ESAForD Video - Ecosystem Services Accounting for Development

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The ESAForD project is a seven-country ecosystem service valuation project developed in collaboration with the Environment for Development (EfD) centers in Costa Rica, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Sweden. The project aims to contribute to the development of ecosystem service accounting by enhancing the knowledge and empirical experience around valuing ecosystem services.

ESAForD generates practical, policy-relevant results to support improved ecosystem management in each country. Valuation results and methodologies are consistent with the national accounting systems in each country, and can contribute to the development of standardized guidelines for the system of national accounts. The results can also support ongoing efforts at the UN Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank's Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services project (WAVES), and several countries' efforts to enhance conventional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measurement to more comprehensively account for the economic contributions of nature.

The directly comparable valuation methodologies and estimates from seven different countries will help to generate unique evidence to help better understand the economic, institutional, and ecological drivers of the value of ecosystem services.



Ecosystem Services Assessed

The ecosystem services selected for valuation are crop pollination, water purification and green urban amenities. The criteria for the selection of the ecosystem services are;

  • Relevance for the guidelines in ecosystem service accounting. Valuing regulating services is methodologically challenging and has the least number of case studies to draw experience from. For this purpose, pollination and water quality amelioration were selected. The need for extended experiences in this area was explicitly expressed by WAVES at the World Bank
  • Policy relevance. Many of the regulating services are positive externalities not included in policy decisions. In addition, the valuation of urban green amenities is an area where very little or no research has been carried out in developing countries while at the same time having a good coverage in developed countries. At the same time urbanization in developing countries is rapidly increasing and there is an urgent need for city planners to understand the value of green spaces.  
  • Cost efficiency. Data availability was assessed and it was found that the valuation of the selected ecosystem services could be carried at a relatively low cost, mostly using data already collected or feasible to be collected at moderate costs.
  • Gender perspective. The goods provided by the services i.e. agricultural products and drinking water are important from a gender perspective. The importance of green open spaces for women in developing countries is poorly understood, thus, a relevant study topic. 




Agriculture, Water
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