A framework for valuing spatially targeted peatland restoration
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Recent evidence suggests that the degree of degradation of peatlands is substantial, and that there is a significant potential to enhance the delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services by investing in peatland restoration. However, little is known about the social welfare impacts of peatland restoration and in particular how to spatially target restoration activities to maximise net benefits from investments in restoration. This paper investigates the steps required to conduct a spatially explicit economic impact assessment of peatland restoration, and highlights and discusses key requirements and issues associated with such an assessment. We find that spatially explicit modelling of the biophysical impacts of restoration over time is challenging due to non-linear effects and interaction effects. This has repercussions for the spatially explicit assessment of costs and benefits, which in itself is a demanding task. We conclude that the gains of investing in the research needed to conduct such an assessment can be high, both in terms of advancing science and in terms of providing useful information for decision makers.
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