The latest paper “Mapping and economic valuation of the ecosystem services provided by a wetland site in Danube” was presented at the 11th International European Forum (Igls-Forum) (161st EAAE Seminar) on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.
The paper is about mapping and valuating ecosystem services in wetlands. Our focus was the protected wetland area in the Divici-Pojejena region in Romania. We use a mixed methods approach: the qualitative part relied on focus groups and interviews to identify key stakeholders and services provided by the wetland site. Then, we apply the benefit transfer (BT) method for the monetary valuation of the ecological services of the site. After exploring different approaches we finally chose a meta-regression model as a basis for our evaluation.
Our analysis revealed that bird watching opportunities, water quality services, flood prevention services and habitat services provided by the wetland are among the highest valued services, while the amenity services are the least valued among all wetland services.
The services of flood prevention and water quality follow, signifying the importance of the area in reducing damage due to flooding and severe storms, as well as the reduced costs of water purification resulting from retention and transformation of nutrients. The wetland also serves as a significant habitat, mainly for avian species (this was particularly valued by stakeholders with environmental protection interests). Services related to water quantity and storm also have a significant contribution due to the recharging of ground water and the reduction of erosion resulting from stabilization of sediment. Amenity appears to have the least contribution of the ecological services, probably due to the restrictions that are applied to the area (e.g., prohibiting fishing).
The paper will be soon be published at the Conference Proceedings.