Valuation of ecosystem services through offsets: Why are coastal ecosystems more valuable in Australia than in Brazil?

Fassina, Caroline, Jarvis, Diane, Tavares, Silvia, and Coggan, Anthea (2022) Valuation of ecosystem services through offsets: Why are coastal ecosystems more valuable in Australia than in Brazil? Ecosystem Services, 56. 101449.

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Abstract

Economies depend on ecosystem services, but only recently have ecosystem service values been incorporated into economic and political decision-making. Increasingly, offsets have become a common valuation tool for incorporating the value of nature into economics. To offset means to compensate ecosystem losses in one place by creating equivalent gains elsewhere: this is the pragmatic 'no net loss' of biodiversity approach. Offsets are currently attracting particular attention in Santos, Brazil, where the largest Global South harbor is located. Port stakeholders are pressuring for revision of the local offset policy to enable an expansion of their activities and related immitigable impacts.

Seeking to contribute to improved policy design at local scale, we proceed in two steps: (1) compiling and selecting comparable offsets policies around the world, considering those targeted specifically at ecosystems; and (2) identifying the methodological differences that can lead to discrepancies in final monetary values. Results show that the same kind of development (port), impacting a similar ecosystem (mangrove), have been assigned offset values six times less if allocated in Sa tilde o Paulo (Brazil) rather than in Queensland (Australia). We identify a general out-of-kind tendency for offsets and explore these comparative results from the perspective of identifying possible and desirable improvements.

Item ID: 75711
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-0416
Keywords: Commodification of nature, Ecosystem valuation, Indicators, Offset, Policy scheme
Copyright Information: © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2022 08:16
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1505 Microeconomics > 150506 Market-based mechanisms @ 100%
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