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ESA staff member about monetary valuation of ecosystem services in New York Times

Gepubliceerd op
23 juni 2014

Monetary valuation of ecosystem services is a powerful way to communicate that ”we lose something of crucial value every day” stated Matthias Schröter of the Environmental Systems Analysis group of Wageningen University recently in the New York Times. The newspaper featured two articles by staff of this group, one by Schröter himself.

A recent newspaper article on valuation of ecosystem services in the New York Times (5 June 2014 online and 10 June in paper) featured two articles of researchers of the Environmental Systems Analysis Group.

Flatdal in Telemark where many ecosystem services can be found (photo: Matthias Schröter)
Flatdal in Telemark where many ecosystem services can be found (photo: Matthias Schröter)

The first article describes a study by Robert Costanza and, among others, ESA scientists Dolf de Groot and Sander van der Ploeg, which was recently published in Global Environmental Change. The study estimated that, depending on the chosen method, land use change between 1997 to 2011 contributed to a loss of ecosystem services at the value of between $4.3 to 20.2 trillion per year.

The second featured article was written by Matthias Schröter, a PhD candidate at ESA. Together with colleagues, he wrote a synthesis of critique and counter-arguments against the concept of ecosystem services. Some scientists argue that nature does not only provide us with good things but can also affect us negatively by diseases etc.

Asked for his reaction on Costanza’s valuation study, Matthias Schröter commented in the NYT article “that Dr. Costanza’s method was a powerful way to communicate just how much we depend on nature — and just how much of it we’re destroying” and that monetary valuation of ecosystem services was a powerful way to communicate “that we lose something of crucial value every day.”

Read the full newspaper article here.

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