Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Ecosystem Services Program
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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.

Issues

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Ecosystem Services

The Ecosystem Services Program focuses on ensuring that the environment can sustain future generations by helping public and private decision makers value the benefits natural ecosystems provide.

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Endangered Species

Nationwide, several hundred species are being evaluated for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Research at the Nicholas Institute is exploring whether effective pre-compliance could be the key to recovery for a number of species while demonstrating the promise of multi-species management.
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Environmental Markets

Environmental markets are focused on a broad range of challenges—from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to providing incentives for the restoration and protection of forests to improving water quality.

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Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry

Sustainable agriculture and forest management share a common goal—to balance the economic and cultural needs of humans with protecting the environment.

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Sustainable Infrastructure

The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in investment in railways, roads, energy projects, and ports in the developing world, aiming to address a significant “infrastructure gap.”