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Limits of monetization in protecting ecosystem services

Temel, Julia, Jones, Aled, Jones, Nikoleta, Balint, Lenke
Conservation biology 2018 v.32 no.5 pp. 1048-1062
biodiversity conservation, business enterprises, case studies, economic valuation, ecosystem services, governance, issues and policy
The monetary valuation of ecosystem services is gaining traction in policy and business communities. Several tools and decisionā€making processes have been proposed, including criteria to assess the appropriateness of using monetary valuation for biodiversity conservation outcomes. These criteria include measures such as scale, uniqueness, and threat. We used case studies of monetization projects for which the outcomes were measured to explore the limitations and application of these criteria. There was limited evidence of the effectiveness of such schemes. The majority of the schemes were established in areas where the criteria specifically excluded their use in isolation. Thus, although some aspects of monetization may be beneficial for biodiversity conservation, these schemes were not being used appropriately and require some quantitative minimum (or maximum) measurements to be applied through additional policy or governance measures to ensure biodiversity conservation outcomes.