Article

Global modeling of nature's contributions to people

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Abstract

The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people's needs for nature are now greatest, nature's ability to meet those needs is declining. Up to 5 billion people face higher water pollution and insufficient pollination for nutrition under future scenarios of land use and climate change, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Hundreds of millions of people face heightened coastal risk across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Continued loss of nature poses severe threats, yet these can be reduced 3- to 10-fold under a sustainable development scenario.

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... Nature plays a crucial role in securing, maintaining, and enhancing peoples' life quality for current and future generations (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Díaz et al., 2018;Guerry et al., 2015). Natural resources (i.e., the world's stock of natural assets including soil, air, water, animals, and plants) provides important ecosystem services (e.g., pollination, carbon sequestration), which sustain human wellbeing in everyday life (Díaz et al., 2018). ...
... Natural resources (i.e., the world's stock of natural assets including soil, air, water, animals, and plants) provides important ecosystem services (e.g., pollination, carbon sequestration), which sustain human wellbeing in everyday life (Díaz et al., 2018). However, human activities are responsible for the global loss in biodiversity, and this is reducing ecosystem services and affecting human well-being (Bradbury et al., 2021;Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). By 2050, it is estimated that up to 5 billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, will be at risk of experiencing diminishing ecosystem services (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). ...
... However, human activities are responsible for the global loss in biodiversity, and this is reducing ecosystem services and affecting human well-being (Bradbury et al., 2021;Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). By 2050, it is estimated that up to 5 billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, will be at risk of experiencing diminishing ecosystem services (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). Strategies to reverse downward trends in ecosystem services may achieve positive outcomes, but may not be sustainable when continuing human activities are still conflicting with conservation efforts (Kareiva, 2014;Marvier, 2014;Tallis et al., 2008). ...
Article
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Nature’s contributions to people diminish when people are alienated from nature. We developed a framework to help support more sustainable people-nature interactions in the context of the conservation of African elephants (Loxodonta africana and L. cyclotis). Elephants are iconic, and ecologically, culturally, and socio-economically important, but are also competing and in conflict with people who still benefit little from elephant conservation. We demonstrate how this framework can be used to address challenges over elephant conservation and management, and help achieve human-elephant coexistence, by (i) balancing integrity of nature with social cohesion and human wellbeing, and (ii) moderating the use of nature through widely accepted values, aspirations, and rights. The framework provides mechanisms for policymakers and managers to improve existing community-based conservation initiatives, promotes equitable policies for elephant conservation, and can be applied to the conservation of other iconic species that pose management challenges.
... First, we mapped the locations of standing forests that could be protected as financially viable carbon projects based on net present values (NPVs) and considering additionality over a 30-year time frame 2 (see the Methods for the details). We then modelled the extent to which carbon projects would (1) mitigate climate change from the avoided emissions from deforestation 2 , (2) support crop pollination services for pollinator-dependent agriculture 8,9 , (3) maintain water quality regulation services for downstream rivers and lakes by retaining nitrogen in watersheds 8,9 , and (4) safeguard Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) 10 . ...
... First, we mapped the locations of standing forests that could be protected as financially viable carbon projects based on net present values (NPVs) and considering additionality over a 30-year time frame 2 (see the Methods for the details). We then modelled the extent to which carbon projects would (1) mitigate climate change from the avoided emissions from deforestation 2 , (2) support crop pollination services for pollinator-dependent agriculture 8,9 , (3) maintain water quality regulation services for downstream rivers and lakes by retaining nitrogen in watersheds 8,9 , and (4) safeguard Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) 10 . ...
... Forest carbon projects in proximity to agricultural lands also provide important foraging and nesting habitats for wild pollinators 4,8,9 . These pollinators not only ensure the ecosystem health of adjoining forest patches but also support pollinator-dependent agricultural production and nutritional services within the immediate vicinity. ...
Article
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Forest carbon projects can deliver multiple benefits to society. Within Southeast Asia, 58% of forests threatened by loss could be protected as financially viable carbon projects, which would avoid 835 MtCO2e of emissions per year from deforestation, support dietary needs for an equivalent of 323,739 people annually from pollinator-dependent agriculture, retain 78% of the volume of nitrogen pollutants in watersheds yearly and safeguard 25 Mha of Key Biodiversity Areas. Forest conservation contributes to climate change mitigation and delivers a host of other benefits to society, but such benefits are usually assessed qualitatively at the project level. This study provides a quantitative assessment of multiple benefits from forest carbon projects across Southeast Asia.
... Local NCP 1) Nitrogen retention to regulate water quality for downstream populations is modeled using the InVEST 48 Nutrient Delivery Ratio model, which is based on fertilizer application, precipitation, topography, and the retention capacity of vegetation, and has been previously used in global applications 49 . The people benefitting from nitrogen retention are those who would otherwise be exposed to nitrogen contamination in their drinking water. ...
... 3) Crop pollination is modeled with a simplified version of InVEST, mapping the potential contribution of wild pollinators to nutrition production based on the sufficiency of habitat surrounding farmland and the pollination dependency of crops 49 . NCP for crop pollination is expressed in terms of the average . ...
... Coastal risk reduction is modeled with InVEST for terrestrial and coastal/off-shore habitats [55][56][57][58] , updating previous global modeling 49 through the inclusion of new data and projecting the value back to the habitat. Coastal risk reduction depends on the physical exposure to coastal hazards (based on wind, waves, sea level rise, geomorphology, bathymetry). ...
Preprint
Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems, and processes that underpin human well-being is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we identify critical natural assets, natural and semi-natural ecosystems that provide 90% of the total current magnitude of 14 types of nature’s contributions to people (NCP). Critical natural assets for maintaining local-scale NCP (12 of the 14 NCP mapped) comprise 30% of total global land area and 24% of national territorial waters, while 44% of land area is required for maintaining all NCP (including those that accrue at the global scale, carbon storage and moisture recycling). At least 87% of the world’s population lives in the areas benefiting from critical natural assets for local-scale NCP, while only 16% lives on the lands containing these assets. Critical natural assets also overlap substantially with areas important for biodiversity (covering area requirements for 73% of birds and 66% of mammals) and cultural diversity (representing 96% of global Indigenous and non-migrant languages). Many of the NCP mapped here are left out of international agreements focused on conserving species or mitigating climate change, yet this analysis shows that explicitly prioritizing critical natural assets for NCP could simultaneously advance development, climate, and conservation goals. Crafting policy and investment strategies that protect critical natural assets is essential for sustaining human well-being and securing Earth’s life support systems.
... Abbreviations refer to IPBES assessment: GA -Global Assessment, ECA -Europe and Central Asia, AF -Africa, POL -Pollination, pollinators and food production (www.ipbes.net) Modeled bee abundances -From land use/land cover maps that reflect spatial variation in nesting and floral resources; proxies available based on habitat suitability and distance to pollination-dependent crops [34 ] ( Crop production attributed to wild pollinators Proportion of crop pollination needs that are met by wild pollinators -Proxies available from estimates of pollinated production/pollinationdependent production [34 ] ( Nutrient requirements met by pollinated crop production -Proxies from estimates of maximum potential pollinationdependent nutrient production normalized by annual recommended dietary intake of a single person, and averaged across all nutrients [34 ] ( The instrumental value of marine fisheries, especially the economic value of rare yet highly valued species, is a major driver for this overexploitation [53]. The relational values associated with intangible cultural practices that have tied fishers to the oceans are increasingly eroded, leading to a growing disengagement of responsibilities to fish, fishers, and the ocean [54]. ...
... Abbreviations refer to IPBES assessment: GA -Global Assessment, ECA -Europe and Central Asia, AF -Africa, POL -Pollination, pollinators and food production (www.ipbes.net) Modeled bee abundances -From land use/land cover maps that reflect spatial variation in nesting and floral resources; proxies available based on habitat suitability and distance to pollination-dependent crops [34 ] ( Crop production attributed to wild pollinators Proportion of crop pollination needs that are met by wild pollinators -Proxies available from estimates of pollinated production/pollinationdependent production [34 ] ( Nutrient requirements met by pollinated crop production -Proxies from estimates of maximum potential pollinationdependent nutrient production normalized by annual recommended dietary intake of a single person, and averaged across all nutrients [34 ] ( The instrumental value of marine fisheries, especially the economic value of rare yet highly valued species, is a major driver for this overexploitation [53]. The relational values associated with intangible cultural practices that have tied fishers to the oceans are increasingly eroded, leading to a growing disengagement of responsibilities to fish, fishers, and the ocean [54]. ...
