InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs)

Overview
Description: 

InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) is a suite of open-source software models for mapping and valuing the ecosystem services provided by land and seascapes. It uses data about the environment to explore how changes in ecosystems are likely to affect the flow of benefits to people. It is designed to inform decisions about natural resource management.

Input: 

Predominantly GIS / map data; information tables (usually.csv format)

Output: 
Maps
Scale: 
Site 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): 
InVEST was originally developed as script tools in the ArcGIS ArcToolBox environment, but all models are now available as stand-alone software and the ArcGIS versions are no longer supported [3] . You will need a mapping software such as QGIS or ArcGIS to view your results and perform any further analysis (e.g., overlays). No specific software is needed to view TIFF outputs [29].
Level of technical expertise required: 
Basic – intermediate GIS 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
Marine
Coastal margins
How does it work?: 

InVEST is designed to inform decisions about natural resource management in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.  The models use input data (map/GIS data and information in tables) to explore how changes in ecosystems are likely to affect the flow of benefits provided to people. 

It consists of 18 software models for mapping and valuing ecosystem services, plus a number of supporting tools to help with preparing, processing and visualising data.  Models can be applied at multiple- scales.  Most models use a 'production function' approach, meaning that the ecosystem service output (map) is derived using information about environmental condition and processes. The final map result is expressed in either biophysical terms (i.e. a quantity) or economic terms. InVEST is suitable for users who wish to look at multiple services or have multiple objectives for their area of interest. 

Where can I get it?: 

http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/invest/

 

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