From Promise to Proof: How Ecosystem Service Science Is Transforming Real Decisions

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 309 (Hynes Convention Center)
From corporate boardrooms to government agencies to Capitol Hill, decision-makers have woken up to the fact that what happens to nature affects human well-being and profit. Corporations, such as Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola, are evaluating how ecosystem services (nature’s benefits) affect their supply chains. Governments, such as Columbia and China, are incorporating ecosystem services in land-use planning, permitting, and mitigation. The World Bank is working with partner countries to capture ecosystem services in national accounts. Against this backdrop of increasing demand, the rapidly maturing science of ecosystem services is being asked to inform fundamental changes in the way we make decisions, shedding light on the benefits and trade-offs we tend to ignore. Drawing from terrestrial and marine case studies, and related perspectives from business, finance, and policy, this session will demonstrate how ecosystem services have already dramatically changed the way decisions are made and where they hold tremendous promise to do so in the future. Speakers will show how service-based approaches can reduce risk from natural disasters, inform planning for multifunctional agricultural landscapes, and guide smart decision-making along increasingly crowded coastlines. Sustainability ultimately requires putting all of our cards on the table and explicitly evaluating trade-offs to assemble a more optimal hand. This is expressly the power of ecosystem service science.
Karen L. McLeod, COMPASS
Lisa Mandle, Stanford University
and Erica Goldman, Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)
Karen L. McLeod, COMPASS
Pervaze Sheikh, Congressional Research Service
and Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Nadia Sitas, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
From Bedlam to Bedfellows: Reducing Risk Through Ecosystem Service Partnerships