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Estimating the value of agroecosystem services in Ireland’s catchments

Daniel Norton, Stephen Hynes, Cathal Buckley, Mary Ryan and Edel Doherty

No 309504, Working Papers from National University of Ireland, Galway, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit

Abstract: Agricultural ecosystems provide a number of services that add greatly to the wellbeing of society. The most obvious services provided are the many forms of farm produce that are purchased and consumed. These ‘provisioning services’ are traded in established markets and their price often provides an indication of their value to society. Agroecosystems also generate many ecosystem services and disservices which are not valued by any established market. These non-market beneficial ecosystem services from agricultural landscapes include carbon sequestration, regulation of soil fertility and landscape and cultural services such as recreational opportunities on farmland. Disservices include nutrient runoff and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper provides an initial assessment of the value of Ireland’s agroecosystem services and disservices. Hydrological catchment units provide the spatial boundaries for case studies and an ecosystem service framework known as the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) is used to identify the relevant ecosystem services and disservices. A variety of indicators are employed to measure the level of ecosystem service or disservice generated. The values (or costs) of a number of ecosystem services are estimated and the contribution of Irish Agricultural in terms of ecosystem service benefits to society is found to be substantial.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.309504

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