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Applying Geographic Information Systems to ecosystem services valuation and mapping in Trinidad and Tobago

Andrea Ghermandi (), John Agard and Paulo A. L. D. Nunes
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Andrea Ghermandi: University of Haifa
John Agard: University of the West Indies
Paulo A. L. D. Nunes: University of Lisbon

Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, 2018, vol. 11, issue 3, 289-306

Abstract: Abstract Consideration of the spatial dimension in the provision of ecosystem services is fundamental for the calculation of the economic value of ecosystem services and the distribution across beneficiaries and ecosystems. In the context of Small Island Developing States, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago are characterized by a rich natural capital, which lies at the source of the provision of all ecosystem services. Such natural capital, however, is threatened by a range of anthropogenic pressures. This paper builds upon state-of-the-art benefit transfer techniques and Geographic Information Systems to provide the first maps of the value of three key ecosystem services in Trinidad and Tobago. Result estimates indicate that the mean value of carbon sequestration by terrestrial and coastal ecosystems amounts to 65 US$/ha/year. Mean values for coastal recreation and shoreline coastal protection are estimated in 6468 and 924 US$/ha/year, respectively. We discuss how this spatially explicit valuation exercise may feed into Trinidad and Tobago’s National Spatial Development Plan, thus contributing toward a more sustainable use of the country’s natural capital.

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Geographic Information Systems; Spatial economic valuation; Meta-analysis; Value transfer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q51 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s12076-018-0210-9

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