Pathways to Impact

In the Engagement and Pathways to Impact Track, experts from around the world will share experiences in using InVEST and related tools and approaches to drive change in policy and practice. We will compare theories of change with actual experience of change in contrasting sites, sectors and decision contexts. In sessions on Integrating Natural Capital and Resilience, we will discuss recent advances, emerging trends, and key challenges. NatCap strives to advance the science behind ecosystem services, and to apply new ways to bring our approach to governments, corporations, and other organizations across the globe. Sharing lessons and opportunities among members of the broader practitioner community is a great way to do that.

Day One

8:30am-9:30am Welcome & Introductions
Mary Ruckelshaus, Managing Director of the Natural Capital Project, and Gretchen Daily, Professor of Biology and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford Univeristy, will welcome all attendees to the Natural Capital Symposium, introducing key themes that will be discussed through the three days of the event.

9:30am-11:00am Nature in Cities: Frontiers in urban ecosystem services (Keynote Plenary)

Ecosystem services research tends to emphasize the benefits provided by forests, watersheds, and other rural landscapes. However, understanding the role of nature in cities is gaining increasing attention, especially with respect to the benefits and costs of green infrastructure for recreation, storm water retention, and health of urban residents. Panelist in this keynote session will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges related to urban ecosystem services, both within the current configurations of grey infrastructure and in the development of future cities to house the earth’s growing urban population. Participants are invited to join in a discussion of the potential to better plan and manage nature in cities to enhance urban sustainability and resilience.

Speakers:

  • Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director, Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy
  • Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Ecology, The New School, New York City
  • Josh Henretig, Director, Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft

11:30am-12:30pm

Making the Case for Natural Capital–How do we reach key audiences?

Many of us within the little community of people thinking about ecosystem services have particular ways of talking about what we do.  The scientists among us tend to dive right into the details.  And then we wonder why these concepts don’t resonate with diverse audiences.  In this provocative panel, we will hear from some big thinkers with diverse perspectives (e.g., government, philanthropy, private industry, journalism) on how to successfully reach key audiences who have the power to change they ways things are done.  We’ll learn what works for what kinds of audiences and come away with a better sense of how to make a case for using natural capital understanding to transform decisions.

Panelists:

  • David Hayes, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law, Stanford University
  • Charles Savitt, President, Island Press
  • Brandon Keim, Journalist (Wired, Conservation Magazine)
  • Megan Guy, Senior Corporate Practices Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
  • Kate Schneider, Associate Program Officer, Agricultural Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ben Goldfarb, High Country News

Lunch

1:30pm-3:00pm Valuation & Beneficiaries

This session will provide attendees an understanding of ecosystem service valuation concepts based on the experience of a variety of groups working to integrate these values into policy and other decision contexts. It will provide a broad understanding of ecosystem service valuation as it relates to InVEST and the models covered therein, followed by discussions on the application of benefit transfer methods to public policy, water quality valuation, and more.

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Kochmer, Director of Research and Development, Earth Economics
  • John Reid, President, Conservation Strategy Fund
  • Rob Griffin, Economist, Natural Capital Project, “A broad understanding of ecosystem service valuation as it relates to InVEST and the models covered therein”
  • Bonnie Keeler, Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project, “Water quality valuation based on social media and travel cost”

Break

3:30pm-5:00pm What Does Using Ecosystem Services in Decisions Really Look like?

Ecosystem service valuation studies often oversimplify the contexts in which information will be used, failing to account for the complexities of decision-making. Various theories offer useful social and political perspectives on processes of policy and management, stepping outside economic theory. In this panel session, we explore how various theories of decision-making, knowledge use and accounting elucidate real experiences of use (or non-use) of ecosystem service valuations. In particular, we explore factors that enable effective use, drawing on examples of both success and failure.

