News - Ecosystem Services

All times U.S. ET unless noted.

On Earth Day, the Biden Administration announced an initiative to develop national measures called natural capital accounts that connect the value of ecosystem services to economic performance. In a Q&A, Warnell offered some insights into natural capital accounting: what exactly it measures, how it can help decision makers, and the work that lies ahead to implement a national system.

The recently merged Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative benefited from the work of 55 dedicated student assistants during the 2021–2022 academic year.

The interdisciplinary crew of student assistants hailed from undergraduate and graduate degree programs across seven Duke schools. They brought diverse skillsets and perspectives to their roles, further developing their expertise by working on real-world projects advancing environmental progress.

Duke University experts will share insights about international climate policy with university students across the nation in a free virtual seminar series funded by the U.S. Department of State. The series is also open to the Duke community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The Nicholas Institute has developed three online dashboards that make detailed data about North Carolina's forests, farmlands, and wetlands easily accessible to communities, land managers, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

Discussions about where to focus investments in infrastructure and what to build are not informed by a complete accounting of the nation’s assets, leaving out many critical services that nature provides, write Stephen Posner, of the Gund Institute for Environment, and Lydia Olander, of the Nicholas Institute.

By investing in coastal ecosystems, companies can reduce costs, improve operations including employee retention, generate financial gains, or enhance their reputation, write Ignace Beguin Billecocq and Tibor Vegh for the UNFCCC's Race to Resilience website.

Led by Lydia Olander, a project to study the socioeconomic impacts of ecosystem restoration was among 20 projects awarded a combined $2.3 million by the NOAA RESTORE Science Program to scope and design research that will inform future decisions on how to manage natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Ashley National Forest has implemented and refined novel approaches to evaluate ecosystem services in a pilot project with Forest Service Research and Development, the Washington Office, Duke University and Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. as part of the forest plan revision process.

In a commentary for the SDG Knowledge Hub, the Nicholas Institute's Tibor Vegh and FAO's Kenichi Shono write about the benefits of mangrove conservation and restoration in small island developing states and what can be done to reverse mangrove loss in these countries.

The Nicholas Institute is applying the expertise of its professionals to rapidly evolving environmental and energy issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read four stories about how Nicholas Institute projects are meeting the moment.