Crediting Uncertain Ecosystem Services from Working Landscapes: Balancing Program Integrity and Cost-effectiveness

Michael Springborn

from ARE Update Vol. 17, No. 4, Mar/Apr, 2014

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Abstract

The use of market-based instruments is expanding beyond traditional pollutants to include incentivizing voluntary ecosystem service provision from working landscapes, such as agriculture and forestry. These services are estimated with much greater uncertainty than traditional point source pollutants. Using protocols for greenhouse gas offsets in California as an example, I discuss the use of discounting ecosystem services to ensure program integrity and highlight tradeoffs between achieving reported service provision with high confidence and program cost-effectiveness.

Keywords

Greenhouse gas offsets, market-based instruments, risk, confidence deduction

Citation

Michael Springborn. "Crediting Uncertain Ecosystem Services from Working Landscapes: Balancing Program Integrity and Cost-effectiveness." ARE Update 17(4)(2014):9-11. University of California Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics.
http://giannini.ucop.edu/publications/are-update/issues/2014/17/4/crediting-uncertain-ecosy/