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Valuing nature is not enough
Date:1/24/2013

ntrinsic value of nature."

Dr Potschin added: "The debate has often become polarised between opposite viewpoints the narrow perspective driven by conventional economic analysis versus one which takes into account ecological concerns.

"However, our research is less about the narrow financial outlook but rather drawing out the numerous issues which need to be addressed in using the Ecosystem Service Approach, to ensure that the trading off of conflicting values and benefits is done equitably and takes into consideration the true values, beliefs and interests of all parties including local communities, future generations and humanity in general in addition to those who may gain or lose out financially."

Ethical concerns

Among those ethical concerns is the approach to the use of resources from the natural world by different generations either by giving up potential current income for the benefit of our children or grandchildren or by exploiting resources now at the expense of future generations.

The study concluded that using ecosystem services to simply attach a monetary value to the ecosystem does not need to be central to the way we analyse the contribution that nature makes to humankind.

The researchers argued that it is essential to acknowledge the legitimacy of alternative approaches and valuation languages such as the economic metaphor of 'ecosystem services' for conserving nature.


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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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