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Increasing the Engagement of Large Private Forestland Owners in Conservation Management

The involvement of large private and institutional forestland owners in conservation has been recognized as increasingly important for the successful implementation of landscape-scale conservation. However, public and non-governmental organization partners have found engagement of these landowners in conservation planning, management, and implementation to be a significant challenge. The Nicholas Institute for Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., and the U.S. Forest Service hosted three meetings in April, September, and October 2016 to bring together leaders from each of these sectors to brainstorm approaches that could help increase the engagement of large private landowners in conservation. This paper summarizes ideas generated at these “all lands” meetings and provides a few concrete examples of conservation solutions across local and regional scales that could potentially be replicated to encourage large private landowner engagement.

Authors: John Burrows, Tim Hipp, and Lydia Olander

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Ecosystem Services

Working Papers

Report from the National Essential Fish Habitat Summit

In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the inclusion of essential fish habitat (EFH) provisions into the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), regional fishery management councils, and their partners convened the National EFH Summit in May 2016. Held in Annapolis, Maryland, this three-day participatory working meeting was facilitated by the Fisheries Leadership and Sustainability Forum and was organized by council and NOAA Fisheries staff and leadership. The goal of this summit was to bring together council and NOAA Fisheries habitat experts to assess and identify opportunities, challenges, and successful approaches for effective implementation of the MSA-EFH authorities across regions, and in a changing environment. The following themes emerged: (1) defining “essential” as it applies to EFH will remain a key challenge; (2) establishing clearly defined goals and objectives in the use of EFH authorities is necessary for practicable and effective conservation; (3) habitat conservation is paramount in maintaining ecosystem and fishery productivity and is a useful tool for implementing EBFM; (4) providing a “voice” for fisheries and building relationships and collaborations among NOAA Fisheries, the councils, federal action agencies, and the fishing community is vital for successful habitat conservation; (5) NOAA Fisheries and partners, including the fishing community, must continue to address habitat science gaps; (6) implementing shared mandates requires flexibility and acknowledgment of the differing regional contexts, innovations, and approaches for identifying, reviewing, revising, and conserving EFH; and (7) all EFH practitioners, including scientists, managers, and consultation staff, should strive to build a community of practice, maintain communications, and develop effective working relationships within and across regions.

Authors: Terra Lederhouse, Tony Marshak, Lauren Latchford, Rebecca Peters, and Katie Latanich 

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Fisheries

Reports

Managing Fisheries in a Changing Environment: Discussions from the 2017 Forum, May 1–2, 2017, Monterey, California

The 2017 Forum convened by the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum (Fisheries Forum) explored the challenges of managing fisheries in a changing environment. To meet the mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and achieve management objectives, federal fishery managers need to understand and respond to changing fisheries and marine ecosystems. The Forum explored the causes and implications of change, focusing on climate-related ocean changes; emerging capabilities to understand, model, and project future changes; pathways for integrating this information into decision making; and the opportunities for and challenges to flexibility and responsiveness in the council process. The Fisheries Forum convenes a series of forums for council members, council staff, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries staff. Each forum focuses on a topic with regional and national relevance. The forums are a unique opportunity for managers to explore emerging issues and questions and to share ideas and information across management regions.

Editors: Katie Latanich, Kim Gordon, and Caitlin Hamer

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Fisheries

Proceedings

Tuna Fisheries: Pacific Possible Background Paper No. 3

This World Bank paper outlines a best-case scenario whereby improved management of tuna fisheries allows Pacific Island countries to gain as much as US$344 million per year in additional sustainable revenues and create 7,500 to 15,000 jobs by 2040. The paper recommends five policy strategies: increased regional integration, efficient fishing practices and catch limits, flexible access and harvest rights for fleets, investment in skills and labor, and inclusion of coastal communities in fisheries planning. The paper builds on work undertaken by the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Community through the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which was endorsed by Pacific Island Forum leaders in 2015. It is part of the World Bank’s Pacific Possible series, which explores potentially transformative opportunities for Pacific Island countries that warrant further research, understanding, and policy action. The paper's results are summarized in Pacific Possible: Long-Term Economic Opportunities and Challenges for Pacific Island Countries.

