Environmental Engineering Reference
can shed light on the benefits of agro-biodiversity, and on the preferences that
individuals have for its assets.
Generally speaking, the raison d'être of monetary valuation is concern about
things that are valuable. After all, due to the public good aspects of agro-biodiversity,
the notion that agro-biodiversity is as valuable as its price in the marketplace does
not hold. However, the fact that a certain agro-biodiversity asset is not fully captured
in a market, and hence has no price does not means that agro-biodiversity values are
simply numbers plucked out of the air. This chapter has glanced briefly at a range of
monetary approaches and methods for measuring biodiversity values in agricultural
landscapes. It has also explored the question whether monetary valuation can be
used for agricultural policy impact assessment. In more precise words, can monetary
valuation facilitate the assessment of the impact that proposed agricultural or
agro-environmental policy actions will have on specific agro-biodiversity assets?
The conclusion that can be validly drawn is that monetary valuation gives insight
into the preferences for agro-biodiversity that the general public holds. As such, it
assesses from a purely anthropocentric viewpoint the impact of specific agricultural
or agro-environmental policy measures on agro-biodiversity. Despite some controversies
and ethical issues, the application of especially stated preference methods can be
very useful in the design of future agricultural and agro-environmental policies; particularly
if choice experiments or other forms of choice modelling techniques are used.
Also within SEAMLESS monetary valuation can play an informative and supportive
role. To that end, we believe that valuation methods, and the results of existing and future
valuation surveys, should be linked to the quantitative models in SEAMLESS-IF.
However, this integration of valuation model components in later version of
SEAMLESS-IF is, at least from our perspective, rather complicated and therefore
quite a challenge. Nevertheless, this challenge has the merit of being identifiable
and potentially useful. Or, to put it in the hopeful words of the American philosopher
Dennett (1995 : 38): 'Problems in science are sometimes made easier by adding
Adamowicz, W., Boxall, P., Williams, M., & Louviere, J. (1998). Stated preference approaches for
measuring passive use values: Choice experiments and contingent valuation. American
Journal of Agricultural Economics, 80 (1), 64-75.
Adamowicz, W., Louviere, J., & Williams, M. (1994). Combining revealed and stated preference
methods for valuing environmental amenities. Journal of Environmental Economics and
Management, 26 (3), 271-292.
Bateman, I. J., & Turner, R. K. (1993). Valuation of the environment, methods and techniques:
The contingent valuation method. In R. K. Turner (Ed.), Sustainable environmental economics
and management; principles and practice (pp. 120-191). London/New York: Belhaven.
Bergland, O. (1998). Can we value the landscape experience? ('Kan vi sette en pris på
landskapsopplevelsen?') (in Norwegian). In E. Framstad & I.B. Lid (Eds.), The cultural
landscape of agriculture; Management of environmental values (' Jordbrukets kulturlandskap;
forvaltning av miljøverdier ') (in Norwegian) (pp. 171-176). Oslo: Scandinavian University