Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Paper: Valuation of ecosystem services in developing countries.

The following paper is now published in Ecological Economics...

Christie M, Fazey I, Cooper R, Hyde H and Kenter JO. (2012) An Evaluation of Monetary and Non-monetary Techniques for Assessing the Importance of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to People in countries with developing economies. Ecological Economics, 83, 69-80.

It is based on a Defra funded research project.

Paper abstract.

Biodiversity supports a range of ecosystems services that are of fundamental importance to people in poor countries. Economic valuation of biodiversity is important for the development of policies that protect biodiversity and alleviate poverty. This paper provides an evaluation of monetary and non-monetary techniques for assessing the value of biodiversity to people in least developed countries (LDCs). Specifically, research questions include:
  1. To what extent have monetary and non-monetary techniques been used to assess the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in LDCs?
  2. What are the key methodological, practical, epistemological and policy challenges to assessing the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in LDCs?
  3. How can valuation methods be improved to allow more accurate valuation in LDCs?
Our results show that:
  • There is currently a paucity of biodiversity valuation studies in LDCs.
  • Conventional approaches to valuation are often inappropriate for use in LDCs.
  • Incorporating ideas from participatory, deliberative and action research methods into valuation techniques can make them more suitable for use in LDCs.
  • There is a need to build capacity within the academic and policy-making communities in LDCs, to ensure that the benefits of biodiversity are properly accounted for in policy decisions.

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