Ecosystem Services Program

As the world population continues to grow, more resources are needed to provide food, water, and other necessities.

The Ecosystem Services Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions focuses on ensuring that the environment can sustain future generations by helping public and private decision makers value the benefits natural ecosystems provide for our well-being and economic prosperity.

Drawing on the unmatched, diverse expertise of Duke scholars and others outside the university, the program is working to integrate both the direct and indirect value of ecosystem services into strategies and policies. Through the National Ecosystem Services Partnership, researchers are working with federal agencies to develop an approach to account for ecosystem services in planning and management processes.

Duke University is a partner in the Bridge Collaborative, which is inspiring a community of leaders and practitioners from across disciplines, sectors and perspectives to develop a shared evidence base for solutions that bridge development and environmental sustainability.

In addition to new research on how accounting for ecosystem services can improve both urban planning and water utility management, the program has a body of work focusing on policy design for environmental markets and has developed significant expertise in greenhouse gas mitigation for agriculture and forestry.