Although health, development, and environment challenges are interconnected, evidence remains fractured across sectors due to methodological and conceptual differences in research and practice. Aligned methods are needed to support Sustainable Development Goal advances and similar agendas. The Bridge Collaborative, an emergent research-practice collaboration, presents principles and recommendations that help harmonize methods for evidence generation and use.
This report, co-authored by the Bridge Collaborative and UNDP, highlights three global challenges that require cross-sector solutions, and actions that can be taken now to drive bigger change faster for people and the world we share.
Coastal wetlands provide diverse ecosystem services such as flood protection and recreational value. However, predicting changes in ecosystem service value from restoration or management is challenging because environmental systems are highly complex and uncertain. Furthermore, benefits are diverse and accrue over various timescales. We developed a generalizable mathematical coastal management model to compare restoration expenditures to ecosystem service benefits and apply it to McInnis Marsh, Marin County, California, USA.
Military bases provide substantial ecosystem services to local communities and other members of the public. This project conceptualizes and quantifies ecosystem services provided by U.S. military bases developing an integrated modeling platform called MoTIVES (Model-based Tracking and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services). MoTIVES manages probabilistic simulations of biophysical and economic models for relevant ecosystem services provided by alternative base management scenarios, and then assigns values where valuation is possible.
Over the last decade, efforts to use compensatory mitigation to manage and ameliorate the impacts of development on biodiversity and ecosystems around the world have accelerated. Mitigation mechanisms provide a structured way to advance economic development and infrastructure while also achieving environmental goals. In order to operationalize mitigation programs, practitioners need a methodology for calculating or quantifying impacts and offsets (debits and credits). The methods currently employed in the U.S. and abroad are extremely varied. Surprisingly, the literature on best practices or standards for developing science-based approaches to the quantification of impacts and offsets is sparse and there is also no single broadly accepted best practice guidance.
Are There Benefits to Integrating Corporate Health and Environmental Strategies? An Exploration of the Food/Agriculture and Textile Sectors
Businesses impact environmental determinants of health and can play an important role in creating integrated approaches for promoting a healthy environment. This report describes the ways in which the food/agriculture and textile sectors affect environmental conditions that are associated with health risks and assesses how companies are tracking and addressing these interconnected issues.
Reducing Environmental Risks from Belt and Road Initiative Investments in Transportation Infrastructure
The proposed Belt and Road Initiative rail and road investments have stimulated concerns because of the history of significant negative environmental impacts from large-scale transportation projects across the globe. This paper studies environmental risks—direct and indirect—from Belt and Road Initiative transportation projects and the mitigation strategies and policies to address them. The paper concludes with a recommendation on how to take advantage of the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative to address these concerns in a way not typically available to stand-alone projects.
Social and environmental systems are linked and, as this relationship becomes ever more apparent, governments, communities and organizations are increasingly faced with, and focused on, problems that are complex, wicked and transgress traditional disciplinary boundaries. This article in the journal Nature Sustainability suggests that evidence-based approaches to solve these complex multi-disciplinary challenges must draw on knowledge from the environment, development, and health domains. To address barriers to the consideration of evidence across domains, this paper develops an approach to evidence assessment that is broader and less hierarchical than the standards often applied within disciplines.
This report provides an illustrative ecosystem services conceptual model for salt marsh restoration at National Estuarine Research Reserve sites. The model captures the potential outcomes of a salt marsh habitat restoration. An accompanying evidence library provides a summary of the evidence for each relationship in the model and an assessment of the strength of that evidence. This report is part of the Conceptual Model Series produced by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership.
Funders and developers of infrastructure projects and businesses and managers overseeing critical natural resources are becoming increasingly aware of and interested in ecosystem services. Quick, simple, transparent, and low-cost ways for incorporating these services into decisions are just now under development. One tool that can support widespread implementation is ecosystem services conceptual models. This report facilitates development and use of such models in federal decision making by presenting a “how-to” guide and illustrative examples. It is part of the Conceptual Model Series produced by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership.