Translator Disclaimer
22 April 2021 Comprehensive Valuation of the Ecosystem Services of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Adam C. Turner, Margaret A. Young, Matthew D. Moran, Maureen R. McClung
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Ecosystem services (ES) have been well studied in most biomes, but the Arctic tundra has received little attention, despite covering over 10% of terrestrial Earth. Using established ES methodologies, we calculated values (in 2016 USD) for the United States Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region virtually undisturbed by humans, but slated for future oil and gas drilling. We estimated the Refuge is worth about 1957 USD/hectare/year, equal to over 15 billion USD annually. Globally important services, such as climate regulation (e.g., carbon storage) and non-use services (e.g., aesthetic information), contributed the most value and were similar to valuations from more productive ecosystems. Local services made smaller contributions to the total, but they remain vitally important to local indigenous cultures. Strikingly, a contingent valuation survey of US residents found that, after neutral educational information, willingness-to-pay to maintain the Refuge in its current state exceeded estimated values of the oil and gas deposits. Our study shows that citizens may value Arctic habitats beyond their traditional economic development potential. Our comprehensive ecosystem services valuation suggests that maintaining the Refuge in its current condition (i.e., de facto wilderness) with its full range of ES is more valuable to humanity compared to development for oil and gas.

Adam C. Turner, Margaret A. Young, Matthew D. Moran, and Maureen R. McClung "Comprehensive Valuation of the Ecosystem Services of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Natural Areas Journal 41(2), 125-137, (22 April 2021). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.041.0207
Published: 22 April 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
13 PAGES


Share
SHARE
KEYWORDS
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
arctic tundra
climate regulation
ecosystem services
oil and gas drilling
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top