Methods for monetary valuation of ecosystem services: A scoping review

Selivanov E., Hlaváčková P. (2021): Methods for monetary valuation of ecosystem services: A scoping review. J. For. Sci., 67: 499–511.

download PDF

Adequate assessment of ecosystem services is important for the development of policies and management plans related to forestry activities and the environment. Carefully identified ecosystem values can determine which options policy makers should prioritize to provide the greatest benefit. There are numerous methods used by researchers to evaluate ecosystem services. The most widely applied methods are monetary valuation methods, they are often deemed to be the most pragmatic language when it comes to communication with political and business institutions. The main goal of this review is to analyse available literature using the methodology particular to the scoping review approach in order to identify and describe valuation methods that can be applied for monetary assessment of ecosystem services. As a result of the scoping review, over 20 monetary valuation techniques (including several less common methods such as willingness to sell and Delphi method) were derived from 16 literature sources. In the process of compiling the range of different methods, a few flaws and gaps in the communication of methods were observed such as lack of consistency in the names of different methods and mixing up concepts. In addition, a few areas for future research are suggested.

Acharya R.P., Maraseni T., Cockfield G. (2019): Global trend of forest ecosystem services valuation – An analysis of publications. Ecosystem Services, 39: 100979.
Arias-Arévalo, P., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Martín-López, B., Pérez-Rincón, M. (2018): Widening the evaluative space for ecosystem services: A taxonomy of plural values and valuation methods. Environmental Values, 27: 29–53.
Arksey H., O’Malley L. (2005): Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8: 19–32.
Bateman I.J., Carson R.T., Day B., Hanemann M., Hanley N., Hett T., Jones-Lee M., Loomes G., Mourato S., Ozdemiroglu E., Pearce D.W., Sugden R., Swandon J. (2002): Economic Valuation with Stated Preferences Techniques. A Manual. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar: 464.
Bateman I.J., Mace G.M., Fezzi C., Atkinson G., Turner K. (2011): Economic analysis for ecosystem services assessment. Environmental and Resource Economics, 48: 177–218.
Caparrós A., Oviedo J.L., Álvarez A., Campos P. (2017): Simulated exchange values and ecosystem accounting: Theory and application to free access recreation. Ecological Economics, 139: 140–149
Chang Y., Yoshino K. (2017): Theory of willingness to sell to valuate ecosystem services in the contingent valuation method. Journal of Environmental Informatics, 29: 53–60.
Chen H. (2020): Land use trade-offs associated with protected areas in China: Current state, existing evaluation methods, and future application of ecosystem service valuation. Science of the Total Environment, 711: 134688.
Christie M., Fazey I., Cooper R., Hyde T., Kenter J.O. (2012): An evaluation of monetary and non-monetary techniques for assessing the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to people in countries with developing economies. Ecological Economics, 83: 67–78.
Chu X., Zhan J., Wang C., Hameeda S., Wang X. (2020): Households’ willingness to accept improved ecosystem services and influencing factors: Application of contingent valuation method in Bashang Plateau, Hebei Province, China. Journal of Environmental Management, 255: 109925.
Conner N. (2014): Socio-economic Dimensions of Human Dependence on Nature. A Review of Conceptual Frameworks, Tools and Methodologies used in Assessments. People in Nature Working Paper No. 2. Gland, IUCN and CEESP: 42.
Costanza R., d’Arge R., de Groot R., Faber S., Grasso M., Hannon B., Limburg K., Naeem S., O’Neill R.V., Paruelo J., Raskin R.G., Sutton P., van den Belt M. (1997): The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387: 253–260.
Costanza R., Kubiszewski I., Ervin D., Bluffstone R., Boyd J., Brown D., Chang H., Dujon V., Granek E., Polasky S., Shandas V., Yeakley A. (2011): Valuing ecological systems and services. F1000 Biology Reports, 3: 14.
Costanza R., de Groot R., Braat L., Kubiszewski I., Fioramonti L., Sutton P., Farber S., Grasso M. (2017): Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go? Ecosystem Services, 28: 1–16
Daily G.C. (1997): Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Washington D.C., Island Press: 392.
De Groot R.S., Wilson M.A., Boumans R.M. (2002): A typology for the classification description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecological Economics, 41: 393–408.
Di Franco C.P., Lima G., Schimmenti E., Asciuto A. (2021): Methodological approaches to the valuation of forest ecosystem services: An overview of recent international research trends. Journal of Forest Science, 67: 307–317.
Ehrlich P.R., Ehrlich A.H. (1981): Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. New York, Random House: 305.
Endalew B., Wondimagegnhu B.A., Tassie K. (2020): Willingness to pay for church forest conservation: A case study in northwestern Ethiopia. Journal of Forest Science, 66: 105–116.
Forest Europe (2014): Expert Group and Workshop on pan-European approach to valuation of forest ecosystem services. Final report. Group of Experts (2012–2014) & Belgrade Workshop (Republic of Serbia), 24–25 September 2014. Available at
Fürst C., Vacik H., Lorz C., Makeschin F., Podrázský V., Janeček V. (2007): Meeting the challenges of process-oriented forest management. Forest Ecology and Management, 248: 1–5.
Haines-Young R., Potschin M.B. (2018): Common international classification of ecosystem services (CICES) V5.1 and guidance on the application of the revised structure. Available at
Hanley N., Mourato S., Wright R.E. (2001): Choice modelling approaches: A superior alternative for environmental valuation? Journal of Economic Surveys, 15: 435–462.
