Category Archives: Guidance > Valuation Techniques

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Ontario (TEEBO) 2018 update

This report aims to inform Ontarians about key economic issues involving ecosystem services and biodiversity in Ontario. These are considered together because their economic issues are similar. This follows the practice of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), of which Canada is a member.

This report updates an earlier 2012 report with the same title (Miller & Lloyd-Smith, 2012). The present report includes new information and sources, removes some outdated material, and adjusts the amount and ordering of some content.

Many professions and sectors of the marketplace are taking an interest in this subject. Businesses and investors are improving the ways that they measure and manage their interactions with ecosystems, with the aid of accounting professionals. Professional planners, engineers, and infrastructure specialists are improving their conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, and the use of green infrastructure. Public health professionals are discovering how human health is dependent upon the health of biodiverse ecosystems. Ecological economists and other economists are working to recalibrate economic signals and policies for the sustenance of life on Earth.

Market prices fail to reflect the full economic value of nature. A solution is for economists to generate non-market values, using specific valuation techniques that quantify the importance of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. The resulting information helps to make land-use decisions more effective, balance sheets more complete, and economic accounts more comprehensive. All of this enhances efficiency and sustainability, especially when used with economic instruments. Economic instruments aim to more closely align economic self-interest with shared interests in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Several instruments are available, including ones that affect information, prices, quantities, and legal liabilities, and behaviour.

Fortunately non-market values and economic instruments are increasingly prevalent in Ontario. This is helping several policies and practices that mandate their consideration.

Ecosystem Services Provided by Forests in Canada: Case Studies on Natural Capital and Conservation

This report calculates the natural capital value of forests that are located on properties that are conserved by Nature Conservancy of Canada through the TD Forests program. The report includes two main parts:

1. The first part provides general background on Canada’s forests and approaches to natural capital valuation.

2. The second part presents case studies for each of Canada’s eight forest regions. Each study provides an introduction to the forest region and explores the natural capital value of at least one conserved forest property.

This assessment uses a “defensive expenditures” approach. Monetary valuation of the benefits used the value of the Social Cost of Carbon that is used by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making – An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts

The Ecosystem Services Toolkit is a technical guide to ecosystem services assessment and analysis that offers practical, step-by-step guidance for governments at all levels, as well as for consultants and researchers. The approach is fully interdisciplinary, integrating biophysical sciences, social sciences, economics, and traditional and practitioner knowledge. It provides guidance on how to consider and incorporate ecosystem services analysis in a variety of different policy contexts such as spatial planning, environmental assessment, and wildlife management, among others. It contains numerous innovative tools and resources designed to enhance users’ understanding of ecosystem services and to support analysis and decision-making. Canadian examples are featured throughout the guide.

Ecosystems valuation analysis on off-site benefits from protected areas

In May 2013, Spatial Informatics Group submitted a report to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources which presented an ecosystems valuation analysis on the off-site benefits from protected areas’ ecosystem services in Ontario. Two approaches were used in this study. The value transfer approach was used to assess the North Shore area. Four ecosystem service models were developed using the ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) approach to assess the Algonquin Provincial Park and Lake of the Woods region. Recognizing the socio-economic, biophysical and recreational aspects of different lands under park management, the findings from this report confirm that the models developed for this study could be transferred or adapted to similar contextual settings. It was concluded that the ecosystem services framework is a very valuable tool for assessing and measuring the contributions of parks and protected areas and for evaluating the potential impacts of alternative management scenarios.

Analysis for Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative: Lake Erie Cost of Algae Scoping Report

In Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government will invest $16 million in the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative for a four-year period to address the recurrent toxic and algae issues in Ontario’s Great Lakes. For the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative, Environment Canada retained Midsummer Analytics to provide insight on the factors and methodologies for evaluating the impacts of algal blooms in the Lake Erie Basin and to study the impacts on the ecosystem goods and services delivered by Lake Erie.

Procedures for the valuation of ecosystem services in federal environmental assessment (Draft)

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012), Environment Canada (EC) is responsible for reviewing project proposals submitted for environmental assessment (EA) and providing advice to decision‐makers respecting the potential effects of these proposals on Canada’s environment. As part of this work, from time to time, EC’s Economic Analysis Directorate (EAD) conducts valuation of proposals’ potential effects.

This document is part of a three‐part project to help EAD improve its valuation work, including helping EAD expand its methods of valuation and improve how it deals with ecosystem services (ES). The first part of this project was a literature review of key issues and challenges in the valuation of ES in the EA context. The second step of this project was a workshop involving experts in valuation [including a member of ONES] to gather guidance on methods. The third part of this project is this document.

Measuring Unpriced Values: An Economic Perspective and Annotated Bibliography for Ontario

The report addresses how economists deal with society’s preference for unpriced values and describes several approaches to valuing unpriced goods and services. Included in the report is a discussion of economic theory for cost-benefit analyses with respect to unpriced values, identification of value categories and a summary of unpriced values studies that were undertaken in Ontario. The report also considers issues relevant to future unpriced valuation studies in forestry.

Water Valuation Guidance Document

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) commissioned this guidance document to help establish how water valuation can assist in addressing water management issues and be integrated into decision-making. This document provides guidance for determining the economic value of water, including an overview of various valuation methods, and accounting for the use of the water and ecosystem services provided or supported by water resources.