week 3

Speaker: Sarah Odera, Communications Specialist, ELD Initiative

Sarah Odera will speak about ELD's involvement with the private sector and will give an insight into the outcomes of the business workshop ('Soil and Land Leadership Events') that took place in Bonn on March 11/12, 2014. The workshop was organized by ELD, UNCCD, The Global Compact and WBCSD.


Webinar on the 19th March 2014
Time: 15:30h CET   ELD and Private Sector

If something is perhaps intangible, lacking clear market value and economic demand, it still holds plenty of value to society- locally, regionally, nationally, and even internationally. This is particularly true for non-marketed goods like clean air: just because you can't buy a litre of clean air at your local grocery store, does not mean that clean air holds no value!

At times, market prices fail to reflect the full economic value that a service provides to society as a whole. When this happens, economists call it a market failure. Market failures typically arise from incomplete information, inefficient allocation of property rights, or what are known as externalities. For example: World market prices of commodities do not consider water pollution from fertilisers (nitrogen) as inputs to agricultural production. The water pollution imposes a cost on society, affecting health and reducing work output.
This week, we will be exploring the ecosystems' goods and services: which ones are marketed and who benefits? We will also explore who pays (willingly or not). Join us for an exciting week!

This week's case-study:




Further Reading

  • Supply and demand, measures of value: Costanza, R., R. D'arge, R. de Groot, S. Farber, M. Grasso, B. Hannon, K. Limburg, S. Naeem, R. V. O'Neill, J. Paruelo, R. G. Raskin, P. Sutton and M. van den Belt (1997). "The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital." Nature 387: 253 - 260.
  • Identifying and valuing externalities: Schaafsma, M. and G. Cranston (2013). The Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform: E.Valu.A.Te Practical Guide, How to Perform an Environmental Externality Assessment, The Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform: 46. EValuATe_Practical_Guide_Nov_2013

Assignment 2 (part 2) "Your Ecosystem's Services"

Continue with your chosen ecosystem from week 2. Appraise the benefits from that ecosystem and define the externalities of use (and the transfer payments, if applicable). (250 words max.) Please post this assignment (week 2 and 3) in the Team forum by March 22.

 See Teams here.

  • Read Chapter 1_3 UNU INWEH
  • You have decided upon an ecosystem "case".  Briefly describe which of your ecosystem's goods and services are marketed and which are not. Regarding the primary goods and services, please indicate the market price and the total market value.
  • Describe the positive and/or negative externalities that occur from use of the ecosystem.
  • List donors or receivers of transfer payments, if applicable.
  • The worksheets of the Week_3 Practitioner's Guide (editable pdf) will help you through the process.
  • In most of the teams, a post called "Assignment 2"  has been entered by Volker Lichtenthäler. The posting gives access to a collabaration tool called Etherpad. Etherpad allows you to prepare a text document in collaboration.
  • You will find that post under >Activity>Group Forum you will see the link to "Assignment 2". Please follow the instructions.