Last 5-8 January 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, EEPSEA sponsored a course on ecosystem valuation, which focused on regulating services supplied by forests, including mangroves (e.g., water purification, water regulation, pollination, and, in the case of mangroves, storm protection and increased productivity of fisheries). Entitled Valuing Regulating Ecosystem Services in Southeast Asia, the course focused on the use of the production function approach in measuring the value of ecosystem services. It started with a discussion on ecological principles that are important for understanding how changes in ecosystems affect the supply of regulating services. The remaining days focused on learning the relationships among production functions, cost functions, and profit functions as conceptual approaches for valuing regulating services.
The course was attended by 25 researchers from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It honed these participants’ econometric skills to estimate the value of ecosystem functions through a series of hands-on exercises based on real-life datasets. The course was facilitated by Duke University’s Dr. Jeffrey Vincent.