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Economic valuation and the commodification of ecosystem services.

2011, Progress in Physical Geography - número/volum 35 - Pàgines 613-628

Autors de l'ICTA:
Erik N. Gómez-Baggethun

Tots els autors:
Gómez-Baggethun, E., Ruiz-Pérez, M.

In the last decade a growing number of environmental scientists have advocated economic valuation of ecosystem services as a pragmatic short-term strategy to communicate the value of biodiversity in a language that reflects dominant political and economic views. This paper revisits the controversy on economic valuation of ecosystem services in the light of two aspects that are often neglected in ongoing debates. First, the role of the particular institutional setup in which environmental policy and governance is currently embedded in shaping valuation outcomes. Second, the broader economic and sociopolitical processes that have governed the expansion of pricing into previously non-marketed areas of the environment. Our analysis suggests that within the institutional setup and broader sociopolitical processes that have become prominent since the late 1980s economic valuation is likely to pave the way for the commodification of ecosystem services with potentially counterproductive effects in the long term for biodiversity conservation and equity of access to ecosystem services benefits.

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