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Assessing the ecological services of aquatic environments Scientific, political and operational issues

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In a context of climate change and biodiversity loss, the notion of ecological services has rapidly gained ground in political debates. It was a key topic during the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya in October 2010, and a guiding concept in drafting the new French biodiversity strategy that was adopted in May 2011. The recent intergovernmental platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES) was further proof of both the relevance and the international standing of the concept.

The goal of good water status, particularly good ecological status, set by the European water framework directive in 2000 has led to major efforts to preserve and restore aquatic environments. The ecological services provided by aquatic environments are now a topic of growing interest to water managers and, more generally, to all stakeholders in society interested in the quality and sustainable management of aquatic environments.

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  Front cover
  Key points

Analytical summary

The key issues and their acknowledgement
Analysis of the concepts relating to service assessment
Economic valuation of services

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Assessement of ecological services vis-à-vis the challenges of water policy

Key issues
Consideration of ecological services in public policies

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Analysis of the concepts associated with service assessment

What object for analysis?
Services, functions, benefits: clarification of the concepts

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The economic valuation of ecological services

The notion of ecological services:nature as a unit of stocks and flows
From the natural capital to the services provided
Well-being services
Collective environmental responsibility systems
Scope for ecological service valuation
Assessment types
Economic valuation of services
"Opportunity cost" approach

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  Quoted references
  Back cover