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Ocean and Coastal Policy

Fisheries

Tuna Fisheries

Working Papers

Modeling Energy Efficiency as a Supply Resource

Energy efficiency may be an inexpensive way to meet future demand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet little work has been attempted to estimate annual energy efficiency supply functions for electricity planning. The main advantage of using a supply function is that energy efficiency adoption can change as demand changes. Models such as Duke University’s Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model (DIEM) have had to rely on simplistic or fixed estimates of future energy efficiency from the literature rather than on estimates from energy efficiency supply curves. This paper attempts to develop a realistic energy efficiency supply curve and to improve on the current energy efficiency modeling. It suggests an alternative approach based on saved-energy cost data from program administrators and explains the methodologies employed to create the supply curve. It illustrates this approach with results from DIEM for various electricity demand scenarios. The analysis suggests that an additional 5%–9% of energy efficiency is deployed for every 10% increase in the cost of electricity. Therefore, DIEM “invested” in energy efficiency up to an inelastic point on the energy efficiency supply curve. By contrast, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s energy efficiency approach assumes that realized energy efficiency is fixed, and has no elasticity, regardless of changes to marginal costs or constraints that affect emissions or economics. 

Authors: Etan Gumerman abd Tibor Vegh

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Climate and Energy

Environmental Economics

Modeling

Working Papers

Adaptations to Maintain the Contributions of Small-Scale Fisheries to Food Security in the Pacific Islands

In several Pacific Island countries and territories, rapid population growth and inadequate management of coastal fish habitats and stocks is causing a gap to emerge between the amount of fish recommended for good nutrition and sustainable harvests from coastal fisheries. The effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral reefs, and the effects of climate change on mangrove and seagrass habitats, are expected to widen this gap. To optimise the contributions of small-scale fisheries to food security in Pacific Island countries and territories, researchers write in the journal Marine Policy that adaptations are needed to minimise and fill the gap and they outline policies needed to support lists of key recommended adaptations.

Authors: Johann D. BellAndres Cisneros-Montemayor, Quentin Hanich, Johanna E. Johnson, Patrick Lehodey, Bradley R. Moore, Morgan S. Pratchett, Gabriel Reygondeau, Inna Senina, John Virdin, and Colette C.C. Wabnitz.

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Ocean and Coastal Policy

Journal Articles

Data and Modeling Infrastructure for National Integration of Ecosystem Services into Decision Making: Expert Summaries

Resource managers face increasingly complex decisions as they attempt to manage for the long-term sustainability and the health of natural resources. Incorporating ecosystem services into decision processes provides a means for increasing public engagement and generating more transparent consideration of tradeoffs that may help to garner participation and buy-in from communities and avoid unintended consequences. A 2015 White House memorandum from the Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science Technology and Policy acknowledged these benefits and asked all federal agencies to incorporate ecosystem services into their decision making. This working paper, expanded since its initial publication in November 2016, describes the ecological and social data and models available for quantifying the production and value of many ecosystem services across the United States. To achieve nationwide inclusion of ecosystem services, federal agencies will need to continue to build out and provide support for this essential informational infrastructure.

Authors: Lydia Olander, Gregory W. Characklis, Patrick Comer, Micah Effron, John Gunn, Tom Holmes, Robert Johnston, James Kagan, William Lehman, Eric Lonsdorf, John Loomis, Timon McPhearson, Anne Neale, Lauren Patterson, Leslie Richardson, Taylor Ricketts, Martin Ross, David Saah, Samantha Sifleet, Keith Stockmann, Dean Urban, Lisa Wainger, Robert Winthrop, and David Yoskowitz

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Ecosystem Services

National Ecosystem Services Partnership

Working Papers

Strengthening Governance of Small-Scale Fisheries: An Initial Assessment of the Theory and Practice

