STRUCTURE OF THE DATABASE

There is more to our Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (ESVD) than you might think. This is very important information - we recommend carefully reading this page before diving into ESVD data.

The ESVD organises its value estimates and corresponding data in 106 columns with information on among others: bibliographic details, study site, biome, ecosystem service, valuation method, valuation result in original units, standardised value and review status.

Image by Zeke Tucker

Classification of
Ecosystem Services

Classification of
Biomes and Ecosystems

Ecosystem services are classified using the TEEB and CICES classifications. By the end of 2022, the aim is to integrate the SEEA classification in the online interface.

Biomes and ecosystems are loosely classified based on the TEEB classification, categorized in 15 biomes and 84 ecosystem types. By the end of the year, we aim to include a new classification, largely based on the IUCN Global Ecosystems Typology (IUCN-GET). Study sites can stretch over multiple biomes and ecosystems.

STANDARDISED VALUES

Where possible, value records are standardised to International dollars/hectare/year in 2020 price levels based on the combination of a biome and an ecosystem service. Some value records cannot be standardised to a common set of units due to missing information but can nevertheless contain useful information for users. For this reason, some search results may contain data, but do not contain standardised values. Only the values which can be standardized are used for the summary statistics.

$217,000

Image by Mohmed Nazeeh

International dollars/hectare/year

Mangroves provide a mean value of 217,000 Int$/hectare/year in ecosystem services (based on ESVD 2020 version), the most important of these ecosystem services being coastal protection and tourism. 

SOFO report, 2022

SUMMARY STATISTICS

The summary statistics can be understood as the average of all standardized values for a combination of a biome and an ecosystem service. A summary value reflects the availability of valuation studies, the interests of funding organizations, and the thematic expertise of the researchers involved.

CAREFUL USE OF THE ESVD

Note that the summary values are used for illustrative purposes, only to provide an impression of the order of magnitude of the values obtained from the literature and to identify data gaps. It is not advised to use general summary statistics for value transfers since the summary statistics reflect the underlying ecological and socio-economic contexts of diverse (but not necessarily representative) study sites. See the example below for more information.

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA

The valuations can be filtered on:

  • Biomes/Ecosystems

  • Country

  • Continent

  • Protection Status

  • TEEB Eecosystem Services

  • Cices Ecosystem Services

  • Free text search

Not all value estimates in the ESVD fit with the context of your work or research. We understand that different ecosystems provide different services in different amounts. A forest in Sweden is incomparable to a Brazilian rainforest. Therefore, the database allows for location-specific data, fitting virtually every possible context. You can search for your specific context, using the filters in the ESVD.

THE FILTERS

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For example, if you are looking for a monetary valuation of a tropical forest in Indonesia, make sure you filter the dataset to the context most fitting to your context.

AN EVER CHANGING DATABASE

The data in the ESVD is ever-changing. New data updates and therefore new records in the database are one of the reasons for this. In addition, the data is under an ongoing external review process to check that the interpretation and coding of study results are correct. Not all data has been reviewed yet. The review status of each value record is indicated in the dataset.

Some data shows negative values, i.e. a disservice. This interpretation means that in some cases, certain ecosystems decrease certain ecosystem services.

JOIN THE REVIEWING PROCESS

Since ESVD data is subject to updates and reviewing, all data, including the summary statistics, will change over time based on new insights. Do you want to participate in the external reviewing process?

Email us at esvd@fsd.nl.

USING THE ESVD: AN EXAMPLE

Tropical forests provide various different ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, raw materials and air quality regulation. Much research has been done on valuating these benefits and the ESVD includes many values for tropical forests. Filtering the ESVD for tropical forests shows that there are:

Image by Kiyoshi

Studies on Tropical Forests

90

Service Value Estimates For Tropical Forests

1000+

Values in Asia

390+

Values in South-America

350+

Values in Africa

170+

100+

Values from Elsewhere

474

Values could be Standardized in 2020 International Dollars / Hecatare / Year

SUMMARY VALUES

By hovering over the summary values, you can see that most values are estimated for food, raw materials and pollination. The highest average values are for erosion prevention and maintenance of life cycles. In total, the monetary benefits of an average tropical forest anywhere in the world, add up to a staggering $8,600 per hectare per year.

The summary value shows that tropical forests are extremely valuable for societies and that we should be incentivizing their conservation. This readily-available and standardized information provides clear insights in the enormous value of tropical forests and can help policy-makers and financial institutions to develop economic instruments to protect them.

EXTREME VALUES
IN THE DATABASE

In our example, the existence value of tropical forests, which has a summary value of over $1 billion dollars per hectare per year, was excluded. It shows that the data in the ESVD should be used with caution, not all values fit in all contexts.

Note that the summary values might sometimes be an under- or overestimation of the 'real value' and should be used with great care. Also, because the ESVD is continuously updated, the summary statistics will change.

FINDING USEFUL VALUES

The benefit of ESVD is its numbers.

As there are over 1000 different monetary values for Tropical forests, it is possible to look for values which suit your situation best.

SPECIFYING 
YOUR CONTEXT

For your valuation context, you might focus on a specific tropical forest context in a specific country or region. As different socio-economic contexts reap different results, it would be best if the data you are looking for reflects these contexts very closely. By downloading the database you can examine the database in great detail. It allows for filtering the data for biomes, ecosystem services, valuation method, valuation result in original units, beneficiaries, standardized value and review status.

Image by Zdeněk Macháček
Image by Andrew Pons