Review of policy instruments for ecosystem services

Suzie Greenhalgh & Mindy Selman. Contributing authors: Adam Daigneault, Cen Kaighin & Robyn Sinclair.

Landcare Research Science Series (Online); No. 42

Nearly a decade ago, in 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) completed an unprecedented evaluation of earth’s ecosystem services and found that most of these – such as water purification and pollination – were in decline, while others – food, fuel, and fibre provision – were increasing. The report highlighted how myopic policies that tend to promote provisioning services were ultimately undermining the ability of the environment to provide other services necessary for human wellbeing. Since the release of the MEA report, ‘ecosystem services’ has become a buzz phrase among policymakers, and has been seen as a way to frame policy decisions that highlight the impacts of decisions on multiple services. However, to date there has been very little thought as to how policies might be better crafted to address multiple ecosystem services and minimize some of the trade-offs that are inherent in these decisions.

This  document examines the types of policy instruments that decision-makers can utilise when considering options and approaches to enhance, protect or maintain the suite of services provided by ecosystems.


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Author: Suzie Greenhalgh & Mindy Selman. Contributing authors: Adam Daigneault, Cen Kaighin & Robyn Sinclair.
ISBN: 978-0-478-34744-9 (online)
Publisher: Manaaki Whenua Press
Publication date: 2014
Format: pdf