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Valuing environmental goods and services

When environmental goods and services are costed, rather than considered as free, there is an appreciation of the immense value of the environmental assets that underpin human well-being and security. This value is proportionally greater for the livelihoods, survival ability and resilience of the poorest and most marginalized communities. Valuing the environment is one way of raising the profile of the environment in the national policy arena. There have been numerous attempts to develop methods to assign a monetary value to environmental goods and services and the environmental impacts of economic activity. Such methods need further development and validation.

Suggestions for Action
Valuing the environment
  • Refine and improve methods of calculating the economic value of environmental goods and services, and the environmental impacts of economic activity
  • Evaluate environmental costs and benefits in all sectors of the economy to incorporate environmental accounting as standard practice in local or national accounting and at company level
  • Support and encourage those involved in education and economics courses to incorporate tools and methods for environmental accounting into all curricula
  • Consider environmental costs and benefits in policy development