Harrison P.A., Dunford R., Barton D.N., Kelemen E., Martín-López B., Norton L., Termansen M., Saarikoski H., Hendriks K., Gómez-Baggethun E., Czúcz B., García-Llorente M., Howard D., Jacobs S., Karlsen M., Kopperoinen L., Madsen A., Rusch G., van Eupen M., Verweij P., Smith R., Tuomasjukka D., Zulian G. (2018): Selecting methods for ecosystem service assessment: A decision tree approach. Ecosystem Services, 29: 481–498.
Hattam C., Böhnke-Henrichs A., Börger T., Burdon D., Hadjimichael M., Delaney A., Atkins J.P., Garrard S., Austen M.C. (2015): Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment and valuation: Mixed methods or mixed messages? Ecological Economics, 120: 126–138.
Kelemen E., Barton D., Jacobs S., Martín-López B., Saarikoski H., Termansen M., Bela G., Braat L., Demeyer R., García-Llorente M., Gómez-Baggethun E., Hauck J,. Keune H., Luque S., Palomo I., Pataki G., Potschin M., Schleyer C., Tenerilli P., Turkelboom F. (2015): Preliminary guidelines for integrated assessment and valuation of ecosystem services in specific policy contexts. EU: FP7 OpenNESS Project Deliverable 4.3. Available at
Kettunen M., Vihervaara P., Kinnunen S., D’Amato D., Badura T., Argimon N., Ten Brink P. (2012): Socio-economic Importance of Ecosystem Services in the Nordic Countries – Synthesis in the Context of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Copenhagen, TemaNord: 290.
Konrad M.T., Andersen H.E., Gyldenkærne S., Termansen M. (2017): Synergies and trade-offs in water quality and climate change mitigation policies. Land Economics, 93: 309–327.
Kornatowska B., Sienkiewicz J. (2018): Forest ecosystem services-assessment methods. Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A – Forestry, 60: 248–260.
Kull C.A., de Sartre X.A., Castro-Larrañaga M. (2015): The political ecology of ecosystem services. Geoforum, 61: 122–134.
Lusk J.L., Norwood F.B. (2009): An inferred valuation method. Land Economics, 85: 500–514.
McDonough K., Hutchinson S., Moore T., Hutchinson J.S. (2017): Analysis of publication trends in ecosystem services research. Ecosystem Services, 25: 82–88.
Mengist W., Soromessa T. (2019): Assessment of forest ecosystem service research trends and methodological approaches at global level: A meta analysis. Environmental System Research, 8: 22.
Mendes I. (2012): Economic valuation as a framework incentive to enforce conservation. In: Sladonja B. (ed.): Protected Area Management. Available at:
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) (2005): Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: Synthesis. Washington D.C., Island Press: 137.
Munn Z., Peters M.D., Stern C., Tufanaru C., McArthur A., Aromataris E. (2018): Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18: 143.
Murphy M.B., Mavrommati G., Mallampalli V.R., Howarth R.B., Borsuk M.E. (2017): Comparing group deliberation to other forms of preference aggregation in valuing ecosystem services. Ecology and Society, 22: 1–11.
Navrud S., Strand J. (2018): Valuing global ecosystem services: What do European experts say? Applying the Delphi method to contingent valuation of the Amazon rainforest. Environmental and Resource Economics, 70: 249–269.
Obst C., Hein L., Edens B. (2015): National accounting and the valuation of ecosystem assets and their services. Environmental and Resource Economics, 64: 1–23.
Pascual U., Muradian R., Brander L., Gómez-Baggethun E., Martín-López B., Verma M., Armsworth P., Christie M., Cornelissen H., Eppink F., Farley J., Loomis J., Pearson L., Perrings C., Polasky S., McNeely J.A., Norgaard R., Siddiqui R., Simpson R.D., Turner R.K., Simpson R.D. (2010): The economics of valuing ecosystem services and biodiversity. In: Kumar P. (ed.): The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations. London, Taylor and Francis: 183–256.
Peters M.D.J., Godfrey C.M., McInerney P., Soares C.B., Khalil H., Parker D. (2017): Chapter 11: Scoping reviews. In: Aromataris E., Munn Z. (eds): Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewer’s Manual. Adelaide, The Joanna Briggs Institute: 141–146. Available at:
Robinne F-N., Hallema D.W., Bladon K.D., Buttle J.M. (2020): Wildfire impacts on hydrologic ecosystem services in North American high latitude forests: A scoping review. Journal of Hydrology, 581: 124360.
Spash C.L. (2013): The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement? Ecological Economics, 93: 351–362.
TEEB (2010): Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A Synthesis of the Approach, Conclusions and Recommendations of TEEB: 40.
TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) (2011): The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in National and International Policy Making. Edited by Patrick ten Brink. London, Washington, Earthscan: 528.
Torres-Miralles M., Grammatikopoulou I., Rescia A.J. (2017): Employing contingent and inferred valuation methods to evaluate the conservation of olive groves and associated ecosystem services in Andalusia (Spain). Ecosystem Services, 26: 258–269.
Van Beukering P.J., Brouwer R., Koetse M.J. (2015): Economic valuation methods for ecosystem services. In: Bouma J., Van Beukering P.J. (eds): Ecosystem Services: From Concept to Practice. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 89–107.
Villalobos P., Huenchuleo C. (2010): Ecosystem service valuation of Ruil (Nothofagus alessandrii) forests in central Chile: An application of the choice experiment method. In: Birol E., Bennett J. (eds): Choice Experiments in Developing Countries: Implementation, Challenges and Policy Implications. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar: 151–167.
Whitham C.E.L., Shi K., Riordan P. (2015): Ecosystem service valuation assessments for protected area management: A case study comparing methods using different land cover classification and valuation approaches. PLoS ONE, 10: e0129748.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti