Comparing Tools for Identifying, Assessing, and Valuing Ecosystem Services

As the awareness for the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems is growing, the demand for tools is also growing. That is why BSR, a global sustainability consultancy network, has compared several ecosystem services tools in a case study.

BSR compared seven tools by applying them to a hypothetical residential development project. It compared the following tools:

Unfortunately, many tools are not comparable. This is mainly due to different methodologies and ecosystem service definitions. Some tools rely on expert knowledge, others include a literature review and most of them are GIS based, meaning that they give a map based representation of the results. The study concludes that the tools are still hard to use by companies because they cannot be easily integrated in existing processes. Pilot studies might solve this problem, the authors reckon. Finally, the study gives an interesting overview of the time and level of expertise that are required to use the different tools. It also provided some interesting venues for further research. In subsequent studies, it would also be interesting to see other tools included in the comparison.

The full study can be found here.

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