This thesis is an empirical investigation and application of conomic valuation of ecosystem in Lugu Lake, southern China.
Ecosystem Services (ES) and their quantitative assessment have become one of ecological economics research focuses since 1997, especially the Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services (EVES). An essential reason of the controversies is they are reviewed from different study angles. Different disciplinary paradigms lead to the debate that whether EVES study is necessary and different research scales lead to the debate related to theories, practical implications of different methodologies. It is necessary to systematically summarize present research viewpoints, methods and theoretic backgrounds of EVES. Based on the review of relating theories and case studies of EVES, this study summarized ecol-economics pre-analysis vision of EVES and compared contemporary theories, policy implications, appropriate methods and problems under research which are introduced in all kinds of literatures.
In this dissertation, research methodologies of EVES were classified into two systems: (1) Absolute economic valuation of ES, which focus on the whole contributions from ecosystem to society and economy. ES values are measured with material, energy or monetary units in these kinds of researches. Absolute ES economic values can reflect the material scarcity of natural capital and synthetic conditions of the whole ecol-economic systems, which can provide guidelines for the improvement of national accounting systems and social-economic development assessment. (2) Relative economic valuation of ES, which focus on partial contributions from ecosystem to society and economy and the appraisal results of these valuation are measured withmonetary units. The short-term policy implications of relative ES economic valuation are more abundant than absolute ones because these kinds of research are more helpful for policy makers to make choices among different trade-offs and marketincentives, so policies and institutions can be designed according to them. As the caseanalysis, the paper discusses the economic valuation of ecosystem services of Lugu Lake basin.
The meaning of the ES and the theory that case analysis involved is discussed in Part 1; Part 2 analyze relevant basic theories separately, material analysis of ecosystem services, and method of EVES, sum up the general theory and policy meaning; Part 3-4 expound the fact that the economic evaluation and ecosystem services of LuguLake, the total economic value of the Lugu lake ecosystem is derived through aggregating the values from those different components; Placing the study area into a broader picture of whole Lugu Lake, the empirical research of Lugu Lake was carried out with fundamental market substitution methods for ecosystem services evaluation.Theoretically speaking, countable general equilibrium model is desirable to assess them; but data restriction and relevant chain feedbacks make it practically infeasible. Although the research seems simple, some theoretical implications can be revealed from the application of ecosystem services evaluations; Based on the economicvaluation of ecosystem service, the thesis concludes with discussion of policy implications, Part 5 summarizes the result of the reckoned value of the services of the ecosystems of Lugu Lake areas, suggests enhancing the strategies and countermeasures to local sustainable development.
At policy and institutional level, interesting issues for further studies are how to protect the regional development and how economically develop the local economic growth, and so on. With respect to environmental economics in China, future studiesinclude: How environmental valuation methods are applied in China? How economic valuation of ecosystem methods would be carried out in China? Enlarged economic evaluation of ecosystem services may be helpful for relative stakeholders who will take better and more public rational choices.