The quantification and valuation of ecosystem services
AbstractThis paper explores differences between economic and ecological criteria for identifying, measuring, and evaluating ecosystem services. It argues that economic stakeholders (user groups) generally do well in identifying these services and assigning prices to them. These prices arise spontaneously in--and serve to coordinate--market activity related to the environment. The relevant ecological information which markets gather and apply tends to be dispersed, contingent, particular, local, transitory, and embedded in institutions and practices. Ecologists and other scientists, in contrast, often seek to understand how ecosystems work and which populations and processes provide ecosystem services. The knowledge science seeks, unlike the information markets gather, tends to be centralized, collaborative, collective, and consensus-based; science pursues concepts and principles that are timeless and general rather than ephemeral and site-specific. The paper contrasts the dispersed and decentralized information organized by markets with the collective and centralized knowledge characteristic of science. The paper argues that the conceptual distance between market-based and science-based methods of assembling information and applying knowledge defeats efforts to determine the "value" of ecosystem services in any integrated sense.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Ecosystem services Hayek Ecological economics;
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- John O'Neill, 2004. "Ecological economics and the politics of knowledge: the debate between Hayek and Neurath," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 431-447, May.
- Longhitano, Davide, 2012. "La Valutazione dei Servizi Ecosistemici. Proposta per un Approccio Termoeconomico," Congress Papers 124123, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
- Wolfson, Dirk J., 2014. "Who gets what in environmental policy?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 8-14.
- Jean-Michel Salles, 2011. "Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: why linking economic values with Nature?," Working Papers 11-24, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2011.
- Polishchuk, Yuliana & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2011. "Ecosystem effects on well-being: More than just "benefits"? Looking at ecosystem services through the capability approach," UFZ Discussion Papers 6/2011, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
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