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Valuing a diversity of ecosystem services: The way forward to protect strategic groundwater resources for the future?

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  • Hérivaux, Cécile
  • Grémont, Marine

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the usefulness of valuing a diversity of ecosystem services for groundwater protection. It argues that improving the understanding of local stakeholders regarding the benefits that strategic groundwater preservation for future generations can bring to their territories is a relevant mean to enhance their support towards groundwater conservation. We develop and test a systemic approach based on local data collection, cost-based monetary valuation methods and stakeholder involvement. The paper reports on empirical work conducted in a strategic groundwater area located in Southern France, that could be of interest in the future to supply the growing population of coastal urban areas. We characterize, quantify and valuate in monetary terms nine ecosystem services. We then analyze the perception of the proposed approach, ecosystem services and associated monetary values by organising a workshop involving 25 local stakeholders. Overall, participants validate the operational feasibility and the relevance of the approach for raising awareness and bridging the gap between environmental issues, which can be effective triggers to the implementation of protection action. Yet, monetary valuation provides only partial insights into the overall value of the benefits of protecting the strategic groundwater area, and would improve from being articulated with socio-cultural valuation methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Hérivaux, Cécile & Grémont, Marine, 2019. "Valuing a diversity of ecosystem services: The way forward to protect strategic groundwater resources for the future?," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 184-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:35:y:2019:i:c:p:184-193
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.12.011
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