Widening the evaluative space for ecosystem services: A taxonomy of plural values and valuation methods

Paola Arias-Arévalo, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Berta Martín-López, Mario Pérez-Rincón

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    109 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018 The White Horse Press. Researchers working in the field of ecosystem services (ES) have long acknowledged the importance of recognising multiple values in ecosystems and biodiversity. Yet the operationalisation of value pluralism in ES assessments remains largely elusive. The aim of this research is to present a taxonomy of values and valuation methods to widen the evaluative space for ES. First, we present our preanalytic positions in regards to the values and valuation of ES. Second, we review different value definitions that we deem relevant for the discussion of ES valuation. Third, we propose a taxonomy of ES values based on different conceptions of human-nature relationships. Finally, we present a taxonomy of different methods that can be used to recognise plural values in ES. This taxonomy for a plural valuation can help ES scientists and practitioners with their aim of representing people’s multiple and context-specific ways of valuing nature. The taxonomy can also serve to pay broader attention to ES values that are overlooked or misrepresented in assessments that restrict their focus to monetary valuations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-53
    JournalEnvironmental Values
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


    • Ecosystem services
    • Incommensurability
    • Monetary and non-monetary valuation
    • Value pluralism


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