Ecosystem Value Estimator: A Web-Based Tool to Calculate Ecosystem Values in the GMS
The USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project recently launched an online ecosystem value estimator (or directly typing URL: http://mekongarcc.net/ESV_tool/ESV.html) as a tool to estimate initial values of ecosystem services commonly provided in the Greater Mekong Subregion, including forests, wetlands, mangroves and coastal areas.
Ecosystem values are needed to determine the value of the environment in economic terms for cost-benefit analyses. With these findings, residents and stakeholders alike can make informed decisions on development to avoid significant environmental degradation. The value ranges calculated by the Ecosystem Value Estimator are based on over 500 existing valuation assessments of ecosystem services in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
For example, the 16-hectare Non Sao Ae forest in Thailand’s Sakon Nakhon province, where the project supports community resilience initiatives, provides around $224,000 (THB 7.84 million) annually in the form of food, fuelwood and other products to the local community and surrounding areas. These initial estimates give decision makers a more accurate picture of the economic costs and benefits of environmental degradation and conservation.
Read our additional blog post on “Employing Ecosystems Service Valuation Guidelines to Solve Metaphysical Riddles and Make a Case for Conservation” and download ESV guidelines of four countries in the Lower Mekong Basin.
Your feedback on using this ESV Estimator will be most valuable for USAID Mekong ARCC Program.