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Business attitudes towards funding ecosystem services provided by urban forests

Business attitudes towards funding ecosystem services provided by urban forests
Business attitudes towards funding ecosystem services provided by urban forests
Urban trees and woodlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services (ES) to society, for example, flood risk reduction, air purification, and moderation of urban heat islands. Despite this, local government budgets for tree planting and maintenance have declined in many cities throughout the world. Thus far, the academic literature has largely ignored whether businesses are willing to help fund urban forests and the ES they provide. Business financing via payments for ecosystem services (PES) within the urban realm is also under-researched and lacking in practice. This study aims to address these research gaps. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 30 businesses of varying sizes and sectors, operating in Southampton, UK. Respondents thought a public-private partnership would be feasible, with a focus on voluntary payments towards enhancing air quality, reducing flood risk, and improving aesthetics. Respondents would prefer to choose from a list of location-specific, cost-effective, monitored projects to fund directly, for marketing and/or corporate social responsibility purposes. To facilitate business funding of urban forest-based ES, clear communication of the expected environmental benefits and a strong business case are required, drawing on the experience of similar initiatives. From our findings, we recommend the piloting and analysis of such PES schemes.
Payments for ecosystem servicesPublic-private partnershipsCity treesClimate change adaptationCorporate social responsibility
2212-0416
159-169
Davies, Helen, Jennifer
10803ba3-b41f-43d7-88c3-36333fb23644
Hudson, Malcolm
1ae18506-6f2a-48af-8c72-83ab28679f55
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Schreckenberg, Kathrin
d3fa344b-bf0d-4358-b12a-5547968f8a77
Doick, Kieron
7b40e1bd-8e71-46bf-a910-1d12846e69ab
Valatin, Gregory
0fad34ba-d024-4343-b88b-3125960eb402
Davies, Helen, Jennifer
10803ba3-b41f-43d7-88c3-36333fb23644
Hudson, Malcolm
1ae18506-6f2a-48af-8c72-83ab28679f55
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Schreckenberg, Kathrin
d3fa344b-bf0d-4358-b12a-5547968f8a77
Doick, Kieron
7b40e1bd-8e71-46bf-a910-1d12846e69ab
Valatin, Gregory
0fad34ba-d024-4343-b88b-3125960eb402

Davies, Helen, Jennifer, Hudson, Malcolm, Schaafsma, Marije, Schreckenberg, Kathrin, Doick, Kieron and Valatin, Gregory (2018) Business attitudes towards funding ecosystem services provided by urban forests. Ecosystem Services, 32, Part B, 159-169. (doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.07.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Urban trees and woodlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services (ES) to society, for example, flood risk reduction, air purification, and moderation of urban heat islands. Despite this, local government budgets for tree planting and maintenance have declined in many cities throughout the world. Thus far, the academic literature has largely ignored whether businesses are willing to help fund urban forests and the ES they provide. Business financing via payments for ecosystem services (PES) within the urban realm is also under-researched and lacking in practice. This study aims to address these research gaps. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 30 businesses of varying sizes and sectors, operating in Southampton, UK. Respondents thought a public-private partnership would be feasible, with a focus on voluntary payments towards enhancing air quality, reducing flood risk, and improving aesthetics. Respondents would prefer to choose from a list of location-specific, cost-effective, monitored projects to fund directly, for marketing and/or corporate social responsibility purposes. To facilitate business funding of urban forest-based ES, clear communication of the expected environmental benefits and a strong business case are required, drawing on the experience of similar initiatives. From our findings, we recommend the piloting and analysis of such PES schemes.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 July 2018
Published date: August 2018
Keywords: Payments for ecosystem servicesPublic-private partnershipsCity treesClimate change adaptationCorporate social responsibility

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422668
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422668
ISSN: 2212-0416
PURE UUID: 5c2fa241-1579-4e34-9031-d9e21d9c8f60
ORCID for Helen, Jennifer Davies: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6497-9455
ORCID for Marije Schaafsma: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0878-069X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:06

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