Monetary accounting of ecosystem services: A test case for Limburg province, the Netherlands

R.P. Remme*, Bram Edens, Matthias Schröter, Lars Hein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We pilot monetary ecosystem accounting in a case study in Limburg province, the Netherlands. Seven ecosystem services are modelled and valued: crop production, fodder production, drinking water production, air quality regulation, carbon sequestration, nature tourism and hunting. We develop monetary ecosystem accounts that specify values generated by ecosystem services per hectare, per municipality and per land cover type. We analyse the relative importance of public and private ecosystem services. We found that the SNA-aligned monetary value of modelled ecosystem services for Limburg was around €112 million in 2010, with an average value of €508 per hectare. Ecosystem services with the highest values were crop production, nature tourism and fodder production. Due to the exclusion of consumer surplus in SNA valuation, calculated values are considerably lower than those typically found in welfare-based valuation approaches. We demonstrate the feasibility of valuing ecosystem services in a national accounting framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-128
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ecosystem accounting
  • Mapping
  • Monetary valuation
  • Monitoring
  • SEEA
  • Spatial analysis

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