical way to identify tradeoffs at the core of negotiations about who gets what and where to allow various activities. Thus, MSP will benefit from a new, more complete framework for considering ecosystem services and standardized ways to measure and track them.
Interest in ecosystem markets is rapidly emerging in governments, NGOs, and the private sector. Some of the earliest ecosystem markets for fisheries were developed in the sea; and with the growth of the carbon market, interest is keen to develop markets for nutrient assimilation, wetland habitat functions, and water temperature. We will discuss how clearly defined ecosystem service metrics can help provide assurances and accountability in ecosystem markets.
Outcomes: Develop concrete recommendations for several promising decision contexts for rapid inclusion of ecosystem services, including:
1. marine spatial planning (MSP);
2. assessments of changes in the value of multiple services provided by coastal and marine habitats for applications in natural resource damage assessments or design and assessment of mitigation or restoration projects; and
3. emerging ecosystem markets.
DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS – Prepared by breakout groups and subject to review. These recommendations are the result of group processes and do not necessarily represent that positions of NCSE, which served as the enabler of the process that generated the recommendations.
Task 1. The science and practitioner community should synthesize existing ecosystem service values, ecosystem attributes, and human well-being information to inform coastal marine spatial planning and other decision contexts.
Task 2. The National Oceanic Council (including Regional Planning Bodies) should test with pilot studies the usefulness of information about ecosystem service values, ecosystem attributes, and human well-being in coastal marine spatial planning and restoration strategies.
Task 3. The science and practitioner community should develop guidance describing the conditions, including multiple ecosystem services and multiple objectives, that would change the nature and outcome of decisions.
Task 4. The National Oceanic Council should make explicit the governance principles (e.g., define rights, public trusts) for applying ecosystem services in coastal marine spatial planning and other decision contexts.
Task 5. The science and practitioner community should conduct quantitative, spatially explicit assessments of ecosystem service values, ecosystem attributes, and human well-being.
Task 6. The National Oceanic Council should identify a science advisory structure to include ecosystem service values, ecosystem attributes, and human well-being information in coastal marine spatial planning and other decision contexts.
Task 7. The National Oceanic Council agencies (including Regional Planning Bodies) should use management and policy scenarios including baseline and future conditions for proactive decision-making.
Multiple species and multiple objectivesLast Updated on 2011-01-04 13:21:06Click here to download the article entitled Optimizing for multiple species and multiple values: tradeoffs inherent in ecosystem-based fisheries management. More »