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    Ecosystem intrinsic value and its application in decision-making foar sustainable development2019

    CHEN W., SHENG U.X., XU H., ZHANG L.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    aide à la décision, biens et services écosystémiques, emergy, valeur d'existence / culturelle

    Journal for Nature Conservation
    Available online 3 February 2019

    Comprehensive recognition and scientific evaluation of ecosystem value are fundamental for sustainable decision-making and nature conservation. The most popular concept, ecosystem services value (ESV), however, is based on the utility of ecosystems to humans and thus would bias ecosystem value. Here we compared and discussed the concept of ecosystem intrinsic value (EIV), which emphasizes the objective value of ecosystems. A practical approach based on emergy and eco-exergy analysis was developed for evaluating EIV and was then applied in Pearl River Estuary (PRE), a large subtropical estuarine ecosystem in southern China. EIV of PRE was around USD 54 million km−2, which was close to the Xiamen Bay ecosystem, another subtropical estuary with distinct social-economic levels of development. The consistent values suggest that EIV is independent of human activities. Further, EIV was integrated into two cost-benefit analysis based decision-making processes. Results showed significant decrease of benefits in both decisions by using EIV. Especially, in the case of principal coastal functional zoning in Xiamen Bay, the results by EIV ruled out the function which was accepted by ESV. Together, our results demonstrated that EIV provides stricter and more objective evaluation of ecosystem value and thus is expected to improve current decision-making processes towards more sustainable development and nature conservation.

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