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N8 Debate:Valuing the Environment - Looking Beyond the Economics

Chair: Professor Louise Heathwaite, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

Thursday 26 May 2011, 1630-1830
LEC Training Rooms 1 And 2

N8 Debates 2011 - A Trilogy of Key Debates at the Policy/Technology Interface

The N8 Research Partnership in conjunction with the NERC-funded Catchment Change Network are supporting a series of Debates during 2011 at the policy/technology interface, designed to highlight outstanding issues and begin to identify ways forward. These will be very much participative and interactive sessions led by a Panel with an audience of invited guests.

Our second Debate "Valuing the Environment- looking beyond the economics" will be Chaired by Professor Louise Heathwaite (Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management).


Background to this Debate

There is a growing recognition, flowing from the desire for more sustainable outcomes, of the need for more holistic approaches to identifying environmental impacts and valuing these; this is now manifesting itself in a wider debate and application of ecosystem services to policy and project appraisal.

Wider engagement with the ecosystem services concept brings with it a major challenge that traditional economic approaches may be unable to deliver on: the valuation of these services. Because many ecosystem services are not traded in markets we have no way of paying directly for them. Additionally, because people are not familiar with purchasing such goods, their willingness to pay may not be clearly defined. However, this does not mean that ecosystems or their services have no value, or cannot be valued. Simple monetarisation of 'services' misses the ecological complexity of the system and new thinking is needed.

This Debate will bring together a range of experts to explore the opportunities and barriers associated with how the ecosystem services concept can be refined and better integrated into policy and practice.

Watch live online

This event will be streamed live online during the debate. Please register via the link below to receive the URL where you can watch the debate and ask questions via our online tool.

Pannelists introduce key issues