Title: Giving credit where credit is due: increasing landowner compensation for ecosystem services
Author: LaRocco, Gina L.; Deal, Robert L.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-842. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 32 p.
Description: Conservation of biodiversity serves a number of human needs, including maintenance of ecosystem services that are critical to the sustainability of all life. Effective biodiversity conservation will require better landowner incentives for restoration and protection of ecosystems. Many services produced from healthy, functioning landscapes are not well recognized in current conservation incentive structures, including sequestering or storing carbon in trees and soil, providing fish and wildlife habitat, filtering water, and reducing damages from natural disasters. Most existing incentive programs pay landowners to protect and restore a specific service rather than the suite of services produced from well-functioning ecosystems. Various incentive programs need to be better integrated or new programs need to be developed that value a greater proportion of the ecological benefits that flow from ecosystems. One promising option is to allow landowners to bundle or stack payments for ecosystem services. This option, however, also presents issues that need to be addressed to ensure ecological goals and economic efficiency are achieved. Current efforts underway address some of these issues. Specifically, collaborative efforts among public and private entities in the Pacific Northwest and Chesapeake Bay region are developing accounting tools to measure ecosystem services and test policies for bundling services and stacking payments on the ground. The U.S. government has also made a commitment to ensure coordination and integration of ecosystem market development by creating a dedicated agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture called the Office of Environmental Markets.
Keywords: Ecosystem services, landowner compensation, biodiversity, markets for ecosystem services, bundling ecosystem services, stacking ecosystem services, landowner incentives
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LaRocco, Gina L.; Deal, Robert L. 2011. Giving credit where credit is due: increasing landowner compensation for ecosystem services. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-842. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 32 p.
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