ایجاد ارتباط بین خدمات اکوسیستم و ارزیابی زیست محیطی استراتژیک در سیاست های توسعه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|5725||2013||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5730 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 40, April 2013, Pages 75–81
This paper first, introduces the concept of mainstreaming ecosystem services by showing its relevance for development planning. Second, it presents the role and importance of strategic environmental assessment in designing and implementation of development policy. Third, the paper sets-out the concept of economic valuation of ecosystem services by discussing what it means and what is at stake if valuation of ecosystem services is ignored in the process of development policy making. The methods of capturing economic contribution of ecosystem services at policy level are discussed with examples in the paper. The main focus of this paper is how ecosystem services can be used in policy scale environmental impact assessment. The paper argues that ecosystem services can be an appropriate indicator to weight developmental policies, programs and plans to ensure the consideration of environmental balancing at the policy level. The paper suggests that the roles of ecosystem services in macroeconomic policies including ecosystem accounting, poverty alleviation and employment generation can be used to link environmental policies and SEA with development policies for a successful impact assessment at policy and program levels. By building upon the various contemporary initiatives within UNEP and outside, the paper in its synthesis section, flags-up necessary knowledge gaps, challenges and lessons learned in integrating values of ecosystem services in strategic environmental assessments.
Ecosystem services, which are benefits humans obtain from various ecosystems, have been degraded over the past years. This problem, unless addressed, will substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems, posing a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MA, 2005a and MA, 2005b). Although a range of stakeholders are affected by the degradation of ecosystem services, this relationship is not fully captured in development planning processes. The effectiveness of the management of ecosystem services depends on knowledge of both physical and social sciences. For developing effective measures, decision-makers should understand how ecosystems function, how humans benefit from the services provided by ecosystems, how human activities impact the state of ecosystem services, and how human activities could be most effectively influenced through policy interventions. This requires the support of scientific research, knowledge and information, which should be reflected in decision-making processes at multiple scales. Furthermore, a wide array of policy instruments is required for influencing the behavior of diverse stakeholders. In this context, this paper discusses that the concept of ecosystem services needs to be reflected in the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which could effectively link the development planning and environment, particularly through the application of valuation of ecosystem services that clarifies the costs and benefits of development policies, plans and programs to different stakeholders. Further, the paper highlights that in order to integrate ecological concerns into SEAs, a macroeconomic perspective would be helpful as it acknowledges the interdependence of the sectors of the economy. In this regard, ecosystem accounting is discussed as a useful tool in highlighting this interdependence. Finally, some key lessons learned in mainstreaming of ecosystem services in a SEA context are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The key challenge of sustainable development lies in the need to make changes in all the relevant policies that are critical for the ecosystem services, and thus it is necessary to integrate ecosystem services into conventional development policies and priorities in its every phase from conception to execution. The SEA has proved to be one of the globally accepted tools for mainstreaming environmental goals, and has been applied in different parts of the world to assess the environmental impacts of policies, plans and programs. However, SEA processes are usually limited by inadequate reporting on environment only. Typically, policy-makers are interested in knowing how the costs and benefits are shared by the stakeholders of society in execution of policies. The concept of ecosystem services is a viable tool for impact assessments, as it provides a means to translate unattended and unintended consequence of policy implementation on human well-being. Opportunities to improve environmental assessments by integrating natural capital and highlighting its linkages with development policies, through the use of an ecosystem service concept, exist at many stages of the SEA process. Economic valuation of ecosystem services helps to identify the winners and losers as a consequence of development policies, plans and programs, and can be an effective tool to provide a feedback mechanism for society. Valuation of ecosystem services may also help in facilitating the application of market-based mechanisms leading to the resolution of trade-offs. The impact assessments are expected to be coherent with relevant national environmental policies and objectives. The ecosystem services concept and valuation of ecosystem services can be used in different steps of SEA processes, including screening, scoping, reporting, monitoring as well as consultation. On valuation of ecosystem services, there is always the risk that misguided policy-makers or vested interests may want to use the estimates based on prices for the wrong ends. Therefore, valuing the flows and stocks of nature needs to be ethically valid, scientifically credible with a clear objective. Furthermore, it should be noted that the final goal should not be the completion of valuation studies, but the results of studies should be sufficiently incorporated into SEAs. Macroeconomic frameworks could also provide useful insights into how to better manage an ecosystem. The management of the services would typically require systematic accounting and incorporation of benefits so that they can serve as a reliable indicator to society. The accounting of the services would not only enable the decision-makers to measure the dependence, it would also convey the status of the services on a regular basis. However, it should also be noted that most published research on environmental or natural resource macroeconomics has been conceptual, with some simulations used to illustrate the main ideas of the study. A corrected and revised indicator would help the policy-makers in designing better sectoral policies and efficient resource allocation in the economy which will eventually help the poverty alleviation goal. Such indicators would also help in achieving the targets of ‘Green Economy’, which is, “Improved well-being and social equity while significantly reducing the environmental risks and ecological securities” (UNEP, 2011). Building on the recognition that biodiversity and ecosystems provide critical foundations of economies and human well-being, it is important to translate that knowledge into actions that will influence development planning processes. The SEA, which incorporates an ecosystem service-based approach, including valuation of ecosystem services and macroeconomic considerations, will support efforts at national and regional level in ensuring mainstreaming of environmental considerations into development planning.