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About the Workshop

The Economics of Agricultural and Rural Ecosystem Services

Rural and agricultural ecosystems both provide and rely upon a broad array of ecosystem services. Beyond the provision of food, fiber and fuels, examples of agro- and rural ecosystem services include nutrient cycling, pollination, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and recreational opportunities. Because most of these services are realized outside organized markets, they are often unmanaged, underappreciated, and unvalued. Evaluation of agro- and rural ecosystem services can help ensure that policy decisions consider the full relevance of these ecosystems to social welfare and rural sustainability. The goal of the 2012 NAREA Workshop on the Economics of Agricultural and Rural Ecosystem Services is to convene recognized and emerging experts to debate and advance research on the economic analysis and valuation of rural and agricultural ecosystem services, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary coordination across social and natural sciences and development of policies and institutions for sustainable agriculture and rural communities.

The workshop will include keynote addresses from recognized experts in the field, selected paper presentations chosen on the basis of submitted abstracts, and in-depth working sessions. The organizing committee is seeking papers that advance the frontiers of economic analysis related to agricultural and rural ecosystem services (and disservices). This includes papers that (1) elucidate the linkages between economic research and practical information on ecosystem services required to inform policy, (2) evaluate the provision and value of services provided by agricultural and rural ecosystems, (3) develop and evaluate mechanisms for ecosystem service markets and payments for ecosystem services, and/or (4) otherwise address the role of ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture and rural community development and welfare. Although the emphasis is on US applications, relevant work from outside of the US will also be considered. Top priority will be given to papers that incorporate well-conceptualized empirical applications. A special issue of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review (ARER) will be published from workshop papers. An honorarium of $1,000 will be provided for selected papers upon submission to ARER. See the Call for Papers page for more details on what to include in an abstract and the Submit a Proposal page to submit an abstract. The deadline for submission is February 15, 2012.

The workshop will be held June 12-13 at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell Conference Center immediately following the NAREA Annual Meeting. The workshop may be attended either alone or in combination with the preceding Annual Meeting. Registration for the workshop includes lunches and coffee breaks on both days. See the Registration page for information on fees. A detailed workshop program will be posted on the conference website in early April.

Major financial support for the workshop comes from U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) grant #2011-67023-30913.