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Assessing Ecosystem Services

Over the past decade there has been a tremendous amount of growth in activity around ecosystem service valuation. In many cases, these valuations studies have been powerful tools for unearthing some of the significant benefits being provided by nature that would otherwise be overlooked during decision-making processes. The growth in this field has also caused some concern about rigor and standards for executing these valuation studies and a need for information that can stand up to review and be built on over time.

In July 2014, the CaESP hosted a two-day workshop on the topic of ecosystem service valuation to explore a set of principles that could help guide rigorous and high quality ecosystem services assessments. The group of people that attended represented many sectors in addition to interdisciplinary perspectives, and by the end the group had identified 10 principles to guide ecosystem service valuations. In the months following the workshop, the participants and many more stakeholders provided critical comments that helped strengthen and grow the document.