Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions

Joshua H. Goldstein, Giorgio Caldarone, Thomas Kaeo Duarte, Driss Ennaanay, Neil Hannahs, Guillermo Mendoza, Stephen Polasky, Stacie Wolny, Gretchen C. Daily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

392 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent high-profile efforts have called for integrating ecosystemservice values into important societal decisions, but there are few demonstrations of this approach in practice. We quantified ecosystem-service values to help the largest private landowner in Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, design a land-use development plan that balances multiple private and public values on its North Shore land holdings (Island of O'ahu) of ∼10,600 ha. We used the InVEST software tool to evaluate the environmental and financial implications of seven planning scenarios encompassing contrasting land-use combinations including biofuel feedstocks, food crops, forestry, livestock, and residential development. All scenarios had positive financial return relative to the status quo of negative return. However, tradeoffs existed between carbon storage and water quality as well as between environmental improvement and financial return. Based on this analysis and community input, Kamehameha Schools is implementing a plan to support diversified agriculture and forestry. This plan generates a positive financial return ($10.9 million) and improved carbon storage (0.5% increase relative to status quo) with negative relative effects on water quality (15.4% increase in potential nitrogen export relative to status quo). The effects on water quality could be mitigated partially (reduced to a 4.9% increase in potential nitrogen export) by establishing vegetation buffers on agricultural fields. This plan contributes to policy goals for climate change mitigation, food security, and diversifying rural economic opportunities. More broadly, our approach illustrates how information can help guide local land-use decisions that involve tradeoffs between private and public interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7565-7570
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 8 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Mapping
  • Private lands

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