||Ecosystem services are self- evidently important to society as natural capital
inputs into economic markets, the basis for life-support systems such as clean air,
water, and climate control, and are integral to quality of life issues. These services
provided by communities of living organisms in their natural environment are, in some
instances, invaluable and irreplaceable. Conservation planners must focus on
ecosystem services as conservation priorities and target levels of ecosystem services
as conservation goals, in order to manage and conserve these beneficial services.
paper explores 1) how Puerto Rico’s draft national land use plan changes the
environment’s capacity to provide ecosystem services and 2) the limitations to
describing ecosystem services and values.
The modeled losses in ecosystem service provision that occur with policy
implementation support that ecosystem service conservation is not a goal of the draft
land use plan. Limitations of modeling and mapping services likely inhibit policy
consideration of ecosystem services, as do the limitations of describing numeric output
of models, where they exist. Yet, qualitative outputs from the models provide useful
information to policy makers about how land use policies will affect ecosystem services.
This study is useful for future projects that wish to utilize ecosystem service mapping
and valuation to review policy decision.