... Abbreviations refer to IPBES assessment: GA -Global Assessment, ECA -Europe and Central Asia, AF -Africa, POL -Pollination, pollinators and food production (www.ipbes.net) Modeled bee abundances -From land use/land cover maps that reflect spatial variation in nesting and floral resources; proxies available based on habitat suitability and distance to pollination-dependent crops [34 ] ( Crop production attributed to wild pollinators Proportion of crop pollination needs that are met by wild pollinators -Proxies available from estimates of pollinated production/pollinationdependent production [34 ] ( Nutrient requirements met by pollinated crop production -Proxies from estimates of maximum potential pollinationdependent nutrient production normalized by annual recommended dietary intake of a single person, and averaged across all nutrients [34 ] ( The instrumental value of marine fisheries, especially the economic value of rare yet highly valued species, is a major driver for this overexploitation [53]. The relational values associated with intangible cultural practices that have tied fishers to the oceans are increasingly eroded, leading to a growing disengagement of responsibilities to fish, fishers, and the ocean [54]. ...
Article
Global frameworks to guide consistent monitoring of changes in human–nature interactions across space and time are needed to better understand how healthy ecosystems support societies and to inform policy design. Monitoring Essential Ecosystem Service Variables (EESVs) can provide a comprehensive picture of how links between nature and people are changing. A first proposed set of EESV classes comprises: ecological supply, anthropogenic contribution, demand, use, instrumental values, and relational values. Development of specific indicators of these classes for three exemplary ecosystem services (food from fisheries, crop pollination and wildlife viewing) confirms their readiness for global operationalization. The EESV classes will advance our ability to monitor progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
... In addition, key ecosystem services may be lost in particular if coastal defences and other human infrastructure hamper coastal ecosystems' natural adjustment capacity to SLR, e.g. through inland migration 7,17 . Of particular importance is the loss of coastal protection services [28][29][30] , as mangroves, corals, saltmarshes and seagrass meadows currently protect hundreds of millions of people worldwide against storm surges and waves 31,32 . For example, under RCP8.5 by 2100, a 1 m loss in coral reef height would more than double the global area flooded during a 100-year event 29 . ...
... Considering the range of adaptation options and their viability in the context of additional change independent of SLR, we estimate that high adaptation can only slightly reduce collective risk to above Moderate, Moderate-to-high and High under RCP2.6, RCP8.5 median and RCP8.5 upper likely range, respectively (31,40 and 47% on the Undetectable-Extremely high risk scale). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sea level rise (SLR) will increase adaptation needs along low-lying coasts worldwide. Despite centuries of experience with coastal risk, knowledge about the effectiveness and feasibility of societal adaptation on the scale required in a warmer world remains limited. This paper contrasts end-century SLR risks under two warming and two adaptation scenarios, for four coastal settlement archetypes (Urban Atoll Islands, Arctic Communities, Large Tropical Agricultural Deltas, Resource-Rich Cities). We show that adaptation will be substantially beneficial to the continued habitability of most low-lying settlements over this century, at least until the RCP8.5 median SLR level is reached. However, diverse locations worldwide will experience adaptation limits over the course of this century, indicating situations where even ambitious adaptation cannot sufficiently offset a failure to effectively mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions.
... The models can be roughly separated into three classes: (a) simplistic large-scale effect models, (b) simplified models with limited data requirements for agricultural extension and modelling landscape-scale effects, and (c) process-based research tools on the plot-to-field scale. In general, models of type (a) are built using informed hypotheses about agroforestry functioning and analogies with annual agro-ecosystems and forestry upscale effects to regional or even continental scale, such as the ESAT-A [15] indicator system, similar to the well-known InVEST system [16]. Simplified, data-sparse, processoriented growth models, type (b), e.g., YieldSAFE [17] can be used by practitioners for agricultural extension services. ...
... To overcome these redundancies, in this paper, we propose links between agroforestry system properties and NCP groups (Table 1). We identified NCPs related to biodiversity (NCP 1, 2, 10, and 14), air quality (NCP 3), climate (NCP 4), water percolation (NCP 6-8), surface protection (NCP 8-9), production (NCP 11-13) and the group of socio-cultural NCPs (NCP [15][16][17]. Ocean acidification (NCP 5) is only indirectly related to agroforestry and was excluded from this study. Nature contributes to people by enabling opportunities, to benefit humanity in ways to be discovered (NCP 18). ...
Article
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Climate change, increasing environmental pollution, continuous loss of biodiversity, and a growing human population with increasing food demand, threaten the functioning of agro-ecosystems and their contribution to people and society. Agroforestry systems promise a number of benefits to enhance nature's contributions to people. There are a wide range of agroforestry systems implemented representing different levels of establishment across the globe. This range and the long time periods for the establishment of these systems make empirical assessments of impacts on ecosystem functions difficult. In this study we investigate how simulation models can help to assess and predict the role of agroforestry in nature's contributions. The review of existing models to simulate agroforestry systems reveals that most models predict mainly biomass production and yield. Regulating ecosystem services are mostly considered as a means for the assessment of yield only. Generic agroecosystem models with agroforestry extensions provide a broader scope, but the interaction between trees and crops is often addressed in a simplistic way. The application of existing models for agroforestry systems is particularly hindered by issues related to code structure, licences or availability. Therefore, we call for a community effort to connect existing agroforestry models with ecosystem effect models towards an open-source, multi-effect agroforestry modelling framework.
... Furthermore, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of how economies and societies will be impacted if current trends in biodiversity loss will continue. Continued biodiversity loss could impair the provisioning of important services (e. g., water quality regulation, crop pollination) and thereby negatively affect human wellbeing (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). Existing models, data and modelling approaches are currently not ready for estimating impacts from changes in biodiversity on economies (Crossman et al., 2018). ...
... Existing models, data and modelling approaches are currently not ready for estimating impacts from changes in biodiversity on economies (Crossman et al., 2018). Therefore, modelling biodiversity in a socio-economic context, i. e. including biodiversity aspects in existing models, remains an important challenge as it is difficult and controversial when it comes to commoditization of more and more aspects of nature in its public good dimension (Titeux et al., 2016(Titeux et al., , 2017Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). In the Dasgupta (2021) review on "the economics of biodiversity" it is stressed that to get nature inclusive decisions, the inclusion of natural capital stocks and related ecosystem services in economic models is difficult but a step in the right direction. ...
Article
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With its update of the Bioeconomy Strategy and the Green Deal, the European Commission committed itself to a transformation towards a sustainable and climate-neutral European Union. This process is characterised with an enormous complexity, which policymaking needs to acknowledge for designing transition pathways. Modelling can support policymaking in dealing with uncertainty and complexity. This article reviews emerging and new developments and approaches to model the development of the bioeconomy. We focused our review on how bioeconomy modelling addresses key enabling factors related to (i) climate change, (ii) biodiversity, (iii) circular use of biomass, (iv) consumer behaviour related to biomass and bioproducts use, and (v) innovation and technological change. We find that existing modelling frameworks offer large possibilities for extensions and considerations for analysing short-run impacts related to climate change and circularity, and to lesser degree for biodiversity, and we identify possibilities for developing further the existing bioeconomy models. However, addressing key processes related to societal and technological changes is more challenging with existing/conventional modelling approaches, as they specifically relate to how innovations transform economic structures and how consumers learn and change their preferences and what kind of dynamics are to be expected. We indicate how emerging modelling techniques such as Agent-Based Modelling could improve and complement existing bioeconomy modelling efforts by allowing for the consideration of structural change and, more generally, transformation of the economic metabolism. This modelling approach eclecticism asks for a better description of modelling targets, a sound reflection on the meaning of time horizons and a closer cooperation between the different research communities. Furthermore, it will benefit from the developments in big data and artificial intelligence from which we expect valuable guideposts for designing future modelling strategies.
... However, most applications of ES models rely on only a single model for each ES (Englund et al. 2017;Bryant et al. 2018). Furthermore, while models can only approximate reality, few applications explicitly validate ES models against independent datasets (Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019), although there are notable exceptions (Redhead et al. 2016;Sharps et al. 2017;Willcock et al. 2019). This is a particular issue as the results of location-specific validation (e.g. that performed during model development) may not be transferable to new locations (Redhead et al. 2016), or up-scalable to the regional and national extents over which ES model outputs are required to achieve the SDG (Willcock et al. 2016;Willcock et al. 2019). ...
