WIT Press

Improving Environmental Assessment: Methodological Considerations And Practical Solutions


Free (open access)





Page Range

65 - 74




2,971 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


F. Bal & J. M. Vleugel


In an environmental-economic analysis of a nature area, many explicit and implicit assumptions are used. Central actors, their preferences and behaviour concerning environmental goods are described. In tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, this framework is used to estimate the impact of environmental management (in particular investment decisions) by governments and other stakeholders. But, if these assumptions are not (completely) valid and if the datasets are incomplete and internally inconsistent, then the advice to policy makers may be incorrect. The impact of (environmental) policies may then become significantly different from what was expected. This does not necessarily mean, as some observers or lobbyists might argue, that such policies itself are useless. They can be influential if their design sufficiently reflects our knowledge of the system. As we will show, Bayesian synthetical inference is an interesting method to estimate a function which can be used to quantify the economic value of nature areas. In this way, possibly enhanced by some form of standardization, we may be able to increase the reliability of the outcomes of our analyses and broaden the application area of our tools and data. A practical example is used to strengthen our point. Keywords: environmental assessment, meta-analysis, Bayesian, investments. 1 Introduction In conventional in-depth nature area valuation studies the economic value of a site is estimated by using preferences of privies concerning the site


environmental assessment, meta-analysis, Bayesian, investments.