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Ecosystem Services: An NGO Perspective

This is the second edition of the three-part webinar series, "Nature's Returns: Investing in Ecosystem Services". Featured presenter Sheila Walsh, Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy's Sustainability Science Program, will share the work and the approaches that TNC and other NGO's are taking in the realm of Ecosystem Service before taking questions from the audience.

The Center for Business and the Environment at Yale (CBEY) is pleased to announce a special series of webinars on investing in the services provided by nature — so called ecosystem services. The benefits that human populations gain from healthy and functioning ecosystems are vast, yet traditionally difficult to quantify in financial terms. Clean drinking water filtered by forests, carbon stored in plants or soil, crop pollination by wild insects, and pharmaceutical uses of plants are just a few examples of services we usually receive for free. However, a recent wave of efforts to monetize the value of Ecosystem Services presents an opportunity to both protect these assets and bring their worth onto the market. Public and private funds exist to help attach cash flows to the public benefits provided by landowners that responsibly manage their land. Currently, conservationists and investors alike are moving into this space in hopes of achieving a win-win for the economy and the environment.

So, what do Ecosystem Services projects look like? Who are the practitioners involved and what skills are most important in terms of getting into the profession? What obstacles and opportunities does this field face? These questions and more (including those from the audience) will be addressed.