All natural ecosystems yield economically valuable services, e.g. production of food and medicines, regulation of climate, provision of productive soils and clean water, opportunities for recreation, maintenance of cultural heritage, etc. Ecosystem degradation undermines the provision of vital goods and services, with considerable economic and social consequences. Harmful effects tend to be borne disproportionately by the poor, who are less able to access or afford alternatives when ecosystem services are lost. In order to influence policy, and conserve important resources, people must know how to put a value on the services ecosystems provide, and communicate those results effectively.
To build these critical skills, CSF and GIZ ValuES have partnered to develop curriculum for a series of trainings on Ecosystem Service Valuation. In India in 2016, 25 participants from diverse organizations and institutions in India gathered at the Wildlife Institute of India to learn about the fundamentals of economic valuation of ecosystem services, including:
• overview of ecosystem services and the assessment process
• economic theory and economic drivers of environmental problems
• common pool resource management, incentives and behavioral theory
• environmental valuation methods and examples
• integrated environmental-economic cost-benefit analysis of projects and policies
• incorporation of ecosystem services into policy decisions and public opinion