Ecosystem Services and Climate Adaptation

This policy brief discusses the economic value of natural resources and ecological systems, the impacts climate change will have on natural systems and the wealth they generate, and the difficulties in pricing ecosystem goods and services. This brief focuses on two broad questions: 1) What kinds of adaptation challenges will be created by climate‐driven changes in the form, scale, and location of ecosystem goods and services? and 2) How should climate adaptation policies protect and manage natural wealth as its delivery is affected by climate change?

The report advocates federal policies to protect and adapt ecological goods and services to changing climate conditions. These recommendations include increasing investments in research on biophysical production and the economic value of ecological goods and services, using hedging strategies to manage ecosystem resilience, acknowledging the economic option value associated with ecological protection, and developing approaches that value and restore complimentary ecological functions and goods. Potential policy instruments discussed include public land management, public land designation, marine resource management and protection, payments for ecosystem services, greenhouse gas markets, and natural resource damages.  

Publication Date: July 2010

Author or Affiliated User:

  • James Boyd

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Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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