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Ecosystem Services: From Concept to Policy

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How can policy decision-making at the national and international levels make better use of our scientific understanding of the services provided to human societies by nature (ecosystem services)? Through a variety of formats, aimed at both theory and practice, our symposium will promote discussions of the advantages and disadvantages of placing monetary value on biodiversity and developing and applying the associated valuation tools. Furthermore, we aim to spark conversation around the topic of what constitutes an ecosystem service. Speakers will review the rationale behind ecosystem services valuation and its recent history, explore the benefits and limitations of the approach using domestic and international case studies, and showcase examples of tools currently used for identifying and valuing ecosystem services. We draw on the practical experiences of people working across sectors: government, NGO, and academia.

Please join us for this event hosted by the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) and organized by the Biodiversity Affinity Group with assistance from the Big Data and Social Science Affinity Groups.


8:30 – 9:30 am    Check-In (coffee and tea available)
9:00 – 9:15 am    Introductory Remarks
9:15 – 10:00 am    Opening Keynote: "Why Ecosysttem Services?"
10:30 am – 12:00 pm    Panel 1: Critical Issues and Challenges


Transboundary cooperation, goverance, and international policy

12:00 – 1:30 pm    Working Lunch (lunch provided)
1:30 – 2:45 pm    Panel 2: Tools and Implementation


Methods of ecosystem services valuation

2:45 – 3:15 pm    Panel 3: Implementing Ecosystem Services

Case Studies

4:30 – 5:00 pm    Closing Keynote: "The Way Forward"
5:00 – 5:15 pm    Final Wrap-up
5:15 – 6:30 pm    Reception (light hors d'oeuvres and beverages)