Federal agencies responsible for natural areas are increasingly considering ecosystem services in their planning and management decisions, a new approach with multiple challenges. To address them, the National Ecosystem Services Partnership is collaborating with a number of federal agencies to create an online guidebook as a common foundation for agencies interested in incorporating ecosystem services into planning processes Over 165 experts from agencies, NGO’s, academia, and consulting firms have been engaged in the guidebook’s development. The guidebook will be officially unveiled at the A Community on Ecosystem Services (ACES) Conference in Washington, D.C., this December.
The guidebook is expected to provide examples and approaches for agencies to use as they begin to integrate ecosystem services into their planning processes. In addition to the agency users, this guidebook may be of interest to organizations that work closely with federal agencies on land, water, and other resource management issues. The guidebook may also provide a useful starting place for other interested in ecosystem services as an approach for assessing conservation or infrastructure decisions.