... Weighted averaging further improves accuracy, supressing idiosyncratic differences through producing consensus (Araujo and New, 2007;Dormann et al. 2018). Doing so not only elevates accuracy but substantially decreases uncertainty among ensemble approaches compared to uncertainty among models, a further indication of increased fit to reality (Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019;Willcock et al. 2020). In summary, even if a less accurate ensemble weighting approach is used, one would on average have lower uncertainty than selecting an individual model by chance. ...
Article
Over the last decade many ecosystem service (ES) models have been developed to inform sustainable land and water use planning. However, uncertainty in the predictions of any single model in any specific situation can undermine their utility for decision-making. One solution is creating ensemble predictions, which potentially increase accuracy, but how best to create ES ensembles to reduce uncertainty is unknown and untested. Using ten models for carbon storage and nine for water supply, we tested a series of ensemble approaches against measured validation data in the UK. Ensembles had at minimum a 5–17% higher accuracy than a randomly selected individual model and, in general, ensembles weighted for among model consensus provided better predictions than unweighted ensembles. To support robust decision-making for sustainable development and reducing uncertainty around these decisions, our analysis suggests various ensemble methods should be applied depending on data quality, for example if validation data are available.
... The categories are stated by the authors as a guide. These are flexible to be regrouped or renamed according to the context of each case study, respecting the three initial broad groups of contributions in other research [13,25,26]. ...
... We were only able to estimate six of the 18 initial contributions, focusing on positive contributions and not considering negative contributions. This is a recurring problem in applying the approach [25,26]. ...
Article
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The geographic landscape is a recurrent unit of analysis in vulnerability studies. Single descriptions are often used to show the elements exposed in these landscapes. However, the concept requires specifying the components of the landscape and its functioning as a unit. Thus, the purpose of this research was to use the analysis of Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP) to describe the global contribution of landscape elements to human activities, prioritizing the units in which the effects of climate change may imply greater impacts on the human population. For this, we analyzed six categories of nature’s contributions applied to the landscape units in a fragment of the Mexican Pacific coast. The units with mangrove cover had the highest nature contributions. It is expected that the application of this approach in the exposure component of vulnerability studies will allow a better understanding of the non-return relationship and the search for adaptive nature-based solutions.
... J. Bennett et al., 2021;Bindoff et al., 2019;Golden et al., 2016;IPBES, 2019;Landrigan et al., 2020;Sandifer et al., 2021;UNEP, 2021b). Furthermore, there is evidence that impacts of these marine environmental issues are unequally distributed geographically and produce socially differentiated impacts across racial, ethnic, gender, age and socio-economic groups (Bindoff et al., 2019;Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Landrigan et al., 2020;UNEP, 2021b). ...
... Coastal infrastructures, economies, livelihoods, food security, and public health are vulnerable to the effects of degrading ecosystems on ecosystem services (Hernández-Delgado, 2015; IPBES, 2019). Non-white and low-and middle-income communities bear a disproportionate share of the impacts of declining ecosystem services (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). For example, low-income countries are more vulnerable to food insecurity resulting from degraded coral reefs (Hughes et al., 2012). ...
... Any effort to meet these targets requires monitoring dimensions of biodiversity (for example, ref. 2 ). While it is now possible to remotely observe a suite of biodiversity variables [3][4][5] and ecosystem services (or nature's contributions to people) 6 , the information required for understanding how close we are to meeting most of the CBD targets-or other regional targetsgoes well beyond the biodiversity variables that can be monitored remotely (Table 1). ...
Article
Remote sensing has transformed the monitoring of life on Earth by revealing spatial and temporal dimensions of biological diversity through structural, compositional and functional measurements of ecosystems. Yet, many aspects of Earth’s biodiversity are not directly quantified by reflected or emitted photons. Inclusive integration of remote sensing with field-based ecology and evolution is needed to fully understand and preserve Earth’s biodiversity. In this Perspective, we argue that multiple data types are necessary for almost all draft targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. We examine five key topics in biodiversity science that can be advanced by integrating remote sensing with in situ data collection from field sampling, experiments and laboratory studies to benefit conservation. Lowering the barriers for bringing these approaches together will require global-scale collaboration.
... 9 Recent estimates suggest an additional 500 million people will be at increased risk of coastal hazards by 2050 as result of sea level rise, urbanisation in coastal areas and loss of coastal habitats. 10 Exposure to these hazards is increasing with climate change and the loss of nature -which are in turn exacerbated by unsustainable development in cities. Despite covering only around 3% of the Earth's land, the world's cities consume an estimated 60-80% of manufactured energy and are responsible for 70% of carbon emissions. ...
Technical Report
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This annex responds to some of the key barriers identified to scaling up the use of the NbS – particularly the challenges of showing that nature in cities can be an ‘asset’ rather than a ‘cost’. It reviews how the application of urban Ecosystem Accounting (EA) can help decision-makers in cities scale up the use of NbS in the context of managing the wider natural environment. It explores how urban EA can help overcome barriers to greater use of NbS for sustainable and resilient cities and how cities can implement EA by: - looking at how cities currently use urban EA and NbS; - summarising the ways that the multiple benefits of NbS could be captured and valued to change perceptions of nature in cities from ‘cost’ to ‘investment’ using EA; and - exploring how the policy and practice of EA and NbS at local and national levels could be aligned
... The food supply system like packaging, distribution, production, and marketing is a recognized burden on the environment. Generating more and more food generally affects the environment in the context of plants, animals, humans, and ecosystems [98][99][100][101][102][103][104]. The shifting of interest of the people related to seasonal foods and of local produce to non-seasonal fruits, vegetables, and imported ones is affecting energy use and transportation and due to excessive demand in food processing is putting pressure on inputs of material and energy and food like meats due to its greater demand, affecting in maximum the environment. ...
Article
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Growing volumes of solid wastes such as wastes from industries, commercial sites, agricultural lands, and households are mostly diverted to improper land fillings in developing countries, thus causing major public health and environmental issues. Sustainable approaches are necessary for the safe management of solid wastes. Kitchen waste (KW) like leftover organic matter from household kitchens, restaurants, etc. and food waste (FW), also termed as plate waste, that is the food which has been served but has not been eaten completely, stale food, etc. are ubiquitous in all communities. They contain a high amount of organic matter and hence should be considered a major source for producing value-added products. Biogas generation for harnessing energy and bioconversion for producing fertilizers are specific examples of value-added products. They are faced with issues including the heterogeneous nature of waste and an increased level of moisture, which are essential to be addressed. There is a dire urge to convert KW into products of significant importance intending to reduce the adverse effects of waste on land with less contagion in the atmosphere, water, and soil, respectively. In this review paper, we precisely deal with the conversion of KW into useful value-added products such as biofuels, biocomposites, nutraceuticals, antioxidants, bioenergy, and industrial enzymes, and thus sustainable management of waste. Importantly, the paper also explains numerous instances to provide better knowledge and idea about the bioconversion of KW into useful products with a notion of food security, costs associated with the waste, environmental hazards, etc. following economic policies and opportunities.
... Sustainability is thus interlinked and interacts with (intra-and intergenerational) equity (Leach et al., 2018). In a decision making context, the ecosystem services concept has provided powerful arguments regarding the importance of nature to human well-being (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Díaz et al., 2019), thereby laying the foundation for influential governance tools such as payments for ecosystem services (Daily and Matson, 2008;Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2010). ...
Article
Most assessments of ecosystem services to date are aggregate assessments. Despite their usefulness as a first approximation of how nature is valuable to people, they can obscure important inter- and intragenerational equity issues, which are vital in a policy context, particularly with regard to sustainability. In this conceptual paper, we aim to strengthen the position of disaggregation in ecosystem services research and policy making. Based on existing literature, we highlight four equity issues that remain hidden in aggregate ecosystem service assessments. We then suggest and discuss four disaggregation dimensions (beneficiary groups, value types, space, and time) that can address these issues and are directly useful for assessing the equity implications of ecosystem service appropriation. Building on our conceptual and methodological considerations, we present a generally applicable, structured approach to assessing ecosystem services in a disaggregated way. Finally, we look more closely at the role of disaggregated analyses in policy making, where they provide crucial information necessary to understand the implications of changing natural resource management and ecosystem services appropriation, and argue that our multi-dimensional approach to disaggregation may result in alternative understandings of ecosystem services as complex social-ecological phenomena.
