Values, Payments and Institutions for Ecosystem Management

Values, Payments and Institutions for Ecosystem Management

A Developing Country Perspective

Edited by Pushpam Kumar and Ibrahim Thiaw

Using a selection of authoritative and original contributions, this timely book explores the uncertainty surrounding the impact of decisions undertaken to manage ecosystem services worldwide. Invariably, the policies designed and implemented to manage forests, wetlands, and marine and coastal environments often involve conflicts of interest between various stakeholders. This has added an additional layer of complexity in the context of developing countries where institutions and governance are weak or absent. Economic valuation and the subsequent design of innovative response tools such as payment for ecosystem services (PES) have the potential to offer far greater transparency. In the case of LDCs, the identification of suitable institutions for executing these tools is also of vital importance.

Chapter 3: Valuing ecosystem services: benefits, values, space and time

Brendan Fisher, Ian Bateman and R. Kerry Turner

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics, environmental economics, management natural resources, valuation


A growing body of evidence suggests that we will continue to face a number of pressing and interrelated problems such as large-scale conversion of ecosystems and the subsequent loss of biodiversity (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005), increasing poverty and water scarcity (Rosegrant et al. 2003), potentially dangerous alteration in the climate system (Schneider 2001; Mastrandrea and Schneider 2004) and global fisheries collapse (Myers and Worm 2003). These problems are occurring on an unprecedented scale and are inherently connected to growing societal demands. The mitigation of these problems requires a deeper comprehension of the environmental infrastructure upon which human existence and welfare depends (Schröter et al. 2005; Sachs and Reid 2006).The concepts of ecosystem services and ‘natural capital’ have recently been developed to make explicit this connection between human welfare and ecological sustainability for policy, development and conservation initiatives (Daily 1997; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). Recent efforts have shown that incorporating ecosystem services into land-use decisions typically favours conservation activities or sustainable management over the conversion of intact ecosystems (Balmford et al. 2002; Turner et al. 2003).

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