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Integrating monetary and non-monetary approaches to the assessment of shared, plural and cultural values of ecosystem services

There are increasing concerns that monetary valuation of ecosystem services using conventional individualistic methods is not fully able to express the value that people attach to the natural environment. For example, people have values in relation to nature that are not instrumental, but relate to rights, duties and virtues, which are difficult to translate into preferences and willingness-to-pay. Also, the notions of ‘services' and ‘benefits' do not fully reflect the intricate relationships between people and nature. Values and meanings are not necessarily individualistic and given, but are often implicit, shared and shaped through social processes of information sharing, moralisation and democratic debate. This thesis develops a theoretical framework for assessing plural, shared and cultural values of ecosystems and provides a range of case studies to operationalize them for decision-making. The theoretical framework conceptualises values across the dimensions of value concept, provider, process, scale and intention, and identifies seven non-mutually exclusive types of shared values: transcendental, cultural/societal, communal, group, deliberated and other-regarding values, and value to society. A novel model is developed to describe how different values interrelate in deliberative processes: the Deliberative Value Formation model (DVF). This framework underpins two local and two UK-wide case studies, which employ, develop and evaluate a wide range of economic and non-economic, deliberative, interpretive and psychometric methods. Findings indicate that deliberated group values were more considered, more strongly anchored onto the value of benefits and less an expression of ‘gesturing', while at the same time more reflective of transcendental values of participants such as responsibility and social justice. Thus, group-based, deliberative assessments may provide a more robust approach to assessing values than conventional individual valuation. Disciplinary integration provides a richer and more comprehensive evidence base for environmental decision-making and management than the use of single discipline approaches, which is of particular importance for complex and contested contexts.
Date January 2014
CreatorsKenter, Jasper Onno
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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