From planetary boundaries to ecosystem services: Guiding development on a changing planet
From Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment
The current scale, rate, and intensity of anthropogenic change is unprecedented, and has evoked broad discussion about how these changes will affect the future of the planet. I will show how the science of ecosystem services can be used to guide natural resource management and limit anthropogenic change, focusing on how my research program has contributed to our assessment of global change and the importance of local ecosystem management. I will begin with my efforts to help quantify nine “planetary boundaries” that determine the risk that human perturbations will destabilize the earth system at a planetary scale. At a local scale, my work with stakeholders in the Montérégie over the past five years emphasizes ecosystem service interactions and management, and shows how good local management can play a role in limiting planetary change. I will conclude with my take on the most important emerging research directions for work on global change and ecosystem services.