Johnson's Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise to Lead $2.3 Million Effort to Improve Economic Links to Marine Ecosystems

Nov 07, 2013, 11:43 ET from The Johnson School at Cornell University

International team will undertake research to develop tools that identify and nurture positive links between local businesses, local economies, and coastal natural capital.

ITHACA, N.Y., Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mark Milstein, clinical professor of management and director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, will lead a team of international researchers to improve the link between local economies and the natural wealth of coastal communities in the East Asia-Pacific, following the signing of an agreement today by the World Bank in Washington D.C.


Cornell University joins an international team that will undertake research to calculate a value for the services provided to communities by natural assets in the coastal environment, including seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. The project team will develop analysis tools that identify and nurture positive links between local businesses, local economies, and coastal natural capital. Local, national and regional communities in the Philippines and Indonesia will be involved in the project.

Today's signing of a Head Agreement between the World Bank and The University of Queensland (UQ) further embeds Cornell as a leading expert institution in coastal and marine research and management science applications for sustainability. Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES) is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), via an investment administered by the World Bank, and UQ. The CCRES project will be managed by the Global Change Institute at UQ.

The agreement paves the way for the appointment of Cornell University as a partner in the new CCRES project. Additional funding for CCRES activities will involve Drew Harvell, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who will join a team valuing ecosystem services that contribute to regional policy decisions. Cornell's involvement in CCRES evolved from Harvell's prior research on coral reef health. Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future helped to catalyze the university's involvement in the project.

"In many tropical coastal areas, natural capital is in decline as human populations expand and the value of ecosystem services is misunderstood, overlooked, or ignored in a quest for economic progress," said Milstein. "In the long run, both existing businesses and entrepreneurial ventures must operate so they benefit from, and maintain the value of, critical coastal ecosystem services."

Coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds and their multitude of services, including reef fisheries, ecotourism, coastal defense, blue carbon sequestration and storage, and water filtration, are under threat from pollution, exploitation, overfishing, and climate change.

Johnson at Cornell University has a longstanding history of educating MBA students in the domain of sustainable global enterprise, and doing so in collaboration with units across Cornell University. Its Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise was founded to be a global leader in business and sustainability research and teaching.

"The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise's leadership within CCRES exemplifies Johnson's commitment to partnering with colleagues across Cornell University to promote knowledge that contributes to global innovation," said Soumitra Dutta, dean of Johnson at Cornell University. "We are proud to have the opportunity to undertake world-class research, in collaboration with leading centers of discovery, learning and engagement in North America, Australia, and South-East Asia."

In addition to Cornell University and The University of Queensland (Australia), CCRES partners include The University of California (Davis), WWF US, Currie Communications (Australia), the University of the Philippines, and De La Salle University (the Philippines).

About The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise
Johnson's Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise produces and disseminates relevant knowledge for managers seeking innovative, profitable business opportunities that address global sustainability challenges. The Center works with firms to specify innovative, entrepreneurial, and new business alternatives that can be implemented in the marketplace.

About Johnson
Johnson at Cornell University prides itself on being an intense, collaborative community that functions like a high-performance workplace. Our world-renowned faculty educates leaders for the connected world through five MBA programs, Ph.D. Program and non-degree executive education. Johnson also offers programs across Latin America, Mexico, and China,

For more on involved organizations:

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
Global Change Institute
World Bank
Global Environment Facility

SOURCE The Johnson School at Cornell University