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Accounting for the increasing benefits from scarce ecosystems

Drupp, M. A., Hänsel, M. C., Fenichel, E. P., Freeman, M., Gollier, C., Groom, Ben ORCID: 0000-0003-0729-143X, Heal, G. M., Howard, P. H., Millner, A., Moore, F. C., Nesje, F., Quaas, M. F., Smulders, S., Sterner, T., Traeger, C. and Venmans, Frank ORCID: 0000-0002-4264-6606 (2024) Accounting for the increasing benefits from scarce ecosystems. Science (New York, N.Y.), 383 (6687). 1062 - 1064. ISSN 0036-8075

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Identification Number: 10.1126/science.adk2086


Governments are catching up with economic theory and practice by increasingly integrating ecosystem service values into national planning processes, including benefitcost analyses of public policies. Such analyses require information not only about today’s benefits from ecosystem services but also on how benefits change over time. We address a key limitation of existing policy guidance, which assumes that benefits from ecosystem services remain unchanged. We provide a practical rule that is grounded in economic theory and evidence-based as a guideline for how benefits change over time: They rise as societies get richer and even more so when ecosystem services are declining. Our proposal will correct a substantial downward bias in currently used estimates of future ecosystem service values. This will help governments to reflect the importance of ecosystems more accurately in benefit-cost analyses and policy decisions they inform.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q50 - General
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2024 12:45
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 02:12

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