Pssst! Wanna tool to help landholders protect biodiversity while also improving human livelihoods? Look no further!
Stanford’s Natural Capital Project offers a beta-version planning tool called InVEST that quantifies ecosystem services and maps alternative management regimes for optimizing carbon sequestration, water quality, biodiversity, and timber harvests, among other elements of the landscape (via ecoinformatics).
Through discussion with stakeholders, scenarios are developed to explore consequences of changes on natural resources, conservation, and human well-being, then kick out a map of future land use and land cover.
The models estimate the amount and value of ecosystem services under each future scenario.
Because natural capital is typically undervalued, and in many cases undergoing rapid degradation and depletion, this tool is crucial for enabling better consideration of natural capital in decision-making.
Oh, and, KSBE is using this tool to assess its development options on northshore Oahu. Kewl!