The Nature Conservancy, WWF, and Stanford University today announced the launch of an innovative partnership that aims to change the way governments and policy makers think about nature worldwide.
The program, called the Natural Capital Project, is an unprecedented effort to calculate the economic and other benefits nature provides to people – so-called "ecosystem services" such as clean water, flood control, and climate regulation. By answering the question, "What is nature worth to people?" the Natural Capital Project highlights the many ways in which the world's forests, grasslands, arid lands, freshwater systems and oceans, support our daily lives.
"This exciting project brings together the expertise of leading field conservationists and a world-class university," said Steve McCormick, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. "Recognizing that ecosystems should be protected for their intrinsic values as well as their economic values will help us prioritize the conservation of the world's natural systems. This, in turn, can help improve the quality of life for people throughout the world."
Ecosystem services can include everything from soil fertility to clean air to pest control. These services are essential to human health. As the world's natural resources are depleted through unsustainable land-use practices, important ecosystem services are being lost at an alarming rate. The impact is greatest felt by the world's poorest people, who cannot afford to buy or replace the resources they are losing from nature.
Two groundbreaking scientific papers, authored by scientists from Natural Capital Project partner organizations, were published in PLoS Biology today. These papers are the first to show how ecosystem services can influence the outcomes of conservation planning efforts. Research led by Kai Chan at University of British Columbia and Rebecca Shaw of The Nature Conservancy suggests that in California biodiversity conservation is highly compatible with the protection of ecosystem services upon which Californians depend, and should be included in systematic conservation planning. And research led by Robin Naidoo at WWF revealed that based on a study of a landscape in Paraguay the economic benefits of conserving forests exceed the benefits of farming the same land in many areas. Dr. Chan's paper can be found at (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040379) and Dr. Naidoo's paper can be found at (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040360).
"Learning to map the economic values of nature will give us the information we need to conserve ecosystems for the benefit of biodiversity and people. That's what these papers, and the Natural Capital Project, are about," said Taylor Ricketts, director of WWF's Conservation Science Program and co-author of one of the papers. "Our early results indicate that the benefits of conservation can far outweigh costs, and that if land owners could capture the value of ecosystem services, like carbon storage, conservation can be a profitable use of land."
Tom Lalley | EurekAlert!
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences