6 September 2012

Call for Proposals Integrated Research on Ecosystem Services under the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN3) program

Proposal Guidelines

IAI Directorate
Av. dos Astronautas, 1758
12227-010 – São José dos Campos – SP – Brazil
Phone: (55-12) 3208.6869
Email: ianderson@dir.iai.int
submission deadline November 15, 2012


Global change has now affected all ecosystems on Earth through processes of land-use change,
climate     change    and   resource    acquisition.    Ecosystems      are  vital   for  human     well-being     and
development   through   the   goods  and   services   they   provide.  The   interactions   between   ecosystem
services,  human   needs   and   human   effects   on   ecosystems   are   a   core   issue   in   global   change   and
require much improved scientific understanding if they are to be managed in ways beneficial to
human societies and ecosystem sustainability. This requires the ability to link  expert knowledge
with community understanding and other knowledge systems. The theory of ecosystem services
therefore is closely linked to human   endeavours   and the social sciences; in fact several   authors
define ecosystem services principally by their service component relevant to human societies.

 Obstacles to the implementation of such an integrated understanding include:
- Only if ecosystem services can be assigned a value, can their preservation be compared with the
opportunity cost of development, land use change or resource utilisation, which may then serve to
guide   policy   and   legislation.   The   values   of   ecosystem   services   are   too   complex   to  simply   be
monetarised and other measures must be developed to guide decision making.
- Ecosystem services cannot be commoditised; they are tied to locale, to specific landscapes and
environments   and   the   loss   in   one   region   cannot   normally   be   compensated   by  conservation   or
gains in other regions. A focus on carbon balances in public debate has obscured this relationship.
-  Often   those   who   benefit   from   and   those   who   affect   ecosystem   services   are   not   identical.   For
instance provisioning services used by traditional populations, that depend on biodiversity, may
be eliminated by land-use change which generates economic benefits for different social actors. A
lack of a direct consequences from deteriorating ecosystem services to managers of such services
implies   that   the   management   needed   to   sustain   services   lacks   self-regulation.   The   use   of   and
dependence on ecosystem services by cities is a particularly difficult - and therefore interesting -

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