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Economic Benefits of Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services in Cecil County’s Green Infrastructure: Technical Report for the Cecil County Green Infrastructure Plan

2007
Authors: Ted Weber
Organizations/Sources: The Conservation Fund
This document examines a suite of 16 ecosystem services provided by forests and wetlands in Cecil County, Maryland, and attempts to estimate their economic value, primarily based on transfers from previous studies.
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Ecosystem Service Valuation and Watershed Resources: An Annotated Literature Review

2003
Organizations/Sources: The Water Challenge Program
This annotated bibliography presents a review of literature on ecosystem service valuation. It includes national and international studies regarding the theoretical thinking behind the valuation of ecosystem services, the empirical valuation of ecosystem services and ecosystem service valuation in areas such as the measurement of the multifunctional attributes of agriculture.
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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

2005
Organizations/Sources: United Nations
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was called for by the United Nations. It assessed the consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human wellbeing. The findings provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems, the services they provide, and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.
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Protecting the Source

2004
Authors: Caryn Ernst
Organizations/Sources: Trust for Public Land
Healthy, functioning watersheds slow surface runoff, increase water infiltration into the soil, naturally filter pollutants, decrease soil erosion, and moderate water quantity by decreasing flooding and recharging groundwater reserves. For every 10% increase in forest cover in a drinking water’s source area, treatment and chemical costs decrease by approximately 20%. This report presents a series of best practices on source protection and gives case studies of communities that have effectively linked land protection, water protection and water treatment cost savings.
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The Economic Benefits of Natural Goods and Services: A Report for the Piedmont Environmental Council

2011
Authors: Aaron Paul
Organizations/Sources: Piedmont Environmental Council
Virginia’s natural resources provide approximately $21.8 billion/year in ecosystem services. Of this, state and federal public lands provide $5.1 billion and the more than 700,000 acres of private land under conservation easement provide $520 million. The benefits are derived from a protection of water quality and supply, pollination of crops, forest products, farm products, disturbance prevention, habitat that supports the marine resource harvest and carbon sequestration.
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The Value of Green Infrastructure

2010
Green infrastructure is a network of decentralized stormwater management practices such as preservation of undeveloped areas near a water source, green roofs, tree planting, rain gardens and permeable pavement. This paper gives an overview of the methods used to measure the benefits of green infrastructure on water, energy savings, improved air quality, climate change mitigation, urban heat island mitigation, improved community livability and improved habitat. Multiple case studies are provided.
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The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital

1997
Organizations/Sources: Nature
The authors estimated the economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which is outside the market) is estimated to be between $16 and 54 trillion/year (1997 U.S. dollars), with an average of $33 trillion/year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, this must be considered a minimum estimate.
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Valuing New Jersey’s Natural Capital

2007
This provides the results of a study that quantified the annual value of New Jersey’s natural resources and its present value, the amount of money that would need to be invested now to generate an equal level of annual monetary benefits. The total value of New Jersey’s natural capital is about $20 billion per year (present value: $680 billion). It provides services worth between $8.6 and $19.8 billion (present value: $288-660 billion) and goods worth between $2.8 and $9.7 billion (present value: $93-322 billion).
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