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Overview on framework and issues related to prioritising peatland restoration and conservation activities on a UK scale, and link to VNN challenges 1 and 3
 

Overview on framework and issues related to prioritising peatland restoration and conservation activities on a UK scale, and link to VNN challenges 1 and 3

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Presentation by Klaus Glenck at VNN peatland workshop, Leeds 18th January 2012

Presentation by Klaus Glenck at VNN peatland workshop, Leeds 18th January 2012

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    Overview on framework and issues related to prioritising peatland restoration and conservation activities on a UK scale, and link to VNN challenges 1 and 3 Overview on framework and issues related to prioritising peatland restoration and conservation activities on a UK scale, and link to VNN challenges 1 and 3 Presentation Transcript

    • Overview on framework and issues related to prioritising peatland restoration and conservation activities on a UK scale Klaus Glenk VNN workshop on assessing & valuing peatland ecosystem services January 2012, Leeds 1
    • Outline Aims and overview Scenario selection Choice of time-frame Cost-effectiveness of measures Wider ecosystem service benefits Uncertainty 2
    • General aim framing WP2 To generate a better understanding of the economics of peatland ecosystem services in order to inform decision-making on peatland restoration and conservation activities in the UK Focus on working towards the development of a framework for prioritising peatland restoration/conservation activities on a UK scale What is needed? Challenges? 3
    • Related VNN challenges Relates particularly to VNN challenges 1 and 3 VNN challenge 1: How can the complexity of socio-ecological systems be incorporated into valuations of biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resource use?  Incorporating spatial variability in the natural environment within analyses  Risk and uncertainty VNN challenge 3: How can issues of scale be incorporated within valuations of biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resource use?  How do variations in scale affect natural processes, marginal values, etc?  What are the barriers to cross-scale analysis and how can they be overcome?  Are there scale-dependent transitions in the interactions between ecological environmental and socio-economic data in the valuation process? 4
    • Overview RESTORATION OPPORTUNITY COST SCENARIO OF RESTORATIONCOMPARED WITH BASELINE UPFRONT AND COSTS RECURRING COSTS OF IMPLEMENTATION NET BENEFITS CLIMATE BIODIVERSITY REGULATION: NET GHG EMISSION OTHER SERVICES CHANGES BENEFITS WATER-RELATED Valuing CULTURAL SERVICES: SERVICES: WATER impacts Areas with RECREATION AND QUALITY, QUANTITY highest benefit- CULTURAL HERITAGE AND FLOOD cost ratio should then be REGULATION prioritised 5
    • Spatially explicit values Need to assign costs and benefits to specific areas of peatland in the UK Information needs:  How will a peatland area degrade (or not) under various ‘business-as-usual’ and ‘restoration’ scenarios?  What is the opportunity cost of restoration/conservation activities (and their upfront and recurring costs)?  How much does a given level of restoration/conservation of an area of peatland contribute to the wider ecosystem service benefits due to peatland restoration and conservation? Distinction between lowland and upland peatlands? 6
    • Evaluating the impacts of restoration and conservation over time Net emissions Without (CO2 eq) restoration/conservation The area between the two curves gives the measure of effectiveness over a certain time period Time With restoration/conservation 7Changes in carbon stocks should include both above-ground and below-ground biomass
    • Restoration scenario Different degrees of restoration possible? Varying ‘effectiveness’ of restoration activities (i.e. different time needed for ‘full’ restoration)? Ecosystem service delivery of particular area independent of condition of adjacent area:  Net GHG emissions  Provisioning services  (Recreation) Ecosystem service delivery of particular area depends on condition of adjacent area:  Water-related services 8
    • Restoration scenario Net GHG emissions baseline plus marginal benefits of reducing net GHG -20% emissions are more or less constant =  spatial optimisation straightforward -12% + 9 -8%
    • Restoration scenario Probability of high flows relative to baseline baseline plus marginal benefits of flood risk reduction may -12% diminish with increasing risk reduction ≠  spatial optimisation complicated -4% + 10 -3%
    • Restoration scenario Probability of high flows relative to baseline baseline A -12% contribution of A and B to flood risk reduction?? B ≠ -4% B + 11 A -3%
