The final session of the biennial conference, A Community on Ecosystem Services (ACES), wrapped up a week of discussions and presentations on a variety of related topics on the science, policy, and practice of ecosystem service approaches. Willamette Partnership’s Executive Director, Bobby Cochran, as well as two other prominent thinkers on ecosystem services, Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Science and Research, World Resources Institute, and Paul Sandifer, Chief Science Advisor, NOAA’s National Ocean Service were the three panelists invited to bring the weeklong meeting to a close. They pointed out some key themes and future directions for the community’s work including institutionalizing ecosystem services at the federal level, linking health and nature, and getting science more into the decisionmaking process. The session closed with questions fielded from the audience.
When asked the final question of the conference, “What is the one key issue, the one key opportunity or challenge that you believe we need to deal with as we leave today? That we can come back in two years and say we’ve made some progress?” each panelist gave thoughtful responses. Sandifer emphasized that ecosystem services should be institutionalized as part of federal workplans, while Willamette Partnership’s Bobby Cochran challenged conference goers with a joint research agenda on health and human well-being. Ranganathan stressed that we must work on communication and use language that resonates with people.
To find out what these panelists think about the risks in the paradigm shift to the ecosystem services approach, when an ecosystem services approach matters the most, and what the key priorities are moving forward, take a look at the recording of the final session, below.
More About ACES:
ACES: A Community on Ecosystem Services represents a dynamic and growing assembly of professionals, researchers, and policy makers involved with ecosystem services. The ACES 2014 Conference brings together this community in partnership with Ecosystem Markets and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), providing an open forum to share experiences, methods, and tools, for assessing and incorporating ecosystem services into public and private decisions.
The focus of the conference is to link science, practice, and sustainable decision making by bringing together the ecosystem services community from around the United States and the globe. ACES 2014 will bring together leaders in government, NGOs, academia, Native American communities, and the private sector to advance the use of ecosystem services science and practice in conservation, restoration, resource management, and development decisions.