Chris Raymond

Chris Raymond.

New approaches for understanding and valuing human-environment relationships in an era of rapid environmental change

Most ecosystem service assessments have been framed using the conceptual metaphor of economic production, whereby the benefits of ecosystem services to human well-being are measured using monetary values and the costs are measured as externalities.

Recent critiques highlight that this metaphor captures only a narrow set of values and largely negates the important role that humans have in maintaining and restoring ecosystem functions (see Plieninger et al. 2015; Raymond et al. 2013 for a review).  Further, assessments based on this metaphor often entail an objective, instrumental valuation of ecosystem services, overlooking the potential benefits of deliberative (group-based) valuation of human-environment relationships within and across social representations (Raymond et al 2014; Plieninger et al. 2015).

In this seminar, Dr Raymond will present and justify through global case studies four alternative metaphors for understanding human-environment relationships: 1) closed-loop production, 2) stewardship, 3) web of life and 4) eco-cultural community.  He will then present and justify two instrumental and two deliberative approaches for assessing human-environment relationships, followed by a pragmatic paradigm for integrating the qualities of both. Future directions for identifying and valuing human-environment relationships will then be discussed.

Plieninger, T., Bieling, C., Fagerholm, N., Byg, A., Hartel, T., Hurley, P. … Raymond, C.M. & Huntsinger, L. (2015). The role of cultural ecosystem services in landscape management and planning. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14: 28-33.

Raymond, C.M., Kenter, J., Plieninger, T., and Turner, N. (2014). Comparing instrumental and deliberative paradigms underpinning the assessment of social values for cultural ecosystem services. Ecological Economics. 107:145-156.

Raymond, C.M., Singh, G., Benessaiah, K., Bernhard, J.R., Levine, J, Nelson, H., Turner, N.J., Norton, B., Tam, J & Chan, K. (2013).  Ecosystem services and beyond: Using multiple metaphors to understand human-environment relationships. BioScience 63(7): 536-546.