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Sustainability and the value of the 'regulating' services: Wetlands and water quality in Lake Victoria

  • Simonit, Silvio
  • Perrings, Charles
Registered author(s):

    The regulating services provided by ecosystems are amongst the most important for the sustainability of resource use, and yet they are also amongst the least understood. This paper considers one set of regulating mechanisms - the buffering functions of wetlands - and considers the information needed to identify both the value of the services offered by wetlands, and their substitutes. Using data from a catchment discharging water and nutrients to the Kenyan segment of Lake Victoria, the Yala catchment, the paper models the interactions between agriculture and fisheries as mediated by wetlands at the lake margin. More particularly, it estimates the value of the forgone nutrient retention function involved in the conversion of the wetland to agriculture, and the scope for providing the same services through land use change elsewhere in the catchment. The total cost of the payments that would compensate farmers for on-farm nutrient buffering services is 3.86Â M US$Â year-Â 1, or 35% of the total gains from wetland conversion to crop production. This finding contributes to an understanding of both the value of regulating services and how they might most effectively be delivered in alternative ways.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-527TDB0-3/2/40e329ee7a09842f23ea94cf952e46f5
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (April)
    Pages: 1189-1199

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:6:p:1189-1199
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. Edward Barbier & Ivar Strand, 1998. "Valuing Mangrove-Fishery Linkages – A Case Study of Campeche, Mexico," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 151-166, September.
    2. Lufafa, A. & Tenywa, M. M. & Isabirye, M. & Majaliwa, M. J. G. & Woomer, P. L., 2003. "Prediction of soil erosion in a Lake Victoria basin catchment using a GIS-based Universal Soil Loss model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 883-894, June.
    3. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1992. "Environmental policy design and dynamic nonpoint-source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 22-39, July.
    4. Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "Valuing ecosystem services as productive inputs," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 177-229, 01.
    5. Bulte, Erwin H. & Lipper, Leslie & Stringer, Randy & Zilberman, David, 2008. "Payments for ecosystem services and poverty reduction: concepts, issues, and empirical perspectives," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 245-254, June.
    6. Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: An overview of the issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 663-674, May.
    7. Lynne, Gary D. & Conroy, Patricia & Prochaska, Frederick J., 1981. "Economic valuation of marsh areas for marine production processes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 175-186, June.
    8. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
    9. Avila-Foucat, V.S. & Perrings, C. & Raffaelli, D., 2009. "An ecological-economic model for catchment management: The case of Tonameca, Oaxaca, México," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2224-2231, June.
    10. Bystrom, Olof, 1998. "The nitrogen abatement cost in wetlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 321-331, September.
    11. Kasulo, Victor & Perrings, Charles, 2006. "Fishing down the value chain: Biodiversity and access regimes in freshwater fisheries -- the case of Malawi," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 106-114, August.
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