Interdisciplinary Network for Valuing Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Natural Resource Use

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Environmental Sciences


Central to any attempt to maintain the crucial services of the environment is the need to have accurate information regarding the value of the services provided by natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity. This is problematic both because those values are generally not reflected in readily available market prices and, more fundamentally, because of a general failure to bring together the natural, economic and social science necessary to develop the methods and research capacity required to address those valuation knowledge gaps. The current proposal represents an important step in addressing this underlying research capacity and integrated methodology problem. It is the product of an internationally renowned team of natural, economic and social scientists who have an established track record of high quality research both as individuals and collaboratively (the latter most notably as the key players within the UK National Ecosystem Assessment; NEA). Furthermore, even within the short research call period they have assembled the explicit, written backing of a very extensive network of further researchers from multiple fields drawn from across the UK and internationally. The Investigators propose the following programme to address the central research themes through a series of highly integrated workstreams (WS): Theme 1: Broadening the ecosystem service concept. - WS 1: Bridging research disciplines and engaging stakeholders Theme 2: Developing integrated valuation methods - WS 2.1 Valuing Ecosystem Service Flows: Addressing Natural Resource Complexity and Indirect Impacts - WS 2.2: Valuing the Sustainability of Stocks of Ecosystem Assets - WS 2.3: Integrating quantitative and qualitative valuation methods Theme 3: Improving understanding of ecosystem processes underpinning services. - WS 3.1: Metrics of changes in ecosystem processes, natural resource stocks and ecosystem services in the face of uncertainty. - WS 3.2: Understanding how changes in biodiversity influence ecosystem service delivery. - WS 3.3: Improved accessibility to, and integration of, existing biophysical and socio-economic information/ data sets. - WS 3.4: Developing integrated biophysical and socio-economic modelling of natural resources and ecosystem services, at relevant spatial and temporal scales, addressing risk and uncertainty. While we believe the proposed programme addresses the key issues, in line with the requirements of the call for proposals, this will be refined collaboratively within the first two months of the network's operation (and finalised resource allocations made accordingly) through a process of engagement with the wider research and policy communities. The final programme will be implemented through a series of pan-network open meetings and further intra-workstream meetings. In an effort to ensure that key issues are tackled and 'talking-shops' avoided, certain key activities (notably the development of a highly integrated valuation methodology) will be supported by empirical elements, designed to work in symbiosis with the allied network activities by tackling some of the most challenging areas of collaborative work. An annual meeting (in months 12 and 22) will bring together outputs from all themes and work streams and present these to an open national and international audience. Outputs will be further disseminated through: a dedicated website (also used as a first port of call for all interested parties); theme position papers and reports intended for various audiences including researchers and policymakers with the former aimed towards publication in peer reviewed journals; a pan-network synthesis report for which an offer of publication as a book has been received.
Description The original award supported the development of three case studies. Reorganising the cost base allowed us savings to add a fourth case. Subsequently we obtained further funding from Defra and the private sector to allow an expansion to 16 case studies. This clearly was of use to these funders
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

Description Bringing Ecosystem Services into Economic Decision Making 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Paper presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at the Earth and Life System Alliance Agricultural Transitions Workshop: Agricultural Transitions: Enhancing Scientific Impact on a Global Scale, 28th November 2012, Institute of Food Research, Norwich.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
Description Keynote Speech to The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote Speech to The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Annual Conference

Numerous requests were received for further information on the UK NEA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
Description Valuing Water Quality Improvements Using Recreational Demand Modelling' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact talk to Environment Agency and Defra officials, 20 June 2013, UEA, Norwich

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013