Tag Archives: scenario

This week's case-study:

Case Study 10: Cardamom Mountains

South East Asia: The value of land resources in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia

Further Reading

Valuation methods descriptions and case studies:


Hedonic pricing:
King, D.A. and Sinden, J.A., 1988. Influence of soil conservation on farm land values. Land Economics. 64(3): 242-255. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3146248

Travel cost method:
Navrud, S. and Mungatana, E.D. Environmental valuation in developing countries: The recreational value of wildlife viewing. Ecological Economics. 11: 135-151      .                       http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0921800994900248

Contingent Valuation method:
Ngugi, G.W., Newton, L.E. and Muasya, A.M., 2011. The contribution of forest products to dryland household economy: The case of Kiang’ombe hill forest, Kenya. Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 9: 163-180. http://lib-ojs3.lib.sfu.ca:8114/index.php/era/article/view/197/320

Choice experiment:
Do, T.N., 2007. Impacts of dykes on wetland values in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta: A case study in the Plain of Reeds (PhD Thesis). Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia, Singapore.      http://web.idrc.ca/uploads/user-S/12114357241ThangNamDoRR.pdf

Blamey, J., Rolfe, J., Bennett, J. and Morrison M. 2000. Valuing remnant vegetation in Central Queensland using choice modelling. The Australian Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics. 44(3): 439-456.

Benefit transfer:
see UK National Ecosystem Assessment, TEEB, ELD Initiative


Repositories of economic valuation studies:


Over the last few weeks, we have identified ecosystem services and their marketable and non-marketable value. From the perspective of a cost-benefit-analysis, we have described the "inaction" case, a.k.a. business-as-usual.

We've also developed scenarios to eventually prevent land degradation, or 'upgrade' the current status of land, while improving the livelihood of people. Furthermore, we have looked at the tools provided by economists and have identified the ones suitable for various land valuation. This week, we will put a valuation method into practice by designing a research plan.

A research plan »
Assignment 4: Develop a Research Plan »
Live Event: Participatory Valuation Methods Madagascar »
Resources Research Methods »

Making land management decisions requires the involvement of stakeholders. Dr. Daniel Plugge from the University of Hamburg will discuss his recent research on participatory valuation methods in Madagascar.

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Plugge, University of Hamburg/Germany, Institut of World Forestry
Download Slides:
ELD MOOC Plugge Participatory Scenario 1
ELD MOOC Plugge Participatory Scenario 2

You'll need to develop a rough research plan this week. Decide amongst your group which ecosystem service you'll value and choose a research method. It may be the one that you suggested in Assignment 3, but any other suitable method is also okay to use. Then, develop a research plan. Practitioners Guide Research may be helpful.

  1. Choose a research method
  2. Develop a (hypothetical) sampling plan and a means of data collection
  3. If you decide to conduct a Benefit-Transfer, identify at least one “source” case study that allows for transfer and set the method of transfer (point estimate, function) (in this case ignore step 2 and continue with 3)!
  4. Design a short questionnaire or an executable data acquisition set-up
  5. Briefly describe possible sources for biases and scope/ limitations of your study
The assignment (500 words approx ) is due on April 12, 2014. Please post it on the etherpad. We will 'harvest' it from there. 

During the first few weeks of the course, we looked at ecosystem services and considered the various valuation methods. Now, it is time to put those theories into practice. Throughout the next few weeks, you will generate a cost-benefit-analysis of your ecosystem case-study that compares the existing situation with a new potential scenario. 

Copyright: GIZ, Photo: Robert Heine


Assignment 4 gives you the opportunity to develop a new scenario for your ecosystem. The scenario must have two goals: it must prevent land degradation (or improve the quality of the land) and it must better the livelihood of the poorer stakeholders. Find out more in the >Contents section. This team assignment is due on April 12.

We have reviewed your second assignment submissions. Feedback will be posted on Tuesday in your team's section.


You will find the recorded live events in each week's content section.

Join us at our next live-event, April 2, 2014 at 3.30 pm CET with Prof. Dr. Hans Hurni, University of Bern. He will explain how to do a cost-benefit-analysis using the case of the Ethiopian Highlands.  More

Last week, we had a lively exchange with Hannes Etter who introduced us to three different valuation methods using case-studies from Namibia, Kenya and Spain. The recordings and his powerpoint presentation are now available online: More

Creative Commons License

ELD MOOC by ELD Initiative is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


This week's case-study:

Case Study 4 and 7: Sierra Leone / World Crop


Further Reading

Simple cost-benefit analysis:
De Groot, R.S., J. Blignaut, S. Van Der Ploeg, J. Aronson, T. Elmqvist, and J. Farley. 2013. "Benefits of Investing in Ecosystem Restoration." Conservation Biology 27:1286-1293.

A bit more advanced:
Birol, E., P. Koundouri and Y. Kountouris (2010). "Assessing the economic viability of alternative water resources in water-scarce regions: Combining economic valuation, cost-benefit analysis and discounting." Ecological Economics 69(4): 839-847.

Next week we will simulate a cost-benefit-analysis for your chosen ecosystem. This economic method is a decision-making tool that will enable you to make a comparison between two scenarios:

1. the scenario that you explored in Assignment 2

2. a new scenario that you will create

The assignment is due on April 12, 2014.

  • Pls read Chapter 3 UNU-INWEH on Cost-Benefit-Analysis.
  • The choice: describe an alternative scenario for your existing case study. Develop a new scenario for the ecosystem described in Assignment 2. The scenario could be a variety of measures: e.g. adapting new land use practice, changing agricultural methods, using the land for a business / factory, excluding the land from use, turning it into a preserved national park, etc. The goal is to prevent (or reverse) land degradation, while improving the livelihood of (poorer) stakeholders.
  • Describe your scenario (approx. 500 words): What measurements are to be taken? Whose livelihood will you improve? What is the time span of your project? Are you going to include transfer payments (tax, subsidies, etc...)? Write a list of factors and items (goods/services) that represent costs and benefits for the two scenarios.
  • The Week_5 Practitioner's Guide_Form will help you to structure the discussion.
  • Note: Think boldly! In this assignment, you should pretend that you have all of the authority, the means, and the competence to better your ecosystem.
  • ...and: Your scenario can not be comprised of the entire land area. You must select and use only a section of the area.
  • Please use the etherpad that you used in Assignment 2. Place Assignment 4 above Assignment 3.


Over the next few weeks, we will develop a cost-benefit-analysis for your ecosystem. Cost-benefit analysis is a tool that helps decision makers assess whether or not a project is worth undertaking. The first step is assessing of the current situation, the costs and the benefits. We have begun doing that in the previous assignments. Now, we need to conceptualize a scenario that is different from what we have already worked on. The ELD goal is to prevent or reverse land degradation while improving the livelihood of people. Our new land scenario should reflect those goals.