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Ecosystem Service Valuation: A U.S. Policy Context Public Deposited

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Suggested Bibliographic Reference: NAAFE Forum 2017 Proceedings, March 22-24, 2017. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver with assistance from Stefani Evers. North American Association of Fisheries Economists (NAAFE), Corvallis, 2017.


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  • In the last several years a number of U.S. policies and directives have laid the foundation for Ecosystem Service Valuation (ESV) to be incorporated into ecosystem-based management (EBM), the current management paradigm for U.S. oceans and coasts.  In 2010 the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force instructed federal agencies to adopt EBM “as a foundational principle for the comprehensive management of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.”  While the Task Force did not explicitly direct the use of ESV, the need for EBM to “consider all the elements that are integral to ecosystem functions and account for [their] economic and social benefits…” implies that ecosystem service values are a vital component for fully implementing EBM.  Since then several national directives, including the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Guidebook, and the Executive Memorandum on Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decision Making, have all recognized the need for ESV.  The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made progress in broadening traditional views of marine management to include ESV; challenges remain, however, concerning standardized approaches, systematic, and comprehensive use of values in decision-making.  This presentation will provide a brief overview of the policy context for ESV in the U.S. and highlight potential applications as well as challenges associated with establishing and utilizing ESV in NOAA research, management, and policy.
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