A Proposed Ecosystem Services Analysis Framework for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.) Vicksburg United States
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Ecosystem goods and services EGS have been promoted as a way to effectively examine tradeoffs and improve communication of project-related environmental outcomes in terms of human well-being. This document proposes a framework to inform the development of any future guidance to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE District planners for projecting changes in EGS from proposed civil works activities. The framework offers an analytical and communications approach for incorporating EGS in USACE decision-support processes. The core of the framework is a conceptual model that establishes a series of causal relationships that link management actions to EGS benefitsdamages, applying economic concepts in both monetary and non-monetary benefit relevant indicators. The six-step planning process is used to demonstrate how the EGS framework might be integrated into existing analytic approaches and modified to fit different levels of resource availability and decision contexts. A hypothetical case study is used to demonstrate analytic techniques. The framework is compatible with goals to create a single decision-support document covering National Environmental Policy Act requirements and planning objectives when comparing project alternatives. The example is intended to generally illustrate the use of EGS in any type of program planning or project evaluation.