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A Tool for Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services in Flanders. Sara Ochelen – Flemish Ministry of Environment, Nature and Energy. Cost benefit analysis for better informed decisions. Intended new policy or new project Society better off with or without? A or B?

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A tool for economic valuation of ecosystem services in flanders

A Tool for Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services in Flanders

Sara Ochelen – Flemish Ministry of Environment, Nature and Energy


Cost benefit analysis for better informed decisions
Cost benefit analysis for better informed decisions Flanders

  • Intended new policy or new project

  • Society better off with or without? A or B?

  • Cost Benefit Analysis: all welfare effects, in EUR.

  • Better informed decisions IF also impacts on ecosystems included.

  • Need to quantify the impact on ecosystem and to price the change in the services they deliver.

  • No figures for impacts on ecosystems available.

  • Team of economists and ecologists filled this gap: VITO, University of Antwerp, Free University of Amsterdam.

  • Toolkit for valuation of ESS.


Cultural and regulating services
Cultural and regulating services Flanders

  • Cultural ecosystem services:

    • Value of recreation (use);

    • Value of existence and preserving nature for future generations (non-use).

  • Regulating services:

    • Nutrient removal and stock of N & P;

    • Climate regulation by C-capture in biomass and soil;

    • Improving air quality by capturing polluents as PM10;

    • Noise buffer by forests.

      Tool: handbook and supporting on-line calculator for valuation of ecosystem services.


Value of cultural services
Value of cultural services Flanders

  • No prices  economic valuation techniques.

  • Expensive and time consuming.

  • We want ready-to-use formula for many cases.

  • Valuation function developed with empirical data.

  • Reveal value of people by asking them questions.

  • Choice experiment: sophisticated questionnaire: multiple pretests, representative sample, rigourous statistical analysis of results…

  • Interviewed 3000 people in Flanders with choice cards.



Valuation function
Valuation function Flanders

  • All answers pooled: wealth of information about preferences of people for nature.

  •  WTP of average household in function of: nature characteristics, population characteristics and distance.

  • Forest > heath land > natural grassland.

  • Available trails > no trails.

  • Members NGO > non members.

  • Close to home > far away.



Apply valuation function to new nature in region of antwerp opstalvallei1
Apply valuation function to new nature in region of Antwerp “Opstalvallei”

  • Area of 190 ha agricultural land.

  • Compensation area for Masterplan Port Antwerp.

  • To be transformed in new nature: wetlands and grasslands, with high biodiversity.

  • Accessible for recreation.

  • Adjecent land use: industry, buildings and nature.

  • 1 million households living in area 50 km.

    Total cultural value: € 170 million/year


Value of regulating services
Value of regulating services “Opstalvallei”

Change in quantity x price

Δ ton CO2 in soil

Δ kg PM in air

Δ decibel in houses

Δ kg N in water

50 €/ton CO2 (international literature)

30 €/kg PM (health costs)

1% house value/dB (house depreciation)

74 €/kg N (marginal abatement cost)


Regulating service water purification
Regulating service water purification “Opstalvallei”

Quantity x Price = € 3,8 million

Change in denitrification potential

Cost curve N-removal

Additional 51.660 kg N

times 74 €/kg N

= 3,8 € million


Conclusions
Conclusions “Opstalvallei”

  • Tool available for Flanders to quantify multiple ecosystem benefits and to express them in money terms.

  • Enables summing up and comparing value new nature or destroyed nature with other benefits and costs in CBA.

  • Tool supplied to potential users on voluntary basis.

  • Hope to include ecosystem valuation in compulsary CBA guidelines for infrastructure.

  • Remaining challenges concerning quantification and data availability and quality.

  • Nevertheless: step forward for better informed decisions on measures or projects with impacts on ecosystems.


Thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention! “Opstalvallei”

for more information:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

http://milieueconomie.lne.be


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