Co$ting Nature

Overview
Description: 

Co$ting Nature is a web based policy-support tool for natural capital accounting and analysis of ecosystem services provided by natural environments.  It identifies the beneficiaries of these ecosystem services; and assesses the impacts of human interventions for conservation prioritisation and planning.

Input: 

Global spatial data (GIS, remote sensing) at 1 square km or 1 ha resolution is provided by the tool. Users can also provide their own datasets.

Output: 
Maps
Scale: 
Local scale
Landscape scale
Regional scale
National scale
Multi-scale
Cost of the tool (and guidance): 
Open access (free)
Context: 
A range of land uses
Resource requirement (software): 
The internet (it works best in Mozilla Firefox); GIS software to view or analyse output maps (not essential).
Level of technical expertise required: 
Internet use skills
Types of ecosystem service included: 
Regulating
Provisioning
Cultural
Habitat type (UK NEA habitats): 
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Enclosed farmland
Woodland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Urban
How does it work?: 

Co$ting Nature incorporates detailed global datasets, spatial models for biophysical and socioeconomic processes and scenarios for climate and land use. It calculates a baseline for current ecosystem service provision (1950-2000). It also allows interventions (policy options) or scenarios of change to be used to understand their impact on ecosystem service delivery.  The focus is on costing nature (i.e. understanding the resource e.g. the land area and opportunity cost of protecting nature to produce ecosystem services) as opposed to valuing nature (i.e. how much someone is willing to pay for it).  By combining more than 80 input maps, the tool calculates the spatial distribution of ecosystem services for water, carbon and tourism and combines these with maps of conservation priority, threatened biodiversity and endemism to understand the spatial distribution of critical ecosystems. These data are combined with human pressures and future threats to determine conservation priorities.

Where can I get it?: 

http://www.policysupport.org/costingnature

 

For references e.g. [01] see the reference list