Ecosystem Services Program News

Researcher Named to Prestigious Environmental Board

DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Lydia Olander was sworn in to serve a three-year term with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board this week.

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Galik to Discuss the Future of Environmental Resource Management on 90.7 FM

Christopher Galik, a senior policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will appear on the show “The Measure of Everyday Life” on WNCU 90.7 FM at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Galik, whose work looks at issues surrounding on-the-ground implementation of climate and low-carbon energy policy, will discuss forest management and the future of environmental resource management.

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Get the Science Right to Value Nature

An international group of scientists, industry representatives and policymakers wants to set guidelines for the science behind valuing nature. The group, which includes the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Lydia Olander, has published new guidelines in the latest edition of Science on how to value the benefits and services that nature provides, known as ecosystem services.

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Our Impact: Guidebook Facilitates Ecosystem Services Assessment

A few years ago, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a handful of other federal agencies began exploring methods to robustly evaluate how natural resource management choices affect things people care about and to clearly communicate those connections to the public. Ecosystem services assessment offers an answer if communication, consistency and capacity issues among practitioners need to be resolved.

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Guidebook Focuses on Ecosystem Service Approach to Decision-Making

A new online resource, the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Guidebook, helps resource managers account for the benefits nature provides, such as the coastal protection offered by oyster beds or carbon sequestered in soils that help to stabilize climate.

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Protected Areas: Much More Than Pristine Nature

In a blog for the Huffington Post, Advisory Board member Mark Tercek considered the commitments made at the once-a-decade World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, and highlighted the benefits of protected areas. “Protecting biodiversity remains at the very core of every conservation strategy in our toolbox. But protected areas also do much more. From improving food and water security to reducing the impacts of climate change, well-planned and managed protected areas can provide important benefits to people too.”

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Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services into Decision Making

In a guest editorial for the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Ecosystem Services Program director Lydia Olander and her coauthor identify several efforts to bring consistency to methods for incorporating ecosystem services concepts into environmental decision making, including the National Ecosystem Services Partnership’s Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Guidebook.

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Climate Panel Issues Dire Report as Renewables Make Little Impact

The latest comprehensive global scientific assessment of climate change, released on Sunday, sounds the direst warning yet about the need to drastically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. But despite years of such reports, fossil-fuel use and human-caused emissions continue to rise, and renewable energy technologies have so far failed to make a significant difference. Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this MIT Technology Review article.

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Scientists Sound the Alarm in Climate Change Report

Climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels is already affecting life on every continent and in the oceans, and the window is closing rapidly for governments to avert the worst damage expected to occur later this century, scientists warned in one of the loudest alarms yet sounded by the international scientific community. Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this Los Angeles Times article.

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