Ecosystem services in US decision-making

In the first week of October, the US Administration released a memorandum directing Federal agencies to factor the value of ecosystem services into Federal planning and decision-making. It also establishes a process for the Federal government to develop a more detailed guidance on integrating ecosystem-service assessments into relevant programs and projects.

In recent years the US had to deal with a number of dramatic events, such as Hurricane Sandy. The Obama administration set up a number of advisory committees (President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; the Hurricane Sandy Task Force; the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience; and the White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience). The advisers put forward recommendations to make the country less vulnerable. The results included a research programme that is intended to support the integration of ecosystem services and green infrastructure in coastal areas, supplemented with the memorandum referred to.