Values and rewards : counting and capturing ecosystem water services for sustainable development

Authors: Emerton, L. (Lucy),

Water ecosystems have long been perceived by decision makers as having little value simply because their economic value is poorly understood and rarely articulated. Calculating the economic value of an ecosystem is a means of providing information which can be used to make better and more informed choices about how resources are managed, used and allocated. This publication attempts to address the challenge of using water ecosystem valuation to strengthen river basin management, and to demonstrate its practical utility for decision making. It documents a number of case studies from Africa and Asia where valuation studies have been carried out by IUCN with the specific aim of influencing the policy and management decisions that impact on water ecosystems in river basins.