Monster Seminar JAM -Fresh Water: It's for the fish...and the people!
Freshwater systems are one of the few places where managers have been forced to think about both nature and people for a long time. I will provide three examples of recent work using ecosystem service information in fresh water management decisions to reflect multiple objectives and deal with difficult tradeoffs. First, we have created a multi-objective maximization approach and associated software tool (RIOS) for targeting watershed restoration and management investments for cost-effective returns in freshwater services. This approach is being used in investment decisions in 40 watersheds across Latin America. Testing with simple models (InVEST) suggested that our targeted approach could yield up to 6-fold better erosion control returns than traditional investments. Future applications include retargeting agricultural subsidies in the Mississippi Basin to maximize agricultural yields, water quality and marine ecosystem service production in the Gulf of Mexico. Second, we have expanded traditional mitigation concepts to include impact assessment and mitigation requirements for ecosystem services. With a new concept called servicesheds, we can identify who will lose ecosystem services as a consequence of proposed development, and whether mitigation can return the same services to the same people. This equity-based approach would counter current limitations of mitigation programs such as those under the US Clean Water Act. Applications to date include coal mine permit assessment in Colombia and a proposed road through the Peruvian Amazon. In the future we plan to include freshwater services such as temperature regulation and fisheries and marine services such as coastal protection and nursery habitat. Finally, in these contexts and many others, monitoring is essential for policy assessment and understanding of system dynamics. I will present a new framework for monitoring ecosystem services and highlight its application for a global biodiversity observation network, GEO BON. Major limitations exist for observing marine ecosystem services and I will highlight opportunities for collaboration and expansion of this work
Date and Time:
January 10, 2013,
10:30 am - 1:00 pm