What is in this article?:
- Ecoservices: Balancing farm production and commerce
- Farm's portfolio of ecoservices
- Sustainability and economic value
EcoCommerce 101, The Emergence of an Invisible Hand to Sustain the Bio-Economy, a new book by Tim Gieseke, is "the culmination of 20 years of seeking solutions to the ecological and economical balance needed within agriculture." The second Green Revolution, he notes, must embrace natural capital values and the values associated with ecoservices, to the extent that it improves the capacity of both on-farm and off-farm resources.
Farm's portfolio of ecoservices
“A compilation of these resource indices becomes the farm’s ecoservice portfolio that can be recalculated yearly.”
Providing ecoservices and increasing the natural-capital capacity is an investment in the bio-economy infrastructure, Gieseke says, and is an investment that create immediate wealth and renewable wealth.
The second Green Revolution, he notes, must embrace natural capital values and the values associated with ecoservices, to the extent that it improves the capacity of both on-farm and off-farm resources.
“Finding the path toward the next Green Revolution is in our self-interests as well.”
While once it was just the government that was willing to pay for ecoservices, consumers and private business sectors have begun to show support, Gieseke says.
“With the retail giant Walmart and others following suit, or participating in their Sustainability Index effort, the tipping point for EcoCommerce may be near. At that point, land managers become the ecoservice suppliers to the nation and world, rather than confined to being the conservation customer of federal and state governments.”
“We now freely talk about water quality trading, carbon credits, cap and trade, wildlife habitat, ecotourism, and social aspects of landscapes, although there is not a common structure as to how we view the values of these components,” notes Jerry L. Hatfield, director, USDA/ARS, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa, in the book’s foreword.
“(This book) provides such a framework, for not only how we value these ecosystem services, but the process through which we quantify this value…
“More and more we are going to be examining the linkages among the monetary value of ecosystems. This book focuses on agricultural systems and their value, which brings the concepts into play in an area in which ecosystem services need to be understood from an economic perspective…e.g., what is the value of soil, what is the value of clean water?
“(While this book) will be a valuable asset to anyone who wants to understand how this economy will emerge… (its) largest value is for policymakers and traders who will be the driving force in the development of policies and practices associated with ecosystem services.