Field evidence that ecosystem service projects support biodiversity and diversify options

Rebecca L. Goldman, Heather Tallis, Peter Kareiva, and Gretchen C. Daily. 2008. PNAS. 105 (27): 9445-9448.

Using The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a case study, Goldman et al. compared the funding and monitoring efforts directed at projects conserving ecosystem services to those conserving biodiversity. They found that ecosystem service projects garnered 4 times the funding of biodiversity projects and had a wider range of financial supporters, including corporate sponsorship. Ecosystem service and biodiversity projects were equally likely to include protected areas, and monitoring efforts were infrequent for both types of projects.

A nice review to highlight that we should put ecosystem services into our funding proposals! They note that ecosystem service often meant carbon storage. With government funding and NGO attention directed toward climate change mitigation the results of this study make sense. It might be interesting analyze carbon storage and other ecosystem services separately – is there similar corporate funding for say erosion control? If not, the dialogue might be clearer to directly compare carbon storage and biodiversity conservation. The paper was optimistic in pointing out that ecosystem service projects don’t drain resources from biodiversity projects so much as find new funding sources, but it still seems likely that groups like TNC may overstate the relationships between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services to secure funding.

No comments:

Post a Comment