Awareness of biodiversity
Status of biodiversity
Threats to biodiversity
Measures that safeguard biodiversity
Measures that mainstream biodiversity
Benefits derived from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Impacts on biodiversity outside of Ireland
Knowledge of Irish biodiversity
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In order to both effectively conserve and maximise the benefits from nature and the ecosystem services it provides, policies need to recognise the value of biodiversity. This is only possible if those services are correctly valued. To account for the benefits of nature as a whole, the valuation exercise should not just take an economic approach, but also include the societal, health and intrinsic values of biodiversity.
In some instances, expressing the value of ecosystem services in terms of financial value is appropriate and it is commonly the first type of valuation assessment undertaken before expanding the exercise to include other types of valuation. At present 50 economic valuations of Irish biodiversity have been published, 26 of which have focussed on marine and agricultural ecosystems and services.
The three major academic literature databases were queried for ecosystem service-related peer-reviewed publications: JSTOR, ScienceDirect and the Web of Science. Due to differences in the search function for each digital library, a different search strategy was conducted per database.
Advanced Search: ‘ecosystem services’ AND Ireland OR Irish in ‘All Fields’; ‘natural capital’ AND Ireland OR Irish in ‘All Fields’.
Advanced Search: Ireland in ‘Author Affiliation’ AND ecosystem service in ‘Find articles with these terms’, results filtered by Ireland in ‘Topic’.
Web of Science
Advanced Search, three fields: Ireland in ‘Anywhere’ AND ecosystem service natural capital in ‘Title’ OR ecosystem service natural capital in ‘Abstract’.
All citation information was then compiled into a single database and screened for both erroneous publications and duplication across databases. The links to the digital libraries queried can be found here:
More information on the Irish Forum on Natural Capital can be found here:
More information on projects involved with the mapping, assessment and valuation of ecosystem services in Europe can be found below:
Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES)
Enhancing Ecosystem Services and Mapping for Policy and Decision Making (ESMERALDA)
Operationalisation of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services (OpenNESS)
Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications (OPERAs)
Valuing nature and the ecosystem services it provides is a multifaceted exercise that encompasses the economic, social, health and intrinsic value of biodiversity. In many instances economic valuations of biodiversity support the mainstreaming of biodiversity into decision making at a local, regional and national levels, and increase societal willingness to protect biodiversity and its role in supporting life and the human economy. This indicator tracks the number of economic valuations of biodiversity in Ireland.