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ecosystem services, biodiversity, land use regulation


This article is an introduction to a symposium issue of the journal on ecosystem services. As the brief descriptions of recent developments make clear, the field has changed greatly since the late 1990s and there are a lot of exciting developments underway. With the partnership of the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, we thought it important to revisit the state of the field five years after the Stanford workshop. Thus we invited experts across the range of environmental law to Florida State for a two-day workshop assessing the current status of ecosystem services in environmental law. The results are set out in this symposium issue. As background to the authors, we set out five distinct law and policy challenges to consider: scale of service provisions, market failures, property rights, instrument choice and implementation.

The presentations at the symposium, which then developed into the articles in this special issue, approached the topic of ecosystem services and the law from two perspectives. One set of presentations focused on the law of specific natural resources, and the other set focused on different legal institutions as agents of integration of ecosystem services into law and policy. The resource presentations covered water and watershed resources, agricultural and rangeland resources, and coastal resources, while the institutional presentations addressed land use regulation, common law remedies, public law enforcement regimes, and “second generation” approaches in energy policy.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Land use--Law and legislation