Ecosystem Service Valuation: Development and Implementation of a Landscape-Based Assessment Methodology

Matthew A. Wilson, Institute for Ecological Economics
Robert Costanza, Institute for Ecological Economics
Helena Voinov, Institute for Ecological Economics
Tom Maxwell, Institute for Ecological Economics
Ferdinando Villa, Institute for Ecological Economics

This project draws from recent developments in the economic valuation of ecosystem services, ecological economic database design, and GIS-based techniques to develop a fully customized, landscape-based ecosystem value assessment protocol for the State of Maryland.

Three goals guide our research: (1) use the best available economic methods and data sources to customize a valuation methodology for assessing ecosystem services in Maryland; (2) create a flexible, web-based user interface that allows the end-users to conduct value assessments of selected landscape features at multiple spatial scales in a fully 'data transparent' environment; and (3) design and calibrate a value 'weighting' function that will provide end-users with increased estimation sensitivity to ecologically relevant landscape parameters.

The end result will be a landscape assessment tool capable of generating reliable value estimates that can then be integrated into Green Infrastructure, watershed, forest land and power industry infrastructure planning in the State of Maryland.

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