The means determine the end – Pursuing integrated valuation in practice
In environmental valuation, although it is well recognised that the choice of method heavily affects the outcome, little is known on how existing valuation methods actually elicit the different values. Through the assessment of real-life applications of valuation of nature, this study tracks down the suitability of 21 valuation methods for 11 value types and assesses the methodological requirements for their operationalization. We found that different valuation methods have different suitabilities to elicit diverse value-types. Some methods are more specialized than others, but every method has blind spots, which implies risks of biased decision-making. We summarized different value-types according to three value dimensions: non-anthropocentric, relational and instrumental. No single valuation method is able to capture this full spectrum of values of nature. Covering all value dimensions requires careful selection of complementary valuation methods. This study also demonstrates that performing such an integrated valuation does not necessarily entail more resources, as for every value dimension, methods with low to medium operational requirements are available. With this study, we aim to provide guidance for selecting a complementary set of valuation methods in order to develop integrated valuation in practice that includes values of all stakeholders into environmental decision-making.
Authors: Sander Jacobs, Berta Martín-López, David Barton, Robert Dunford, Paula Harrison, Eszter Kelemen, Heli Saarikoski, Mette Termansen, Marina García-Llorente, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Leena Kopperoinen, Sandra Luque, Ignacio Palomo, Joerg Priess, Graciela Rusch, Patrizia Tenerelli, Francis Turkelboom, Rolinde Demeyer, Jennifer Hauck, Hans Keune, Ron Smith