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Institutionalising environmental values and valuation into policy

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucy Goodman.

Economic valuation of ecosystem goods and services is increasingly embedded in environmental policy. However, despite broad claims of policy-relevance, there is widespread frustration that valuation tools have not demonstrably improved environmental outcomes. Moreover, there is concern that valuation tools often fail to meaningfully reflect societal and environmental values. This talk will argue that this is, in part, because a tendency to overlook the mechanics of how valuation tools and data are embedded into the institutions by bureaucrats that mediate valuation data and decision-making. I will draw on examples of by 7 national agencies in Indonesia and consider the various challenges that arise when environmental economics hit the realities of government bureaucracy. My talk will take particular interest in the under-explored potential for valuation to better inform legal proceedings, notably through civil liability for environmental harm. This space has unique potential to lever mainstream economic valuation tools in ways that better align with the interests of political ecologists and efforts to create meaningful social and environmental change.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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