Co$ting Nature

Overview
Description: 

Co$ting Nature V3 is a web based policy-support tool for natural capital accounting and analysis of the ecosystem services provided by natural environments. The focus is on costing nature (understanding the resource, e.g. the land area, and the 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), though the tool does support economic valuation and has the necessary tools for this. The tool estimates the current provision of 18 ecosystem services including Timber (softwood, hardwood), Fuelwood (softwood, hardwood), Grazing/fodder, non-wood forest products, water provisioning (quantity, quality), fish catch, carbon, natural hazard mitigation (flood, drought, landslide, coastal inundation), culture-based tourism, nature-based tourism services, environmental and aesthetic quality services, wildlife services (pollination, pest control), wildlife dis-services (crop raiding, pests) and identifies the beneficiaries, then analyses current human pressures on the land, future threats and levels of biodiversity. It derives conservation priority from these factors. Users can then apply scenarios for land-use or land management change, and examine the impacts on ecosystem services and the implications for beneficiaries. The tool can be used to assess the impacts of human interventions for conservation prioritisation and planning. It also calculated Nature's contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Input: 

Global spatial data (GIS, remote sensing) at 1 square km or 1 ha resolution is provided by the tool globally. Users can also provide their own datasets. Users can run at local scale (100x100 km tile), for major basins or countries. For those requiring a simpler tool Co$tingNatureMap provides provides access to baseline and scenario runs of Co$tingNature globally and regionally and allows - at the click of a button - comparison between sites where conservation or development investments are planned. 

Output: 
Guidance
Maps
GIS databases
Quantitative data on ecosystem services
Tables / statistics / reports
Economic assessment
Environmental asset portfolio
Ecosystem service impact score / Development impact score
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 Chrome or Mozilla Firefox)
Level of technical expertise required: 
Internet use skills
Types of ecosystem service included: 
Regulating
Provisioning
Supporting
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 (2015). It also allows interventions (policy options) or scenarios of change to be applied to understand their impact on ecosystem service delivery. By combining more than 140 input maps, the tool calculates the spatial distribution of 18 ecosystem services and combines these with maps of conservation priority, threatened biodiversity and endemism to understand the spatial distribution of critical ecosystems and to determine conservation priorities. Outputs are a series of summary maps expressed in relative terms (0 - 1) which combine the outputs from the different modules (ecosystem service bundles).