Ecosystem services assessments

We offer the application of resource economics for the valuation of ecosystem services (including quantification and mapping) using a range of social survey methods, often in collaboration with sociologists.  We value the consumptive use of resources, recreation and tourism, ecosystem functioning and the intangible values of biodiversity.  Uniquely, our valuation studies grounded in a thorough understanding of the underlying biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Project Profiles

A National Assessment of Namibia’s Ecosystem Services

A National Assessment of Namibia’s Ecosystem Services
GiZ, through NNF

The first volume of the Namibia TEEB Study aimed to produce a nation-wide spatial assessment of ecosystem services.  It aimed to demonstrate the economic value of ecosystems and their services which is crucial in order to ensure that adequate policies and actions are taken to prevent over-exploitation and degradation of ecosystems and their ability to deliver important ecosystem services.  Understanding the spatial distribution of these different ecosystem values also helps prioritise areas for intervention and/or support.  It also assists in understanding who the beneficiaries of healthy ecosystems are and therefore who stands to lose the most if these ecosystems are not kept in a functioning state. 

Valuation of forest ecosystem services

Valuation of forest ecosystem services in Zambia
UNEP, through WCS New York

The aim of this study was to undertake a rapid assessment of the value and role of forests in the Zambian economy, based on available information, in order to inform policy decisions on forest management and the implementation of REDD+ activities in the country. Using available data in the literature, spatial data and GIS-based modelling, the study assessed the values of forests in the form of wood production (for timber, fuel wood, charcoal) and other nonwood forest products (NWFPs) such as wild foods and medicines, their tourism value and their supply of ecosystem services such as the regulation of climate through carbon storage and carbon sequestration, the retention of sediment for erosion control, the regulation of water flow and water quality, and support for agricultural production through pest control and pollination. The study assessed the critical role that forest ecosystems play in sustaining and supporting the stocks and flow of ecosystem services to various economic sectors and human well-being in Zambia, as well as addressing potential opportunities that forests offer with respect to transitioning to a green economy, particularly the role of REDD+ in achieving this transformation.

Nature & value of aquatic ecosystem services for WMAs

Nature & value of aquatic ecosystem services
Department of Water Affairs
South Africa

Anchor Environmental was commissioned to underake a detailed study of the ecosystem services generated by rivers, wetlands and estuaries in the Olifants, Inkomati and Usutu to Mhlatuze Water Management Areas (WMAs). This study entailed provision of qunatitative estimates of resources, ecosystem characteristics and functions, and their values, which were mapped at the scale of river reaches, and involved collection of biophysical data and surveys households in the communal land areas of the study area, to quantify resource use values, studies of tourism, and hydrological and GIS modelling to estimate the value of ecosystem functions such as flow regulation and water qulaity amelioration. GIS analyses were used to delineate and type the aquatic ecosystems, ecological and social surveys in representative parts of the study area, hydrological modelling, economic analysis, and modeled to extrapolate data to the whole study area. The project outputs are being utilised in the Classification of the Water Management Areas.