... Some of the transformed land fulfills a narrow set of functions (e.g., intensive cropland that essentially provides food and income), but much land provides multiple benefits, so that even land managed for crop or forestry production can have nature conservation potential and provide valuable ecosystem services. Land without active use or management, including what is sometimes referred to as "wilderness," also provides societal benefits including water provisioning, carbon sequestration, and cultural and psychological benefits (86)(87)(88). Given the scarcity of unused land, different actors and land uses often compete for the same land, and this competition is likely to exacerbate in the future. ...
Article
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Land use is central to addressing sustainability issues, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable energy. In this paper, we synthesize knowledge accumulated in land system science, the integrated study of terrestrial social-ecological systems, into 10 hard truths that have strong, general, empirical support. These facts help to explain the challenges of achieving sustainability in land use and thus also point toward solutions. The 10 facts are as follows: 1) Meanings and values of land are socially constructed and contested; 2) land systems exhibit complex behaviors with abrupt, hard-to-predict changes; 3) irreversible changes and path dependence are common features of land systems; 4) some land uses have a small footprint but very large impacts; 5) drivers and impacts of land-use change are globally interconnected and spill over to distant locations; 6) humanity lives on a used planet where all land provides benefits to societies; 7) land-use change usually entails trade-offs between different benefits—"win–wins" are thus rare; 8) land tenure and land-use claims are often unclear, overlapping, and contested; 9) the benefits and burdens from land are unequally distributed; and 10) land users have multiple, sometimes conflicting, ideas of what social and environmental justice entails. The facts have implications for governance, but do not provide fixed answers. Instead they constitute a set of core principles which can guide scientists, policy makers, and practitioners toward meeting sustainability challenges in land use.
... Human pressures are fundamentally changing the global environment in terms of species diversity and the functioning of ecosystems (Moreno-Mateos et al. 2017;Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019). There are elevated extinction rates globally, but this is often not reflected in measures of species richness and diversity at local scales (Dornelas et al. 2014;Blowes et al. 2019). ...
Preprint
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Global change drivers such as anthropogenic nutrient inputs simultaneously alter biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functions such as above ground biomass. These changes are interconnected by complex feedbacks among extinction, invasion, and shifting relative abundance. Here, we use a novel temporal application of the Price equation to separate species richness and biomass change through time and quantify the functional contributions of species that are lost, gained, and persist under ambient and experimental nutrient addition in 59 global grasslands. Under ambient conditions, compositional and biomass turnover was high, but species losses (i.e., local extinctions) were balanced by gains (i.e. colonization). Under fertilization, there was biomass loss associated with species loss. Few species were gained in fertilized conditions over time but those that were, and species that persisted, contributed to net biomass gains, outweighing biomass loss. These components of community change are associated with distinct effects on measures of ecosystem functioning.
... The areas where significant changes occur on a temporal scale are usually concentrated at the sea-land boundary [58]. This illustrates that the economic activities of stakeholders have become the main factors in the supply and demand patterns of ecosystem services [59]. The spatial relationship between service provision areas and beneficiary areas and the contradiction between supply and demand are challenges to be faced in the urbanization process. ...
Article
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Bay areas are endowed with unique sea and land resources, location advantages, and high environmental carrying capacities. The rapid urbanization process has intensified the demand for limited natural resources, leading to a series of problems in coastal zones such as land use conflicts and the degradation of ecosystem services. Taking Quanzhou, a bay city in a metropolitan region, as an example, this paper established an accounting model of ecosystem services supply and consumption demand based on multisource data (meteorological site data, land use data and statistical data). We estimated the supply capacity and consumption demand of provisioning services, regulating services, and cultural services in Quanzhou from 2005 to 2015. In addition, the supply and demand of ecosystem services were simulated for 2030 under different scenarios. The results showed that the supply capacity of ecosystem services in Quanzhou was greater than the demand in general, but the supply-demand difference showed a gradual decrease. The high-value areas of supply capacity were concentrated in the upstream basin in the non-bay area, while the high-value areas of consumption demand were located downstream of the river basin in the bay area. The supply-demand difference in the bay area was negative, indicating that it was in a state of supply-demand imbalance and that the ecological security was under threat. Among the three simulated scenarios in 2030, the balance between supply and demand declined compared with the results of 2015, with the most serious decline in the natural scenario. The method to quantify the evolution of spatial and temporal patterns in supply and demand of ecosystem services could provide a decision-making reference for natural resource management in Quanzhou. This is conducive to the improvement and establishment of urban ecological security research systems, especially in bay areas that are lacking research.
... Ecosystem services (ES) refer to the benefits provided by ecosystems to support human well-being (M.A., 2005). Since the earth entered the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002), the impact of human activities on the environment has become increasingly intense (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019), and the predatory encroachment of resources has caused a decline in regional ES (Peng et al., 2017), resulting in soil erosion, global warming, resource depletion, land degradation, and vegetation destruction Zhang et al., 2017). Although national and international organizations have implemented ecological protection policies and projects in recent years and the environment has improved in some (Bryan et al., 2018;Inouye, 2014), the overall outlook is not optimistic. ...
Article
Previous studies on the supply and demand of ecosystem services (ES) mainly focused on inter-annual changes, and no studies have explored the impact of demographic change on the ES supply and demand on fine-grained time scales. Thus, taking Shenzhen as an example, the status of ES supply and demand, as well as diurnal population changes and their impacts on cultural services were analyzed at different time periods using mobile phone signaling data, ecological supply-demand ratio (ESDR), Geo-Informatic Tupu, InVEST model and buffer zone. The results showed that the population declines successively on workdays, weekends and holidays, and that the daytime population is greater than the nighttime. Water yield services can basically meet the demand in terms of quantity and spatial distribution, however, carbon sequestration and cultural services showed the opposite results. The main type of ESDR changes in cultural services are the mutual conversion of deficit and balance, and these are concentrated in areas with high forest coverage and small populations, but frequent population changes. In addition, when the fixed population is too large, the use of time-varying population data will conceal the impact of demographic changes on ES supply and demand, and other data are needed for auxiliary analysis. Overall, this study provides a new research perspective for the ES supply and demand and can provide a theoretical basis for refined sustainable urban management.
... An environmental factor now of critical priority to the global economy and international food security is biodiversity (Mace et al. 2018, Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019. Biodiversity generally refers to the variety and abundance of species in the world. ...
... As flood risk is expected to increase in the future as a result of rising extreme sea levels and socioeconomic developments, there is a need to increase coastal resilience accompanied with a strong demand for coastal flood protection measures 17,18 . The role that coastal vegetation can play in reducing coastal flood risk has been quantified in several local, regional, national and global studies 5,[19][20][21][22] . Only few global studies have been based on process-based wave modelling, and those that have taken this approach focused on mangroves only 23 . ...
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Exposure to coastal flooding is increasing due to growing population and economic activity. These developments go hand-in-hand with a loss and deterioration of ecosystems. Ironically, these ecosystems can play a buffering role in reducing flood hazard. The ability of ecosystems to contribute to reducing coastal flooding has been emphasized in multiple studies. However, the role of ecosystems in hybrid coastal protection (i.e. a combination of ecosystems and levees) has been poorly quantified at a global scale. Here, we evaluate the use of coastal vegetation, mangroves, and marshes fronting levees to reduce global coastal protection costs, by accounting for wave-vegetation interaction.The research is carried out by combining earth observation data and hydrodynamic modelling. We show that incooperating vegetation in hybrid coastal protection results in more sustainable and financially attractive coastal protection strategies. If vegetated foreshore levee systems were established along populated coastlines susceptible to flooding, the required levee crest height could be considerably reduced. This would result in a reduction of 320 (range: 107-961) billion USD 2005 Power Purchasing Parity (PPP) in investments, of which 67.5 (range: 22.5- 202) billion USD 2005 PPP in urban areas for a 1 in 100-year flood protection level.
... Understanding nature's contributions to people (NCP) can improve people's ability to manage earth systems effectively, equitably, and sustainably (Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019;Brauman et al., 2020). NCP can be perceived as a benefit or detriment depending on the cultural, temporal, or spatial context (Diaz et al. 2018). ...
... B iodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth, from genes to populations, species, functions and ecosystems. Alongside its own intrinsic value and ecological roles, biodiversity provides us with clean water, pollination services, building materials, clothing, food and medicine, among many other physical and cultural contributions that species make to ecosystem services and people's lives 1,2 . The contradiction is that our endeavours to maximize short-term benefits have become unsustainable, depleting biodiversity and threatening the life-sustaining foundations of humanity in the long term 3 (Supplementary Box 1). ...
