- Title Pages
- List of contributors
- Chapter 1 Uncomfortable questions and inconvenient data in conservation science
- Chapter 2 The thin ice of simplicity in environmental and conservation assessments
- Chapter 3 The value of ecosystem services
- Chapter 4 Are local losses of biodiversity causing degraded ecosystem function?
- Chapter 5 Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research
- Chapter 6 Introduced species are not always the enemy of conservation
- Chapter 7 Novel ecosystems
- Chapter 8 What is the evidence for planetary tipping points?
- Chapter 9 Adaptability
- Chapter 10 Food webs with humans: In name only?
- Chapter 11 Global agricultural expansion
- Chapter 12 A good story
- Chapter 13 From <i>Silent Spring</i> to <i>The Frog of War</i>
- Chapter 14 How a mistaken ecological narrative could be undermining orangutan conservation
- Chapter 15 Fealty to symbolism is no way to save salmon
- Chapter 16 Genetically modified crops
- Chapter 17 When “sustainable” fishing isn’t
- Chapter 18 Science communication is receiving a lot of attention, but there’s room to improve
- Chapter 19 Overfishing
- Chapter 20 Rehabilitating sea otters
- Chapter 21 Planning for climate change without climate projections?
- Chapter 22 Is “no net loss of biodiversity” a good idea?
- Chapter 23 Replacing underperforming nature reserves
- Chapter 24 Conservation in the real world
- Chapter 25 Are payments for ecosystem services benefiting ecosystems and people?
- Chapter 26 Corporations valuing nature
- Chapter 27 Business as usual leads to underperformance in coastal restoration
- Chapter 28 Conservation bias: What have we learned?
The value of ecosystem services
The value of ecosystem services
What is the evidence?
- (p.19) Chapter 3 The value of ecosystem services
- Effective Conservation Science
R. David Simpson
- Oxford University Press
This chapter investigates whether the growing enthusiasm for ecosystem services recently expressed by conservation NGOs and international institutions is supported by evidence. Ecosystem services—the benefits humans receive from nature—have become the darlings of conservation on the assumption that the valuation of selected services may justify protecting land. A critical examination of a random sample of monetary valuations for regulating ecosystem services such as pollution treatment, finds that only onethird can be considered reliable, and that only ten percent of monetary value estimates can be transferred to other contexts. This suggests that the overall evidence base for assigning monetary value to nature is limited. Furthermore, diminishing returns, high opportunity costs, and technological substitutes might limit the amount of conservation that can be justified on the basis financial assessments of ecosystem services. As such, this chapter concludes that ecosystem services as a conservation strategy should not be embraced uncritically.
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