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Economic valuation of ecosystem services, payments for ecosystem services
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Biodiversity loss may cause increase in allergies and asthma

Declining biodiversity may be contributing to the rise of asthma, allergies, and other chronic inflammatory diseases among people living in cities worldwide, a Finnish study suggests.

 

Journal Reference:

Environmental biodiversity, human microbiota, and allergy are interrelated. Ilkka Hanski, Leena von Hertzen, Nanna Fyhrquist, Kaisa Koskinen, Kaisa Torppa, Tiina Laatikainen, Piia Karisola, Petri Auvinen, Lars Paulin, Mika J. Mäkelä, Erkki Vartiainen, Timo U. Kosunen, Harr. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 7, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1205624109

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Corneille Ewango is a hero of the Congo forest | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Botanist Corneille Ewango talks about his work at the Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Congo Basin -- and his heroic work protecting it from poachers, miners and raging civil wars.
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Science Media Centre » Blog Archive » Putting a price on natural ‘goods and services’

Science Media Centre » Blog Archive » Putting a price on natural ‘goods and services’ | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Putting a price on natural ‘goods and services’

Posted in Briefings on July 6th, 2011.

ONLINE MEDIA BRIEFING: Wed 6 July 10.30 AM

Soil, water, energy, air, wildlife and minerals — they underpin our economy, but go largely unrecognised when it comes to tallying up the balance sheet.

Recent steps by policy-makers in the UK and locally are making concrete efforts to move away from a purely economic valuation of national worth. Frameworks recognising the intangible values associated with social well-being and natural resources are being proposed and debated in countries around the world, including New Zealand.

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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: A Framework for Assessment

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: A Framework for Assessment | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Dowloable PFD sections here.

 

Leading scientists from more than 100 nations are conducting the assessment, which can aid countries, regions, or companies by:

providing a clear, scientific picture of the current state of Earth's ecosystems at multiple scalesdeepening our understanding of the relationship and linkages between ecosystems and human well-being, including economic, social and cultural aspirationsdemonstrating the potential of ecosystems to contribute to poverty reduction and enhanced well-beingoffering scenarios of our future human and ecological well-beingidentifying and evaluating policy and management options for sustaining ecosystem services and harmonizing them with human needs

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Gretchen Daily | Center for Conservation Biology

Gretchen Daily | Center for Conservation Biology | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Daily co-founded the Natural Capital Project (www.naturalcapitalproject.org), an international effort focused on achieving this integration through research, practical tools, and policy-oriented demonstrations in contrasting places around the world. Daily works extensively with private landowners, economists, lawyers, business people, and government agencies to incorporate environmental issues into business practice and public policy.

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Wild rice gene gives yield boost

Wild rice gene gives yield boost | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

How do we value wild crop relatives?

 

A gene from wild Indian rice plants can significantly raise the yield of common varieties in nutrient-poor soils by boosting root growth.

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Jeremy Cherfas's comment, August 23, 2012 6:43 AM
I wonder what happens when the increased root growth of one plant intersects with the increased root growth of its neighbours. In a P-depleted soil, why doesn't each plant rob P from its neighbours?
Marybeth Shea's comment, August 23, 2012 6:49 AM
Not sure. However, this research supports claims that wild crop relatives hold an inventory of genes, the value of which is huge. How do we protect more effectively this rich resource?
Jeremy Cherfas's comment, August 23, 2012 6:57 AM
Protecting the genetic diversity of wild relatives is indeed a challenge, one that is being addressed in a variety of ways.
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Mangrove CO2 storage 'economic'

Mangrove CO2 storage 'economic' | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
Protecting mangroves to lock carbon away in trees may be an economic way to curb climate change, research suggests.
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Nature News Blog: Carnegie advances carbon mapping in Colombia : Nature News Blog

Nature News Blog: Carnegie advances carbon mapping in Colombia : Nature News Blog | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have rolled out their latest carbon-counting methodology in partnership with Colombian scientists, mapping carbon stocks across 40 percent of the Colombian Amazon using a new methodology that relies...
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Farmers benefit by providing environmental services — AgriCultures Network

Farmers benefit by providing environmental services — AgriCultures Network | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
More and more land in Africa is being cultivated, reducing the area covered by forests, the existing biodiversity, and affecting the water supplies of nearby cities. Could farmers produce the same services as forests do – at least partly?

Via Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
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Q.&A.: The Underside of 'Green' Transactions

Q.&A.: The Underside of 'Green' Transactions | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
Presenting 17 case studies, researchers write that some investments in biofuels, ecotourism and other green initiatives amount to land grabs that displace the poor.
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Inclusive Wealth Report - IHDP

Inclusive Wealth Report - IHDP | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
The IWR 2012 features an index that measures the wealth of nations by looking into a country’s capital assets, including manufactured, human and natural capital, and its corresponding values: the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI). Results show changes in inclusive wealth from 1990 to 2008, and include a long-term comparison to GDP for an initial group of 20 countries worldwide, which represent 72% of the world GDP and 56% of the global population.

 

IHDP is an international and interdisciplinary science programme that fosters social science research on the human dimensions of global environmental change.

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Rio+20: A voice from Oxford, UK

Rio+20: A voice from Oxford, UK | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Kate Raworth is a senior researcher for Oxfam and is based in Oxford, UK...  Read her account of Rio and these frameworks: nine planetary boundaries and the "doughnut":

 

"a space where every person has the resources needed to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, but where humanity collectively achieves this within the means of what our one planet can provide. And it's a space shaped like a doughnut – a comic metaphor with a serious message. The central economic project of the 21st century must surely be to devise markets, policies, and indicators that help bring humanity into this safe and just space. So if Rio+20 can help to change the picture of the world that economists carry around in their heads, and if it can point us towards the doughnut, it will have served us well."