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Over a million species face extinction, highlighting the urgent need for conservation policies that maximize the protection of biodiversity to sustain its manifold contributions to people’s lives. Here we present a novel framework for spatial conservation prioritization based on reinforcement learning that consistently outperforms available state-of-the-art software using simulated and empirical data. Our methodology, conservation area prioritization through artificial intelligence (CAPTAIN), quantifies the trade-off between the costs and benefits of area and biodiversity protection, allowing the exploration of multiple biodiversity metrics. Under a limited budget, our model protects significantly more species from extinction than areas selected randomly or naively (such as based on species richness). CAPTAIN achieves substantially better solutions with empirical data than alternative software, meeting conservation targets more reliably and generating more interpretable prioritization maps. Regular biodiversity monitoring, even with a degree of inaccuracy characteristic of citizen science surveys, further improves biodiversity outcomes. Artificial intelligence holds great promise for improving the conservation and sustainable use of biological and ecosystem values in a rapidly changing and resource-limited world.
... Broadly, the analysis is concerned with urban vegetation, although corals reefs are also included in the coastal risk mitigation model. 83 As we focus on the vegetated components of urban landscapes, we refer to the studied components as ''urban vegetation'' throughout. We therefore mainly exclude the wider definition of urban ecosystems in which cities as a whole (including the built environment) are considered as being ecosystems, 39 although this definition is applicable to the runoff retention model. ...
Article
Urbanization has caused multiple environmental grand challenges that impair urban sustainability. Urban vegetation (UV), a mainstream nature-based solution (NBS), can mitigate urban challenges through providing important ecosystem services (ESs). However, successful implementation of UV to provide ESs, is impaired due to insufficient knowledge of its effectiveness under different climatic and socio-economic conditions. Here, we quantify seven ESs provided by UV across 2,148 cities with ≥250,000 residents. We show that UV makes substantial contributions to outdoor recreation and stormwater regulation but is less effective in reducing air pollution, in most cities, regardless of the climatic and socio-economic context. The contributions of UV to carbon sequestration, coastal protection, shade provision, and land surface temperature reduction were generally smaller and varied substantially dependent on city climatic and human development index characteristics. Comprehensive assessments for urban NBS planning are essential to maximize ES efficacy for urban sustainability improvements and support human well-being.
... Human pressures are fundamentally changing the global environment in terms of species diversity and the functioning of ecosystems (Moreno-Mateos et al. 2017;Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019). There are elevated extinction rates globally, but this is often not reflected in measures of species richness and diversity at local scales (Dornelas et al. 2014;Blowes et al. 2019). ...
... To protect the ecological environment, government issued many land management policies, such as Natural Forest Protection Project (NFPP) in China and Prairie States Forestry Project in the USA, leading to dramatic land use change and ESs change (Bryan et al., 2018;Ma et al., 2021a). The evaluation of ESs has been concerned and incorporated in government policies to improve the scientificity and feasibility of decision-making (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Goldstein et al., 2012). Therefore, from the perspective of land management, it is necessary to evaluate and analyze the ESs changes driven by land use (Gao et al., 2017;Kusi et al., 2020). ...
Article
Natural Forest Protection Project (NFPP) is a national project, with great significance to promote the sustainable development of society and economy. NFPP has driven land use change significantly, altering the provision of ecosystem services (ESs) and influencing human well-being. The selection of priority conservation areas would provide a reference for the further implementation of the NFPP. Here we used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) model to perform a comprehensive spatio-temporal assessment of the impact of NFPP on ESs provision, and ordered weighted averaging (OWA) method to identify priority conservation areas by balancing ESs tradeoffs in Qinghai province, China. The results showed that ESs were changed with the increase in forest land due to the implementation of the NFPP from 2000 to 2020. Soil retention, habitat quality, carbon storage and water purification increased significantly, while water yield showed a downward trend during the 2000–2020. By selecting priority conservation areas based on multi-scenarios analysis, the priority conservation areas were mainly distributed in the southern regions of Qinghai province and eastern regions of the Haibei Prefecture, and the area of forest, shrub and natural grass accounted for 6.10%, 32.30% and 69.54%, respectively. This study provides critical knowledge of the impact of ecological engineering on provision of multiple ESs. Selecting the priority conservation areas will be beneficial to ecosystem management and ecological sustainable development of the regions.
... 14, 15 Ecosystem services have been defined in many ways but are fundamentally the benefits people and cities receive from ecosystems [16][17][18] and nature's contributions to people. 13,19 More recently, ecosystems in cities have been framed, acknowledged, and invested in as critical urban ecological infrastructure (UEI). 7 UEI, which comprises all ecological structures and functions including green (terrestrial vegetation), blue (aquatic systems), turquoise (wetlands), and brown (vacant, unvegetated) ecological infrastructure, has a powerful role, along with more traditional gray infrastructure, in improving lives in cities through its potential to supply ecosystem services. ...
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As rates of urbanization and climatic change soar, decision-makers are increasingly challenged to provide innovative solutions that simultaneously address climate-change impacts and risks and inclusively ensure quality of life for urban residents. Cities have turned to nature-based solutions to help address these challenges. Nature-based solutions, through the provision of ecosystem services, can yield numerous benefits for people and address multiple challenges simultaneously. Yet, efforts to mainstream nature-based solutions are impaired by the complexity of the interacting social, ecological, and technological dimensions of urban systems. This complexity must be understood and managed to ensure ecosystem-service provision-ing is effective, equitable, and resilient. Here, we provide a social-ecological-technological system (SETS) framework that builds on decades of urban ecosystem services research to better understand four core challenges associated with urban nature-based solutions: multi-functionality, systemic valuation, scale mismatch of ecosystem services, and inequity and injustice. The framework illustrates the importance of coordinating natural, technological, and socioeconomic systems when designing, planning, and managing urban nature-based solutions to enable optimal social-ecological outcomes.
... The urban population growth and industrialization can exacerbate point source pollution and reduce WPS supply by increasing water consumption (Hall et al. 1999). The imbalance of WPS supply-demand directly affect water quality and human well-being in local and downstream areas (Qiu et al. 2017a;Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019;Yu et al. 2019), hindering the realization of SDG6 "clean water and sanitation", SDG11 "sustainable cities and communities", SDG14 "life below water", and SDG15 "life on land" (Wood et al. 2018;Anderson et al. 2019). Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of the supply-demand relationship of WPS is the basis for revealing the impacts of these processes on WPS and coordinating such relationship, which is crucial for ensuring landscape sustainability and realizing SDGs (Wu 2013(Wu , 2021. ...
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Context Comprehensively quantifying the supply–demand relationship of water purification service (WPS) in the urbanizing basins is essential to optimize urban landscape patterns and improve water quality on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), but related research is still lacking. Objectives This study took the Huangshui River Basin (HRB) as an example to understand the supply–demand relationship of WPS in the urbanizing basins on the TP. Methods A combination of the statistical data and water purification model was used to quantify the WPS demand from point source pollution and non-point source pollution, as well as the WPS supply from water, vegetation and soil. Results Compared with the existing studies, the proposed method can quantify the supply–demand relationship of WPS more comprehensively and accurately, evidenced by the decrease of root mean square error from 1.00–1.96 to 0.68 and the increase of correlation coefficient from 0.50–0.53 to 0.66. We found that the demand was 44.7% higher than the supply in the HRB in 2019. The increase of urban point source pollution was discovered to be the main reason for such imbalance, while water shortage and flawed landscape configuration also played a role. Conclusions This study comprehensively quantifies the supply and demand of WPS and reveals that the supply–demand imbalance of WPS in the HRB had resulted in substandard water quality, threating local and downstream sustainability. Therefore, it is urgent to control the urban point source pollution and optimize the landscape configuration in this region.
... Hubacek et al., 2014) face similar issues. Multiscale methods that incorporate sub-system interactions are needed to adequately model urban complexity and to capture changes to ecosystems outside of cities from urbanisation (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Liu et al., 2015). This paper presents a novel modelling and assessment framework -Ecosystem Service Toolbox for Integrated Multi-scale modelling of Urban Metabolism (ESTIMUM)rooted in system dynamics and ecology (Elliot et al., 2019a;Elliot et al., 2019b;Elliot et al., 2022). ...
