Ecosystem service valuation to involve local communities in Scotland

Communities in Scotland could be encouraged to use a newly developed ‘toolkit’ to assign values to the local ecosystem services they depend on.

A summary report published by the Highland Council reveals plans for two initial pilot studies in the Highlands, taking place in April and July this year. Residents will be asked to consider the benefits they derive from their local environment and to assign a value to natural processes such as provision of food, soil enrichment and purification of air and water.

This new scheme signals a novel approach to ecosystem service valuation as, despite much interest in natural capital in both international and national policy, localised action has so far been relatively limited.

For more on valuing ecosystem service, see the Natural Capital Initiative webpage.