The value of land and economic valuation methods

Course video 21 of 45

How much is a plot of land worth? Is it worth as much as the crops grown on it? Is it worth as much as the next farmer is willing to pay for it? Who incurs the cost of damages to the land? What if you asked yourself this question: "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” If you knew you could never see a plot of land again, would its value change? Rachel Carson, a pioneer of the global environmental movement, posed these questions to the readers of her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, encouraging them to open their eyes to the rampant problem of degradation of the natural environmental happening all around us. The world of business thrives on quantifying just about anything. If we want to make landscape restoration a financially sustainable activity then we need economic valuation methods to put a price tag on both the value of landscapes and ecosystem services, as well as on the cost and foregone revenues from landscape degradation. In this week, we will build on what you learned last week about the natural aspects of landscapes – to learn how to calculate the potential savings we can make by avoiding further degradation and the profits we stand to make from restored landscapes.

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