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Conflicting interests of ecosystem services: Multi-criteria modelling and indirect evaluation of trade-offs between monetary and non-monetary measures


  • Wam, Hilde Karine
  • Bunnefeld, Nils
  • Clarke, Nicholas
  • Hofstad, Ole


Ecosystems provide services for many stakeholder groups, often with a conflict of interests that hampers sustainability. Core to these conflicts is the challenge of trading-off monetary and non-monetary measures. Using the boreal forest as a case, we present a socio-ecologically integrated trade-off model for partly competing services (wood, game hunting, livestock grazing). Drawing on multi-criteria analyses (MCA), we found that wood production unequivocally yielded the highest net present value, but led to a substantial reduction in the performance of hunting and grazing. By imposing multiuse conditions set as minimum performance of the less profitable services, we evaluated the opportunity costs of multiuse without directly pricing non-commodities. We also quantified normalized indices of realized performance potential to evaluate the cost of multiuse with a single, joint metric. Both approaches consistently showed that accepting a rather small loss in one service may secure large gains in other services. By democratically providing a combined monetary and non-monetary evaluation, our approach should facilitate broader acceptance for the decisional metrics among stakeholders. It thereby has the potential to mitigate conflicts, feeding into the larger scheme of adaptive management.

Suggested Citation

  • Wam, Hilde Karine & Bunnefeld, Nils & Clarke, Nicholas & Hofstad, Ole, 2016. "Conflicting interests of ecosystem services: Multi-criteria modelling and indirect evaluation of trade-offs between monetary and non-monetary measures," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PB), pages 280-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:22:y:2016:i:pb:p:280-288
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.10.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Folkersen, Maja Vinde, 2018. "Ecosystem valuation: Changing discourse in a time of climate change," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 1-12.
    2. Eyvindson, Kyle & Repo, Anna & Mönkkönen, Mikko, 2018. "Mitigating forest biodiversity and ecosystem service losses in the era of bio-based economy," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 119-127.
    3. Bösch, Matthias & Elsasser, Peter & Franz, Kristin & Lorenz, Martin & Moning, Christoph & Olschewski, Roland & Rödl, Anne & Schneider, Heike & Schröppel, Bettina & Weller, Priska, 2018. "Forest ecosystem services in rural areas of Germany: Insights from the national TEEB study," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 31(PA), pages 77-83.
    4. Rafael Emmanuel Macatangay & Alistair Rieu-Clarke, 2018. "The role of valuation and bargaining in optimising transboundary watercourse treaty regimes," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 409-428, June.
    5. Dastan Bamwesigye & Petra Hlavackova & Andrea Sujova & Jitka Fialova & Petr Kupec, 2020. "Willingness to Pay for Forest Existence Value and Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, January.
    6. Martin, D.M. & Mazzotta, M., 2018. "Non-monetary valuation using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Sensitivity of additive aggregation methods to scaling and compensation assumptions," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 13-22.
    7. Lee, Jongyeol & Kim, Hyungsub & Song, Cholho & Kim, Gang Sun & Lee, Woo-Kyun & Son, Yowhan, 2020. "Determining economically viable forest management option with consideration of ecosystem services in Korea: A strategy after successful national forestation," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).


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