Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Valuation

As we move on to new topics, let's continue to consider the importance of non-market valuation.

Here are links to some good sources:

Why Economics Matters for Endangered Species Protection (Shogren et al., 1998)

The Role of Economic Valuation in the Conservation of Tropical Nature (Naidoo, 2008)

Conservation Pays (Yuskavitch, 2007, Defenders of Wildlife)

Marine Conservation: How Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Can Help (Environment Matters, 2008)

Can Environmental Economic Valuation Techniques Aid Ecological Economics and Wildlife Conservation? (Loomis, 2000, Wildlife Society Bulletin)

Of additional interest:

Economic Incentives and Wildlife Conservation (Bulte et al., 2003)

Tons of references and links here:  Economic Valuation References WRI

Reefs here and here and here

Wetlands here

This is a tiny fraction of what's out there. What are your thoughts on valuation?  I'd especially like to see if students from different backgrounds look at valuation differently. When you post a reply, let us know your primary field of study. 

4 comments:

Viana McFarlane (CERMES) said...

(Background: educator now studying environmental management)
Environmental Valuation is assigning economic value to ecosystem services, natural resources and the environment. I think valuation is necessary because it helps us to know the real economic value of the environment. This in turn will enable us to better understand human impacts on the environment because we can monetize the damage that is caused. Knowledge of economic value of the environment and natural resources may encourage people to conserve, protect and sustainable use the environment because they know its’ worth. I also believe that it is needed especially when negotiating with the government because they get a better understanding of the environment when they know it true economic value. With economic value of the environment it is easier to coerce that government and policy maker to make decision in favour of the environment. I also think valuation is necessary because it facilities comparison in terms of environment and development or human activities that may pose a threat to the environment. Therefore society should be to make more informed decision concerning the environment because they aware of worth.
Consequently, revealed and stated preference valuation methods are necessary because it give a better understanding of the economic value of environment and natural resources.
I also believe that people still value their environment without knowing it monetary value or even when they are not willing to pay anything to preserve it.

Marissa Murdock said...

Marissa Murdock (CERMES): BSc. Meteorology with Earth Sciences and Ecology

I echo the sentiments of my colleague Viana. Valuation is one of the most important and relevant topic of this course and in the contemporary world. Why? Because many people only see things in dollar signs, i.e., monetary value is what is most important.

Valuation helps to even out the scales when comparing development and conservation of our natural resources. Many times conservation is seen as dollars lost/wasted instead of what it can potentially be: a very prolific bank account that would never be empty. Valuation helps to assign a monetary value to ecosystem services which can make it easier to make smarter and more environmentally friendly decisions for the present and in the long run.

Valuation can help people to understand the value of the things around them and the value ecosystem services they provide. In truth most industrial activities/commerce are heavily dependent on the health of the environment. Putting dollar signs helps to change people's perspective on how important the natural environment.

Valuation is also important to estimating damages to natural resources. Natural and man-made hazards and general trends such as climate change can leave devastating impacts on the environment and this can be economically significant. Valuation is an excellent tool though which these damages can be realised and steps can be taken to help to mitigate/prevent them.

Jason Walsh said...

It is hard for me to understand when people try to explain conservation for conservation's sake. What that means seems to be largely subjective and vague. I think that environmental scientists or scientists in general alienate themselves through this type of language. Through valuation, whether that be a revealed preference and willingness to pay or market value, it seems to be the only way to truly understand the world around us and be able to make informed decisions. Without valuation it would be difficult to make informed decisions that account for social costs that are not represented through markets. It is unrealistic for politicians to be asked to care about conservation when they are unable to relate to or understand the actual value of the conservation effort. Valuation seems to be the answer of explaining what the scientists see very clearly to the rest of the world. The interesting thing about valuation is that it is not biased so it will tell you the value of the environmental asset. Valuation does not know the decision you are making so it is able to monetarily assess the environmental asset in question. Through valuation politicians who are making policy will be able to make informed decisions if all of the aspects of the decision are transparent.

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