Problems with the valuation of Scotland's environment

Common, Michael (2003) Problems with the valuation of Scotland's environment. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 28 (2). pp. 30-32. ISSN 0306-7866

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A paper by Williams et al, 'Exploring the value of Scotland's environment', in the March 2003 issue of this journal, estimated ‘the annual value of the ecosystem services generated by Scotland's marine and terrestrial biomes' as £17.258 billion. This estimate was arrived at by adopting the methodology used by Costanza et al (1997a) to value ecosystem services for the globe as a whole. The first problem with this estimate is that it relates to a definition for which it makes no sense to produce an estimate. The second is that it is based on poor quality data.