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Earth Economics

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Earth Economics applies new economic tools and principles to meet the challenges of the 21st century: achieving the need for just and equitable communities, healthy ecosystems, and sustainable economies. is the focal point for numerous academEarth Economicsic and Non Governmental Organization partners around the world, working to apply the groundbreaking new discipline of a truer, ecological economics to place our policies and governance on a more sustainable pathway. We work to support existing NGO campaigns and with local, national and intergovernmental organizations to galvanize policy changes on landuse, waste management, product design, and investment decisions, with strikingly improved economic analysis. Our efforts correct the distortions and blindness of traditional economics.

Geographic areas served: Earth Economics works locally, nationally, and internationally. Our work has influenced policy and shifted investment towards sustainable land management and economic policy.

Programs: Domestic: wa state - in both grays harbor and pacific counties, continued to participate with other non-profit organizations, as well as local governments, to facilitate a more robust shoreline conservation plan through the shoreline master program update. Enabled communication within the community and their governments and increased residents' participation in regulatory documents to enhance shoreline conservation. Produced economic data that supports ecological arguments and valued the ecosystem services produced in nearshore environments in both counties. Data was presented in multiple venues such as, the grays harbor county fair, the pacific county marine resource annual science conference, bus tours and many other meetings and workshops. - completed and published a report on the william a. Grant water & environmental center (wec) at walla walla community college which looked at the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the wec using a variety of analysis methodologies: input-output impact analysis, ecological valuation, etc. The report, which was disseminated to government and college officials, found the model implemented by the wec to be a successful model for education and regional economic development and will be used as a supporting material when the wec shares information about its innovative model with other educational and governmental programs. - identified and described three highly implementable funding mechanisms that would create a revenue of $3 million dollars annually mechanisms for the nisqually foundation, the nisqually tribe and the nisqually river council, which support watershed maintenance and natural asset improvement recovery projects to meet the chinook restoration project 2055 goals . - developed the snohomish basin's first integrated model, which will allow the tulalip tribes, land use managers, policy makers, and academics to answer complex ecological questions related to salmon habitat, sea-level rise, and flooding. - completed a framework to assist the us forest service in their efforts to incorporate ecosystem services, cultural services, and social dynamics in land-use planning. This framework can assist any land use planner and decision maker to be able to incorporate ecosystem service and cultural components together to inform policy. - for project funded by the washington recreation and conservation office, conducted a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the economic contribution, economic impact, and natural capital impact that outdoor recreational lands have in the state. Our report, which has implications for the entire state, provided guidance to land managers, potential investors, local industry, and politicians in order to understand the economic intricacies of the sector. - research provided by earth economics assisted the urban waters federal partnership and the us forest service in their goal to connect and communicate federal policy and sub-federal stakeholders. This linkage allowed ngos and local grassroots to break down barriers between local and federal policy. - began work on the first-ever open space valuation for the central puget sound region in partnership with regional open space strategy (ross) team at the university of washington. The values in this report will be used to inform open space acquisition and strategy development for the region. - produced an educational short video on ecological economics in tacoma which was featured in the city of tacoma youtube channel.

domestic other: - completed an assessment of fema mitigation policy related to the environmental benefits of wildfire and drought mitigation activities. Provided fema with suggestions to change mitigation policy, which would effect millions of acres of land and how the federal agency manages these lands to mitigate the costs of natural disaster. - continued to advocate for improvements in national account rules for natural capital by engaging the governmental accounting standards board (gasb) which is considering the adoption of a research agenda item on carbon and natural capital accounting. Delivered a presentation on carbon emissions accounting and natural capital to the gasb and their advisory council (gasac) for consideration as a potential research topic. The gasb and gasac set accounting standards for 50 states, 3,000 counties, 19,000 cities, and thousands of water utilities (89,000 local governments in all). Also worked with individual utilities to improve utility water rate structures in order to better steward watersheds and open space. - through numerous presentations and meetings with federal agencies including housing and urban development, office of management and budget , council on environmental quality , council on domestic policy, u. S. Forest service, usgs and others, earth economics educated federal decision-makers about the importance of considering ecosystem service values in their analysis and provided real-world know-how to aid in planning and implementation. Also supported the executive office of the president with language that was included in a federal register notice allocating $436 million to communities devastated by natural disasters in colorado, illinois, and oklahoma. Continued working with fema and other federal agencies to broaden the use of ecosystem service values in benefit cost analysis for major disaster mitigation projects. - continued work on an economic valuation for the long island sound study (liss). Liss, a partnership of the epa and states of connecticut and new york, is dedicated to improving the health of the long island sound. This valuation informed the comprehensive conservation management plan update. - met with stakeholders in the matanuska-susitna borough in alaska to educate them on ecosystem services and their use in the borough. Began funding mechanisms research for watershed conservation. - provided an ecosystem service valuation of the chesapeake bay and appalachian mountain region/population, divided by biome and type of ecosystem service, to key-logic, inc. For a policy analysis document. The document calculated the value gain from restoration and preservation practices in the region. Was present for press release interviews and review of the final policy report - completed and published a report, one of three reports used in lancaster county's agricultural workforce development summit, on the ecosystem service value of lancaster county, pennsylvania, focusing on agricultural lands and farmland preservation. The report looked at ecosystem service values of farmland as well as key initiatives in lancaster county that support farmland and natural resources conservation. - for project funded by the national wildlife federation (nwf) on protecting america's communities and ecosystems in an era of extreme weather, conducted research, provided case studies, and co-authored a report on the economics of green infrastructure for natural defense/buffer from both hurricane and flood. The report was a policy document with wide national coverage on the need to invest in green infrastructure to prevent vulnerability to flooding and hurricane damage. - to increase awareness about ecological economics, water resources, equity, government accounting, wetlands, flooding, benefit cost anaylysis and other topics, earth economics' staff attended and presented at many venues - public, private, government, utility, tribal, etc. The organization had impact at over 30 lectures , media events, symposiums, conferences, webinars and workshops in 13 different states across america - from new england and the east coast, to the mid west, the southwest and the pacific northwest and alaska.

