Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2013

Abstract

This paper develops a methodology for including ecosystem services in a wealth accounting framework. Accounting for ecosystems and their services leads to adjusting net domestic product (NDP) for the direct benefits provided by the current stock of ecosystems but not for their indirect contributions in terms of protecting or supporting economic activity, property and human lives. When ecosystems are irreversibly converted for economic development, NDP must be further modified to reflect any capital revaluation that occurs with the current conversion of ecological capital to other land uses. The risk of collapse also requires adjustments to NDP, as any capital revaluation associated with ecosystem conversion must be adjusted for this risk, and the discounted minimum value of ecosystems associated with collapse must be subtracted from NDP. These various contributions of ecological capital to wealth accounts are illustrated with the example of mangroves in Thailand over the period 1970-2009.

Publication Title

ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS

DOI

10.1017/S1355770X12000551

Comments

Copyright 2013 by Cambridge University Press

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