The Value of Green Infrastructure in Birmingham and the Black Country
Author: Oliver Hölzinger (CEEP)
Client: Birmingham & The Black Country Wildlife Trust
Published: August 2011
The pressure on the natural environment, especially in urban areas, is increasing. One main reason is that ecosystem services and the benefits they provide to human welfare are ignored or strongly undervalued and not adequately assessed in planning and policy. One reason is that most benefits are difficult to measure and not marketable. Economic valuation of ecosystems can help to mitigate this undervaluation and is receiving increasing attention by government and science. Monetarisation makes ecosystem services more tangible for decision makers and planners. One aim of this publication is to provide a decision aid whenever environmental issues are affected.
In this survey ecosystem services provided by woodland, heathland and wetland as part of the Green Infrastructure in Birmingham and the Black Country have been valued. A value transfer approach has been applied. Stating the best guess, the 2,422 ha of GI covered within this study provide an annual value of at least £20.78 million which results in £1.09 billion capitalised over 100 years., A wide range of ecosystem services have not been included in this sum because of incomplete scientific evidence. Therefore the findings can be interpreted as a baseline for the total value.