Purpose of this Website

The Big Picture

Essentials

Essentials

Benefits

Feedback

Links

Glossary


 
Purpose & Uses of this Website

On this site, you will find:

  • Discussion of the purposes and context for ecosystem valuation. (The Big Picture)
  • A non-technical explanation of the economic theory of ecosystem valuation. (Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation)
  • Descriptions of specific valuation methods, including both dollar-based measures and non-monetary measures. (Dollar-Based Ecosystem Valuation Methods, and Ecosystem Benefit Indicators)
  • Case study illustrations of each method.
  • Practical considerations related to the methods, including when each method is most appropriate, and the strengths and limitations of each method.
  • Links to sources of related information. (Links)
  • Opportunities to provide feedback and share your experiences as you develop and use estimates of ecosystem benefits. (Feedback)
How to Use This Site

Each section of this site consists of a series of short, stand-alone, articles on specific topics. This "loose-leaf" format allows you to use the site as a reference source, or to browse and stop on topics of special interest. 

The site is also intended to serve as a forum for users to share their experiences with ecosystem valuation. You may read other users’ comments, or add your own, in our “Feedback” section. 
 

Overview of the Site

“The Big Picture” gives a quick overview of ecosystem valuation and why it is important. It also presents some of the practical considerations and issues related to ecosystem valuation.

“Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation” provides a non-technical overview of the economic theory of benefit estimation, and an overview of valuation methods and the practical considerations for applying them. Other sections of the website will assume that the reader understands the concepts discussed in this section.

“Dollar-Based Ecosystem Valuation Methods” describes methods that are used to estimate dollar measures of economic values associated with ecosystems.  The section contains articles about specific valuation methods and their application.  Each article begins with a brief non-technical overview of the method.  This is followed by an illustration that shows how the method might be applied, in step by step fashion, and one or more case study examples.  Each article concludes with a more detailed and technical description of the method, and its strengths and limitations.

“Ecosystem Benefit Indicators” describes a framework and methods for developing and using indicators of ecosystem benefits.  An indicator is "something that provides a clue to a matter of larger significance or makes perceptible a trend or phenomenon that is not immediately detectable."  Benefit indicators may be as useful as dollar-based benefit measures for purposes of prioritizing spending on environmental conservation, preservation, or restoration.  However, they may not be useful for determining whether the economic benefits of these programs exceed the costs.