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Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan


What is the Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan (EBASP)?
Why is the EBASP important?
What topics are covered in the EBASP?
Who is the EBASP for?
How was the EBASP produced?
Download a copy of the EBASP
For further information on the EBASP

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What is the Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan (EBASP)?
The Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan is EPA’s first comprehensive, peer-reviewed plan to address the strategic research and institutional actions needed to account fully for the beneficial contributions to social welfare of policy alternatives. As they are implemented, the research and institutional actions identified in the plan will improve environmental protection by providing Agency decision-makers with the best, most complete information available.

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Why is the EBASP important?
The EBASP was developed to guide future research and institutional actions for improving ecological benefits assessments conducted by the Agency. The goal of an ecological benefits assessment is to estimate the benefits of an environmental policy, and when appropriate, estimate the value to society in monetary terms. This facilitates comparisons among policy alternatives to support decision-making. In practice however, ecological benefits are difficult to evaluate. Several factors contribute to this challenge, including limited understanding of the linkages among policies, stressors, and ecosystem services, linkages within and between ecosystems, and linkages between ecological and economic systems. EPA developed the EBASP to improve this situation. The EBASP is an important planning and accountability tool because it makes the underlying rationale for research and institutional actions very clear, and describes the mechanisms to facilitate adaptive implementation and periodic adjustments to reflect advances in knowledge.

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What topics are covered in the EBASP?
The EBASP describes the challenges currently faced by EPA in conducting comprehensive and rigorous ecological benefits assessments. It encourages a model of interdisciplinary participation in benefits assessments and research. It promotes collaboration among economists, ecologists, and other natural and social scientists to facilitate identification and characterization of the important ecological benefits of Agency actions. It identifies strategic actions focusing on: institutional arrangements that foster interdisciplinary analyses and provide analysts with appropriate guidance and tools; interdisciplinary research that directly supports ecological benefits assessments, including broad methodological development and specific studies about resources, stressors, localities, and policies; and coordination of efforts with external partners. The Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan also describes mechanisms to facilitate adaptive implementation of the strategic actions, including periodic adjustments to reflect advances in knowledge.

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Who is the EBASP for?
A primary audience for the Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan is the managers and analysts in EPA Program Offices, and natural and social scientists across the Agency.

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How was the EBASP produced?
The Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan was authored by a cross-Agency workgroup under the general direction of a steering committee representing EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (OPEI), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Water (OW), Office of Pollution, Prevention and Toxic Substances (OPPTS), Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), and Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). The Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan was subjected to broad Agency review and external peer review by the Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services of EPA’s Science Advisory Board. The final plan reflects the comments of both internal and external review.

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Download a copy of the EBASP and Bibliography
Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan 1.412MB PDF
Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan Bibliography 240K PDF

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For further information on the EBASP

Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (OPEI)
National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE)
Contact: Dr. Steve Newbold (newbold.steve@epa.gov) Phone: 202-566-2293
National Center for Environmental Economics: Phone: 202-566-2244

Office of Research and Development (ORD)
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL)
Contact: Dr. Wayne R. Munns, Jr. (munns.wayne@epa.gov) Phone: 401-782-3017

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