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Stanford biologist Gretchen Daily to receive 2010 Heinz Award for environmental achievement
Date:9/20/2010

the Natural Capital Project, a partnership of Stanford's Woods Institute, University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

"In the past, the relationship between ecosystems and human prosperity has been easy to overlook," said Daily, co-director of the Natural Capital Project. "Nature was abundant and free. But with 7-plus billion people, nature can no longer sustain an all-you-can-eat buffet. It's time to realize our dependency on natural capital and make strategic investments in it."

As part of its mission, the Natural Capital Project has developed a computer software program called InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) that gives government officials, land owners and other decision makers a systematic way to demonstrate the future costs and benefits of ecosystem services. "InVEST is being used in key policy decisions around the world, such as in China, where 25 percent of land is being zoned for conservation for the provision of flood control, hydropower production, water quality, biodiversity and other benefits," the foundation said.

The foundation noted that in 1997, Daily edited a collection of essays called Nature's Services outlining how ecosystems are generated, how humans affect them and how to maintain these services and human activity. That book "has served as a model for ecosystems regulation in several regions of the world and was a catalyst for the U.N.'s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment," the foundation added.


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Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Stanford biologist Gretchen Daily to receive 2010 Heinz Award for environmental achievement
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