Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
May 2013

A Demand Driven Research Agenda for Ecosystem Services

A Demand Driven Research Agenda for Ecosystem Services

Current research on ecosystem services disproportionately focuses on supplying ever more information about the value of ecosystem services and less on a systematic, scientific understanding of the demand by decision-makers for such information. The field remains stuck in a supply side paradigm that assumes more sophisticated models about the supply and value of ecosystem services will lead to policy change. Because the supply-side is vast, a clear path forward has not emerged about what to value and at what level of accuracy. Thus our understanding of ecosystem services remains piecemeal and highly variable. In this article in the journal Ecosystem Services, the authors offer that to accelerate the adoption of the ecosystem service framework in practice, the research community needs to shift its attention to policy choices and the demand for data about ecosystems.