Date & Time: 
Tuesday 21 August 2018


China is developing and testing a new measure of ecological performance, Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP), as a guide to securing sustainable improvements in both human well-being and the environment.

GEP accounting can help reveal the social and economic contributions of ecosystems, highlight ecological connections among regions, guide financial compensation from ecosystem service beneficiaries to regions supplying those services, inform conservation policy and serve as a government performance metric.

China will report GEP alongside Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the most widely used measure of economic performance. Here we describe the methods involved in determining GEP and provide an application to Qinghai Province.

There is a great opportunity currently in China to track and report environmental performance with the same rigor as GDP. China’s unprecedented economic growth in recent decades has been accompanied by high levels of environmental degradation.

There is political will at the highest levels to reverse this degradation. China’s adoption of GEP provides a measure for tracking environmental performance, placing ecological and economic information on a par in one of the world’s most influential countries.  


Stephen Polasky is a Regents Professor and the Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics at the University of Minnesota, where he has a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Economics and the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior. He is also a fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment.

His research interests focus on issues at the intersection of ecology and economics and include the impacts of land use and land management on the provision and value of ecosystem services and natural capital, biodiversity conservation, sustainability, environmental regulation, renewable energy, and common property resources.

He is a co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership between the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund. He served as Senior Staff Economist for environment and resources for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers 1998-1999.

Stephen currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Science Council for The Nature Conservancy, and the Science Advisory Board of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. He was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. He is a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He attained a PhD (Economics) from the University of Michigan in 1986.

This event is coordinated by the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and is proudly supported by the UQ Global Change Institute.

Your registrations-of-interest are greatly appreciated.

Lecture Room 320, Steel Building, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
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