Speakers:

  • Laurent Mermet, Professor of Environmental Management, AgroParis Tech and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (CESCO Lab), Paris, France and Smith School, Oxford University, UK, “Tools for What Trade? Analysing the utilization of economic instruments and valuations in biodiversity management”
  • Clément Feger, Lyonnaise des Eaux, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (CESCO) and AgroParis Tech, Paris, France and Colombia University, USA, “Accounting for Conservation: A New Interdisciplinary Perspective for the Collective Management of Ecosystems”
  • Stephen Posner, University of Vermont, “Enabling Conditions for Ecosystem Service Knowledge Impact”
  • Emily McKenzie, WWF and The Natural Capital Project, “Understanding the Use of Ecosystem Service Knowledge in Decision Making: Lessons from international experiences of spatial planning”

Day Two

9:00am-10:30am Forest Landscape Restoration and Ecosystem Service Modeling 

Ecosystem services and their values are playing an increasingly important role in decisions to conserve and restore forestland. Yet, valuing ecosystem services and using their values to guide decision-making is not always straightforward. In this panel, team members from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Moore Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund will share examples of tools and frameworks for valuing ecosystem services and using those values to help people make decisions about forest conservation and restoration. Following the presentations the panelists will engage with the audience to discuss the challenges and opportunities for using ecosystem services and approaches in forest conservation and restoration.

Speakers:

  • Michael Verdone, Program Officer, IUCN
  • Ann Koontz, Senior Vice President of Social Enterprise, Relief International
  • Peter Hawthorne, Ecologist, Natural Capital Project

Break

11:00am-12:30pm Pathways to Impact Through National Development: experiences from China and South Africa

This session aims to present some “experiences of change” in development planning at multiple scales of governance in South Africa and China. This will be done in an attempt to highlight some cross-cutting opportunities and challenges for integrating ecosystem services and natural capital into decision making and action. The session will include presentations reflecting on the research methodologies used, exploring the underlying social processes and outlining the knowledge systems involved, stakeholder engagement, data and tools developed and used, results and emerging impacts, as well as some insights on what worked and what did not. These presentations will feed into a panel discussion which aims to distill some more global lessons for our work going forward.

Moderators: Belinda Reyers, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) & Gretchen Daily, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

Speakers:

  • Ouyang Zhiyun, Chinese Academy of Sciences, “Realizing China’s Dream:  Gross Ecosystem Product”
  • Jeanne Nel, CSIR, “Co-producing knowledge and products for water management as a route to long-term collaborative action”
  • Zheng Hua, Chinese Academy of Sciences, “Harmonizing People and Nature:  China’s First Ecosystem Services Assessment”

Lunch

1:30pm-3:00pm Pathways to Impact at the Local Scale: lessons learnt from disaster management, rural development and ecotourism in China and South Africa
This session aims to present some “experiences of change” in development planning at multiple scales of governance in South Africa and China. This will be done in an attempt to highlight some cross-cutting opportunities and challenges for integrating ecosystem services and natural capital into decision making and action. The session will include presentations reflecting on the research methodologies used, exploring the underlying social processes and outlining the knowledge systems involved, stakeholder engagement, data and tools developed and used, results and emerging impacts, as well as some insights on what worked and what did not. These presentations will feed into a panel discussion which aims to distill some more global lessons for our work going forward.

Moderators: Belinda Reyers, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) & Gretchen Daily, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

Speakers:

  • Li Shuzhuo, Professor, Xi’an Jiatong University, “Conservation and Development Interventions, Rural Livelihood and Wellbeing in the West of China”
  • Nadia Sitas, CSIR, “Exploring risk as a boundary object in disaster management planning”
  • Li Jie, Professor, Xi’an Jiatong University, “Ecotourism, Community Participation and Benefit Sharing in the Restricted Development Area of China”

Break

3:30pm-5:00pm Generating Action in Business with the Natural Capital Protocol (Keynote)

This session will explore how leading companies are valuing nature’s assets in the organization, supply chain and at the site level. Case examples from business will illustrate and explore how natural capital is proving useful and material to business. How are leading companies addressing natural capital? How is the concept being used and embedded? Which natural capital risks and opportunities are most material? Which methods and tools are proving effective? What language and concepts resonate? Who is natural capital most relevant to within business? What barriers to adoption arise?  These case studies will be set within the context of the Natural Capital Protocol – currently under development, led by the Natural Capital Coalition. This Protocol aims to provide a harmonised framework to enable companies to better measure, value and manage their impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

Speakers:

  • Mark Gough, Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition
  • Amy Skoczlas Cole, Principal, S3 Strategies LLC
  • Jane Franch, Director of Operations, Food & Agriculture Division, SCS Global Services

Day Three

9:00am-10:30am Coastal Defense & Resilience

Expanding coastal development, rising seas and the potential for increasing intensity and frequency of storms pose risk to coastal communities and infrastructure. The practice of using nature-based approaches to enhance coastal resilience is growing and offers the opportunity to share lessons from completed projects and identify new science and avenues for future efforts. This session features four panelists that will share their experiences and research incorporating protection provided by ecosystems into coastal defense planning. Joining us from a variety of institutions including NGOs, academia, private sector and government, the speakers will share a wide range of perspectives and interests. Presentations will be followed by questions for the panel and discussion with the audience.

