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Eco-TIRAS issued the book dedicated economic valuation in the monitoring of ecosystem services.

Eco-TIRAS issued the book (methodical guide) dedicated economic valuation in the monitoring of ecosystem services.

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This book has been created in the framework of the Project BSB165 “HYDROECONEX” and is dedicated to the economic valuation of climate change and hydropower effects on the state of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their services. The book presents and uses a methodology of economic valuation that can be used at different scales to evaluate impacts and consequences of the stressors under study. The proposed methodology combines the intensive latest international and Moldova’s national experience in this field, which was triggered by general recognition that ecosystems loss and fragmentation are the greatest worldwide threat to nature biodiversity and a primary cause of species extinction. Based on this recognition, the concept of economic valuation of ecosystem services and their principal provisions have been also developed.

The methodology of economic valuation presented in this report depends both on the type of ecosystems service and spatial scale of valuation. In particular, there were separately considered the provisioning, regulating, habitat and cultural ecosystems services on two spatial scales catchment and water body. The catchment (basin) scale offers an area for application of the ecosystem services concept in river basins management; the catchment is also an

appropriate scale to observe and quantify processes related to a water cycle or to implement monitoring and management plans. As such scale in this study the Dniester River basin below the Dniester Hydropower Complex was selected. At a water body scale, a main focus of economic valuation is to analyze specific functions of ecosystems, which support certain ecosystem

services, and to study their alteration under specific impacts and their different combinations.

As such scale, the proposed methodology of economic valuation is demonstrated on the Ramsar site “Lower Dniester” because of an especial place, which is given to wetlands at present. It is evident that these ecosystems drastically reduced in their number and areas in many world regions due to climate warming, water recourses decrease and intensive human use, and are considered as ‘hot-spots’.

The demonstration of a purely economic valuation of ecosystem services is complemented by examples of valuating the results of hydropower and climate change impacts on the Dniester River environment. These estimates are based on results of the relevant monitoring of physical and biochemical transformations in ecosystems that were identified in the framework of thisproject’s other activities.

On the whole, considering an economic valuation as a prerequisite for making optimal choices regarding the protection and conservation of ecosystems and their services, the carriedout study describes some approaches and provide a set of tools and recommendations for making an informed decision on this kind of problems. The Guide could be downloaded here.