EPA Science Inventory

Humankind is Totally Dependent on Nature - How Can We Define, Quantify, and Track Nature's Vital (and Some Not So Vital) Benefits to Inform Decision Making?

Citation:

Landers, D. AND A. Nahlik. Humankind is Totally Dependent on Nature - How Can We Define, Quantify, and Track Nature's Vital (and Some Not So Vital) Benefits to Inform Decision Making? Presented at Joint Aquatic Science Meeting, Portland, OR, May 18 - 23, 2014.

Description:

Ecosystem Services have received increased scientific attention for a decade, yet the natural and social scientists working on mainstreaming these concepts are still struggling with the task. FEGS (Final Ecosystem Goods and Services) are an informative and useful concept as they embody both biophysical components of nature and human beneficiaries. We present a FEGS Classification System (FEGS-CS), focusing on aquatic systems, that minimize double counting, which is difficult to avoid using the Millennium Ecological Assessment perspective. The FEGS-CS directly identifies potential beneficiaries which connect nature’s bounty to humans. An important remaining piece of this framework is to identify what information regarding beneficiaries is needed for valuation and how might this information be obtained. This information may be viewed as understanding a beneficiary-scape for a defined area on the earth’s surface. Defining the information needs and providing it will likely require a mixed assembly of natural and social scientists. An ideal outcome from such a joint effort could be the definition of a systematic approach to efficiently derive an adequate quantity of beneficiary information suitable for FEGS valuation.

Purpose/Objective:

The Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System (FEGS-CS) has been well received by the scientific community and as it incorporated into decision making, it is likely to be used by many different entities (communities, government and non-government organizations, private sector, etc.) as the preferred choice for an environmental currency that can be linked to choices regarding sustainability. Understanding the beneficiary-scape, as discussed in this abstract, is an important step toward moving the FEGS-CS forward.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Completion Date: 05/27/2014
Record Last Revised: 05/27/2014
Record Created: 05/27/2014
Record Released: 05/27/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 276906

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH