This seminar will examine the application of economic analysis techniques within the expanding field of ecosystem service assessments.

Taking as an example the recent UK National Ecosystem Assessment, we extend and apply methods for valuing changes in the services provided by the natural environment. Particular attention is given to the incorporation of spatial variation in the environment within such valuations.

Findings highlight the substantial improvements in welfare that can arise from shifting the emphasis of decision making away from a sole focus upon market priced goods towards a broader conception of economic values.

We conclude by considering weaknesses in such techniques, particularly with respect to the assessment of non-use values and draw upon ongoing work in developing countries to suggest a potential solution to such problems.

The work that will be discussed builds upon the conceptual framework set out in Bateman et al., (2011) and presents results summarised in UK-NEA (2011).

Speaker: Ian J. Bateman, Director of Economics for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (which has provided the world’s first assessment of the state of a specific country’s ecosystems) and Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of East Anglia (UEA); he is one of the foremost international researchers in the field of non-market valuation methods and has published widely on this topic for over 20 years

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