OPERAs webinar 3 question by Alister Scott

Is there not the need for decision makers to validate the non-monetary values? Most want quantitative values which is a real danger of ecosytem services.


Craig Bullock: Validation I guess could come from workshops or exercises with different participants. Larger scale surveys using more quantitative methods such as factor analysis could also demonstrate whether similar attitudes apply to the wider population, allowing for the fact that this population would not have experienced the social learning/interaction that occurs in workshops. I could send you a reference for this if you wish.

Posted on: 3 Oct 2017 - 12:05

Ariane Walz: I am not sure, what exactly you mean with “validate”. Usually the non-monetary values identified within a study are genuine, and can hardly be reproduced from a different information source to compare and validate them. I would not even recommend comparing between similar social valuation studies in different areas for “plausibility checks”. When we look, for instance, at results from similar studies at different regions across the Alps, we see that the regional context leads to large differences in perception of ecosystem services and priority setting. To some extend such difference are the logical consequence of the key goal of such studies: what is important to people right here in this context. In terms of validation, I want to emphasise that looking at the methodological quality of the study usually gives a good impression on quality/robustness of the results. Who has been addressed with the study, and which parts of the population might have been missed out, is for instance an important question when it comes to interpreting the results. Social valuation studies can, for instance, identifying the bandwidth of beneficiaries from an ecosystem, give an idea about the number of beneficiaries, and a ranking of perceived benefits and potentially also of conflicts. These are QUANTITATIVE, but non-monetary measures which are usually well-understood by decision-makers.

Posted on: 3 Oct 2017 - 12:05