Projects
January 2017 / December 2018

Economic valuation of ecosystem services - EcoValue

The objective of EcoValue is to highlight the importance of a correct assessment of the economic value of ecosystem services through empirical and quantitative analyses aimed at producing evidence-based policy guidelines for sustainable and resilient cities.

 

Following the adoption of the Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 by the EU the theme of ecosystem services begun to contaminate the full area of the EU policies. Monitoring, defending, and investing in ecosystem services is now presented as a strategic component of the plans devoted to promote the socioeconomic development in Europe, and both the Rural Development Policy and the Cohesion Policy are already partly dedicated to this topic. Hence, estimating the economic costs related to the depletion of ecosystem services is a frontier theme in ecological economics: the loss of natural resources, and in particular land, leads to significant costs that markets fail to consider and that determine important externalities. Valuing ecosystems services is therefore becoming of fundamental importance for ensuring correct market functioning and preventing environmental deterioration caused by human activity.

The objective of EcoValue is to highlight the importance of a correct assessment of the economic value of ecosystem services through empirical and quantitative analyses aimed at producing evidence-based policy guidelines for sustainable and resilient cities.

The research conducted in EcoValue sides traditional market-based evaluation of ecosystem services to more innovative, non market-based, evaluation methods and covers a multiplicity of geographical and cultural contexts stemming from European urban and rural areas in both developed and developing countries to countries involved in cross-border cooperation, especially the Balkan area.

Main Results and Outputs

The overall research consists of complementary but differentiated tasks, according to the implemented valuation. In the context of market-based valuation the tasks include: the identification of available valuation tools; the development of valuation tools tailored on the European context; the integration of these tools with existing ecosystem services maps. In the context of non market-based valuation, the tasks include: identification of geographical areas relevant for policy making, like peri-urban areas or protected areas; collection of the survey data useful for the estimation of the statistical models; estimation of the models.

The main results of the research project will be discussed during a seminar on “Innovations on evaluation methods for ecosystem services” to be held in summer 2017.

links
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Download the FEEM Working Paper: Periurban Agriculture: do the Current EU Agri-environmental Policy Programmes Fit with it?
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