Costa Rica’s Térraba-Sierpe National Wetlands, like so many other crucial ecological zones, is increasingly threatened by pressures from development and climate change. In 2010, Earth Economics conducted an ecosystem services valuation focused on the wetlands' mangrove forests that identified the reserve’s value at a stunning $302 million to $1.9 billion annually. This notable evidence of the wetlands’ value was ultimately used to support the adoption of a legally-binding management plan, the first ever for this area.
California’s disastrous 2013 Rim Fire left huge impacts with little recourse for the State or local jurisdictions. When FEMA initially denied the State of California’s request for disaster recovery assistance, Earth Economics stepped in with a rapid ecosystem services valuation of the fire damages. The analysis revealed as much as $700 million in ecosystem services losses, compelling evidence that was included in Governor Brown’s appeal for a disaster declaration. In late 2013, President Obama declared the fire a disaster. Since then, California has received more than $91 million in federal funding to support community recovery efforts.
It’s no secret that garnering support for preservation and restoration of wilderness areas is an uphill battle. When National Parks officials proposed significant expansion along the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park in 2002, their proposal required strong evidence of the benefits of park expansion. Thanks to a core group of concerned citizens and the collaborative efforts of Earth Economics and a consortium of conservation groups, the proposed expansion was brought to fruition, protecting 800 acres of one of Washington State’s most stunning treasures in the largest expansion to Mt. Rainier National Park in 70 years.
The 2015 National Disaster Resilience Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) marked a key change in awarding disaster assistance funds. The $1 billion competition actually required applicants to assess the value of nature and other non-traditional benefits in their proposals. As a leader in cutting-edge benefit-cost analysis and a strong advocate for valuing natural capital, Earth Economics played a key role in supporting 40 finalists and over 200 team members with training and feedback on their proposals. In addition, Earth Economics conducted expanded benefit-cost analyses for three of the winning applicants.