Spatial scales, stakeholders and the valuation of ecosystem services

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Abstract

Since the late 1960s, the valuation of ecosystem services has received ample attention in scientific literature. However, to date, there has been relatively little elaboration of the various spatial and temporal scales at which ecosystem services are supplied. This paper analyzes the spatial scales of ecosystem services, and it examines how stakeholders at different spatial scales attach different values to ecosystem services. The paper first establishes an enhanced framework for the valuation of ecosystem services, with specific attention for stakeholders. The framework includes a procedure to assess the value of regulation services that avoids double counting of these services. Subsequently, the paper analyses the spatial scales of ecosystem services: the ecological scales at which ecosystem services are generated, and the institutional scales at which stakeholders benefit from ecosystem services. On the basis of the proposed valuation framework, we value four selected ecosystem services supplied by the De Wieden wetlands in The Netherlands, and we analyze how these services accrue to stakeholders at different institutional scales. These services are the provision of reed for cutting, the provision of fish, recreation, and nature conservation. In the De Wieden wetland, reed cutting and fisheries are only important at the municipal scale, recreation is most relevant at the municipal and provincial scale, and nature conservation is important in particular at the national and international level. Our analysis shows that stakeholders at different spatial scales can have very different interests in ecosystem services, and we argue that it is highly important to consider the scales of ecosystem services when valuation of services is applied to support the formulation or implementation of ecosystem management plans
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-228
JournalEcological Economics
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • contingent valuation
  • economic valuation
  • management
  • conservation
  • resource
  • ecology
  • biodiversity
  • environment
  • integration
  • dynamics

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