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Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services

Ecosystems provide a set of services which support human activities (e.g. erosion control, water and nutrient cycles control, food, medicine, culture, etc.), which its economic value is often hard to quantify. However, valuing estimations for ecosystems services can be of great use:


Compensations related to civil liability for ecological damages (Decreto–Lei n.º 147/2008, July 29th) and reparation costs of environmental liability (D.L. n.º 245/2009, September 22th)

Business and NGOs:

Adequate planning and implementation of Environmental Policies, Life Cycle Assessments and mitigation of negative impacts.

Central Administration and Public Sector

Useful on Land Management and Territory Ordering, supporting decision making. This evaluation requires an intricate Best Professional Judgment, only possible when performed by an experienced team.


This evaluation is based on 3 core components:

  • Amount of money allocated in these supporting services by the general public (for goods able to be marketed);
  • Amount of money populations are willing to pay to preserve or to restore a given ecological service (for unmarketable services);
  • Polls and Surveys: Expressed Willingness to Pay for a given service, or alternately, hypothetical multiple choice designs with monetary distinction between scenarios.