The Law and Policy Beginnings of Ecosystem Services
Ruhl, J. B.
Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of interest in ecosystem services from scientists, economists, government officials, entrepreneurs, and the media. This article traces the development of the ecosystem services concept in law and policy. We prepared it in connection with a symposium held at Florida State University in April 2006. The presentations at the symposium, which then developed into the articles in a special issue of the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law (volume 22, issue 2), approached the topic of ecosystem services and the law from two perspectives. One set of presentations focused on the law of specific natural resources, and the other set focused on different legal institutions as agents of integration of ecosystem services into law and policy. The resource presentations covered water and watershed resources, agricultural and rangeland resources, and coastal resources, while the institutional presentations addressed land use regulation, common law remedies, public law enforcement regimes, and second generation approaches in energy policy. This article provided the historical and conceptual anchor for the symposium.