    • Restoration scenario Probability of high flows relative to baseline baseline Is it possible to identify -12% areas of peatland that are independent with respect to service delivery (e.g. = different sub-catchments or ‘hydrological response A -8% units’)? + 12 -4% B
    • Restoration scenario: biodiversity• There is a consensus that biodiversity (conservation) is very valuable• Placing monetary values on biodiversity, especially the non- use value aspects, is difficult; and it is questionable if results of such an undertaking can be treated with much confidence• In a framework for prioritising peatland restoration and conservation, biodiversity could enter via a ‘no regret’ approach conditioning the selection of appropriate restoration and conservation measures 13
    • Restoration scenario: biodiversity• A specific area is not considered suitable for restoration or conservation if peatland restoration or conservation compromised biodiversity conservation objectives• But: it often seems to be difficult to agree on clear objectives for biodiversity conservation • e.g., near natural state may not support greatest ‘diversity’ 14
    • Evaluating the impacts of restoration and conservation over time Net emissions Without (CO2 eq) restoration/conservation Time With restoration/conservation 15Changes in carbon stocks should include both above-ground and below-ground biomass
    • Choice of timeframe Impacts may not be linear over time What would be an appropriate timeframe for analysis?  20 – 30 – 50 years?  How would the choice of a timeframe influence results?  One thing to think about here is the issue of protecting existing stocks against restoring degraded stock: do longer time periods favour one or the other?  Effects of discounting (generally: choice of discount rate)?  How long does it take for a peatland to be (fully) restored (no additional effects)? How does uncertainty/variability in model predictions change when the period of time increases? 16
    • Spatially explicit values Need to assign costs and benefits to specific areas of peatland in the UK Information needs:  How will a peatland area degrade (or not) under various ‘business-as-usual’ and ‘restoration’ scenarios?  What is the opportunity cost of restoration/conservation activities (and their upfront and recurring costs)?  How much does a given level of restoration/conservation of an area of peatland contribute to the ecosystem service benefits due to peatland restoration and conservation? Distinction between lowland and upland peatlands? 17
    • Uncertainty related to scenarios How certain are predictions about future states of peatlands?  what is the range of model outcomes?  can this range be described probabilistically, i.e. in terms of risk? Which are key variables influencing the sensitivity of predictions of future states of peatlands? 18
    • Uncertainty related to activities What is the level of variation (based on current knowledge/models) regarding the impact of restoration activities on net GHG emissions? What is the level of uncertainty associated with the effectiveness of restoration/conservation activities regarding flood and water (quality) regulation? What drives variation in both? Can variation be described in probabilistic terms? 19
    • Outcome-related risk Generally individuals tend to prefer sure options over uncertain ones when pay-offs are held constant (they tend to be risk-averse) In the presence of ‘risky choices’ (risk regarding outcomes of restoration/conservation), individuals may therefore demand a risk premium (minimum WTA for risk) This is basically the amount by which the value of an environmental good should be reduced given that outcomes are risky 20
    • Incorporating risk in valuation In (environmental) CBA, outcomes tend to be treated as certain and individuals as risk neutral Increasing variance (risk) regarding the effectiveness of restoration or conservation activities could be ‘penalised’ ex-post in the decision-making process Information on outcome-related risk could be incorporated directly into primary valuation studies  e.g., respondents to a stated preference question could be informed about the likely range of outcomes they are asked to value Perform sensitivity analysis 21
    • Back to the general aim… To generate a better understanding of the economics of peatland ecosystem services in order to inform decision-making on peatland restoration and conservation activities in the UK Focus on working towards the development of a framework for prioritising peatland restoration/conservation activities on a UK scale What is needed? Challenges? 22
    • Summary Clearly a very demanding task – with lots of potential to learn on the way Will the outcomes of such research justify the amount of effort that is needed to generate decent results? Potential for simplification e.g. regarding the selection of restoration/conservation scenarios by imposing certain rules and constraints Is the ‘science’ available to support the necessary valuation? 23
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