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Ecosystem services in German infrastructure planning - a case study of the projected Lower Weser deepening

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Droste, Nils; Meya, Jasper N.

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Corporate Editor Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ
Abstract We study the incorporation of ecosystem services in German water infrastructure planning exemplified by a projected deepening of the Lower Weser river channel. Therefore, we recalculate the project’s benefit-cost ratio by integrating the monetary value of changes in different ecosystem services: i) the restoration costs of a planned mitigation measure for a loss in fresh water supply for agricultural production in the estuary, ii) costs of loss in habitat services by transferring the willingness to pay between a contingent valuation study to the area assessed in the environmental impact assessment, and iii) the benefits of emission savings induced by more efficient shipping taking a marginal abatement cost approach. We find that the inclusion of monetary values for ecosystem service changes leads to a substantial drop in the benefit-cost ratio and consequently argue for a reform of the standard to facilitate more complete welfare assessments.
Keywords infrastructure; planning; river; water management; environmental compatibility; cost-benefit analysis; public investment; risk assessment; landscape protection; ecological system; Federal Republic of Germany
Classification Ecology, Environment; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Free Keywords ecosystem services; cost-benefit analysis; infrastructure planning; river deepening; Germany
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Leipzig
Page/Pages 22 p.
Series UFZ Discussion Papers, 8/2015
ISSN 1436-140X
Status Published Version
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike