To Protect Nature’s Benefits, Focus on PeopleOctober 2020

To Protect Nature’s Benefits, Focus on PeopleOctober 2020

forest in ecuadorCongratulations to Leah Bremer and colleagues who published “Increasing Decision Relevance of Ecosystem Service Science” in the journal Nature Sustainability.

New research published in Nature Sustainability (link) demonstrates that sound environmental policy requires improved understanding of the diverse ways that people benefit from and relate to these systems. The study emphasizes the importance of inclusive and people-focused research as a key ingredient for nature to be better included and factored into policies, sustainable development plans, and other management decisions.

Dr. Leah Bremer, a co-author on this study, emphasizes that, “we need truly collaborative, community-engaged, and interdisciplinary work that incorporates multiple perspectives and world views on the diverse ways that people relate to and depend on ecosystems. Equity and inclusion need to be centered in this work.”

Photo caption: Nature matters to people in many different ways. Old growth forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon, for example, is an ancestral home for indigenous communities, a natural water filtering system for downstream settlements, and a site of inspiration and spirituality for local communities and visitors alike. Focusing on the many ways this forest matters to people is central in its effective and just management.

Leah Bremer is a research faculty member with the Water Resources Research Center ( and an Assistant Specialist with the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization ( She focuses on interdisciplinary, applied, and problem-driven research related to water and watershed policy and management in Hawaiʻi and Latin America.

View article at University of Hawai‘i News: