Valuing Ecosystem Services: A New Paradigm Shift
The ways in which economists value natural resources has been, and continues to be, a constantly evolving process. At first, only transactions that took place in the marketplace were considered. However, it was not long until it was realised that this concept was an incomplete way to value natural resources and hence the concept of non-market valuation was introduced. These non-market valuation methodologies prevailed for about 50 or 60 years, but, at the present time, it is being realised that the current methodologies are incomplete and it is time for another new paradigm shift. The market and non-market valuation calculations currently used only include anthropocentric (human related) values and have omitted ecocentric ecosystem service values such as the pollination of crops that takes place by bees and flies. The question we are posed with now is how to calculate the true value for ecosystem services in given this new paradigm shift?
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