Ecosystem Valuation Framework

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Theoretical underpinnings: Ecosystem Services Valuation Framework The study will be guided by the ecosystem valuation framework (Hein et al., 2006) to quantify and map a range of ecosystem services and evaluate the impact of land use change on these ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating and cultural services). The ecosystem valuation framework is applicable to all ecosystems and very valuable in modified (semi-natural and natural) ecosystems. The framework categorize valuation of ecosystem services into four (4) phases, viz (1) Specification of the boundaries of the ecosystem to be valued, (2) Assessment of the ecosystem services supplied by the system, (3) Valuation of the ecosystem service and lastly, (4) Aggregation or comparison…show more content…
The supply of ecosystem services will often be erratic over time, and, where relevant, both actual and potential future supplies of services have to be included in the valuation (Barbier, 2000). Hein et al. (2006), distinguished three different categories of ecosystem services: production services, regulation services and cultural services, whiles the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003), identified four ecosystem services: production, supporting, regulating and cultural services. The supporting ecosystem services represent the ecological processes that underlie the functioning of the ecosystem. Hein et al. (2006) are of the view that, the inclusion of the supporting services in the valuation may lead to double counting since their value is reflected in the other three types of services. In addition, there are a very large number of ecological processes that underlie the functioning of ecosystems, and it is unclear on which basis supporting services should be included in, or excluded from a valuation study. This study agrees with the view by Hein et al. (2006), hence, three ecosystem services (namely, provisioning, regulating and cultural) ecosystem services will be valued in this…show more content…
The sum of the direct use, indirect use and option values equals the total use value of the system; the sum of the use value and the non-use value is the total value of the ecosystem (Pearce and Turner, 1990 as cited in Hein et al., 2006). If all values have been expressed as a monetary value, and if the values are expressed through comparable indicators (e.g., consumer and/ or producer surplus), the values can be summed. If non-monetary indicators are used for the non-use values, the values can be presented side-by-side— leaving it to the reader to compare the two value types (Strijker et al., 2000; Hein et al., 2006). Alternatively, they can be compared using Multi Criteria Assessment (MCA). With MCA, beneficiaries can be asked to assign relative weights to different sets of indicators (non-monetary as well as monetary), enabling comparison of the indicators (Folke, 1997 as cited in Hein et al., 2006). Different beneficiaries can be expected to have different perspectives on the importance of the different types of values (Vermeulen and Koziell, 2002). Through group valuation, or the use of deliberative processes, beneficiaries can be encouraged to converge to a representative assessment of the values of different ecosystem services (O’Neill, 2001; Hein et al.,

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