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Policy Support Systems In The Development Of Benefit-sharing Mechanisms For Water-related Ecosystem Services

World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
7. Valuing water : monetary and non-monetary dimensions
Author(s): Mark Mulligan
Silvia Benitez
Juan Sebastian Lozano & Jorge Leon
Mark Mulligan,
King’s College London
Silvia Benitez, Juan Sebastian Lozano & Jorge Leon ,
The Nature Conservancy
mark.mulligan@kcl.ac.uk @markmulligan



Environmental vs ecosystem services

  • Environmental services - a function of broader environment (including climate and terrain) and thus not manageable at the local and regional scale of interventions
  • Ecosystem services - a service provided by the ecosystem on the ground (vegetation, soil, wetlands) and can thus be managed for positive and negative outcomes
    • eg cloud forests are wet environments (high precip, low evap. because of cloud) much of the water they produce is thus an environmental service
  • Cloudwater (fog) inputs are an ecosystem service as they are dependent on trapping by forest. No forest, no trapping.

Hydrological ecosystem services

  • Provisioning of water quantity and quality
  • Regulating of flow peaks and troughs (floods and droughts)
  • Role in some hazards and hazard mitigation
  • Other cultural, spiritual and recreational
  • Water supports other services eg plant production
  • Oversimplifications: forests generate more water, forests prevent floods, forests sustain dry season flows,forests improve water quality
  • Depends on landscape and climate, type of forest, relative to what land use, distribution of beneficiaries. The geography is key.
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