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Beyond Ecosystem Services: Valuing the Invaluable

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eline Van Asperen, Dr Mark Goddard


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The ecosystem services framework (ESF) is advantageous and widely used for itemising and quantifying ways in which humans benefit from natural places. However, it suffers from two important problems: (i) incoherence of definitions and (ii) a narrow approach to valuation, inadequate to represent the full range of human motives for conservation and the diverse interests of different stakeholders. These shortcomings can lead to a range of problems including double-counting, blind spots and unintended consequences. In this opinion article, we propose an ecosystem valuing framework as a broader and more rigorous way to deliver the benefits currently sought from the ESF, without the conceptual problems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gunton RM, van Asperen EN, Basden A, Bookless D, Araya Y, Hanson DR, Goddard MA, Otieno G, Jones GO

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Year: 2017

Volume: 32

Issue: 4

Pages: 249-257

Print publication date: 01/04/2017

Online publication date: 16/02/2017

Acceptance date: 14/02/2017

ISSN (print): 0169-5347

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8383


DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2017.01.002