Ecosystem services evaluated using emergy methodology
2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Ecosystem services (ES) is a concept aiming to internalize assets and costs that are not covered by the traditional market valuations.The market failures giving the ES values much lower than their importance to economies has so far been met by ad hoc modificationsof traditional market valuations. The emergy methodology takes another approach by starting at the global level of driving forces of thebiosphere and then allocating which parts of the total driving forces are used by the ES studied. This approach can be characterized asattributing "donor values" rather than "market values" to ES. Since most other methods to assess ES are market based, the emergyapproach could complement and increase our understanding.Emergy is a measure appearing when applying the energy hierarchy principle to natural (e.g. forests and lakes) or human (e.g. citiesand countries) systems, postulating that energies in any system will self-organize in hierarchical patterns given time to do so.There are two possible main paths in the emergy methodology when applied to ES: the emergy values of the natural driving forces areused, or the emergy values delivered by the environmental production systems are used. Here we discuss the suitability of these twoapproaches when applied to ES using case studies on three different scales: The national level with Sweden as the example, theregional level with the Swedish County of Jämtland as example, and the local level with the small island of Norderön located within theCounty of Jämtland as example.Results show that the use of natural driving forces gives outcomes more related to earlier attempts estimating ES with other methodsthan emergy accounting. The approach with environmental production systems diverts to some extent from other approaches,especially in its use of feedback from the economic sector.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Other Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16597OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-16597DiVA: diva2:538152
Planet under Pressure 2012, London March 26-29