Valuation without action? On the use of economic valuations of ecosystem services
Economic valuations have raised high expectations to influence policy and alleviate the accelerating degradation of the environment. But heated debates about the use and misuse of valuation have been onging for years. This policy brief synthesizes some key elements and comes to the conclusion that issue of valuation use for decision-making is rarely addressed beyond general statements and suggestions about possible uses.
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Bonn, 24 October 2013 - It is undeniable that international discussions and publications are now
massively promoting Ecosystem Services Economic Valuation (ESV) as a
tool susceptible to make key contributions to biodiversity protection.
Questioning the supposed pragmatism and influence of ESV, while standing
clear from ideological statements, is thus both timely and vital.
ESV methods are now highly mature. They have been the subject of a
large and growing literature since the beginning of the 1990s. Yet, economic valuation is not sufficient in itself.
The hope that it will become an efficient political lever to alleviate
environmental degradation supposes above all that it actually be used
for decision-making. For this reason, one of the key issues relating to
the development of ESV is understanding how and to what extent they are
actually used. This policy brief synthesizes some key elements of a
bibliographic analysis recently conducted on that topic.
The pivotal finding of the review is that the issue of valuation use
for decision-making is rarely addressed beyond general statements and
suggestions about possible uses. The common rule is to present an
economic valuation, then suggest that it be used for decision-making,
but without this use being either explicited or contextualized, and
without concrete examples being provided or analyzed. Authors often argue that valuations are
highly useful for decisions, but aren't practically used in a way they should be.
The complete article can be downloaded here.
For more information, visit the IDDRI Homepage here.
Tags: Ecosystem valuation | Finance Industry
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