229 pages, Figs, tabs
Ecosystem services can be broadly defined as the aspects of ecosystems that provide benefits to people. This book explains the valuation of ecosystem services, using the case of multi-functional wetlands to illustrate and make recommendations regarding the methods and techniques that can be applied to appraise management options. It provides a review of ecosystem service valuation rationale and shows how legal obligations and other high-level management targets should be taken into account in valuation exercises.
The authors argue that it is not only ecosystems themselves that should be valued but also the goods and services provided, which affect human welfare. They build upon the idea of ecosystem services as the aspects of ecosystems consumed or utilized to produce human well-being, thus including ecosystem organization (structure), operation (process) and outflows. They set out an Ecosystem Services Approach to the full appraisal of the role of ecosystem services in the economy and society. Case studies on wetlands as flood defences, wetland creation and wetland restoration are presented. Although concentrating on wetlands, the approaches suggested provide an assessment framework that can be applied to other types of ecosystem assets.
'This is the definitive volume on understanding and valuing wetland ecosystem services. With rapidly growing interest in ecosystem services and applications in a broad range of contexts, this volume is absolutely essential.' - Robert Costanza, Professor of Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, USA
'Brings the subject together in a text that combines theory, principles and practical applications - in a way that will be of interest to researchers and practitioners' - Joe Morris, Professor of Resource Economics and Management, Cranfield University, UK.
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