ecosystem valuation toolkit: 2014 marked release of v 3. 0 of the ecosystem valuation toolkit (evt). Team: offshore software developers were replaced with local professionals from amazon. Com, microsoft, and disney allowing greater coordination with in-person collaboration and greatly accelerating rate and quality of development. Internship programs at the university of washington ischool and the uw dept. Of geography were strengthened. We attracted top-notch volunteer developers, testers and data analysts, reducing development costs significantly. Technical developments: (1) data filtering and sorting by location, ecosystem, service, and valuation methodology; (2) ability to create and share resulting data sets and filters; (3) generation of ecosystem service valuation reports in multiple formats; (4) more sophisticated change-tracking for all data; (5) increased resolution and sophistication of ecosystem and ecosystem services taxonomies; and (6) improvements in existing features of bulk data importing. Planning: we hosted a series of participatory webinars with external world experts in ecological economics in water related services, recreational values, and ecosystem health metrics. We have also formed an evt process group within earth economics, concerning desired features, workflow, taxonomy. Funding: we attracted significant funding from existing and new foundations and several private donors. To improve our outreach to prospective clients and funders, the public-facing website for the evt, esvaluation. Org , was rebuilt on a new content management system that will allow more rapid and efficient updating and communications. Business model: has been drafted and is being reviewed and adjusted by senior management and the earth economics board. Evt for the first time performed a data extract that was billed to and used independently by a paying client. Communications: the evt was shared in at numerous conferences and to individual federal agencies and partners, including, but not limited to: aces, asfpm, biodiversity without borders, epa, esp (costa rica), the natural capital symposium, nature conservancy, office of the president's u. S. Digital services, unep, ussee and the university of washington. We estimate to have reached thousands of candidate users, partners and stakeholders. Advisory board was enriched with two new members: gregory biddinger (corporate applications [formerly of exxonmobil]) and simone maynard (natural resources management). New mous and ndas were signed with several large corporations and conglomerates in fossil fuel and manufacturing/logistics; brigard & urrutia (south american law firm); deltares (netherlands); forum for the future (london / new york / singapore) and evri (environment canada). Outputs: most all of the achievements of earth economics in 2014 were directly supported by the evt and has thus potentially impacted tens of millions of people in the us, central america, and asia, through policy changes, supporting environmental litigation or influencing development.

international: - launched effort to assist the international union for the conservation of nature and their stakeholder clients, comprised of grassroot organizations from africa, south america, central america, australia, and the us. To provide stakeholders with a framework to utilize ecosystem service modelers in their restoration efforts abroad. - environmental valuation webinars: held three webinars with subject matter experts for about 40 professionals, academics, and practitioners discussing challenges, lessons, and work-arounds in the areas of recreation, water supply, and ecosystem health valuation. Notes from webinars were disseminated to interest parties; in-house workshops were held to discuss the integration of the recommendations that came out of these webinars. - presented at several international workshop/conference venues including: the 5th world congress of environmental and resource economists in istanbul turkey, the international society for ecological economics 2014 wellbeing and equity within planetary boundaries conference in reykjavic, iceland, the ecoeco alternativas congreso 2014 in san jose, costa rica and at the 7th conference of the ecosystem services partnership:" local action for the common good" also held in costa rica.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Earth Economics does important work in quantifying and explaining the economic impacts of the world's natural resources. I've had a front row to the research and writing going on with the group as a volunteer technical editor. Interesting topics and nice people.