Article
Climate change and biodiversity loss are two pressing global environmental challenges that are tightly coupled to urban processes. Cities emit greenhouse gas through the consumption of materials and energy, and encroach on local habitats as agglomerations expand, while urban land teleconnections simultaneously degrade distant ecosystems able to mitigate these impacts. These two effects decrease the supply of and increase the demand for ecosystem services both within and outside the city. When the demand exceeds local supply, as is often the case in cities, ecosystem service deficits occur. Methods to capture multi-scalar ecological exchanges are incipient, leaving scholars with a partial understanding of the environmental impacts of cities. This paper deploys a novel method to simulate future urban supplies and demands of two key ecosystem services – global climate regulation and global habitat maintenance – which are relevant to mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss driven by urban processes. Applying our model to eight representative European cities, we project growing ecosystems deficits between 8% and 214% in global climate regulation and 11% and 431% in global habitat maintenance between 2020 and 2050. Variation between cities stems from differences in dietary patterns and electricity mix, which have large implications for ecosystems outside the city. We conclude that urban sustainability strategies should go beyond local restoration to include altering amounts and types of material and energy flows imported from the urban hinterlands alongside promoting remote ecological restoration to tackle the multi-scalar environmental impacts of cities.
... InVEST is set of tools to model the connections between nature and ES, like hazard protection and heat mitigation (Hamel et al., 2021). Many recent studies benefit from InVEST, from the local level (Maanan et al., 2019;Fekadu Hailu et al., 2021) up to the global level (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019). The value of this model toolbox is its ability to "simultaneously assess a large number of ES", even though it does not comprise the most sophisticated models (Hamel et al., 2021). ...
Article
To safeguard the well-being of urban dwellers, it is vital to restore, protect and enhance urban green infrastructures (uGI), their related ecosystem services (ES) and the associated benefits for a large number of inhabitants. This study maps and monitors land cover between 2012 and 2018 in the fast-growing German city of Leipzig to produce precise information using OBIA and very high-resolution digital orthophotos. Based on this, this research pinpoints spatially differentiated multiple ES. Research has revealed that essential ES, which comprise regulating, socio-cultural and cultural-aesthetic services, have a multifunctional impact on the human urban habitat. The study provides insight into each ES type by evaluating specific classes of objects within the urban environment in a spatially explicit way and at a very high scale of resolution. In doing so, it illustrates variations in the provision of ES and renders visible disparities in the accessibility to uGI in Leipzig. By analysing the number and stands of trees and their respective height development, the study confirms that intensive management is successfully rejuvenating the urban forest, but also that foliage in this forest is suffering from drought. The mapping procedure reveals a high spatial and temporal variation in the rates of carbon storage. This is also the case for the provision of recreation areas which has an impact on the equitable distribution of ES to Leipzig’s inhabitants. Residential areas with a relatively high uGI on the outskirts of the city actually register lower market rents and rent growth rates than in those districts which lie closer to the city centre and have a comparably lower uGI. Thus, market rents and uGI have become decoupled in the fast growing city. In order to ensure and maintain the well-being of all residents in a fair way, fast growing cities like Leipzig must make even greater efforts in urban planning.
... Attention to inequality and social injustice in ecosystem management and conservation is growing (Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Martin et al., 2020). Different ecosystem governance arrangements lead to different outcomes for people and nature, as they adjust rights and responsibilities in ecosystem conservation, and seek to resolve resulting normative tradeoffs in different ways (Sikor et al., 2014;Mace et al., 2018). ...
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Community based management (CBM) is widely advocated as an effective method for governing and managing ecosystem services (ES). However, the distributional rules and maximum harvesting levels are likely to affect both the effectiveness of CBMs in maintaining ES and the fairness and equity of access to these ES. This article proposes a methodological approach for investigating normative trade-offs involved in CBM of forests, where forest conservation objectives need to be traded off against livelihoods objectives. The study uses remote sensing methods to quantify forest ES supply in Namizimu Forest Reserve in Malawi, and links this to demand for ES within the villages near the reserve. It then investigates how a plausible set of CBM rules can be developed to cap consumption of forest products to sustainable amount and quantifies, by using monetary valuation techniques, how these set of rules may affect the total well-being of local population. Our results demonstrate that, due to the spatial mismatches between demand and supply, the distribution of provisioning ES to the population across the harvesting area is unequal in biophysical terms. The current available stock of forest products is sufficient to cover the current demand, however, it is higher than the mean annual increment indicating that this level of consumption is ecologically unsustainable and will lead to forest degradation as shown under the business-as-usual scenario. We then examined the impact of governance and how CBM rules to allocate forest ES to different social groups (poor and rich) under a co-management regime will affect total societal welfare. We found that the distributional scenario that maximises total societal welfare expressed in monetary terms across the whole harvesting area is the scenario that distributes 40% of biomass to the rich group while the remaining 60% is allocated to the poor group. However, this scenario maximises Willingness to Pay (WTP) at total level but does not maximise WTP in each sub-area of forest but just for those that have a high availability for biomass. This indicates that the distributional rules that maximise total welfare at aggregate level may not maximise welfare at local level where constraints from biomass availability require to restrict further the distribution of forest products. When biomass availability is low, total societal welfare is maximised with distributional rules that distribute more trees to richer. Yet, a policymaker may choose a distributional rule that distribute more trees to the poor on normative grounds and forego the objective of maximising total welfare. In such cases the WTP analysis outlined in this paper can support the policymaker in choosing the distributional rule that minimise trade-offs between efficiency, i.e., maximising total welfare, and livelihoods objectives.
... carbon storage and sequestration model) and support tools (e.g., scenario generator), being frequently applied to assess a varied spectrum of ecosystem services at different A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t 40 geographical scales (e.g., Grêt-Regamey et al., 2017;Chaplin-Kramer et al., 2019;Hamel et al., 2021). Future land cover transitions (2020-2050) were modelled using information on past land cover transitions , as well as proximity-based constraints and several spatial layers to improve the allocation of new land cover areas within the study area. ...
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The implementation of climate-smart policies to enhance carbon sequestration and reduce emissions is being encouraged worldwide to fight climate change. Afforestation practices and rewilding initiatives are climate-smart examples suggested to tackle these issues. In contrast, fire-smart approaches, by stimulating traditional farmland activities or agroforestry practices, could also assist climate regulation while protecting biodiversity. However, there is scarce information concerning the potential impacts of these alternative land management strategies on climate regulation ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. As such, this work simulates future effects of different land management strategies in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of Meseta Ibérica (Portugal-Spain). Climate-smart (“Afforestation”, “Rewilding”) and fire-smart (“Farmland recovery”, “Agroforestry recovery”) scenarios were modelled over a period of 60 years (1990–2050), and their impacts on climate regulation services were evaluated. Species distribution models for 207 vertebrates were built and future gains/losses in climate-habitat suitability were quantified. Results suggest climate-smart policies as the best for climate regulation (0.98 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 of mean carbon sequestration increase and 6801.5 M€ of avoided economic losses in 2020-2050 under Afforestation scenarios), while providing the largest habitat gains for threatened species (around 50% for endangered and critically endangered species under Rewilding scenarios). Fire-smart scenarios also benefit carbon regulation services (0.82 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 of mean carbon sequestration increase and 3476.3M€ of avoided economic losses in 2020-2050 under Agroforestry scenarios), benefiting the majority of open-habitat species. This study highlights the main challenges concerning management policies in European rural mountains, while informing decision-makers regarding landscape planning under global change.
Article
The economic value that the world’s ecosystems provide was first estimated in 1997, eliciting a wide range of reactions. How have such valuations advanced since then, and what are today’s frontiers in using these values for decision-making? Calculating the economic value of ecosystems has driven policy changes.
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The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration offers a vital opportunity to advance scaled-up, integrated approaches that reverse ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate disruption and deterioration. Combining tools across disciplines is essential to addressing these interwoven, global crises through inclusive, equitable strategies with demonstrable socio-economic benefits. Tools and initiatives described here, including the EcoHealth network, the System of Environmental Economic Accounting Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) and its application through the INCASE project in Ireland, and the Natural Capital Project, present ready-made approaches to engage with policymakers and stakeholders in a transparent way. These examples are working to yield accurate indicators revealing the true costs and benefits of restoration policies and projects in both environmental and social terms. We highlight that collaborative efforts, particularly engagement between ecologists, economists, and other stakeholders, are essential to inform the ongoing development of fit-for-purpose natural capital approaches, and that synergies between natural capital and restoration approaches can be further strengthened to raise awareness of, and progress, restoration projects on the scale the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration envisages. We also reflect on the term “natural capital” which is often misunderstood as implying that monetary metrics should take preference over non-monetary arguments or considerations, thereby presenting a barrier to engagement for some ecologists, environmentalists, and stakeholders. Natural capital approaches offer us opportunities to track and support the necessary changes to expand and embed the culture of restoration into decision making across sectors, highlighting multiple benefits for society and economy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Deltas exhibit spatially and temporally variable subsidence, including vertical displacement due to movement along fault planes. Faulting‐induced subsidence perturbs delta‐surface gradients, potentially causing distributary networks to shift sediment dispersal within the landscape. Sediment dispersal restricted to part of the landscape could hinder billion‐dollar investments aiming to restore delta land, making faulting‐induced subsidence a potentially significant, yet unconstrained hazard to these projects. In this study, we modeled a range of displacement events in disparate deltaic environments, and observe that a channelized connection with the displaced area determines whether a distributary network reorganizes. When this connection exists, the magnitude of distributary network reorganization is predicted by a ratio relating dimensions of faulting‐induced subsidence and channel geometry. We use this ratio to extend results to real‐world deltas and assess hazards to deltaic‐land building projects.