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Payment for Ecosystem Services applied to agricultural systems

Payment for Ecosystem Services applied to agricultural systems | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
New article available co-written by Bioversity senior scientist Fabrice DeClerck focuses on Payment for Ecosystem Services applied to agricultural systems and the ever-growing debate regarding the effectiveness of these programs for changing...

Via Luigi Guarino
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Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the science–policy dialogue

Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the science–policy dialogue | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

A new article examines the mismatches between the scales at which ecological processes take place and the levels at which policy decisions and management interventions are made.  Biodiversity is among the most difficult of natural capital to quantify.

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REDD+ Finance should be Public, include “Non-carbon” Benefits, says South

(cross-posted from Third World Network Bangkok Climate News Update No. 4) Bangkok, 31 August (Hilary Chiew) – Developing countries continue to stress that forest-related activities under the UN Fra...

 

NGO take on the transparency and public funding quality of valuing carbon and other PES schemes for forests. 

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REDD finance discussions at the UN climate talks in Bangkok | redd ...

REDD finance discussions at the UN climate talks in Bangkok | redd ... | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
It warned that market-based finance will result in overlooking of the “low carbon credit” REDD+ activities such as biodiversity conservation and protection of natural forests with low greenhouse gas mitigation potential, and that ...
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Seminal Papers in Ecological Economics (PDF resource)

Seminal Papers in Ecological Economics (PDF resource) | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Geographic Disparities and moral hazards in the predicted impatcts of climate change on human populations

Climate Change and large-scale human population collapses in the pre-industrial era

Anthropogenic transformation of the biomes, 1700 to 2000

Paramount Positions of Ecological Economics (Garrett Hardin)

The seminal I=P*A*T paper (Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren)

The Total Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital (Costanza et al.)

The Poor and the Environment (Robin Broad)

The Brundtland Report (aka ‘Our Common Future’)

The structure of ecosystems (Bruce Hannon)

Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems (C.S. Holling) (pr II) (Pt III)

Food Production, Population Growth, and the Environment (Daily et al.)

Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity, and the Environment (Arrow et al.)

The Limits to Substitution (Paul Ehrlich)

Energy and Economic Myths (Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen)

Carrying Capacity and Ecological Economics (Mark Sagoff)

Herman Daly response to Mark Sagoff piece above (Herman Daly)

The World Bank at 50, But how Fit? (Hilary French)

The Tragedy of the Commons (Garret Hardin)

Environmental Warning Sign Timeline (International Institute for Sustainable Development)

How and Why Journalists Avoid the Population-Environment Connection (T. Michael Maher) (part II)

Is Urban Planning “Creeping Socialism”? (O’toole) (Part II)

Global estimates of market and non-market values … (Sutton & Costanza)

Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity (Imhoff et al.)

The Ecological Footprint (Wadkernagel’s original dissertation from University of British Columbia)

Paving the Planet: Impervious Surface as a proxy measure of the human ecological footprint (Sutton et al.)

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Nature's Journal Club: Dov Sax : On the value of protected areas

Nature's Journal Club: Dov Sax : On the value of protected areas | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

To survive, many species will need to move, either on their own or with human assistance. Accommodating this will require a major change in the perceived role of nature reserves. Traditionally, these have been managed as ‘museums’ that maintain historically accurate compositions of species and ecosystems. In the future, we may need some reserves to function as ‘way stations’, with transient compositions of species. This may be the only way to promote the long-term conservation of species that can no longer survive in their present locales.

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The Triumph of Fantasy over Science, Part 1 « Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

The Triumph of Fantasy over Science, Part 1 « Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it

Rob Dietz uses the summer camp metaphor quite nicely:

 

Two competing camps attract people from all over the world. One is Science Camp, and the other is Fantasy Camp.At Science Camp, the counselors teach campers that we live on a single blue-green planet with finite resources. The curriculum at Science Camp focuses on figuring out how to conserve and share those resources. There’s a strong undercurrent of appreciation (maybe even reverence) for nature and humanity’s place in it — a desire to learn about and safeguard life on this planet.

At Fantasy Camp, the counselors educate campers to believe that humanity can circumvent natural limits. Campers are taught that our unstoppable ingenuity can overcome any resource shortages or manage any amount of waste generation. There’s a strong undercurrent of consumption — a desire to accumulate ever more power and stuff in an attempt to gain complete control over life (and even death).

This division of the world’s people into two camps is a bit crude.

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6 Ways We’re Putting Nature into the Equation | Conservation International Blog

6 Ways We’re Putting Nature into the Equation | Conservation International Blog | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
What will a “green economy” actually look like? The good news is we don't have to guess.
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Rio's Buzzing About Natural Capital Accounting | Perspectives on development

Rio's Buzzing About Natural Capital Accounting | Perspectives on development | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
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Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom Made History

Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom Made History | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
@CGIAR Or you using "ownership" as shorthand for "secure rights"?

Via Luigi Guarino
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Sustainability index that looks beyond GDP launched

Sustainability index that looks beyond GDP launched | Nature's Bounty | Scoop.it
The world's fixation on economic growth ignores a rapid and largely irreversible depletion of natural resources that will seriously harm future generations, according to a report which unveils a new indicator aimed at encouraging sustainability --...
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