Ecosystem Assessment & Nature Valuation

Program Coordinator: Dolf de Groot

The Foundation for Sustainable Development is active in carrying out targeted valuation studies and developing valuation frameworks and tools to facilitate balanced assessments of the real ‘value’ of specific ecosystems (functions and services), biogeographical areas or delineated regions. Our current main focus is on further developing and updating the Ecosystem Service Valuation Database (ESVD) based on the TEEB study (2010).

Ecosystems, both natural and semi-natural, provide the basis for all life support processes on earth. Yet, the full value of biodiversity and a healthy natural environment is still not fully reflected in economic planning and related decision making. To analyze the ecological and socio-economic importance of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, an integrated approach is essential. To link ecology and economics FSD uses the concept of ecosystem functions: the capacity of natural systems to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs directly and indirectly. Based on this function approach, the FSD supports and carries out valuation studies on a wide variety of ecosystems and protected areas such as wetlands, coastal zones and tropical forest areas.

Current projects

Completed projects

  • The Albufera Initiaitve for Biodiversity (TAIB): an intensive study of a coastal wetland and sand-dune complex at the Biodiversity Centre in Mallorca.
  • Nature Valuation & Financing Network (NV&F): Specializing in the socio-economic valuation of nature and landscape, including biodiversity and cultural heritage. NV&F aims to stimulate the development, exchange and uptake of practical tools for proper and integrated valuation of ecosystem services.
  • Cultural Values of Nature Initiative: Interactive platform on the cultural importance of goods and services provided and supported by natural and semi-natural ecosystems and landscapes.
  • Protected Areas in the North Sea: an inventory of stakeholders, their importance and conflicts.
  • MEDACTION: Policies for land use to combat desertification