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What Are Ecosystem Services?

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  • Boyd, James

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Banzhaf, H. Spencer

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

This paper advocates consistently defined units of account to measure the contributions of nature to human welfare. We argue that such units have to date not been defined by environmental accounting advocates and that the term “ecosystem services” is too ad hoc to be of practical use in welfare accounting. We propose a definition, rooted in economic principles, of ecosystem service units. A goal of these units is comparability with the definition of conventional goods and services found in GDP and the other national accounts. We illustrate our definition of ecological units of account with concrete examples. We also argue that these same units of account provide an architecture for environmental performance measurement by governments, conservancies, and environmental markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-06-02.

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Date of creation: 06 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-06-02

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Keywords: Environmental accounting; ecosystem services; index theory; nonmarket valuation;

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Cited by:
  1. Wainger, Lisa A. & Van Houtven, George & Loomis, Ross & Messer, Jay & Beach, Robert & Deerhake, Marion, 2013. "Tradeoffs among Ecosystem Services, Performance Certainty, and Cost-efficiency in Implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  2. Ruggeri, Joe, 2009. "Government investment in natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1723-1739, April.
  3. Bauer, Dana M. & Johnston, Robert J., 2013. "Foreword: The Economics of Rural and Agricultural Ecosystem Services: Purism versus Practicality," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  4. Patrick POINT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "Valuation of wetland ecosystems services. Some methodological principles (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-19, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  5. Ribaudo, Marc & Hansen, LeRoy T. & Hellerstein, Daniel & Greene, Catherine R., 2008. "The Use of Markets To Increase Private Investment in Environmental Stewardship," Economic Research Report 56473, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Johnston, Robert J. & Schultz, Eric T. & Segerson, Kathleen & Besedin, Elena Y. & Ramachandran, Mahesh, 2013. "Stated Preferences for Intermediate versus Final Ecosystem Services: Disentangling Willingness to Pay for Omitted Outcomes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  7. Ingraham, Molly W. & Foster, Shonda Gilliland, 2008. "The value of ecosystem services provided by the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System in the contiguous U.S," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 608-618, November.
  8. Boyd, James W., 2006. "The Non-Market Benefits of Nature: What Should Be Counted in Green GDP?," Discussion Papers dp-06-24, Resources For the Future.
  9. Boyd, James & Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca & Siikamaki, Juha, 2012. "Conservation Return on Investment Analysis: A Review of Results, Methods, and New Directions," Discussion Papers dp-12-01, Resources For the Future.
  10. Boyd, James & Krupnick, Alan, 2009. "The Definition and Choice of Environmental Commodities for Nonmarket Valuation," Discussion Papers dp-09-35, Resources For the Future.
  11. Moore, Rebecca & Williams, Tiffany & Rodriguez, Eduardo, 2011. "Valuing Ecosystem Services from Private Forests," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103717, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  12. Barbera, Mattia G., 2012. "Towards an Economic Valuation of the Hauraki Gulf: The Finding of an Eco-Cluster?," 2012 Conference, August 31, 2012, Nelson, New Zealand 136041, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  13. Sauer, Johannes & Wossink, Ada, 2010. "The Marginal Cost Of Agri-Environmental Services," 50st Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 29-October 1, 2010 93939, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  14. R. Turner & G. Daily, 2008. "The Ecosystem Services Framework and Natural Capital Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 25-35, January.
  15. Marshall, Elizabeth P., 2007. "Carving Out Policy Space for Sustainability in Biofuel Production," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 36(2), October.
  16. Jonathan Boston & Frieder Lempp, 2011. "Climate change: Explaining and solving the mismatch between scientific urgency and political inertia," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1000-1021, October.
  17. Carlos Gustavo Machicado & Beatriz Muriel & Luis Carlos Jemio, 2010. "Aporte de los Servicios Ecosistémicos silvícolas a la Economía Boliviana," Development Research Working Paper Series 12/2010, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
  18. Doyle, Martin W. & Yates, Andrew J., 2010. "Stream ecosystem service markets under no-net-loss regulation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 820-827, February.
  19. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2009. "Governing of Agro-Ecosystem Services," MPRA Paper 15492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Kroeger, Timm & Casey, Frank, 2007. "An assessment of market-based approaches to providing ecosystem services on agricultural lands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 321-332, December.
  21. Moore, Rebecca, 2013. "Prioritizing Ecosystem Service Protection and Conservation Efforts in the Forest Plantations of the Red Hills," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  22. Egoh, Benis & Rouget, Mathieu & Reyers, Belinda & Knight, Andrew T. & Cowling, Richard M. & van Jaarsveld, Albert S. & Welz, Adam, 2007. "Integrating ecosystem services into conservation assessments: A review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 714-721, September.
  23. Ian Bateman & Georgina Mace & Carlo Fezzi & Giles Atkinson & Kerry Turner, 2011. "Economic Analysis for Ecosystem Service Assessments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 177-218, February.
  24. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2010. "Agro-Ecosystem Services – Governance Needs and Efficiency," MPRA Paper 25978, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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