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Valuing Changes in Agri-Environmental Indicators

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Valuing Changes in Agri-Environmental Indicators

This paper develops a conceptual methodology for valuing changes in agri-environmental indicators and uses this methodology to identify important data needs and gaps. The Impact Pathway approach was used to develop conceptual models for valuing changes in five agri-environmental indicators and for assessing the availability of required economic and physical data. We analyzed five different agri-environmental indicators, including the risk of water erosion and water contamination by phosphorous, GHG emissions, energy use efficiency, and wildlife habitat. The key general lessons from the analysis were that the methodology was robust, in that it guided the work on a disparate set of indicators and was helpful in identifying data needs and gaps. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that defining the full set of impact pathways for each indicator is a complex and time consuming job. In part, the job is complex because there is a good deal of prior research that can help answer the valuation questions. However, it must be organized and applied to specific situations, and the remaining gaps identified.