Trading places : the development of markets for ecosystem services in the United States
Author(s)Van Maasakkers, Mattijs J. (Mattijs Johannes)
Development of markets for ecosystem services in the United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Lawrence E. Susskind.
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The concept of ecosystem services has become ubiquitous in environmental planning and policy. One way of turning the insight that society depends on nature for a wide range of benefits into practice is by creating markets for ecosystem services. Despite much enthusiasm and research, relatively few such markets have been implemented successfully. The basic question that this dissertation seeks to answer is why has it been so difficult to create successful markets for ecosystem services in the United States? Based on an in-depth analysis of efforts to create markets for ecosystem services in the Willamette River basin and the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I have identified three important challenges to ecosystem service market (ESM) creation. The first is push back from people care deeply about particular places. It is hard to honor such concerns when basic market logic assumes that environmental qualities can and should be easily moved from place to place. The second reason is dissatisfaction with measurement systems used to calculate how many credits a particular project or place is worth. Since many of the participants in a proposed market have different interests, the demands they create on these measurement tools are incompatible. The third and final reason it has been so difficult to create markets for ecosystem services in the United States is that it is difficult to bring together all the relevant stakeholders and give them a chance to participate in decisions regarding market design. Who should participate, what form this engagement should take and who has the authority to initiate a market are all questions that are exceedingly difficult to answer. I offer several suggestions regarding ways of overcoming these three challenges.
Thesis (Ph. D. in Urban and Regional Planning)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-196).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.