What is the Emperor Wearing? The Secret Lives of Ecosystem Services
23 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2011
Date Written: April 15, 2011
Since exploding onto the scene in the late 1990s, the concept of ecosystem services has become immensely popular in environmental policy around the globe. Described in books, debated by scholars, taught in the classroom, lobbied for by environmental groups, adopted by the United Nations in its Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and legislated in Congress, ecosystem services continue to generate significant excitement across the policy spectrum. Presented at Pace Law School as the annual Gilbert and Sara Kerlin Lecture, these remarks are offered from the perspective of someone who has been working in the field for over a decade. This piece takes a close look at why the concept of ecosystem services has enjoyed such rapid adoption in the policy world, whether the enthusiasm is justified, and where the field is going.
Keywords: PES, ecosystem services, payments for ecosystem services
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