From July 31 through August 3, the Ecosystem Services Partnership hosted its fifth annual international conference in Portland. With more than 350 participants from 47 different countries, the conference represented the growing global interest in ecosystem services—ways of valuing nature’s benefits in order to preserve them for present and future generations.
Ecosystem services are increasingly regarded as a vital concept in conservation—helping governments, communities and businesses understand the value of the natural and cultural resources that sustain them. Last week, Madhu Verma shared her experiences defining the value of forest ecosystem services in India.
Portland is constantly touted as one of America’s greenest cities. But there’s more to it than an affinity for public transit and renewable energy—Portland has an abundance of natural green space that reaches beyond city limits to support communities, ecosystems, and economies throughout the region.
What would Mother Nature say about the way we spend precious conservation dollars? By quantifying nature’s benefits, Willamette Partnership is able to translate restoration efforts into metrics that are meaningful to industry and consumers.
Ecosystem services are a hot topic in academic and environmental circles. But a lot of these natural services—like carbon sequestration, erosion control, or drought mitigation—are pretty technical for the average person. Instead of pricing ecosystem services based on their function, visiting economics professor Sahan Dissanayake looks at the values held by regular people.
We don’t often think of nitrogen as a basic necessity—like food, water, or shelter. But while we cannot survive without nitrogen, too much is harmful as well. What we need is not too much, not too little, but just enough of a good thing.
Last Wednesday, Pacific Power blew up the nearly 100-year-old Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in south central Washington, opening up miles of unencumbered salmon habitat. On the other side of the globe, nations in SE Asia are planning massive new hydroelectric dams on the Lower Mekong River.