The World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-P) successfully completed a total economic valuation (TEV) study of forest, coastal, agricultural, rangeland, and freshwater ecosystems in 2008. These five ecosystems are located in the Lower Indus Basin of the Indus Ecoregion, one of the 40 priority ecoregions in the world identified by the Global 200. The studies are intended to impact environmental policy in Pakistan where WWF-P is leading a 50-year, multi-stakeholder intervention in the Indus Ecoregion, whose first phase (2006-2012), entitled the Indus for All Programme (www.foreverindus.org), is nearing completion.
The WWF-P valuation study complements the World Bank’s “Pakistan Strategic Country Environmental Assessment” study (2006) which hugely impacted policymaking by using its TEV estimates to place Pakistan’s cost of environmental degradation at Rs. 1 bn per day (or 6% of GDP). In particular, WWF’s assessments will help corroborate the World Bank’s own estimates of forests and rangelands, while contributing estimates of freshwater, coastal, and agricultural values to values of soil salinity, soil erosion, water, urban air, airborne lead and indoor air.
WWF-P’s 2008 study also excels in its own right, in places exceeding ground broken by the World Bank’s 2006 study. What fundamentally distinguishes the studies is that the World Bank’s estimates, with a few exceptions, are adaptations of existing study results from work completed in other countries. WWF-P’s work is based on first hand field surveys and own application of valuation methodology by the authors. Further, WWF-P’s estimates are more comprehensive in that they incorporate non-use values (NUVs) and carbon sequestration values, both of which exceed the scope of the World Bank study.
Finally, the WWF-P 2008 study’s NUV estimate, which is based on a representative sample from Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, is undertaken using a “spatially explicit, multi-ecosystem choice experiment”. This rare and well executed application of the choice experiment methodology earned the work a chapter in a book on best practices with choice experiments edited by world authorities in this field (see: http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=13208). For all these reasons, WWF-P hopes that the manuscript (as well as its valuable datasets, sample routines, and survey instruments), finds a good home, with a publisher that recognizes the significance of this study, and knows where to situate it within its repertory of previous such published works.
“PE Indicators and PE Linkages Study: What to Expect?” http://www.foreverindus.org/pdf/newsletter/v2issue10apriljune09.pdf
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