Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in

Forgot your password?

Supplemental readings from Univ of Minnesota students

Read the Daily et al 2000 paper first for a short introduction/overview into valuation of ecosystem services. Next priority is the Tallis et al 2008 paper, which puts natural capital and ecosystem services in the context of sustainable development. Read the other two papers if time allows.

Daily et al. 2000. The Value of Nature and the Nature of Value. Science, 289: 395-396.
This short paper provides an introduction to the concept of "putting a price tag on nature." It provides and overview of the ecological basis for valuation of ecosystem services that flow from natural capital via ecological production functions and lays out the fundamental principles of the valuation process. It goes on to address the scope of and some of the limitations of valuation, particularly for ecosystem services that are not traded on markets, stressing the challenge of measuring both individual and social values. With examples from Australia and Costa Rica, it illustrates how payments for ecosystem services can be implemented.
Daily et al. 2009. Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Front Ecol Environ, 7(1): 21-28.
This paper expresses a vision and a framework for how natural capital and ecosystem services can be incorporated into decision making at all levels. It also points out all the challenges to achieving this, stressing that valuing nature is central to mainstreaming conservation, but is not an end in itself. We are only beginning to develop the scientific basis and policy and finance mechanisms for incorporating natural capital into resource- and land-use decisions on a large scale. The paper proposes a conceptual framework and sketches a strategic plan for delivering on the promise of ecosystem services. Along with the daunting challenges that lie ahead, the paper describes key advances in the science and practice of accounting for natural capital in the decisions of individuals, communities, corporations, and governments.
Tallis et al. 2008. An ecosystem services framework to support both practical conservation and economic development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(28): 9457-9464.
This paper puts ecosystem services in the context of development and points out when economic development and ecosystem services conservation objectives can coincide with each other and when they can be in conflict. Starting from the premise that the human condition is tightly linked to environmental condition, it suggests that conservation and development projects should be able to achieve both ecological and social progress, but also maintains that such "win-win" projects are not easy to attain. The paper provides a framework for anticipating win-win, lose-lose, and win-lose outcomes as a result of how people manage ecosystem services. It emphasizes that scientific advances around ecosystem production functions, tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services, and the design of appropriate monitoring programs are necessary for the implementation of conservation and development projects that will successfully advance both environmental/conservation goals and social/human well-being goals.
Nelson et al. 2009. Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Front Ecol Environ, 7(1): 4-11.
This paper presents work at the cutting edge of modeling both levels and values of ecosystem services. It demonstrates how the modeling tool, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) can quantify ecosystem services in a spatially explicit matter and analyze tradeoffs between them in order to make natural resource decisions more effective, efficient and defensible. It applies the InVEST modeling tool to stakeholder-defined scenarios of land-use/land-cover change in the Willamette Basin, Oregon. It goes on to show how this modeling can be used to evaluate various policy levers that can both support the sustained provision of ecosystem services and alleviate tradeoffs between them.