Using Meta-Analysis and GIS for Value Transfer and Scaling Up
The economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services has become a widespread tool to inform policy-makers about the consequences of environmental change. Assessments of environmental impacts at large geographic scales have led to growing policy and academic interest in transferring ecosystem service values from existing valuation studies to other ecosystem sites at a large geographic scale. This paper, published in Environmental and Resource Economics, proposes a methodology for scaling up ecosystem service values to estimate the welfare effects of ecosystem change at this larger geographic scale.
Recent studies such as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) have made the case for the valuation of natural capital at regional, national and international level. This implies the transfer of ecosystem service values from individual study sites to policy sites at larger geographic scales. Despite the evident policy demand for this combined transfer and "scaling up" of values, an approach to value transfer that addresses the challenges inherent in assessing ecosystem changes at a national or regional level is not available.
This paper proposes a methodology for scaling up ecosystem service values to estimate the welfare effects of ecosystem change at this larger geographic scale. The methodology makes use of meta-analysis and is illustrated by applying it to value the impact of climate change on European wetlands for the period 2000–2050.
This research has, in part, been funded by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the context of the project "Guidelines for scaling-up ecosystem service values". The results have also fed into an EEA Technical Report on "Scaling Up Ecosystem Benefits".
The paper is freely accessible under the Springer Open Access program and can be downloaded on SpringerLink.