News - Sara Mason

The new Nicholas Institute publication brings together available scientific evidence on mangrove degradation and recovery with anecdotal details from managers and scientists based in Puerto Rico and Florida to help inform management of mangrove habitats in the Jobos Bay and Rookery Bay research reserves.

A Duke University team collaborated with the Department of the Interior to produce a practical, comprehensive resource on implementing nature-based solutions.

The Department of the Interior today announced new steps to utilize nature-based solutions in its efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Those include the launch of the Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, a new tool developed in partnership with the Nicholas Institute to provide DOI with guidance on implementing nature-based solutions.

As Florida counties eye already-conserved public lands to offset impacts to urban and suburban wetlands, a blog post from the Environmental Policy Innovation Center outlines arguments for putting offsets on public lands and presents counterarguments. The blog post also cites a 2020 Nicholas Institute report to detail safeguards that can be put in place when public lands have to be used for mitigation.

The Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to advance nature-based climate solutions during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28). The list included the Department of the Interior’s Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, an online tool created in partnership with Duke University that provides strategies, training resources, and successful examples for adopting nature-based solutions throughout the United States.

The Nicholas Institute has updated its Plastics Policy Inventory to include nearly 900 public policies introduced around the world since 2000 to reduce plastic use and waste. A new library also connects individual policies to studies of their effectiveness, while a pair of publications explore overarching trends and gender considerations in the policy landscape.

In an Aug. 23 webinar, White House officials provided an overview of new guidance that offers direction on how federal agencies can incorporate ecosystem services into their decision-making processes. The speakers also discussed how the guidance fits into a broader administration effort to acknowledge, account for and monitor ecosystem services and natural capital. The webinar was hosted by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership.

NESP engages more than 2,000 public and private sector stakeholders to enhance collaboration within the ecosystem services community and strengthen coordination of policy, market implementation, and research at the national level. NESP’s research, products, and regular webinars help advance innovative, sustainable approaches to managing natural resources.

As Americans were put under stay-at-home orders and told to social distance this spring, many turned to parks for their mental and physical health. With travel and vacation limited in the coming months, they are increasingly looking to nearby parks to fill their recreational needs.

To clarify environmental risks from Belt and Road Initiative road and rail development and examine best practices to address risks, World Bank researchers from Duke University have produced the working paper Reducing Environmental Risks from BRI Investments in Transportation Infrastructure.