Measuring, Valuation and Pricing of Ecosystem Services

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Measuring, Valuation and Pricing of Ecosystem Services

  1. 1. Measuring, Valuation and Pricing of Ecosystem Services A Presentation for IntLCA Portland, Oregon October 2007 Sarah Kruse Ecotrust, Portland, Oregon
  2. 2. Ecosystem Service Values <ul><li>Why should we value ecosystem services? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Markets for ecosystem services rarely exist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Result is fewer ecosystem services than is optimal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How are ecosystem services currently valued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Costanza et al. (1997): $16-54 trillion/year for the entire biosphere (17 ecosystem service categories) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gund Institute: Associating land cover types with ecosystem services </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Ecosystem Service Markets <ul><li>How do we go from valuing ecosystem services to creating ecosystem service markets? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most valuation is based on willingness-to-pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires site specific analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking from a supply chain perspective </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Supply Chain Thinking Willamette River and Water Quality
  5. 5. Lessons from LCA <ul><li>Conceptual similarities between issues ecosystem service markets are facing and issues LCA has already tackled </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed whole system accounting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardized unit of measurement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embedded in international standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traceable through the value/supply chain ― headwaters to ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological issues ― need a standardized approach for similar markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>System boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allocation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LCA potentially offers a body of literature and practice from which to learn </li></ul><ul><li>How to best map from LCA to ecosystem service markets </li></ul>
  6. 6. Thinking Forward <ul><li>Methodological expansions </li></ul><ul><li>New impact categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Clean Water Act requires tracking of “water temperature” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current databases may or may not be relevant under regulatory framework </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem services in an applied context and the potential role of LCA (thinking) </li></ul>

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