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Protected areas safeguard biodiversity, ensure ecosystem functioning, and deliver ecosystem services to communities. However, only ~16% of the world's land area is under some form of protection, prompting international calls to protect at least 30% by 2030. We modeled the outcomes of achieving this 30 × 30 target for terrestrial biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and nutrient regulation. We find that the additional ~2.8 million ha of habitat that would be protected would benefit 1134 ± 175 vertebrate species whose habitats currently lack any form of protection, as well as contribute to either avoided carbon emissions or carbon dioxide sequestration, equivalent to 10.9 ± 3.6 GtCO2 year-1 (28.4 ± 9.4% of the global nature-based climate-change mitigation potential). Furthermore, expansion of the protected area network would increase its ability to regulate water quality and mitigate nutrient pollution by 142.5 ± 31.0 MtN year-1 (28.5 ± 6.2% of the global nutrient regulation potential).
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Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems, and processes that underpin human well-being is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we analyze 14 of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) for food, water, and climate security. Using spatial optimization, we identify critical natural assets, the most important ecosystems for providing NCP, comprising 30% (for local benefits) to 44% (for local and global benefits) of total global land area and 24% of national territorial waters. Many of these NCP are left out of international agreements focused on conserving species or mitigating climate change, yet our analysis shows that explicitly prioritizing critical natural assets jointly advances development, climate, and conservation goals. Crafting policy and investment strategies that protect critical natural assets is essential for sustaining human well-being and securing Earth’s life support systems.
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This study provides coherent evidence on how the more than 7000 protected areas on the African continent make substantial contributions to societal welfare. While the core mandate of conservation is to protect biodiversity, this evidence pinpoints the role of protected areas for other policy priorities, such as food and water security, disaster risk reduction, secure energy supply, and urban resilience. Natural capital is degrading, both inside and outside protected areas, while societal demand for nature's benefits increases. Conservation goals and strategies in Africa have to respond to this challenge - we discuss how.
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To the Editor — Wyborn and Evans argue that global priority maps for conservation have questionable utility and may crowd out local and more contextual research. While we agree with the authors’ central argument that effective and equitable conservation must be rooted at local scales, the assertion that “conservation needs to break free from global priority mapping” presents a false dichotomy. We should not think in terms of a binary choice of methods (local or global), but rather recognize that information across scales will have the most relevance and power in the future. Wyborn and Evans challenge the creators of global maps to identify their theory of change. Here, we outline six major areas of contribution relevant for priority setting and other conservation-related decisions.
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Climate and land‐use change are key drivers of environmental degradation in the Anthropocene, but too little is known about their interactive effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Long‐term data on biodiversity trends are currently lacking. Furthermore, previous ecological studies have rarely considered climate and land use in a joint design, did not achieve variable independence or lost statistical power by not covering the full range of environmental gradients. Here, we introduce a multi‐scale space‐for‐time study design to disentangle effects of climate and land use on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The site selection approach coupled extensive GIS‐based exploration (i.e. using a Geographic information system) and correlation heatmaps with a crossed and nested design covering regional, landscape and local scales. Its implementation in Bavaria (Germany) resulted in a set of study plots that maximise the potential range and independence of environmental variables at different spatial scales. Stratifying the state of Bavaria into five climate zones (reference period 1981–2010) and three prevailing land‐use types, that is, near‐natural, agriculture and urban, resulted in 60 study regions (5.8 × 5.8 km quadrants) covering a mean annual temperature gradient of 5.6–9.8°C and a spatial extent of ~310 × 310 km. Within these regions, we nested 180 study plots located in contrasting local land‐use types, that is, forests, grasslands, arable land or settlement (local climate gradient 4.5–10°C). This approach achieved low correlations between climate and land use (proportional cover) at the regional and landscape scale with |r ≤ 0.33| and |r ≤ 0.29| respectively. Furthermore, using correlation heatmaps for local plot selection reduced potentially confounding relationships between landscape composition and configuration for plots located in forests, arable land and settlements. The suggested design expands upon previous research in covering a significant range of environmental gradients and including a diversity of dominant land‐use types at different scales within different climatic contexts. It allows independent assessment of the relative contribution of multi‐scale climate and land use on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Understanding potential interdependencies among global change drivers is essential to develop effective restoration and mitigation strategies against biodiversity decline, especially in expectation of future climatic changes. Importantly, this study also provides a baseline for long‐term ecological monitoring programs.
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Accurate modelling of changes in freshwater supplies is critical in an era of increasing human demand, and changes in land use and climate. However, there are concerns that current landscape-scale models do not sufficiently capture catchment-level changes, whilst large-scale comparisons of empirical and simulated water yield changes are lacking. Here we modelled annual water yield in two time periods (1: 1985–1994 and 2: 2008–2017) across 81 catchments in England and validated against empirical data. Our objectives were to i) investigate whether modelling absolute or relative change in water yield is more accurate and ii) determine which predictors have the greatest impact on model accuracy. We used the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) Annual Water Yield model. In this study, absolute values refer to volumetric units of million cubic metres per year (Mm³/y), either at the catchment or hectare level. Modelled annual yields showed high accuracy as indicated by the low Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD, based on normalised data, 0 is high and 1 is low accuracy) at the catchment (1: 0.013 ± 0.019, 2: 0.012 ± 0.020) and hectare scales (1: 0.03 ± 0.030, 2: 0.030 ± 0.025). But accuracy of modelled absolute change in water yield showed a more moderate fit on both the catchment (MAD = 0.055 ± 0.065) and hectare (MAD = 0.105 ± 0.089) scales. Relative change had lower accuracy (MAD = 0.189 ± 0.135). Anthropogenic modifications to the hydrological system, including water abstraction contributed significantly to the inaccuracy of change values at the catchment and hectare scales. Quantification of changes in freshwater provision can be more accurately articulated using absolute values rather than using relative values. Absolute values can provide clearer guidance for mitigation measures related to human consumption. Accuracy of modelled change is related to different aspects of human consumption, suggesting anthropogenic impacts are critically important to consider when modelling water yield.
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People require multiple ecosystem services (ES) to meet their basic needs and improve or maintain their quality of life. In order to meet these needs, natural resources are exploited, threatening biodiversity and increasing the pressure on the Earth's ecosystems. Spatial-structural approaches are used to explain and visualise the spatial relationships and connections between areas that provide and benefit from ES. However, areas where the demand for these ES occurs are rarely considered in existing spatial approaches or equated with areas where people can use the benefits. In order to highlight the differences between these two areas, we would like to introduce the 'Service Demanding Area' (SDA) in an adapted spatial-structural approach. This approach relates SDA to already familiar ES provision and use units, namely Service Providing Areas (SPA), Service Connecting Areas (SCA) and Service Benefitting Areas (SBA) and can be used to schematically illustrate, understand and analyse the different forms of demand that can emerge. A literature review was conducted to provide an overview of the spatial mapping of ES demand. Three issues arose that should be addressed to improve the assessment of ES demand: 1) The term ES demand is not used consistently. To avoid confusion, it is important to clarify how ES demand is understood and how it differs from the other components of the ES concept (e.g. ES supply, ES potential, ES flow); 2) It is important to consider that ES demand is multi-faceted and is generated on different geographical scales, including the full range of stakeholders' perceptions, needs and desires which broadens the picture of societal demand for ES; 3) Meaningful interpretations between ES supply and demand need to be available to inform decision-makers about interventions for reducing ES trade-offs and mismatches.
