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The Value Landscape in Ecosystem Services: Value, Value Wherefore Art Thou Value?

1
Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK
2
Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN), Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
3
Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory College of Arts and Sciences, 201 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9050850
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Ecosystem services has risen to become one of the preeminent global policy discourses framing the way we conceive and articulate environment–society relations, integral to the form and function of a number of far-reaching international policies such as the Aichi 2020 Biodiversity Targets and the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Value; its pursuit, definition, quantification, monetization, multiplicity and uncertainty, both in terms of meaning and attribution, is fundamental to the economic foundations of ecosystem services and a core feature driving its inclusion across multiple policy domains such as environmental management and conservation. Distilling current knowledge and developments in this arena are thus highly prescient. In this article, we cast a critical eye over the evidence base and aim to provide a comprehensive synthesis of what values are, why they are important and the methodological approaches employed to elicit them (including their pros and cons and the arguments for and against). We also illustrate the current ecosystem service value landscape, highlight some of the fundamental challenges in discerning and applying values, and outline future research activities. In so doing, we further advance ecosystem valuation discourse, contribute to wider debates linking ecosystem services and sustainability and strengthen connections between ecosystem services and environmental policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental economics; ecological economics; ecosystem services valuation; monetary; non-monetary; uncertainty; discounting; social and shared values environmental economics; ecological economics; ecosystem services valuation; monetary; non-monetary; uncertainty; discounting; social and shared values
MDPI and ACS Style

Hejnowicz, A.P.; Rudd, M.A. The Value Landscape in Ecosystem Services: Value, Value Wherefore Art Thou Value? Sustainability 2017, 9, 850. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9050850

AMA Style

Hejnowicz AP, Rudd MA. The Value Landscape in Ecosystem Services: Value, Value Wherefore Art Thou Value? Sustainability. 2017; 9(5):850. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9050850

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hejnowicz, Adam P., and Murray A. Rudd 2017. "The Value Landscape in Ecosystem Services: Value, Value Wherefore Art Thou Value?" Sustainability 9, no. 5: 850. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9050850

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