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A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis
ENVIRON International Corporation, 1600 Parkwood Circle, Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30339 USA
ENVIRON International Corporation, 333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60606 USA
ENVIRON International Corporation, 1760 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2013; in revised form: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 27 April 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
Abstract: The increasing pressure on the earth’s resources due to population growth requires that development and resource use be managed to maintain a sustainable environment so as to preserve or enhance human well-being. A practical approach for demonstrating the environmental sustainability of an action (e.g., green business practice) through ecosystem service analysis is presented. The overarching premise of the approach is that human well-being is directly related to changes in ecosystems and associated services. The approach evaluates the net change in ecosystem services, and hence human well-being, and is termed a net ecosystem service analysis (NESA). Using this approach, if a net positive change in ecosystem services relative to the baseline condition occurs for an action, that action would be considered potentially sustainable. In addition, if an action creates net ecosystem service value above the baseline condition, it would be considered to embody environmental stewardship. Established ecological and human use quantification methods are incorporated into the analysis. In addition, to demonstrate potential sustainability, the approach must also consider the need to satisfy intergenerational equity objectives. The use of a practical approach from which private business and government representatives can make decisions regarding environmental sustainability and stewardship will provide for improved decision-making based on quantifiable metrics.
Keywords: environmental sustainability; environmental stewardship; ecosystem services; net ecosystem service analysis; NESA; habitat equivalency analysis; HEA; net environmental benefit analysis; NEBA
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Nicolette, J.; Burr, S.; Rockel, M. A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2152-2177.
Nicolette J, Burr S, Rockel M. A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis. Sustainability. 2013; 5(5):2152-2177.
Nicolette, Joseph; Burr, Stephanie; Rockel, Mark. 2013. "A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis." Sustainability 5, no. 5: 2152-2177.