Speakers:

  • Ross Clark, Climate Action Coordinator, City of Santa Cruz, and Director, Coast Wetlands Group @ Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, “Coastal Dune Restoration in a Time of Sea Level Rise”
  • Audrey Davenport, Ecology Program Lead, Google Real Estate Team, “Planning for Long-Term Resilience: A case study of Google’s Mountain View campus”
  • Jenny Suckale, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University, “The Fluid Dynamics of Bioshields”
  • Steve Schill, Senior Scientist, Caribbean Program, The Nature Conservancy, “Building Coastal Resilience in Grenada: Lessons from the field”

Break

11:00am-12:30pm Infrastructure and National Development Planning

Efforts towards – and successes at –  incorporating ecosystem services into infrastructure and development planning are growing in number, spanning the range from national-level land use planning to project-level infrastructure siting and offset design. This session features presentations from four panelists highlighting their work using natural capital-based approaches to inform development decisions around the world. Presentations will be followed by discussion from the panel and audience members. Join to hear from panelists, share your own experiences and discuss lessons learned, common challenges and new opportunities for bringing ecosystem services information into multiple aspects of development planning.

Speakers:

  • Hanna Helsingen, WWF-Myanmar and Nirmal Bhagabati, WWF-US/Natural Capital Project, “Mapping natural capital in Myanmar to inform a Green Economy future”
  • Xavier Chavana (Ministry of Planning and Development, Mozambique) and Nasser Olwero (WWF-US/Natural Capital Project), “Towards a Green Economy in Mozambique: Integrating Natural Capital in Management Planning for a Multiuse Protected Area”
  • Alta De Vos, Rhodes University, “Rapid assessment of potential ecosystem service impacts following a planned dam development in the Ntabelanga catchment, South Africa”
  • Sylvia Wood, Bioversity International, CGIAR/Earth Institute, Columbia University, “Making Ecosystem Services Count in the Sustainable Development Goals: An alternative valuation approach

Lunch

1:30pm-3:00pm Investing in Watershed Services: From Theory to Practice

This session provides a venue for researchers and practitioners to share evidence-based approaches and tools for investing in watershed services.  The session will consist of four presentations, followed by a group discussion of methods and common challenges.  Topics include integrating synergies and trade-offs between water and other ecosystem service and livelihood goals, key challenges for integrating best available science into application, monitoring and evaluation.

Speakers:

  • Jan Cassin, Director, Water Initiative, Forest Trends – “Approaches to valuing water services in policy & practice”
  • Manuel Guerrero, FUNDECOR – “Prioritizing investments for water: The Agua Tica initiative in Costa Rica”
  • Miguel Bugalho, Biodiversity Officer and Senior Scientist, WWF-MedPo and University of Lisbon- “Identifying win-win areas for biodiversity and water services in Portugal”
  • Pierre Mokondoko Delgadillo, INECOL – “Linking monitoring and modeling to support conservation investments in Mexico”

Break

3:30pm-5:00pm Coastal and Marine Planning

Coastal and marine spatial planning provides a promising approach to addressing many of the challenges facing oceans, coasts, and the communities that depend upon them.  While a number of different types of tools and approaches to planning can be used, an ecosystem service approach has great potential to identify opportunities for pursuing environmental and human development benefits while minimizing negative impacts.  In this session we highlight five projects that have used ecosystem services to advance coastal and ocean planning.  Presentations will be followed by discussion with the audience.

Speakers:

  • Erik Olsen, Principal Scientist, Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, “Marine Spatial Planning in the North Atlantic – Norwegian and NE US experiences”
  • Gregg Verutes, Geographer, Natural Capital Project, “The Natural Capital Project’s Marine & Spatial Planning Concierge”
  • Aimee Gonzales, Manager, Marine Ecosystem Services, WWF-International, “WWF’s experience in influencing government policies and plans through valuing marine ecosystem services”
  • Katie Arkema, Senior Scientist, Natural Capital Project, “Valuing nature’s services to advance coastal zone management in Belize”
  • Tammy Elwell, Center for the Study and Conservation of Natural Heritage, Chiloé, Chile, “From science to policy outcomes: How a cultural ecosystem service approach informed planning decisions in Chile”
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