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Natural and working lands—forests, wetlands, coastal, and agricultural lands—provide many benefits, including supporting key economic sectors, enhancing community resilience to hazards such as fires and floods, and contributing to climate mitigation by storing large amounts of carbon. This guide is aimed at states interested in developing plans for conserving, managing, and restoring these lands to preserve and enhance their benefits. The guide uses examples from North Carolina’s recently completed Natural and Working Lands Action Plan to walk through the planning process, helpful resources, and the tracking of plan implementation.
Across the U.S., states are developing policies and programs to help promote forest-based natural climate solutions. This effort is bolstered by a growth in forest carbon programs that aim to make entry into the voluntary carbon offset market accessible to all landowners. Here we present a “menu” of policy and program options (that we call action items) derived from existing state programs and policies that decision makers can leverage to promote forest carbon solutions.
Tracking the Benefits of Natural & Working Lands in the United States: Dataset Evaluation and Readiness Assessment
Natural and working lands (NWL) in the United States provide many benefits, including food, climate mitigation, recreational opportunities, jobs, and many more. There is currently no coordinated approach in the United States to track how provision of these benefits is changing over time. This project begins to fill this gap by identifying datasets that can be used to track the status and trends of NWL benefits (i.e., ecosystem services), assessing their readiness for use in the near-term, and highlighting data gaps and limitations that need to be addressed for a national assessment.
This chapter from Global Climate Change and Human Health: From Science to Practice discusses how various ecosystem services affect human health and describes how climate change might disrupt or alter the delivery of those services.
The authors outline the framework used to teach environmental policy instruments through the “Five P’s”: prescription, property, penalty, payment, and persuasion and then discuss the discrete ecosystem services research required to effectively implement each tool.
This Phase II report of the GEMS project identifies metrics available to monitor the social and economic outcomes of a wide variety of coastal projects funded in the Gulf, using ESLMs to illustrate how these projects’ impacts cascade through the biophysical system to result in social and economic outcomes. Phase II expands the focus to assess socioeconomic metrics for 16 coastal project types, including habitat restoration, recreational enhancement, and water quality improvement projects.
While we know that cross-sector thinking is essential, it is not commonplace. Delivering Bigger Change Faster: A Workbook on Strengthening Proposals for Projects With Cross-sector Impacts, Version 2.0 is a resource for teams that are fairly new to cross-sector thinking but already have a proposal for creating multi-sector impacts.
Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States
A shared understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs to people from alternative land management strategies is critical to successful decision-making for managing public lands and fostering shared stewardship. This study describes an approach for identifying and monitoring the types of resource benefits and tradeoffs considered in National Forest planning in the United States under the 2012 Planning Rule and demonstrates the use of tools for conceptualizing the production of ecosystem services and benefits from alternative land management strategies.
An analysis of stream mitigation banking and the challenges of implementing market-based approaches to environmental conservation.
The international development community is off-track from meeting targets for alleviating global malnutrition. Meanwhile, there is growing consensus across scientific disciplines that fish plays a crucial role in food and nutrition security. However, this ‘fish as food’ perspective has yet to translate into policy and development funding priorities.