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Valuing indirect ecosystem services: the case of tropical watersheds


  • Kaiser, Brooks
  • Roumasset, James


Mitigating the harmful effects of development projects and industries (negative environmentalism) is inadequate, especially in resource-dependent economies whose resources are at risk from other forces. While positive environmentalism includes conservation projects, the non-market benefits of such projects are difficult to evaluate. This paper provides and illustrates a method for evaluating the indirect, watershed benefits of a tropical forest, without resorting to survey methods. The conservation of trees prevents a reapportionment from groundwater recharge to runoff that would otherwise occur. The value of the water saved is then valued at the shadow prices obtained from an optimizing model. An illustration of the model shows that watershed conservation projects may have very high payoffs, even before assessing existence values and other forest amenities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaiser, Brooks & Roumasset, James, 2002. "Valuing indirect ecosystem services: the case of tropical watersheds," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 701-714, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:7:y:2002:i:04:p:701-714_00

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    Cited by:

    1. James Roumasset & Christopher Wada, 2012. "The Economics of Groundwater," Working Papers 2012-4, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    2. Popp, Jozsef, 2009. "Global responsibility of food, energy and environmental security," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 110, pages 1-20, July.
    3. repec:hae:wpaper:2012-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kaiser, Brooks A. & Burnett, Kimberly M. & Roumasset, James A., 2006. "Control of Invasive Species: Lessons from Miconia in Hawaii," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21301, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Tran, Ngoc Bich & Ley, Eduardo, 2012. "Green prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6131, The World Bank.
    6. Ninan, K.N. & Inoue, Makoto, 2013. "Valuing forest ecosystem services: What we know and what we don't," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 137-149.
    7. Peng, Marcus & Oleson, Kirsten L.L., 2017. "Beach Recreationalists' Willingness to Pay and Economic Implications of Coastal Water Quality Problems in Hawaii," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 41-52.
    8. Nabradi, Andras & Popp, Jozsef, 2012. "Policy Challenges For Food, Energy And Environmental Security," APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, AGRIMBA, vol. 6(1-2), pages 1-10, September.
    9. Linda Fernandez, 2007. "Maritime trade and migratory species management to protect biodiversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(2), pages 165-188, October.
    10. Roumasset, James & Wada, Christopher A., 2013. "A dynamic approach to PES pricing and finance for interlinked ecosystem services: Watershed conservation and groundwater management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 24-33.
    11. Molnar, Jennifer L. & Kubiszewski, Ida, 2012. "Managing natural wealth: Research and implementation of ecosystem services in the United States and Canada," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 2(C), pages 45-55.
    12. Ninan, K.N. & Kontoleon, Andreas, 2016. "Valuing forest ecosystem services and disservices – Case study of a protected area in India," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 1-14.
    13. Hassan, R.M. & Crafford, J.G., 2015. "Measuring the contribution of ecological composition and functional services of ecosystems to the dynamics of KwaZulu-Natal coast fisheries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 306-313.
    14. Marine Elbakidze & Mersha Gebrehiwot & Per Angelstam & Taras Yamelynets & Diana Surová, 2018. "Defining Priority Land Covers that Secure the Livelihoods of Urban and Rural People in Ethiopia: a Case Study Based on Citizens’ Preferences," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-23, May.
    15. Xiuli Liu & Xikang Chen & Shouyang Wang, 2009. "Evaluating and Predicting Shadow Prices of Water Resources in China and Its Nine Major River Basins," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 23(8), pages 1467-1478, June.
    16. Ojea, Elena & Loureiro, Maria L. & Alló, Maria & Barrio, Melina, 2016. "Ecosystem Services and REDD: Estimating the Benefits of Non-Carbon Services in Worldwide Forests," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 246-261.
    17. Ian Bateman & Georgina Mace & Carlo Fezzi & Giles Atkinson & Kerry Turner, 2011. "Economic Analysis for Ecosystem Service Assessments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 177-218, February.
    18. Ninan, K.N. & Inoue, Makoto, 2013. "Valuing forest ecosystem services: Case study of a forest reserve in Japan," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 78-87.
    19. Teague, A. & Russell, M. & Harvey, J. & Dantin, D. & Nestlerode, J. & Alvarez, F., 2016. "A spatially-explicit technique for evaluation of alternative scenarios in the context of ecosystem goods and services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 15-29.
    20. Burnett, Kimberly & Kaiser, Brooks & Roumasset, James, 2007. "Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 151-167, August.
    21. Zamboni, Nadia Selene & Noleto Filho, Eurico Mesquita & Carvalho, Adriana Rosa, 2021. "Unfolding differences in the distribution of coastal marine ecosystem services values among developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    22. James Roumasset & Christopher Wada, 2014. "Integrated Groundwater Resource Management," Working Papers 201414, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    23. Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine & Yang, Fang & Thomas, Lynna & Pant, Archana, 2007. "Analysis of Farm Household Preferences in the Management of Invasive Species: The Case of Miconia in Hawaii," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-24.
    24. Nahuelhual, Laura & Laterra, Pedro & Villarino, Sebastián & Mastrángelo, Matías & Carmona, Alejandra & Jaramillo, Amerindia & Barral, Paula & Burgos, Néstor, 2015. "Mapping of ecosystem services: Missing links between purposes and procedures," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 162-172.
    25. Purushothaman, Seema & Hegde, Seema S. & Patil, Sheetal & Kashyap, Sham, 2009. "People’s Perception of Benefits from a Protected Catchment: A Case Study of Gundal Command in Karnataka," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 64(4), pages 1-12.

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