Value indicators are separated to four categories of economic, social, health and intrinsic values. The purpose is to present thoroughly the importance of ecosystem services from different perspectives.
Economic value of ecosystem services can be formed from for example market values, sales or incomes. Avoided costs of prevented damage of natural processes or avoided health costs can also have economic value. Despite that economic indicators have growing trend does not indicate that it is necessarily good trend for the environment.
Social value of ecosystem services can be gained for example through employment. Also recreational activities, such as hunting and picking berries has social value as it brings people together.
Ecosystem services affect to human well-being in many levels. Health value is gained when ecosystem service improves human health mentally or physically.
Many ecosysttem services have intrinsic value; elements in the nature are important because they exist. In many cases the actual benefit is not concrete and cannot be measured. Intrinsic value can also relate to stability or continuity of the nature.
The order of the value categories in every value indicator is based on the results of a stakeholder workshop in February 2014. Participants represented different organizations from foresrty, agriculture, tourism, conservation, social issues, NGOs, administration and research. Participant organizations filled in a survey where they listed these four value categories to preference order and the results were combined.
- Updated (16.01.2015)