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Making Nature Count: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Societal Decision-Making
RFF Academic Seminar
Steve Polasky, Regents Professor & Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics
Department of Applied Economics / Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
University of Minnesota
The two great challenges of the 21st century are to achieve economic development so that all people can have a decent standard of living, and to conserve and enhance the natural capital necessary for long-term sustainability. In order to simultaneously meet both challenges we need to effectively integrate the value of nature into societal decision-making. Nature provides a wide range of valuable goods and services (ecosystem services). Over the past decade there has been rapid scientific progress on understanding ecosystem services but slow progress in reforming of political and economic systems to account for the values of services in decision-making. In this paper we discuss several important steps that could lead to more rapid adoption of ecosystem service information: i) how to clearly map the links between nature and human well-being and how this matters for decision-making, ii) incorporating ecosystem services and natural capital into the national income and wealth accounts, and iii) creating a process for attaining recognized standards for reporting on ecosystem services and natural capital.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT
A light lunch will be provided.
7th Floor Conference Room
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW unless otherwise noted. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Karen Furman at Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at
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