NCEAS Project 12669

A standard assessment framework for ecosystem services

  • Dean Urban
  • Patrick Comer
  • Lydia P. Olander

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group25th February—1st March 2013Participant List  
Working Group20th—22nd August 2013Participant List  

Ecosystems services—the benefits that natural ecosystems provide to society—are increasingly the focus of public and private land management decisions. There is a growing demand for standardization of assessment tools (measures, metrics and standards) that can be applied in a consistent manner across ecoregions and by practitioners from agencies with differing programmatic mandates. This task will require agreement across ecologists, economists, social scientists, and practitioners from academia, state and federal agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. We propose an NCEAS working group to focus on the ecological and biodiversity characteristics related to the production of ecosystem services, especially, the development of robust, consistent methods and metrics for measuring the quantity and relative ecological value of these services in a multi-criteria decision framework. This effort will be coordinated with parallel activities, focused on social valuation, conducted through the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), and with a larger stakeholder audience represented by the National Ecosystems Services Partnership (NESP). NCEAS activities will include a series of workshops within interim tasks that will evolve as a national program on ecosystem services is refined and codified. Key words: decision analysis, ecological production function, geospatial analysis, economic valuation