The following are a selection of ways in which the value of the natural environment can be assessed and communicated. It forms part of the Tool Assessor service provided by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.
Tool Assessor lists a range of tools for mapping ecosystem services as shown below. As we revise Tool Assessor, we will also be profiling recent mapping products including:
NEVO (Natural Environment Valuation Online tool)
NEVO is a freely accessible online tool that allows users to select an area anywhere in England or Wales, from the scale of a county or catchment down to a 2km grid cell, and then view estimates of the value of that area for delivering a range of ecosystem services (agricultural production, timber production, greenhouse gas emissions, recreation, water quantity and water quality) and its value for biodiversity (estimated number of species present).
B£ST (Benefits EStimation Tool)
B£ST (Benefits EStimation Tool) is an Excel spreadsheet tool which provides guidance to estimate the monetary benefits of Blue Green Infrastructure (BGI), including Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Natural Flood Management (NFM), without the need for specialist economic input. Estimates are based on the performance of the whole system rather than individual components.
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.
Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit
The Green Infrastructure Valuation toolkit provides a set of calculator tools to assess the value of a green asset or a proposed green investment. Where possible, the benefits of green infrastructure (GI) are given an economic value. Other quantitative (e.g. number of jobs) and qualitative (e.g. links to case studies or research) contributions can also be provided to give a complete view of the value of an asset.
i-Tree Eco is a software application designed for urban forest assessment. It uses field data from complete inventories or randomly located sample plots, along with hourly air pollution and meteorological data. It quantifies the structure and environmental effects of urban forests (for trees and shrubs) and calculates their value to communities.
InVEST is a suite of open-source software models for mapping and valuing 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.
ORVal (Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool)
ORVal is a freely accessible web-based tool that predicts the number of visits to existing and new greenspaces in England, and estimates the welfare value of those visits in monetary terms. It is based on an econometric model of recreational demand derived from MENE data.