Lydia Olander, Director of the Ecosystem Services Program and National Ecosystem Services Partnership, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke University
Considering ecosystem services in decision making is intended to more fully incorporate the benefits nature provides to people. Methods for consideration of ecosystem services have progressed over the past decade from largely academic frameworks to implementable best practices. The release of a White House policy memorandum from the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy in October 2015 calling on federal agencies to begin incorporating ecosystem services approaches within current planning, investment, and regulatory frameworks has accelerated action in the US. This memo pointed to the potential integration of ecosystem services into implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). All agencies that responded to the request for agency work plans on ecosystem services, including the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Agriculture, Interior, Justice, Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency noted a focus on integrating ecosystem services into their NEPA implementation. Federal guidance is still being considered by the executive offices of the president, and if released, is likely to spur a significant increase in implementation in federal agencies thereafter.
To effectively incorporate ecosystem services into NEPA processes, a rapid and efficient process is needed to move knowledge held by the research community into forms, processes, and tools that can be used by practitioners and decision makers. In addition, a large scale effort is needed for training and sharing of developing methods, processes and tools to ensure consistency, quality and credibility. The consideration of ecosystem services will provide greater benefit to decision makers if it is operationalized in an efficient and coordinated manner both within and outside governments.
This presentation will describe what ecosystem services are, how they can be incorporated into decisions and NEPA assessments, and suggest some initial ideas about what kind of knowledge, skills, and tools will help practitioners support agencies in this new endeavor.
DATE: 22 March 2017
Social Hour starting at 5:30 PM
Dinner at 6 PM
Speaker at ~7:00 PM
LOCATION: The Pit Durham
321 W Geer Street
Durham, NC 27701
If you have registered for the event and would like to request a vegetarian entree, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.