ES Ev Bham Birmingham & The Black Country Nature Improvement Area Ecosystem Assessment
Client: The Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area Partnership
Publication Date: September 2015
Author: Oliver Hölzinger (CEEP)

 

Summary:

The pressure on green infrastructure, especially in the urban environment, is increasing. One main reason is that ecosystem services and the benefits they provide to human wellbeing are still often ignored or strongly undervalued and not yet adequately implemented in planning and policy. Ecosystem services are "the benefits people obtain from ecosystems". Economic valuation of ecosystem services can help to mitigate this undervaluation and this is receiving increasing attention by government and science in the UK and worldwide. Monetarisation makes the value of ecosystem services such as biodiversity, recreation and flood risk mitigation more tangible for decision makers and practitioners. One aim of this study was to provide a decision aid whenever environmental issues are affected within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA).

The green infrastructure in Birmingham and the Black Country investigated within scope of this study provides ecosystem services valued at £1.08 billion capitalised over 100 years (2014 prices), stating the best guess estimate. The sustainable flow of assessed ecosystem services has been valued at £20.67 million annually. Please note that many ecosystems could not be valued within scope of this Ecosystem Assessment because of gaps in the valuation science and even for those ecosystems that have been assessed only a restricted set of ecosystem services could be given a monetary value. Therefore the findings should be treated as baseline of the real value of all ecosystem services provided by ecosystems in the Birmingham and Black Country NIA.

In addition to the assessment for green infrastructure in Birmingham and the Black Country as a whole a case study evaluation for habitats created as part of the NIA activities has been undertaken. Following similar methods as for the full Ecosystem Assessment a capitalised value of £2,187,000 has been calculated for ecosystem services provided by the created habitats. This includes cross-calculation with lost ecosystem services from replaced habitats where possible. It should be stressed, however, that this is an approximate figure as the model applied for the assessment is not designed to assess land-use changes. This is for example because not all habitats where land-use changes occurred could be assessed in monetary terms.

Download:

Birmingham & The Black Country NIA Ecosystem Assessment (pdf, 3.7mb)