Payments for Ecosystem Services

Reducing fire risk and restoring value to fallow agricultural lands October 23, 2023 This blog was conceived via conversations among UHERO faculty and fellows from diverse backgrounds from environmental economics, ecosystem services, economic diversification, and fire and ecosystems. It is meant to stimulate conversation, research, and action towards pathways to address the critical problem of fire risk from unmanaged grasslands and opportunities to support more generative landscapes. We… Read More
Embedding local values in Payments for Ecosystem Services for transformative change October 3, 2023 Abstract: The potential for Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs to integrate nature’s diverse values into decision-making, and thereby support broader transformative change, is of increasing research interest. We analyze published reviews and case studies of PES from the IPBES Values Assessment to evaluate 1) how diverse values were (or were not) articulated through PES… Read More
Toward more equitable ecosystem investment programs—Adaptation and equity are central to the design and functioning of successful water funds August 22, 2023 Abstract: Projects designed to incentivize ecosystem management for societal benefits are becoming increasingly popular and are often touted as win–win solutions for social and environmental challenges. Yet, there are important concerns about the equity and justice implications of these programs, and there is strong evidence that a lack of attention to justice can exacerbate or… Read More
Investing in nature-based solutions: Cost profiles of collective-action watershed investment programs January 5, 2023 Abstract: Worldwide, an increasing number of watershed management programs invest in nature-based solutions (NbS) to water security challenges. Yet, NbS for water security currently are deployed at well below their hypothesized cost-effective global potential, with uncertainty about costs identified as one key constraint on increased investment. Data on administrative and transaction costs of watershed investment… Read More
Charging Visitors to Access Hawaii’s State Parks and Natural Recreation Areas March 18, 2022 By Kimberly Burnett, James Mak and Christopher Wada Senate Bill S.B. 3192 S.D.2 in the current (2022) legislative session proposes to: "establish a visitor impact fee program, to be administered bythe department of land and natural resources, as a license requiredby visitors for usage of Hawaii's public beaches, parks, trails, coastlines,and environment. The purpose of… Read More
Putting Suppliers on the Map: Centering upstream voices in water funds outreach December 30, 2021 UHERO's Leah Bremer, in collaboration with a team of international researchers, showcases interactive ways to highlight the perspectives of upstream participants in Payments for Watershed Services programs in Colombia in a special issue on water education and outreach. See also interactive Suppliers on the Map website for more information. Access Publication Read More
Photo of Diamon Head by Juo Leung Should Hawaii Levy a Visitor Green Fee to Protect Our Environment? November 2, 2021 By James Mak Since the visitor to the Islands unquestionablycontributes significantly to the State’senvironmental problems, he will no doubthave to bear a substantial portion of the outlays needed for their solution. William Baumol1970 IntroductionMore than 50 years ago in 1970 when Hawaii hosted a relatively paltry 1.7 million visitors, Princeton University economist, William Baumol, authored… Read More
Producing valuable information from hydrologic models of nature‐based solutions for water August 19, 2021 UHERO's Leah Bremer and a group of international collaborators shed light on ways that ecosystem service modeling can better support real-world decision making through attention to the type of decision maker and to the salience, legitimacy, and credibility of information generated. Access Publication   Read More
Priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge and drinking water protection: a case study from Hawai‘i Island May 15, 2021 Worldwide, water utilities and other water users increasingly seek to finance watershed protection and restoration in order to maintain or enhance water quality and quantity important for drinking water supply and other human use. Hydrologic studies which characterize the relative effectiveness of watershed management activities in terms of metrics important to water users are greatly… Read More
Photo of 'Ohi'a from unsplash Economic benefits of hydrologic services from watershed protection and restoration August 17, 2020 Watershed protection and restoration provide a range of benefits including clean and ample water supplies, biodiversity, cultural connection to place, carbon sequestration, and a suite of other ecosystem services. Research by UHERO’s Environmental Policy and Planning Group demonstrates the economic benefits of native forest protection and restoration for groundwater recharge, pointing to the value of… Read More
Roles of institutions and stakeholders involved in water producer projects UHERO’s Leah Bremer on Supporting real-world watershed management August 14, 2020 UHERO’s Leah Bremer's recent publication in Water Resources Research was featured in the Global Water Forum this week. She and a team of interdisciplinary colleagues worked with on-the-ground managers of watershed protection programs in Brazil to identify real-world decision contexts where hydrologic modeling and monitoring can support planning and decision making. They demonstrate the importance… Read More
Watershed Management Who are we measuring and modeling for? Supporting real-world watershed management March 11, 2020 By Leah Bremer and Kate Brauman (In Press at the Global Water Forum) Watershed management programs that promote land management like reforestation, conservation, and lower-intensity grazing to enhance clean and ample water supplies downstream are becoming more common around the world. To achieve their water goals, they often need hydrologic information, usually generated through field measurements and hydrologic models. However, hard work by the hydrologic community… Read More
Supporting Multilevel Decision‐Making in Watershed Management Publication: Who Are we Measuring and Modeling for? Supporting Multilevel Decision‐Making in Watershed Management January 24, 2020 UHERO and an international partnership, ClimateWise, tackled the question of how hydrological ecosystem service information is actually used in decision making in watershed management programs. Linking hydrological monitoring and modeling efforts to actual user needs increases the relevance and uptake of these studies and has important implications for where researchers should focus their energy. As… Read More
Recovery of Lost Nexus Synergy via Payment for Environmental Services in Kumamoto, Japan March 8, 2019 The objective of this study is to characterize and quantify the “trans-spatial nexus synergy” benefit of subsidized water ponding in the water-energy-food nexus in Kumamoto, Japan. After years of decreased rice production in upstream areas and associated declines in groundwater levels, the Kumamoto city government implemented a subsidy program whereby farmers in the Shira River… Read More
Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island January 22, 2019 In collaboration with the County of Hawai‘i Department of Water Supply (DWS), we identified three priority management areas on Hawai‘i Island: Kohala, Kona, and Kaʻū. These critical recharge areas were identified by DWS as important recharge areas for four aquifers where current withdrawals are near current or future sustainable yield limits: Mahukona, Waimea, Keauhou, and… Read More