Valuation of Natural Capital
Intact natural capital permanently provides services that are valuable for people. The social values of natural capital are still not completely known and subject to great uncertainty. ValuGaps develops methods to close information gaps, to deal with uncertainties, and to bring together existing knowledge in such a way that decision-makers can apply it practically.
Biodiversity and natural capital contribute fundamentally to human well-being. So far, decision making in Germany only partly takes these values into account. One major reason are large information gaps and uncertainties. The few existing original valuation studies have not been syste-matically selected, consider only a subset of values, and treat ecological-economic dynamics and uncertainties only implicitly. ValuGaps responds to the need for comprehensive, reliable, and scala-ble values of natural capital and biodiversity for societal decision-making, as experienced by public authorities in Germany, especially the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
ValuGaps will develop the interdisciplinary scientific basis for comprehensively taking into account natural capital values in policy making, accounting and planning. The approach will be exemplified and tested for grasslands and urban green as prime case studies. The transdisciplinary project ValuGaps with the key federal agencies in the domain, UBA and BfN, will substantially contribute to mainstreaming the value of biodiversity and natural capital in decision-making in Germany, a political commitment under the CBD Aichi Target 2.
Where do societal decision-makers and stakeholders face the largest information gaps and uncertainties with respect to different values of biodiversity and natural capital?1
How to scale, transfer, and bridge different types of values across (i) space and time, (ii) groups of beneficiaries, and (iii) types of ecosystems in a practical, scientifically and normatively sound way?2
What are the key parameters required to value natural capital in a scalable and transferable way, and how can their values be quantified or constrained?3
How do uncertainties propagate when scaling, transferring or bridging values?4
How can societal decision-makers make best use of valuation, and how do and how should they deal with uncertainties?5