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Contracting for Ecosystem Services

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
November 8–10, 2010
Directed by Walter Thurman


A growing literature emphasizes that our natural environment provides abundant services such as wetlands that clean water, forests that sequester carbon, and watersheds that replenish water supplies. Most of this literature focuses on cost-benefit analysis to establish the need for government policies to increase the supply of such services.

This workshop will consider the potential for contracting for ecosystem services by focusing on the transaction costs of such contracting, other impediments to contracting, and public policies that could promote market transactions. Specific focal areas include: water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, open space, and agricultural pollination services.

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