Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Warn Restoration-based Environmental Markets May Not Improve Ecosystem Health

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:
While policymakers across of the globe are relying on environmental restoration projects to fuel emerging market-based environmental programs, a new article in Science by two noted ecologists warns that these programs still lack the scientific certainty needed to ensure that restoration projects deliver the environmental improvements being marketed.

While policymakers across of the globe are relying on environmental restoration projects to fuel emerging market-based environmental programs, an article in the July 31 edition of Science by two noted ecologists warns that these programs still lack the scientific certainty needed to ensure that restoration projects deliver the environmental improvements being marketed.

Related Articles


Markets identify the benefits humans derive from ecosystems, called ecosystem services, and associate them with economic values which can be bought, sold or traded. The scientists, Dr. Margaret Palmer and Dr. Solange Filoso of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, raise concerns that there is insufficient scientific understanding of the restoration process, namely, how to alter a landscape or coastal habitat to achieve the environmental benefits that are marketed.

"Both locally and nationally, policymakers are considering market-based environmental restoration programs where the science does not yet conclusively show that environment health will improve once the 'restoration' is completed," said Dr. Palmer. "These programs may very well make economic sense, but the jury is still out whether or not the local environment will ultimately benefit."

At present, the demand in ecosystem service markets is driven by regulations that require those who harm the environment to mitigate or provide offsets for their environmental impacts. But in the regions throughout the world, including the Chesapeake Bay, many people hope that voluntary markets will expand outside of a regulatory context and result in a net gain of ecosystem services rather than just offsets for lost ecosystem services.

Examples include markets for flood protection created by restoring floodplains or wetlands and markets for improving water quality by restoring streams or rivers.

The scientists outline what should be done before markets expand further: recognize that restoration projects generally only restore a subset of the services that natural ecosystem provide, complete a limited number of projects in which direct measurements are made of the response of biophysical processes to restoration actions, and identify easily measured ecosystem features that have been shown to reflect the biophysical processes that support the desired ecosystem service.

"There is an inherent danger of marketing ecosystem services through ecological restoration without properly verifying if the restoration actions actually lead to the delivery of services," said Dr. Filoso. "If this happens, these markets may unintentionally cause an increase in environmental degradation."

This work is supported in part by a Collaborative Network for Sustainability grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Restoration of Ecosystem Services for Environmental Markets. Science, July 31, 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Scientists Warn Restoration-based Environmental Markets May Not Improve Ecosystem Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730141600.htm>.
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. (2009, August 14). Scientists Warn Restoration-based Environmental Markets May Not Improve Ecosystem Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730141600.htm
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Scientists Warn Restoration-based Environmental Markets May Not Improve Ecosystem Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730141600.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins