30 May 2013 | Human existence depends on ecosystem services, and while some are quite obvious – think carbon sequestration and water regulation – others, like soil regulation, are not. But they are all equally important and necessary in sustaining life, which is why there is a growing understanding and appreciation for these services. It’s also why the preservation and conservation of valuable ecosystems is appearing in government policies and planning.
For instance, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which coordinates the executive branch’s environmental efforts, has recently released an updated version of the 1983 Principles and Guidelines on Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies to include an ecosystem services approach to the evaluation process. Previous guidelines focused almost exclusively on economic factors.
This is about using guidance or regulations – policy or legislation – to move ecosystem services and environmental markets, really:
My contribution? ""Guidance has been useful as they send a clear message, and can be used by those willing and eager to have some consistency," says Jemma Penelope, a private consultant to the conservation and species banking industry. "But they tend to promote rather than require."
Timing also plays an important role in the effects. For conservation banking, Penelope believes the time is right to implement higher standards because there is a push from all sides involved and they agree it’s what the industry needs. Those involved in the water sector would need to determine if the time is right, as well, for guidelines prompting an ecosystem services approach or regulations requiring it. "
See on www.ecosystemmarketplace.com