Institute of



Anna Frerck
Institute of Forestry

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Essay on monetary valuation of environmental services


A recent article from our institute deals with several objections which are being raised against the monetary valuation of ecosystem services by some scientists as well as practitioners.

(© Thünen-Institut)

The monetary valuation is said to overlook nature’s intrinsic values; to infringe upon ethical norms; to narrow down perspectives to economic welfare alone, or even to nothing but material wellbeing; to stimulate the commercialisation of nature – conversely, others criticise that it fails exactly in this respect –; to favour social inequality; and to rely upon undependable methods.

The essay questions the cogency of these criticisms and highlights some prejudices and misconceptions, often rooted in an erroneous understanding of the function of environmental valuations in the political decision process.

Elsasser P (2017): Ökonomische Bewertung von Ökosystemleistungen: Eine kritische Sicht auf einige Kritiken [Monetary Valuation of Ecosystem Services: a Critical View of Some Critiques]. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Forstwesen 168 (1), 14-20) DOI:10.3188/szf.2017.0014