NCEAS Project 2058

Value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital: Toward a dynamic, integrated approach

  • Robert Costanza
  • Stephen Farber


Nature Article: The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital (May 1987) (pdf file)

Summary of average global value of annual ecosystem services from Nature paper

Primary data sources and calculations for the original Nature paper (see notes below) (Excel file for download)

Notes for primary data sources (see data above) (pdf file)

World Map of Total National Values According to IGBP Scheme

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group1st—5th June 1998Participant List  
Graduate Student1st August 1998—30th June 2000Participant List  
Graduate Student1st August 1998—30th June 2000Participant List  
Visitor27th December 1998—27th March 1999Participant List  
Working Group1st—6th June 1999Participant List  
Working Group11th—15th June 2000Participant List  

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Abstract
Our first workshop on this topic at NCEAS in June of 1996 was very successful at synthesizing the large (but scattered) existing information about the value of ecosystem services and natural capital and presenting it in a form useful for ecologists, economists, policy makers, and the general public. The results were ultimately published in Nature (Costanza et. al. 1997) and (as we intended) stimulated much discussion, media attention, and debate, including stories in the NY Times, Newsweek, Science, Science News, and US News and World Report. The methods used in the first synthesis were admittedly crude and imperfect, but they also pointed the way to improved assessments. In particular, they pointed to the need to develop comprehensive ecological economic models that could adequately incorporate the complex interdependencies between ecosystems and economic systems, and the complex dynamics of these systems. The goals of this working group are to utilize the results and momentum of the first workshop to:

  1. Reassess and update the results of the first workshop
  2. Carry the process further, toward the goal of developing and using integrated models for the assessment of the value of ecosystem services.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Boumans, Roelof M.; Costanza, Robert; Farley, Joshua; Wilson, Matthew A.; Rotmans, Jan; Villa, Ferdinando; Portela, Rosimeiry; Grasso, Monica. 2002. Modeling the dynamics of the Integrated Earth System and the Value of Global Ecosystem Services using the GUMBO Model. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 529-560.
Data Set Costanza, Robert. 1999. Global values of ecosystem services. (Online version)
Journal Article Costanza, Robert; Farber, Stephen. 2002. Introduction to the special issue on the Dynamics and Value of Ecosystem Services: Integrating economic and ecological perspectives. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 367-373. (Online version)
Data Set Costanza, Robert; Farber, Stephen. 2006. Value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital datasets. (Online version)
Report or White Paper de Groot, Rudolf. 1997. Valuing natural ecosystems: From local services to global capital. Position-paper for the European Symposium on Environmental Valuation, organised by C3ED. Pages 20pp.
Journal Article de Groot, Rudolf; Wilson, Matthew A.; Boumans, Roelof M. 2002. A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 393-408. (Online version)
Journal Article Farber, Stephen; Costanza, Robert; Wilson, Matthew A. 2002. Economic and ecological concepts for valuing ecosystem services. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 375-392. (Online version)
Journal Article Howarth, Richard B.; Farber, Stephen. 2002. Accounting for the value of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 421-429. (Online version)
Journal Article Konarska, Keri M.; Sutton, Paul; Castellon, Michael J. 2002. Evaluating scale dependence of ecosystem service valuation: A comparison of NOAA-AVHRR and Landsat TM datasets. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 491-507. (Online version)
Journal Article Limburg, Karin; O'Neill, Robert V.; Costanza, Robert; Farber, Stephen. 2002. Complex systems and valuation. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 409-420. (Online version)
Journal Article Patterson, Murray. 2002. Ecological production based pricing of biosphere processes. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 457-478. (Online version)
Journal Article Sutton, Paul; Costanza, Robert. 2002. Global estimates of market and non-market values derived from nighttime satellite imagery, land cover, and ecosystem service valuation. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 509-527. (Online version)
Journal Article Villa, Ferdinando; Wilson, Matthew A.; de Groot, Rudolf; Farber, Stephen; Costanza, Robert; Boumans, Roelof M. 2002. Designing an integrated knowledge base to support ecosystem services valuation. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 445-456. (Online version)
Journal Article Wilson, Matthew A.; Howarth, Richard B. 2002. Discourse-based valuation of ecosystem services: Establishing fair outcomes through group deliberation. Ecological Economics. Vol: 41(3). Pages 431-443. (Online version)