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CIWEM Ecosystem Services Debate
Ecosystem Services: Must everything have a monetary value? Several prominent speakers will present their arguments at this debate at Abertay University on 26th February

CIWEM Ecosystem Services Debate

Date: 26 February 2014  Time: 18:00 for 18:30  Venue: Rm 2522, Kydd Building, Abertay University, Dundee

Debate Topic:

Ecosystem Services: Must everything have a monetary value? Several prominent speakers will present their arguments.

This event can be considered for contributing to a recognised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme.  The CIWEM CPD scheme has an average requirement of 30 hours per year.  Attendance certificates can be provided on request.

Summary of Debate:

Are you for or against 'monetisation of ecosystem services'?

Must we really put a value on nature?  Is it even possible to do so?

If the value of ecosystems cannot directly be compared with the value of roads, airports and schools, then how can efforts to protect and conserve them hope to compete against business and development goads in a modern public and political debate?  If the goods and services we get from nature are taken for granted as a free and limitless resource, surely action to protect them will always be seen as a drag on development?

But putting a value on nature is incredibly complex. If we are going to require it then businesses need the tools to measure their impact on a consistent basis and to understand which impacts are material.  On the other hand one could argue that the identification of value accrued from 'natural capital' commodifies nature and could lead to its exploitation.

Ecosystem Service valuation is a hot topic. The recently formed Natural Capital Committee has published its first annual 'State of Natural Capital' report and has urged the UK Government 'to take concerted action to imbed the value of natural capital in the national accounts and policy-making processes as early as possible' (House of Commons, Oct 2013).

Speakers both for and against this motion will debate the topic passionately in the CIWEM evening debate, and you - the audience - are invited to share your views and join the debate.

Coffee/Tea will be available from 18:00

This event will run as a Webinar.  Go to from 18:00


Enquiries about CIWEM events should be to the Programme Secretary, Christine Murray.  Contact 

All other enquiries should be to the Branch Secretary, Neil McLaughlin. Contact

CIWEM Ecosystem Services Debate Flyer





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