WCS Global Initiatives

Ecosystem Service Assessments and Valuation

Measuring and Valuing the Hydrological Services Provided by Critical Watersheds

In Nyungwe National Park of Rwanda, WCS has been working with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and local partners to assess the role of forests in contributing to the regulation of water quality and water quantity and to value these contributions to downstream users of these services. The results will be used to inform land-use plans, policies, and the development of incentives that encourage sustainable watershed management and forest conservation.

READ MORE: USFS Technical Assistance Program Final Report

Featured: Modeling and Managing Watersheds Workshop


Participants of 2011 Modeling and Managing Watershed Workshop. (Photo credit: US Forest Service)

In partnership with the USFS and the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), WCS hosted a technical workshop on modeling and managing watersheds and watershed services in Kigali Rwanda in 2011.This workshop addressed the key challenges to watershed management and explored the data, tools, research and resource needs required to strengthen watershed management throughout Africa. Learn more at: 2011 Modeling and Managing Watershed Workshop


Measuring the Contribution of Ecosystem Services for Supporting a Green Economy

In various countries, WCS is working with partners to measure and value how natural capital contributes to national economies. We are working with the United Nations Environment Program to assess how ecosystem services generated from forests contribute to national economies in the Republic of Congo and Zambia. In Tanzania and Rwanda, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, we are assessing how ecosystem service assessments, valuation, and management can be leveraged to support the countries’ commitments made in the Gaborone Declaration.


Forest landscape in the Republic of Congo. Learn more at congo.wcs.org. (Photo credit: Jeffry Oonk/ Marleen Azink)

Measuring and Valuing How Coastal Ecosystems Contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction

Through the Science and Nature for People (SNAP) initiative, WCS and The Nature Conservancy are co-leading a working group of diverse experts that are quantifying how coastal ecosystems contribute to the reduction of risks posed by coastal hazards and are identifying the incentives and policies that can be leveraged to encourage the use of natural infrastructure in places where they provide a viable strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. This information will help us better understand how natural infrastructure can be integrated into coastal disaster risk reduction planning and sustainable development in places where WCS works around the world.More information coming soon!


In Fiji, WCS is implementing an ecosystem-based management approach to maintaining its coastal ecosystems, which  provide a range of important services, such as seafood, storm protection services, and tourism opportunities. Read more at: fiji.wcs.org. (Photo credit: WCS)

Recent Articles

Improving nature’s living infrastructure' can limit the impact of big storms

Published in Global Post, November 8, 2013