Small-scale fisheries (SSFs), most of which are found in developing countries, have been poorly measured at a global level, and they have often been ignored in states’ policy making—yet estimates suggest their aggregate global contribution to nutrition, food security, and poverty eradication is massive. These fisheries face multiple conflicts over space and resources—conflicts that scholars now believe can be mitigated with interactive governance or ecosystem-based management. However, there is little consensus in the literature on how local conditions affect linkages between desired outcomes and different forms of governance in small-scale fisheries (i.e., there is no appropriate full-fledged framework to understand under what conditions a particular form of government will lead to sustainable or more equitable use of marine resources in one geographic region versus another). A diverse group of organizations provide support to small-scale fisheries governance, typically support for science and research, governance capacity building, bridging functions across different organizations and geographies, policy development, policy delivery, alternative livelihoods/compensation for reduced fishing, and technology innovations. The level of financing provided to support small-scale fisheries governance varies according to the financier, but worldwide is likely to be relatively small. Another challenge is achieving small-scale fisheries governance reform at a large spatial scale (e.g., at the scale of ecosystems or value chains). Through surveys and a global workshop, practitioners around the world were asked how they would approach this challenge. They recommended (1) building a new global research agenda to fill in knowledge gaps on small-scale fisheries and communities, (2) supporting agents of change by establishing a capacity building platform for small-scale fisheries to better organize, and (3) expanding direct support to SSF communities to govern in a manner consistent with sustainable management guidelines and with the support of state agencies where needed. These recommendations could inform a round of increased global support for small-scale fisheries as part of the movement to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, turning them into reality, and supporting SSF governance reform widely enough to make global progress toward the SDGs, will likely require much more capital—including more public aid and private investment.

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Ocean and Coastal Policy

Fisheries

Reports

So You Want Your Research to Be Relevant? Building the Bridge between Ecosystem Services Research and Practice

There is growing demand for information regarding the impacts of decisions on ecosystem services and human benefits. Despite the large and growing quantity of published ecosystem services research, there remains a substantial gap between this research and the information required to support decisions. Research often provides models and tools that do not fully link social and ecological systems; that are too complex, specialized, and costly to use; and that are targeted to outcomes that differ from those needed by decision makers. Decision makers require cost-effective, straightforward, transferable, scalable, meaningful, and defensible methods that can be readily understood. This article in the journal Ecosystem Services provides illustrative examples of the gaps between research and practice and describes how researchers can make their work relevant to decision makers by using benefit relevant indicators (BRIs) and by choosing models appropriate for particular decision contexts. These examples are primarily drawn from the United States, and they include cases that illustrate varying degrees of success in closing these gaps. The article includes a discussion of the challenges and opportunities researchers face in adapting their work to meet the needs of practitioners.

Authors: Lydia Olander, Stephen Polasky, James S. Kagan, Robert J. Johnston, Lisa Wainger, David Saah, Lynn Maguire, James Boyd, and David Yoskowitz

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Ecosystem Services

Journal Articles

Environmental Impact Investing in Real Assets: What Environmental Measures Do Fund Managers Consider?

As concerns over climate change and natural resource depletion grow, investors have begun seeking opportunities for generating both market-rate financial returns and quantifiable environmental gains. Investing with the objectives of social or environmental return is often referred to as impact investing. Measuring and reporting the environmental impact of such investing is becoming of greater interest to environmental managers and investors. This report presents findings from interviews of investment fund managers of environmental real assets—defined here as real assets that rely on ecological systems to generate cash flows (e.g., timber, agriculture, fisheries, water rights). The interviews reveal little consistency in how environmental returns are measured and reported. Importantly, most of the environmental metrics are not designed to allow for evaluation of funds’ environmental performance. Hence, investors are unable to distinguish among funds in terms of environmental returns. Moreover, investors are also generally uninterested in such information. In short, impact investors seek environmental impact funds so long as they have risk-adjusted, market-rate returns regardless of environmental performance. To better evaluate the environmental returns of impact investments, whether real assets or other types of investments, fund managers and investors should directly engage the environmental science and operations management community. That community could offer insights to help ensure that investments are delivering and reporting on promise and that capital is being steered toward effective projects and opportunities.

Authors: Liz Spence, Belton Copp, Xander Kent, Dan Vermeer, and Martin W. Doyle

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Reports

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