State of the Planet

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Ecosystem Services for Conservation

Register for Ecosystem Services for Conservation and Poverty Reduction:

The natural world provides food, fuels, fiber, and other goods that ensure economic and social well-being, as well as other “ecosystem services” that are less apparent on a daily basis, such as mediation of climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality. The people most vulnerable to environmental changes are often those who live in the most diverse parts of the world and who rely most heavily on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods. This course will address the importance of ecosystem services for local communities in developing countries and assess the potential of ecosystem service conservation approaches, such as Payments for Ecosystem Services, to contribute to poverty reduction. Through lectures, case studies and role plays, the course will address the types of ecosystem services of importance at the local scale; how ecosystem services of regional and global importance but generated at the local scale may present opportunities for income generation; and consider the real-world opportunities and challenges faced by governments as well as conservation and development organizations to manage ecosystem services and tradeoffs in ecosystem services for poverty reduction.

Wednesdays, 6:10-8:10PM, Jan. 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15

Carter Ingram Lead, Ecosystem Services/Payments for Ecosystem Services, Wildlife Conservation Society & Adjunct Research Scientist, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

Jane Carter Ingram obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Environmental Change Institute of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford; and completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Dr. Ingram’s research has focused on integrating satellite imagery, ecological data and socio-economic information to map patterns and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation at multiple spatial and temporal scales; the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem services important for rural communities; and the role of natural resource conservation and management for disaster mitigation and recovery. Dr. Ingram has studied, worked and conducted research for extended periods in Costa Rica, England, Kenya, Madagascar, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and the United States. Currently, she is the Lead of the Ecosystem Services and Payments for Ecosystem Services Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Prior to this, Carter was the Assistant Director of Conservation Support and the TransLinks project, a USAID funded program working to further the integration of biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and sound governance in developing countries. She has served as a consultant for the Spatial Informatics Group, Environmental Defense, World Wide Fund for Nature-UK and Oxford Analytica. She serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the United Nations Development Program’s Equator Initiative and has served on the Board of Trustees for the School for Field Studies. She has presented her research findings and work in numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, reports, documentaries and at international conferences.

This first session is free and open to the public. Registration is required to attend the full 10-hour course. Interested in learning more? Visit our website or

Contact Desmond Beirne for more information: or 212-854-0149.

This course is part of CERC’s Certificate Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Courses may be taken on an individual basis or you may pursue the full 12-course Certificate.

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