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Ecosystem service (ES) supply and demand, as well as their interactions, are vital aspects of ES research in the context of sustainable ecosystem management. In this study, we assessed the supply-demand relationships of four provisioning and regulating services in Northeast China based on the InVEST model and multi-resource data. Then, we examined the spatial similarities and mismatches of selected ESs via correlation analyses and local indicators of spatial association. The results reveal that Northeast China is, in general, self-sufficient in terms of supply and demand for the estimated four ESs. Interactions among ES supplies were similar, whereas those among ES demands and ecological supply-demand ratio varied from case to case. Spatially-aligned supply and demand of water yield, soil conservation, and food provision were evident, whereas spatially-mismatched carbon sequestration supply and demand were dominant in Northeast China. Our study identifies significant high-low or low-high spatial mismatches for four ESs. Locations for these mismatches suggested that these areas should be prioritized for socio-ecological management. Balance between ES supply and demand recognized in this study could support comprehensive decision-making for sustainable spatial management of ecosystems in Northeast China.
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1. Trade in animal-pollinated crops plays an important role in global food systems: in many low-income countries, export of pollinated crops such as coffee and cocoa plays a significant role in livelihoods, while food systems in many higher income nations depend on international trade in these crops to satisfy their local demands. Losses of pollination services therefore pose a significant risk to economies beyond the area directly affected. 2. Using a simple extension of a common economic model, we explore which countries are most affected by a loss of pollination services in three case study groups of 25 countries that are vulnerable to different risks: pesticide use, natural disasters and economic debts. 3. In all three cases, large, developed economies such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, are estimated to suffer the greatest economic losses, even if pollinator losses only affect smaller, less-developed economies. 4. In cases where higher income countries are affected by pollinator losses, there is a significant shift in the value of global pollinated crop production towards other large, unaffected countries. 5. Our findings highlight the need for richer countries to invest in pollinator conservation beyond their own borders to maintain resilient food systems. We provide suggestions for further economic research to better understand and identify system vulnerabilities to pollinator losses.
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Non-technical summary Implicit in the UN's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Agenda is the notion that environmental sustainability is intertwined with, and underpins, the 17 Goals. Yet the language of the Goals, and their Targets and indicators is blind to the myriad ways in which nature supports people's health and wealth – which we argue represents a key impediment to progress. Using examples of nature–human wellbeing linkages, we assess the language of all 169 Targets to identify urgent research, policy, and action needed to spotlight and leverage nature's foundational role, to help enable truly sustainable development for all. Technical summary Nature's foundational role in helping achieve the SDGs is implicit rather than explicit in the language of SDGs Goals, Targets, and indicators. Drawing from the scientific literature describing how nature underpins human wellbeing, we carry out a systematic assessment of the language of all 169 Targets, categorizing which Targets are dependent upon nature for their achievement, could harm nature if attained through business-as-usual actions, or may synergistically benefit nature through their attainment. We find that half are dependent upon nature for their achievement – yet for more than two-thirds of those nature's role goes unstated and risks being downplayed or ignored. Moreover, while achieving the overwhelming majority of the 169 Targets could potentially benefit nature, more than 60% are likely to deliver ‘mixed outcomes’ – benefitting or harming nature depending on how they're achieved. Furthermore, of the 241 official indicators <5% track nature's role in achieving the parent Target. Our analysis provides insights important for increasing effectiveness across the SDG agenda regarding where to invest, how to enhance synergies and limit unanticipated impacts, and how to measure success. It also suggests a path for integrating the ‘nature that people need’ to achieve the SDGs into the CBD's post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Social media summary Harmonizing links between the SDGs and the CBD's post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is vital for promoting sustainable development
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Understanding the scale effects of ecosystem service (ES) supply-demand balances and drivers is critical to hierarchical ecosystem management. However, it remains unclear how the relationships of ES supply-demand and driving factors change with the scale. In this study, we first quantified food production (FP), water yield (WY), soil conservation (SC), carbon storage (CS), and habitat quality (HQ) at pixel and county scales in 2000 and 2020 in Zhejiang Province. Then, we analyzed the ES supply-demand balances and trade-offs/synergies at different scales. Finally, we performed correlation analysis and applied a random forest model to explore the socio-ecological drivers of these ESs. Our work showed that the supplies of FP, WY, and SC increased, while those of CS and HQ decreased from 2000 to 2020. ESs at the pixel scale were more spatially heterogeneous than those at the county scale. FP and CS were in short supply, and the gaps between their supply and demand grew over time. Some ES supply-demand mismatches at the pixel scale disappeared at the county scale. From the pixel scale to the county scale, the correlation directions of the ES trade-offs/synergies changed slightly, but their intensities changed significantly. The temperature, altitude, percentage of forestland and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) had positive effects on HQ, CS and SC, while the population density (POP), gross domestic product and percentage of artificial land (PA) had negative effects. The degree of influence of most socioecological drivers on the ESs increased with increasing scale. NDVI was the most important factor for CS, while precipitation was the most important for WY. The importance of POP and PA increased with both time and scale. Ultimately , overall ES supply-demand balances should be considered at the county scale, while more accurate management measures should be implemented at the pixel scale to promote effective hierarchical ES management. This study emphasizes the necessity of considering the scale effects for ES supply-demand balances in sustainable ecosystem management.
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Nature is perceived and valued in starkly different and often conflicting ways. This paper presents the rationale for the inclusive valuation of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) in decision making, as well as broad methodological steps for doing so. While developed within the context of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), this approach is more widely applicable to initiatives at the knowledge–policy interface, which require a pluralistic approach to recognizing the diversity of values. We argue that transformative practices aiming at sustainable futures would benefit from embracing such diversity, which require recognizing and addressing power relationships across stakeholder groups that hold different values on human nature-relations and NCP.
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An important goal of vulnerability assessment is to create an index of overall vulnerability from a suite of indicators. Constructing a vulnerability index raises several problems in the aggregation of these indicators, including the decision of assigning weights to them. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a method of aggregating vulnerability indicators that results in a composite index of vulnerability, but that avoids the problems associated with assigning weights. The investigators apply a technique based on Pareto ranking to a complex, developed socioeconomic landscape exposed to storm surges associated with hurricanes. Indicators of social vulnerability to this hazard are developed and a principal components analysis is performed on proxies for these indicators. Overall social vulnerability is calculated by applying Pareto ranking to these principal components. The paper concludes that it is possible to construct an effective index of vulnerability without weighting the individual vulnerability indicators.
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Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5' by 5' latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.
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A new error budget assessment of the global Mean Sea Level (MSL) determined by TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 altimeter satellites between January 1993 and June 2008 is presented using last altimeter standards. We discuss all potential errors affecting the calculation of the global MSL rate. We also compare altimetry-based sea level with tide gauge measurements over the altimetric period. Applying a statistical approach, this allows us to provide a realistic error budget of the MSL rise measured by satellite altimetry. These new calculations highlight a reduction in the rate of sea level rise since 2005, by ~2 mm/yr. This represents a 60% reduction compared to the 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise (glacial isostatic adjustment correction applied) measured between 1993 and 2005. Since November 2005, MSL is accurately measured by a single satellite, Jason-1. However the error analysis performed here indicates that the recent reduction in MSL rate is real.
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Crop pollination by bees and other animals is an essential ecosystem service. Ensuring the maintenance of the service requires a full understanding of the contributions of landscape elements to pollinator populations and crop pollination. Here, the first quantitative model that predicts pollinator abundance on a landscape is described and tested. Using information on pollinator nesting resources, floral resources and foraging distances, the model predicts the relative abundance of pollinators within nesting habitats. From these nesting areas, it then predicts relative abundances of pollinators on the farms requiring pollination services. Model outputs are compared with data from coffee in Costa Rica, watermelon and sunflower in California and watermelon in New Jersey-Pennsylvania (NJPA). Results from Costa Rica and California, comparing field estimates of pollinator abundance, richness or services with model estimates, are encouraging, explaining up to 80 % of variance among farms. However, the model did not predict observed pollinator abundances on NJPA, so continued model improvement and testing are necessary. The inability of the model to predict pollinator abundances in the NJPA landscape may be due to not accounting for fine-scale floral and nesting resources within the landscapes surrounding farms, rather than the logic of our model. The importance of fine-scale resources for pollinator service delivery was supported by sensitivity analyses indicating that the model's predictions depend largely on estimates of nesting and floral resources within crops. Despite the need for more research at the finer-scale, the approach fills an important gap by providing quantitative and mechanistic model from which to evaluate policy decisions and develop land-use plans that promote pollination conservation and service delivery.