Economic valuation of nature has become a pragmatic and popular approach in ecosystem management, yet criticisms have been raised. One major point of critique is that economic valuation bases the value of ecosystems only on the monetary flow of human benefits of ecosystem services and consequently ignores questions of sustainable use of ecosystems. This paper explains why economic valuation by itself is in principle an inadequate concept to guide sustainable use of ecosystems and proposes a framework that allows a combination of traditional economic valuation with management of ecosystems guided by ecological theory. The key elements of this framework are theoretical insights about ecosystem resilience as essential ecological theory that needs to be taken into account in addition to economic valuation to fully capture ecosystem sustainability and elements of portfolio theory. Portfolio theory puts economic valuation in a framework where investment in biodiversity can cover functional diversity and "mobile links" in order to maintain ecosystem resilience and so can foster sustainable use of ecosystems.
|Journal||Aspects of Applied Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|