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    Complementing conventional environmental impact assessments of tourism with ecosystem service valuation: A case study of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, China2020

    CHEN H.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    aide à la décision, biens et services écosystémiques

    Ecosystem Services
    Volume 43, June 2020, 101100

    • This paper aims to assess environmental impacts from tourism more thoroughly.

    • Loss of macaque monkeys and vegetation costs $1.2 and $728, respectively (million/yr).

    • Potential land encroachment would cost $0.5 permanently and $0.09 temporarily (million/yr).

    • Ecosystem service valuation has limitations, but benefits impact assessment.

    • Sustainable tourism requires conserving biodiversity and culturally valuable ecosystems.

    In order to assess environmental impacts from tourism in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, China more thoroughly, this study complemented conventional environmental impact assessments (EIAs) with ecosystem service valuation (ESV). It did so by assessing changes in ecosystem services (ESs) and their values, based on changes in environmental components already assessed by existing conventional EIAs. The ESV method was benefit transfer. Tourism can enhance aesthetic and recreational ESs, but some existing damage to vegetation reduced ES value by $1.2 million/yr in the worst situations. While reforestation that generates ES value at $1.8 million/yr can offset the damage, the cost of existing population decline of macaque monkeys was $728 million in 2010. Potential land encroachment would cause permanent and temporary environmental costs at $0.5 million/yr and $0.09 million/yr, respectively. Nevertheless, potentially artificial soil treatment system would increase ES values by $0.25 million/yr. Surface runoff and waste gas have negligible impacts. While complementing conventional EIAs with ESV has limitations, doing so can assess environmental impacts more comprehensively, link environmental impacts to human wellbeing, and improve information. Sustainable tourism requires conserving biodiversity and culturally valuable ecosystems.

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