Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
In SEAMLESS, indicators aid the translation of specific users' policy questions
'into something that SEAMLESS-IF can assess.' (van Ittersum et al. 2008 : 155).
For that purpose, so-called indicator frameworks are developed to structure a broad
range of indicators, to facilitate their interactive selection by the users, and to
provide a balanced selection of indicators across the three dimensions of sustainable
development (economic, social and environmental). Economic indicators are
assessed through output variable from quantitative model components, in particular
SEAMCAP (or CAPRI) and FSSIM (a detailed description of these two models is
given in Chapter 11 and Chapter 5 of this volume). For applying monetary valuation
techniques, it is important to know whether their methods (as described earlier in
this chapter) can be smoothly and seamlessly integrated into the backbone model
chain of SEAMLESS-IF that is formed by SEAMCAP, FSSIM and other quantitative
models. This question poses a challenge for economists and SEAMLESS-experts
alike to consider monetary valuation methods as a model component that possibly
can be included in future versions of SEAMLESS-IF.
In broad terms, SEAMLESS aims to provide a pan-European integrated database
including comprehensive datasets on biophysical, farm, socio-economic and policy
variables. Here, there is fair potential for benefit transfer as it applies a dataset
developed for one particular use to an alternative situation. However, due to the fact
that relatively few valuation studies have been done that focused primarily on
agro-biodiversity, especially in the new members states, there is only a small database
of values for transfer available. As a result, in the existing valuation surveys,
the agro-biodiversity and landscape attributes valued are often very different,
making it hard to find studies that have valued the same attributes as those that are
considered in a new context or location (to which the estimates can be transferred).
To fill the gaps in the database, more valuation studies on agro-biodiversity benefits
need to be completed. This can be a Herculean and costly task, because determining
the preferences of the general public for agro-biodiversity assets in a consistent
and unified manner involves primary data collection. However, by integrating
monetary values explicitly into SEAMLESS-IF, the potentially high benefits of
agro-biodiversity can be demonstrated, and the pressures on its biological assets that
are due to specific policy measures can be revealed more clearly.
The relationship between agriculture and biodiversity is extraordinary complex and
ambiguous. Agriculture not only depends on biodiversity, but it also has major
impacts on the diversity of numerous living organisms and the natural systems in
which they live, for example in areas where natural vegetation is completely cleared
for crops. In this chapter, we focused from an economic perspective on the benefits
of biodiversity in agriculture (agro-biodiversity). Because agro-biodiversity has
characteristics of a public good, and the value expressed by its price in conventional
markets is usually too low for optimal use and supply, monetary valuation methods
Search WWH ::

Custom Search