Evaluation methods of ecosystem services

Ecosystem services (EI) , according to the [ecosystems] , - are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Contextually, it goes back to the concept of natural capital. For a man the natural capital - are a set of natural resources (collection of environmental assets [Perman]).

Use of natural capital associated with the following services that are partially or completely have all the elements of the environment & nbsp; [Perman]:

1) direct resourcing services;

2) security services;

3) cultural services (a set of these services is quite & nbsp; wide, it is aesthetic, recreational, and scientific and educational and religious services);

4) the service life-sustaining ecosystems.

Tools evaluation is now generally established and described in more or less the same vein, both in the scientific literature [ Platon], and in training [Perman, Bobylev, Bobylev]. In general, it can be divided into seven blocks. This method of market prices; travel cost; Hedonic pricing method; contingent valuation method; choice modeling; techniques based on the production function; methods based on the evaluation of the replacement cost of "shadow infrastructure." Let us briefly consider each of them.

Method of market prices is good for those services for which even now there < em> market and formed the pricing mechanism. Thus, for the services of the absorption of carbon dioxide by some components of the environment, this method can be successfully applied, as there is now a market value of tons of CO 2. However, it is obvious that this example is the exception rather than the rule - for most ekosisstemnyh services market does not exist, so there is a need to find other methods for determining their value.

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Method of travel cost based on the assumption that some of the services provided by surrounding environment, in particular recreational, can be compared with the costs that the individual has, getting to the interest of its natural object.

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Method of hedonic pricing. This method is most often associated with the "pleasure", which is obtained owners of property located in the "green" area, or adjacent to attractive natural object, such as a park. Individuals prefer these objects instead of objects that do not have these "environmental" characteristics, with the result that the first objects are expensive. The difference in value of identical inherently houses, different only in "ecological" option provides an estimate of this parameter, that is the desired ecosystem service assessment. & nbsp;

techniques based on the production function. & nbsp; Unlike previous methods, these techniques do not consider the utility function, but the production function, where one of the parameters in favor of the environment indicator, or some ecosystem services. A change in the quality or quantity of its impact on the production cost of the product, its price and the final income producer. All of this is a key parameter for fixing the value captured in the production function of ecosystem services. These include The method of intermediate goods, which consists in the fact that the ecosystem services of the individual components of the environment (eg, water-regulating erozionnozaschitnye forest services) have a downward effect on the prices of final goods (eg , electricity generated by hydropower plants), which are produced in this region.

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Methods based on an assessment of replacement cost "shadow infrastructure», non-existent objects which, however, would have to be created if there were no specific ecosystem services. & nbsp;

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Contingent valuation method (subjective valuation, stated preferences). Here we consider the conventional script in relation to those or other natural wealth, which is considered a group of individuals interviewed. The latter, in fact, fixing his "willingness to pay" the cost of these benefits is determined on the basis of its assumptions about their usefulness and preferences.

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modeling method of choice. This method, in some cases, similar to the contingent valuation method, that is, .to. It also can be used a certain number of survey of individuals, with the difference that here they do not deal with the assessment of a particular situation, but with a few different developments, some of which are less environmentally friendly, others more. Thus the estimated willingness to pay for the transition from one version to another.

The analysis of all of the above methods makes it possible to formulate a number of general principles for the valuation of ecosystem services.

  1. Translation ecosystem services into the language of money is carried out by searching on the market an adequate counterpart in terms of the local economy, and at the current time. All known methods for assessing ecosystem services somehow satisfy this provision. For the vast majority of ecosystem services of independent market does not exist, hence the need for simulation, if there is a market, in this generalization can talk about the analogy with the full compliance. The only exception here can serve as a unit of methods based on the survey, but we can point out that retrieves information about the "willingness to pay" - the essence of information on the same market & nbsp; analogue, which in this case exists only in the mind of the individual.

    Thus, the entire set of methods can be classified into 3 characteristics: belonging to the existing market, search analogue to existing market analysis of "non-existent analog» & nbsp;

    The classification of methods for assessing ecosystem services.

    This compilation gives us some leeway in assessing ecosystem services (within the general rules of logic and the theory of value) and It speaks of the possibility of an extremely wide range of the total cost of the same ecosystem service. In the transition from one block to another, the degree of "objectivity" evaluation starts to blur, which is associated with the choice of analogue and, in the case of methods based on a survey sample of respondents.

    The choice of each of the above methods, or create a new method based on the basic criterion is carried out on the basis of spectrum available to researchers inforamatsii.

    2) As in the case with the assessment of the market value assessment of ecosystem services is made only in the case where the system has investigated the utility (the principle of utility in the evaluation) for the person.

    3) In each case it is necessary to determine their range of ecosystem services and evaluate them based on the realities of the region's economy, in which the evaluation. & nbsp;

    In the context of the 3 principles emphasize two fundamental points:

    a) All services can be evaluated but

    b) the purpose of the research and the object of research is applied limit to a specific range of services for the evaluation .

    For example, the goal is economic evaluation land degradation.

    To assess land degradation need to be limited to only those services, the characteristics of which change in the process of degradation each individual assessed land.

    To understand how the choice of an object affects the range of services for the assessment, consider the situation where the object is agricultural land . Here, the situation can be opened with the following theses:

    1. agricultural land - the soil is transformed by man;
    2. Part biogeocenotic and global functions in agricultural soils due to anthropogenic conversion absent or minimized;
    3. with ecocentric point of view of the negative effect of the cultivation of natural systems above use, that is, on the face of the fact of degradation, but the
    4. In the case of agricultural land (as a category) at the heart of it is advisable to put the benefit to the person, so it is wise to take the newly created agricultural soil, as an independent entity with a zero degree of degradation and with its own (limited) set of functions.

      That is to assess the ecosystem services of soil for agricultural purposes to the same extent as the services of native soil, you can not. & nbsp;

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      Literary sources:

      1. Bobylev SN, Khodzhaev A.Ş. Environmental economics. - M .: INFRA-M, 2004. - 501 with.
      2. Bobylev SN, Zakharov VM Ecosystem services and the economy. - M .: OOO "Typography Levko" Institute for Sustainable Development / Center for Russian Environmental Policy, 2009. - 72 p. & Nbsp;
      3. R. Perman, Ma Yu, J. Makgilvri. Economics of natural resources and environmental protection. - M .: TEIS 2006 - 1168 with.
      4. Hubbard D. How to Measure Anything: Valuation of intangible assets in business. - M .: ZAO "Olympus-Business", 2009. - 320 with.
      5. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis Report of the International Program // "Assessment of the Millennium Ecosystem» & nbsp; [Electronic resource]: Evaluation of the Millennium Ecosystem, final reports, 2005. - Access: http://millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.791.aspx.pdf, free.
      6. Platon V., Frone S., Constantinescu A New developments in assessing forest ecosystem services in Romania // Procedia Economics and Finance №22 , 2015. PP. 45 - 54

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